An Interview with Jill Daley: Presenter on Insight Radio


Who’s this stunning fair maiden that we do see? Well some of you may know her she’s witty, she’s talkative, she’s the beauty queen in her own right, she’s the ultimate blonde bombshell, and you can wherever she may walk you are guaranteed to see a handsome yellow Labrador guide dog and smell the smell of La Perla. You guessed it, it’s the wonderful Jill Daley here on fashioneyesta.com for an interview. Only the tables are turned, usually presenting the show in which I feature on every Friday at 2.15 pm on the Daily Lunch. Today she is here to be interviewed by yours truly.

What is the one thing you enjoy about working on Insight Radio?

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There are so many things I love about working at Insight Radio, it’s hard to pin it down to one! But I do know that I  get immense pleasure from presenting my live 2 hour show. A lot of people think that when you work in radio, you really just come in and present your programme and then go home, but it is not the case! I am in 9am until 5pm every day, preparing for that day’s show, or the next days show, so it’s busy all the time!

I am very passionate about the fact that Insight Radio is an information service for blind or partially sighted people, and not forgetting their friends and family, and often wish there had been a service like this available to me and my loved ones when I was losing my sight. So I live in hope, that every day, if a little piece of information, no matter how small, helps someone out, just from listening to my show, then my journey with sight loss hasn’t been in vain.

What is it that you find beneficial/ enjoyable or interesting about reading fashioneyesta.com?

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Fashioneyesta.com is an invaluable resource for blind and partially sighted women and men, who still want to look and feel good, even though they can’t see, after all, other people can see us blind folk you know! And why shouldn’t we take a pride in ourselves anyway?

Emily has a really beautiful style of writing, and amazing beauty and fashion advice, that she just can’t wait to share with the rest of us. I love the fact that Emily will try a product, and not only rate it for it’s effectiveness, but for it’s accessibility, which is a really important feature for blind and partially sighted people. She is very lucky also to have an incredibly supportive  mum, who I have had the great pleasure of chatting to on the phone. The reason I mention this, is because, Emily’s mum is obviously a great inspiration to her.

I also love Emily’s little poems, her passion, and her desire to pass on her knowledge of fashion and beauty, to others who may otherwise find it a little daunting. Her enthusiasm is so infectious and I look forward to having her on my radio show every Friday; as she is a complete breath of fresh air, and a little ray of sunshine.

What advice would you give to someone who has lost their sight and is trying to renegotiate the world of fashion and beauty?

I would say that it is really important, in fact vital, that you have one person that you trust 100% to tell you the truth, no matter how devastating the truth can be! The last thing you want, is someone telling you that you look great, when you really don’t! I know that people sometimes don’t want to appear unkind, but better to hear it than go out and have people feel sorry for you, in  that no one told you that you don’t suit that make up, hair style or outfit. Don’t get me wrong, you want the compliments too, but I do think that constructive criticism is a good thing. I always feel that your mum is the best person to get an honest opinion from, but failing that, make sure that you are with someone that is not jealous of you in any way at all, you might end up with a really ill fitting dress that makes you look awful!!

When it comes to make up, trust in the girls behind the make up counter in the department stores. Make yourself known to them, tell them what look you are trying to achieve, and let them enjoy making you look beautiful, in fact, I would give the exact same advice for personal shoppers too.

What is your daily beauty routine?

OMG! Do you have all day??!! This could end up being a bit of a ‘War and Peace’ answer!

Every morning I get up and have my shower. I wash my hair with Lanza shampoo and conditioner with extra protein for fine hair. I use an exfoliation sponge with a bar of Coco Chanel soap…complete luxury! I then smother myself with the Coco Chanel body moisturiser after drying, and get ready to put my make up on.

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I use Crème de la Mer regenerating serum underneath my Crème de la Mer moisturising gel, and the matching eye concentrate. I then put on my Crème de la Mer foundation, matching powder, and use a Chanel blusher all over, to accentuate my cheek bones. I then pat on a little pink/ lilac Chanel blush on the apple of my cheeks.

I then move on to my eyes, using an intense black Chanel pencil to line my eyes, before smudging for a smokier look. Time for the mascara, and yes you have guessed it…Chanel! After application, I always make sure that I separate my lashes with an eyelash comb. Finally, for the face at least, my Chanel lippy and a bit of matching gloss to go over. If I am going out, or have any special kind of meeting, I use about 4 different Chanel eye shadows and blend them all in to look as subtle or dramatic as required, but that’s another whole chapter!

