Susannah Taylor Q&A

Susannah Taylor Q&A

Meet Susannah Taylor, a truly inspirational woman who embodies drive and ambition, a zest for life and the relentless pursuit of purpose. 


Susannah's professional life is distinguished by remarkable achievements, including over 25 years as a beauty and wellbeing editor for renowned publications such as Vogue and Glamour. Leveraging her experience in the health and beauty industry, Susannah launched 'Get The Gloss' in 2012, a popular online directory providing advice and guidance on health and beauty topics. 


As a proud devotee of all things beauty and holistic well-being, Susannah now runs the successful newsletter 'The Glow Gazette,' which we are avid readers of here at Ancient + Brave. We are also really excited about her newest passion project; - The ‘Ways to feel more human’ podcast (launching on the 1st July). We can’t wait to tune in.


Mother of three, fitness fanatic, content creator, stylist, journalist, brand consultant, and now podcaster—  you really are a superwoman. And amidst your busy schedule, we truly admire how you still find time to embrace a slower pace of life, taking moments to stop and smell the roses along the way, advocating for others to do the same. Tell us - what is your secret to balancing it all? 


I think I just get a real kick out of creating things and that is hugely important to me.  I don’t think I’m a superwoman, but I actually really like being busy. However in order to enjoy being busy (especially now I’m menopausal) it’s vital I practise self care in order to stay sane. I work really hard but I shamelessly look after myself when I can - I have a bath most nights and in the mornings I get up early and meditate. I sleep like a log, take daily supplements (yours!), eat as well as possible, and I exercise three times a week minimum and sauna and cold plunge when I can. It helps that I’m in the wellness game so I can practise these things and sometimes call it work!  But I think it’s important to accept that you can’t do it all and some things you just can’t do. I barely ever watch TV for example - The Crown, The Bear ,Breaking Bad…I haven’t seen one of them as that’s the one thing I just can’t fit in.



With over 20 years in the beauty and wellbeing industry (including Vogue!), you must have navigated many fast-paced and intense environments. How did you maintain your health and manage stress during this time? And how has your relationship with stress evolved today?

 

I think I probably wasn’t very good at it in my early years in the industry and in my twenties I had a horrible bout of anxiety which taught me a lot. However I have learnt over the years that the key to not getting burnt out is to look after yourself in the times that you feel well, not just when you feel broken. We mustn’t wait until we break before we help ourselves. 


I think it’s also so important to remember that we aren’t made of smash-proof glass like our smartphones  - we are flesh and bones and have evolved from nature. We aren’t designed to be connected all the time. Downtime is as vital as up-time.



We are SO excited about your podcast, ‘ways to feel more human’, which delves into the challenges of loneliness and disconnection in our digital age, urging us to realign with our true selves. Now more than ever, there's a need to slow down and reconnect with ourselves, our community, nature, nourishment, and creativity. It resonates deeply with everything we promote here at Ancient + Brave. Could you share what inspired you to create this podcast and give us a glimpse of what listeners can anticipate?


We are living in unprecedented times. It has taken an evolutionary nanosecond for digital to literally take over our lives and we have allowed it to completely consume us. But we aren’t designed to absorb the amount of  information we do. We aren’t designed to look down at a tiny screen all day. We aren’t designed to socialise through a phone. From all the statistics I see  from experts, we are getting more and more ill, lonely, obese and mentally ill. It is therefore vital we gain some perspective and change some things as we can’t ignore our biological makeup  any longer.


 It is VITAL we get some perspective and that’s what Ways to Feel More Human is about. It’s about getting back to what we, as humans, do best and how to thrive in a digital and AI dominated world. I’ll be interviewing everyone from breathwork coaches to meditation teachers, creatives to life coaches, nature experts to neuroscientists  who can help us feel more human.


In the recent addition of the Glow Gazette, you talk about how meditation changed your life. Is meditation something you practise daily? How do you fit it into your busy schedule, and what benefits have you noticed? 


I get up early to meditate most days. Years ago I learnt Vedic Meditation (Jillian Lavender  the founder of the London Meditation Centre is on the podcast actually). It is the only type of meditation that really clicked for me where everything falls away and I can completely relax. The only struggle I have  is that you are meant to practise twice a day for 20 mins each time. This is hard. I often struggle to fit in the second one but I do it when I can. Thankfully you can do it anywhere - I’ve locked myself in the loo or meditated in the school car park before! I fell off the bandwagon for about 4 years but have recently taken it up again and I feel calmer, more positive and almost as if I have a better perspective on life.


