Anna Friel: ‘I’m happier at 40 than I was at 18’

-Aug 12, Caroline Blight, Living -

Anna Friel is back on screen again in new ITV drama Deep Water and despite thirty years on screen she’s still as fresh faced as ever. The 43 year-old actress admits she has worried about how her career would suffer as she got older, after starting work aged 13, but she is actually more in demand than ever.

“I did wonder about turning 40 and being thrown on the scrapheap. But apart from the shell changing, everything else changes in a much more positive way. Wisdom, compassion, empathy, values, being parents – we’re learning that people want to watch people they can relate to, not just the unachievable. We’ve got enough of that with the superhero movies.”

And as she gets used to being in her fourth decade she feels increasingly at ease with ageing. “I would take my 40-something confidence, wisdom and knowledge over a perfect 18-year-old body any day!” she says.

Read on: Why Nicole Kidman says ageing can be fun

She favours natural products…

Anna understands that nourishing yourself from the inside out results in great skin and makes sure she starts the day with a smoothie made of fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and water. “I eat quite organically and I believe that whatever you put into your body feeds the skin, and I can really tell the difference if my diet changes,” she explains. “I’ve tried to cut out caffeine as I find it really dehydrating.”

In the past she has tried juice detoxes and found they have enhanced her skin but overall she’s keen on balance. She says: “I love wine. If ever I have a trainer they say: “Anna, if you want to be really fit, that’s got to stop”. But we do all this hard work, it’s hard not to have a glass of wine.”

Related: Find out how to make Jennifer Garner’s everyday smoothie

…but admits she’s tried some cosmetic treatments too

When it comes to getting red carpet ready Anna makes a trip to the salon. “I always have a Cryoderm treatment before a red carpet,” said Anna. Commonly known as the vampire facial, this procedure involves taking two vials of blood from your arm, and reinjecting it into your skin. She feels this is a safer treatment than Botox as it won’t result in a ‘frozen’ look.

But Anna reckons she can see the difference and is not afraid to investigate cosmetic options in the future. “Never say never to anything,” she says. “As you get older you start thinking, ‘I feel better on the inside so why does everything else have to happen the other way round?!'”

She’s adapted her look to suit her age

Anna’s simple dress style and youthful approach to hair and make-up has developed as she has got older, but it has never aged her. This is an area that since hitting her Forties she has realised needs constant review.

I’ve never been a fan of powder, I think it’s incredibly ageing as it can sink into all your creases. I like a fresh looking face!” she says. “Watch as your face changes and draw attention to your best assets and know what is good for you.”

And as well as adapting her make-up Anna’s wardrobe gets a regular overhaul. “The older I get, the more I realise that life is about being comfortable,” she confesses. “I’ve got a wardrobe full of heels that I know I’ll never wear again. And, once you hit 40, I do think you need to be age-appropriate.” She admits that last time she had a clear out her teenage daughter Gracie was thrilled to take the hand-me-downs – which made Anna even more convinced she should not be wearing those clothes! “I’m no longer worried about looking “sexy”; I prefer elegance and a bit of sophistication.”

Find out why Jennifer Lopez believes age really is just a number. And how to change your make-up and look your very best with tips from A List make-up artists.

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