Moving on to my hair, I run some Argon oil through, and add a little volumising mousse to  the top of my hair, and blow dry, before getting the straighteners out to smooth away any fluffy bits! Finally a sprits of perfume, and I’m off to work. I have 3 different perfumes that I take turns in wearing, Van Cleef, Coco Chanel and LaPerla.

 How do you use your senses to help you select fashion, cosmetic and accessory items?

When it comes to fashion and accessories, touch and feel are the 2 main things that I go for. It’s all very well if an item is a nice colour, or the kind of pattern I’m looking for, but if it doesn’t feel right on, or the fabric doesn’t feel good, then it’s a no go. With regards to beauty products, I do tend to stick to what I know and like, but the smell of a product is really important factor. There is no point liking the feel of a beauty product, if the smell of it makes you feel sick!

 Who is your favourite designer?

I absolutely love Chanel, and if I won the lottery, I would ditch my current wardrobe in its entirety, and kit myself out head to toe in Chanel! But back to reality, I love some of Vivienne Westwood’s less wacky creations, and I think Ralph Lauren designs are timeless and classic.

 What fashion era do you love the most?

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Image of Hollywood 1930s fashion

I love the Hollywood glamour of the 1930’s, if I could get away with wearing those beautiful gowns and sit with my long cigarette holder and elbow length gloves, at my desk every day I would. Apart from that, I love current fashion, in that you can pretty much get away with anything these days, no matter what era you are into, there is always a way of adding a little element of that time period to your outfit

 Vintage or High Street?

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Mmmmmmm…I’d have to say both!

What high street store do you find the most accessible and customer friendly for blind and partially sighted people? And why?

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I am a big fan of Topshop, even though not all their clothes suit me, they have a great range, and you very rarely come out with nothing in your hand. Oasis is also great for the same reasons, and both offer an amazing personal shopper facility. All you have to do is book an appointment at your local store, give them your vital statistics, and tell them what occasion you are wanting an outfit for, even if it’s every day. The shopper will bring in a huge selection of clothes before you even enter the store, and you are taken into a private room, usually with refreshments, and they dress you up like a Barbie doll! I recently did this before I went to the Glastonbury Festival, and I walked out with 3 different outfits, all interchangeable, and to suit all weathers. It really is an invaluable service, especially if you feel you are in a bit of a fashion rut. The girls are very friendly, but more importantly, very honest, after all, they want you to look great, and be a walking advert for the store, plus, they want you to come back too!

What cosmetic item do you find the most accessible? And why?

Well, to answer this question, I am looking at it from a totally blind woman’s perspective, as labelling on the packaging doesn’t matter to me, but what does matter is the feeling of the packaging. I have to say that for me, the most accessible  product, in terms of packaging, and ease of application, has to be my Crème de la Mer moisturising gel cream. The jar itself, is ceramic and smooth and feels cool, heavy  and expensive in your hands. You are paying upwards of £130 for a jar of this cream, so you want it to feel like a bit of an occasion every time you open the pot. When you do take off the ceramic lid, and the protector, you are provided with a spatula whereby you can take a small amount of the cream, and heat it gently between your fingers, before patting it on to your face. The cream itself is beautiful, and just glides across your skin like liquid gold. I have tried every face cream going, and unfortunately, this rather expensive luxury is with out a doubt the best. In saying that, it suits my skin, but may not suit all, so if you are going to fork out for this, be sure to get a tester first, as it would be a rather costly mistake to have to swallow! The other thing about this particular product is that it comes in a beautiful presentation box that just oozes grandeur…it’s a real treat for me every morning, to open this product!

What services, technology and support from the RNIB would you recommend to visually impaired people in order to help them with fashion and personal care?

The RNIB have an absolute wealth of different services for blind and partially sighted people, for many aspects of life, and I would always say to people that the best thing you could do, if you are looking for any service from RNIB, and in this case for fashion, beauty or technology advice, is to give the national helpline a call. There is always a friendly voice on the end of the line, ready to direct your call to the relevant person, so don’t be afraid to call, as if RNIB don’t have the appropriate person within the organisation, they will help direct you to other organisations, such as your local blind society, that may be able to help you out. The number for the RNIB’s helpline is  0303 123 9999.

One thing that I did get from the RNIB, that I find invaluable, is my colour detector. You simply turn on the machine, hold it against a piece of clothing, and it tells you what colour it is, which is brilliant for women like me, that like to buy the same top in about a million different colours! A tip to beware of though…if you hold it to your face, it tells you you are orange, even if you haven’t had a fake tan!!!