As a beauty editor, you likely have insider knowledge of all the latest and most exciting beauty trends, and have most probably tried them all! However, we understand that your school of thought is that the first step in our skincare regime should be what we eat. Are there any specific foods or supplements you love for achieving healthy, glowing skin?


Yes I really believe that no illuminating moisturiser can make you look or feel better than looking after your wellbeing. Personally I eat as much fresh food as possible and try to get as many colours of food and types of fresh food in as possible. Supplement-wise I really believe in taking collagen and your Wild Collagen has been a staple of mine for many years. I put a spoonful in my coffee every morning. The myth about collagen is that it just helps skin - of course collagen goes everywhere in your body so it helps bones and organs too. It’s a form of protein which we really need as we age.


On your social media, you share your love for drawing and painting. Do you believe creativity is just as important as movement and healthy eating? What benefits do you notice when you are in your artistic flow, and what advice would you give to a complete beginner?

I have a lifelong love of drawing and painting. It was all I did as a child and I went on to study at St Martins School of Art. I am never happier than when I have a pencil in my hand. When I’m drawing or painting I literally ‘travel’ somewhere else for an hour. I don’t know where I go to but it’s a very peaceful place with very little thought. It completely calms my mind.  My advice for a beginner would be to just try  - there is no such thing as creating a perfect picture. Ignore the voice in your head that says ‘I’m not an artist’  - that’s just a thought in your head.


At Ancient and Brave we are deeply passionate about simple yet effective daily rituals. Could you talk us through a typical day in your life? And what are your daily essential wellness rituals?


6.30 - I wake up and meditate for 20-35 mins. I also do 5-10 minutes of deep breathing (I am training as a breathwork coach too)

7 am - I wake the kids up and get them to school

9 am  - I have coffee with Ancient + Brave Wild Collagen. I normally fast in the mornings and so add in Ancient + Brave  MCT oil too which gives my brain and body more energy 

9-9.30 am -I take the dogs for a walk around the fields in our village 

10-12.30 I work on my podcast or newsletter - The Glow Gazette 

12.30 I have lunch  - for example I sometimes I slice up some sweet potato and add it to a salad with some feta

1-4pm - I work some more until I get my daughter from school. I will try and fit in another meditation if I can and some days I will try and make it to the gym. I’m lucky to be a member of the Bamford Club in the Cotswolds and sometimes I work from there too. I do mat work and yoga moves, weights and cardio

5pm-8pm - a Juggle of cooking, kids bedtimes and eating. Usually it’s chicken or fish with salads or veggies

9.30pm I LOVE to have a bath. I think it’s my spiritual home! I fill it with incredible oils - my favourite is Olverum - and I read or listen to podcasts 

10.30pm I try to get ready for bed but I often get distracted and it ends up being later 

Every night I massage my face with oils and remove my makeup mindfully. I love aromatherapy oils that I breathe in slowly. 

11pm lights out! Thankfully I sleep well - it is one of my best talents!



It goes without saying that you inspire many women to adopt more self-care and wellness practices and embrace a slower pace of life. Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?

I would say that it’s not necessarily the world of wellbeing that inspires me, it’s my friends and family. They remind me how precious life is and how fast it spins by. My rapidly growing family (two are teenagers who are as tall as me) remind me every day how quickly time flies. I am also hugely inspired by the environment. I literally LOVE spending time in the beauty of nature and it inspires my wellbeing and my art. Every day it reminds what a wonderful world we live in and if you don’t stop and smell the roses then what’s it all for? 


And finally - what are your fave Ancient + Brave products?

It’s very hard to choose as they are all amazing. The Wild Collagen is a daily staple and I swear my body is stronger and my skin glowier because of it, and I have the True MCT oil to hand in my kitchen if I’m fasting (I add it to coffee or smoothies). In Winter I love the Cacao + Collagen too which I have with warm almond milk and a dash of honey. And I often have the Matcha + Collagen in the afternoons when I can’t face another coffee but need an afternoon lift without the jitters.


Subscribe to the Ways to Feel More Human podcast 

On Apple here

Spotify here

YouTube here

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