She’s the TV presenter turned entrepreneur who single-handedly balances a busy career with raising three children. How on earth does Aisling O’Loughlin do it all? Lauren Malone reports.
When I speak to TV presenter and journalist Aisling O’Loughlin, it is on one of the sunniest days of the year, and she is at home with her three boys, making the most of the fine weather.As we chat, I hear laughter and squeals of children playing in the background, and it’s clear that Aisling has her hands full with her boisterous brood. “I’m running away from my children!” she laughs, as she positions herself in a quiet corner of the house to take my call.
From the get-go, Aisling is a hoot! I double up with laughter as she entertains me with stories about the kids cutting their hair ( disastrous!) or plodding around in mommy’s high heels – like newborn foals taking their first faltering steps ( hysterical!).You’d know she was a journalist because she is a natural storyteller who has a wonderful way with words . It’s clear that she is in flying form, despite what has been something of a tumultuous year – but more about that later.
Already mum to three darling boys, Aisling has ruled out having more children in the future, explaining that three C-Sections took its toll on her body. “Having three, it’s just, oh God how did that happen? Someone needs to tell me about the birds and the bees,” she jokes.
She describes TV work as a “merry go round” with constant deadlines, pressure and long hours. “My heart is kind of with the working Mums,” she adds before going on to explain just how hard it can be for women to maintain a healthy work-life balance. She says that she has a lot of sympathy for working mothers and understands how ‘overwhelming’ it can be.”I’ve been that soldier” she adds with a sigh.
“It’s always a tricky one for working Mums,” she continues.”You want to hold on to your career, you want to procreate, you want to earn the same as men and all of those things. But for much of the time, It’s meltdown territory, and you have to be very careful. I’m getting a lot of people who are getting in touch to say they are finding it overwhelming.”
Luckily Aisling has a great support system from family and her former partner. The glamorous blonde is adjusting to single life, having split with the father of her three children, Nicholas MacInnes just before Christmas 2016 but she says that they are still very close.
“I’m lucky, Nick has been brilliant, she says. “He makes it possible for me to be able to go and do a lot of things, and it’s nice to be able to say that about an ex,” she says.”It’s great, we see each other every day, most days, and we sit down and have a cup of tea. We help each other out.”
In September 2016 Aisling was axed from TV3’s Xpose alongside presenters Lisa Cannon and Peter O’Riordan. There was a shake-up of presenters and Aisling was replaced while she was out on maternity leave. She didn’t see it coming and the news came as an enormous shock. She had been with TV3 for 16 years.
“I was kind of lucky in the sense that it was reassessed for me,” she says.”In a way, when I look at the whole thing I’m like ‘Well thank you actually, thank you for replacing me’ unceremoniously.” But she took it all in her stride and relished the time out – time to explore something new.
“I’m not one to wallow. I’m like ‘Right, there is a message in here. Let’s figure it out and move as fast as possible’ so yeah, it’s been good in that sense, and I did need a break. As much as I loved it, it was time to go and take stock; I need some time to myself.”
Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turned this challenge on its head and forged her path utilising her extensive knowledge and experience in the media. Eight months ago, she launched exquisite.i.e, a beautifully curated lifestyle and fashion site and this is her new passion.
For a seasoned presenter, it makes sense for her to build an empire capitalising on her beauty, fame and social media clout. However, she is one of the few Irish stars in our celebrity-obsessed, social media-fueled age of overshare who refuses to trade personal privacy for a greater share of the limelight.
With her down to earth demeanour and natural good looks, it’s very easy to see why a homegrown and family owned brand Académie Scientifique de Beauté chose Aisling to be their ambassador. I asked her why did she think they picked her as their Irish representative?
She tells me that she doesn’t lie to sell products, she loves the products and has used them for years. “They work! They are tried and trusted, and they are a good credible name,” she adds.
Académie were the first brand to introduce the (now) cult ingredients collagen as well as jojoba oil, and they were very much ahead of their time right from the beginning. Even so far as introducing false tan Bronz’Express back in the 60’s – which is still a favourite nearly 60 years later among women looking for a natural sun kissed glow (without the streaks or orange hue!)
Bronz’Express is Aisling’s favourite product, and she is now using the Instant Radiance Apricot Masque. She says that since her pregnancy her skin has changed and become a lot more reddened and rosacea prone, so she had to change her skincare routine to fit her new needs.
What Aisling loves about Académie is the history behind the brand itself. The brand has been around for 127 years, survived through not one, but two world wars. It has been taken over by generation after generation and stayed in the family in its entirety.
In a world full of affiliate links and sponsored posts it can be difficult to know who or what to believe, but Aisling insists: “I can hand on my heart say to people, yeah go and buy that, you won’t waste your money.”
You can purchase Académie from French Cosmetics www.frenchcosmetics.ie