Rosie Underwood’s job is busier than most. As the Fashion and Beauty Director for OK! Magazine, she runs a pretty busy schedule and yet amongst the chaotic world of print deadlines, Rosie finds her solace in sport and fitness – primarily yoga.
What does your role as Fashion and Beauty Director entail?
I produce and style a six-page main fashion shoot every week, I try and test all the new beauty innovations and write three features on fashion, beauty and wellness. I get all the information I need from launches that take place throughout the week. There’s always something new to learn about and with OK! being a weekly magazine, I try to absorb it all like a sponge!
What’s your favourite part of working for OK! Magazine?
I love shooting on location; it means every week is a new adventure and the opportunities to travel make the long hours more than worth it.
When work is busy, how do you use sport to relax?
Yoga has saved me there. Ignoring your body at stressful times is so counter-productive. Practising yoga means that you can easily rationalise intense work situations as the practice does as much for your mind as it does your body. I’m also a lover of water sports, whether that’s surfing, SUPing or sailing. It’s not just the hobbies themselves that relax me, it’s the lifestyle that comes as part of a package deal with them. There’s nothing that makes me happier than driving down to the sea after a busy week and chucking on a wet suit!
How did you discover yoga and fitness?
I was always athletic and outdoorsy growing up, I even trained to be in the RAF as a teenager! I took a major career turn and when I started out as a celebrity stylist in London, I was only 22 and I became extremely burnt out quite quickly. I wanted to get ahead so I was at every event and up at 5am to either prep or style my next shoot. I didn’t say no to any work. I was eating on the go, running for cardio on concrete as my only form of exercise and getting a maximum of five hours sleep a night. One morning I was on a shoot in The Ritz with Lorraine Kelly and I blacked out! My body had literally had enough of the busy life I was leading and that was my wake up call. I started to really focus on nutrition, I made sure the exercise I did tied into what I love and that it was kind to my body. Yoga was something that kind of manifested out of wanting to give something back to my body. After each class I went to I just felt stronger and happier.
We’ve read that you're big on ethical brands. Why is it so important to be ethical?
You don’t have to be a 'head in the clouds', tree-hugging hippy to make small changes to your daily choices. Fashion, beauty and sustainability can co-exist and with OK! Magazine selling over 300,000 copies every week, I’ll always do my best to push my readers in the right direction when it comes to making ethical choices. It’s important to me because our own existence relies entirely on our planet being healthy. As a species, we’re very smart but very stupid at the same time. We can make everything we need, but how are we going to make our own air once we’ve chopped down every rain forest? I’d love us to be the generation to turn this mess around.
What are your top tips for picking fashionable activewear?
Keep it ethical. Never go for something cheap because it looks good, you have to rely on women's activewear being way more durable than you would a blouse you throw on for work each day. If a palette works for you in your day wear, the chances are it won’t translate the same way onto skin-tight active wear so always try things on and experiment. Longer leggings always work to elongate a figure but make sure they fit comfortably. That age-old saying is so true, the best thing a girl can wear is confidence, so make sure you feel good in what you’re wearing!
What is your best advice for finding time to stay fit and healthy with a busy job?
There’s a lot to be said for surrounding yourself with people with an equally healthy mentality. I have friends in the city with bags of energy, so we book classes together and enjoy healthy meals, they really spur me on. Getting up half an hour early, even to do 20 minutes of a yoga flow at home, getting a sweat on and get your heart rate going at least once a day is great. Even if ten minutes is all you have to spare, use that ten minutes wisely and you’ll notice the differences.