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If anyone was due a year of good luck and a new beginning, it was Ferne McCann.
But the nationwide lockdown in March proved too much for her budding transatlantic relationship with ex-boyfriend Albie Gibbs, and the pair decided to call it a day just a few months later.
Now happily single and devoted to raising her two-year-old daughter Sunday, Ferne has spent the months of isolation learning to love and appreciate her life as it is. However, she is still holding out for her Hallmark happy ever after.
It may be hard to believe, but the former TOWIE cast member also celebrated a milestone birthday in August, hitting the big 3-0.
And despite a little wobble at the thought of entering a new decade, Ferne says she’s never been happier.
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With her First Time Mum reality show back on ITVBe, a gorgeous daughter to dote on and a new beauty collaboration with Poundland just hitting stores, Ferne is finding her stride after struggling with “dark times and demons”.
Here, the star talks about how she’s getting called up on childhood marriage pacts, swapping Essex glam for mum WhatsApp chats, and growing old just a little bit ungracefully…
Happy belated birthday, Ferne! How does it feel being 30?
One day I love it and the next day I remember I’m a grown a** woman. A proper adult. Sometimes I look at myself and I think, “Wow, you’re like a boss 30-year-old winning at life.” Now is actually the first time ever that I feel 100% happy and content. I know there will always be a few things that won’t be perfect but I feel really good about myself.
Are you single and ready to mingle?
Still single but I’m happy with that! Then again, the next minute I’m having a wobble and I’m going, “I’m still single at 30 and there’s no sign of getting married!”
When I was younger I was like, “OK when I’m 30 I’m going to get married, have three kids, have five dogs, and I’m going to be cooking every night.” But then I’m still sitting here thinking about having five glasses of wine on a night with my girls.
Did you ever make a marriage pact with anyone when you were younger?
Oh my God, so there’s this guy, I won’t name him, but we always said if we were still single by 30 then we would get married. He actually messaged me the other day! I was like, “Well, I guess we should get married then!”
So just Netflix romances for you now then?
You know what, I’m so excited to sit and watch those c****y low-budget Christmas films – the Hallmark ones. They just make me feel better about life because I feel like you can potentially have something like that happen to you.
My “guy” is a big rock star touring the world and he comes back and he’s like, “Ferne, you’re the girl for me.”
Well, you look like a leading lady. We love the new short hair…
Just you wait! I’m changing it again, babes. I used to be a hair colourist and I love to experiment. I think to myself, “It’s just hair.”
How much ‘me time’ do you get with a toddler around?
Honestly, day to day, I don’t have time to put on make-up. Mums who find the time for it before the school nursery run, I salute you.
If it’s a quickie it’ll be mascara, a little bit of brow product and some foundation.
What’s your secret to looking so fresh-faced?
Skincare is a big one for me – it’s something my mum always taught me to be serious about.
I want to prevent ageing so I always wear SPF and make sure my foundation has got it in. You can get away with having no make-up days when your skin is good.
Can you recommend any beauty buys for us?
I’ve just launched a new beauty collection with Poundland, which is in stores now. I’ve worked with the team really closely.
I love the Coconut Bath Fizzer, and the Coconut Smoothing Body Scrub is great to exfoliate off fake tan. I think we all need a bit of pampering in our lives right now.
Would you be tempted to try any anti-ageing treatments?
I have, and love, Collagenwave facial treatments. Being 30 now, I know that I’m still young, but I also know how important it is to protect the skin on my face.
I’ve also tried an injection-based treatment called Profhilo, but it hurts so much! I won’t be rushing back.
So no more ‘tweakments’ for you then?
I think you’ve got to strike a balance. I love a bit of tweaking here and there, especially now I’m a 30-year-old woman.
I’m very aware that we’re living in a world where we have filters, but if lockdown has taught me anything, it’s to learn to love myself.
Speaking of filters, you’ve got a big social following. How do you deal with negativity on social media?
I think it’s a shame sometimes that you feel like you have to second guess yourself. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
But I guess, maturing and being in this industry, you learn. In the end, you can only filter yourself so much, and I like to try to be real in my stories.
You’ve posted on your fitness page, Embodyment With Ferne, about mental health. Is this a conversation you felt you wanted to join now?
It’s really important to me to use my platform in a positive way. Being honest, I have had struggles and faced some serious dark times and demons, and I’m so for talking about it, but sometimes, I feel like I want to do a post saying: “Just because you’re not joining in on the conversation does not mean you’re not supporting it.”
You must be in some good ‘mum chat’ WhatsApp groups you can vent on?
Yes, we’re all mums now in my main group of girls. I can’t even tell you what our group is called, but it’s a four letter swear word. I also have a nursery mum WhatsApp group. They’re all really nice, but it drains my battery.
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Is it too early to ask you about Christmas plans?
No, I had the Christmas songs playing on a shoot the other day! Everyone was like, “Really, Ferne?” and I was like, “REALLY – we’ve not got much fun in our lives right now.” I’m excited about living my old childhood Christmas traditions through Sunday.
She must get really spoiled?
Her birthday is really close to Christmas and I’m very aware that I don’t want her to be super spoiled. But she’s also aware of the naughty and nice list – I’ll put it that way!
We hope Covid guidelines don’t dampen your Christmas spirit…
Obviously, not knowing what will happen this year is tough, but my family means everything to me. My grandad is 90 and means the world to me. It’s really important to get together so let’s hope for that.
The new Ferne McCann beauty and pamper range is available in 800 Poundland stores nationwide, with every item priced at £1. See poundland.co.uk for your nearest store.
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