There is also an app you can download called colour id. It works on  the same principle as the colour detector, but it is on your mobile phone, and the best thing about it is…it’s free!

What is the one fashion item that you couldn’t live with out?

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I have 3 Chanel hand bags that I inherited from my lovely mum when she died, and it doesn’t matter how grim you feel you look, just throwing one of these bags over your shoulder when you go out, makes you feel and look expensive, even if you are not! I love these bags for many reasons, they are timeless, classic and go with anything, but most of all because they belonged to mum, so when ever I go out with one of these bags, I feel that a little part of her is with me.

What are the things you swear by?

I absolutely swear by my black eyeliner and clear lip gloss! If someone turns up unexpectedly at your front door, it only takes seconds to outline your eyes and put a sheen on your lips. I never go out with out my make up, but on the other hand, I do like to give my face a break as well, so just outlining your eyes a little and having a glossy lip hides a multitude of sins…in my case anyway!

What are your top tips for keeping your guide dog well groomed and trendy?

Lucas, my guide dog, is extremely handsome indeed, and it is only fair that I keep him looking absolutely gorgeous at all times! I obviously groom him regularly, but do take him to the doggy beauty parlour every 3 months for a quick make over! I also like to co-ordinate his collar and lead with what I am wearing, if I am going somewhere special, and what guide dog would be complete, with out his very own wax jacket?

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to peruse a career in the media?

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I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve worked in newspapers, TV and radio, but I have to say that my most valuable piece of advice to anyone that wants to pursue a career in any form of media, is to keep pushing and don’t be disheartened by the knock backs. You have to make yourself shine and stand out from others, and it’s not easy, as there are so many very talented people out there. If I had given up after my first couple of knock backs, I certainly wouldn’t be in radio now. You’ve got to be very single minded, and never let anyone say that you ‘can’t do it’. When people said that I would never break into the media in the early days, because I was blind, that made me even more determined, and I think that determination always shines through. Don’t be afraid to be different, or slightly quirky, anyone can follow the crowd!

Are there any handy tips and hints you have for visually impaired people when doing their hair and make up?

My key piece of advice is, less is more. Until you are completely comfortable and confident with your makeup products, then go easy. Nobody wants to look like Aunt Sally with their new blusher! But on the other hand, don’t be frightened to try new styles, just make sure that you are trying out new products for your hair or face, with someone around that you trust. Also, use your fingers until you get confident with brushes, your fingers are great for blending, whether it is the foundation around your hair line, or your eye shadow, as long as you are using the same tension for both eyes, then you should get it even.

A last tip, and this isn’t always financially viable, but the more money you spend on your makeup, the better the pigment in the product, and the less you have to put on, so even though it may cost a little more, it will last you just as long, if not longer than the cheaper alternative.

What do you think you will be wearing this Autumn/Winter season? Any trends that have caught your eye?

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I am very pleased to hear that lace is going to be a big thing this coming season. I am a big fan, as lace can be very feminine and elegant, but it can also be quite raunchy and sexy too! I also believe that autumnal colours are in as always, which is great, as burgundies and mossy greens really suit blondes, I think anyway. I also believe that pink is a big colour for the autumn, and delighted to see that tartan is back too. Maybe time to dust off the mini kilt?

What fashion magazine do you enjoy to read?

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I do most of my fashion magazine reading on line, and am a big fan of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I have interviewed the fashion editor many times on my show, so love the fact that I can always ask her to keep me up to date with the coming trends. Closer Magazine also has a good fashion section, as does Star Magazine. Other than that, I just tend to Google ‘current trends’, and all the answers are at my disposal.

And finally, what is the one thing that you dream of purchasing?

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A big Mercedes Benz with a soft top, and a Chippendale to drive me around in it! I have always loved beautiful cars, and appreciate the engineering that goes into a car of that calibre. I used to drive before I lost my sight, so really miss that, but I have to admit, I would still love to be driven around in a car like that…is that silly??? Anyway, a girl is allowed to dream, isn’t she?

 Indeed we can Jill!

And you can listen to Jill Daley every day on Insight Radio on the Daily Lunch from 1pm-3pm giving advice, chatting showbiz and magazines and giving you all the gossip1

Tune in on a Friday at 2.15pm to hear me along with Jill Daley talking fashion and beauty on the Daily Lunch. Hope to see you there! 

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