Isabelle Truman and Grace O'Neill are the funny, informed and welcomingly familiar voices behind After Work Drinks (a favourite podcast over here). Listening is like being a fly on the wall: we hear their intimate chats as they digest the news and pop culture. The pair are also talented writers in their own right and recent(ish) expats in London. If we could have shared a wine, we would have.
Firstly, let’s talk about style. How would you describe your personal style now (and the evolution of this)?
Izzy: Since living in London, my style has changed a lot. I’m definitely far more into colourful, fun pieces than I’ve ever been. This city is really inspiring with the incredible, never-ending list of new designers coming up through fashion school in the city and people’s fashion sense here is so unique and different, too.
We both pretty much never buy anything new and always shop secondhand, either at vintage stores (our fave is Rellik in Notting Hill) or online (Vestiaire Collective and eBay 4eva). My most recent find was a vintage women’s leather motorcycle jacket off eBay, which I’d searched for in lieu of spending thousands on a Louis Vuitton or Marni version.
In terms of how I’d describe my style, it varies so much day to day but I definitely keep an eye on what Dua Lipa’s wearing and often find new designers to covet through stalking upcoming brands her stylist has put her in (my current fave is Masha Popova).
What Reliquia Collective pieces speak to your current vibe?
Tell us about your podcast. Where do you find inspiration and ideas? What pushed you to start, and what have been the biggest perks to come out of it?
Grace: We started the podcast on a lark—we were eating pizza and drinking red wine and were discussing how podcasts were about to take off and if someone was smart they’d launch one now. We started thinking about what we’d do if we had our own podcast, and the idea snowballed. We both have what my friend likes to call “mad scientist” energy, so within a week of that conversation we had a studio, a producer, and our first episode recorded.
We’ve settled into a rhythm of what a great episode is over time, now we both pretty much know what an ‘AWD topic’ is as soon as we see one, and we have wonderful listeners who send us ideas all the time too. The perk is that we make our living by [drinking] martinis and talking about whether or not Emily Ratajkowski is a feminist or if Harry Styles is queerbaiting—it’s basically the dream job.
The community around your podcast is really strong - what does that mean to you? Did it aid in the settling-in process of moving overseas at all?
Izzy: We’re really lucky to have found such an incredible group of listeners and have really valued their input over the years of finding our feet and then growing AWD. Through launching a Patreon recently, and starting up close friends on Instagram through that, we’ve become even more collaborative and the conversation has become far more two-way.
As Grace said, often we get ideas for episode topics sent directly to us via DM and we’ve also now turned ourselves into unqualified (wine-wielding) advice columnists, answering listener’s love and dating questions which they voice note us direct, too. Through moving overseas and through a very isolating lockdown period, I think we needed our AWD community as much as they needed us!
How do you balance your time between podcasting, writing and everything else? What are your self-care routines?
Grace: The pandemic really made me realise how much I need long periods of time alone. I think the manic pace of life pre-Covid was breaking my spirit, so now my ‘self care’ routine is basically socialising 70% less than I used to, reading a lot, not drinking, and cooking Alison Roman recipes (sorry).
Another of our favourites: what is your daily beauty routine / must-have products?
Izzy: I’ve always had problems with my skin and until this year, really didn’t have it figured out. I thought using expensive products (mostly stolen from the beauty cupboard at work) was enough without ever figuring out what my skin actually needs.
Now I ensure I’m getting a mix of AHAs, BHAs, vitamins and retinol in my routine and it’s finally making a difference. My go-to products are: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum followed by Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Vitamin C serum (a game changer! My current bottle just ran out and I’m dying) then it’s hyaluronic acid (The Ordinary), a moisturiser (usually Emma Lewisham) and Ultra Violette sunscreen—every single day!
At night, I add Paula’s Choice BHA and some kind of AHA, whether it’s Skinceuticals Glycolic 10 renew overnight cream or Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and repeat all of the above minus the UV. Then Emma Lewisham night cream when I feel like treating myself. I rotate retinol nights with AHA/BHA nights.
Grace is a Rationale girl through and through.