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'I cope better alone now, I'm much happier in my own skin'

TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, who caught coronavirus earlier this year, tells Katie Wright how 2020 has helped her grow

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Kirsty Gallacher recently recovered from the coronavirus

Kirsty Gallacher recently recovered from the coronavirus

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Kirsty’s not ready for needles

Kirsty’s not ready for needles

Press Association Images

Conditioning body serum, £35, Ark

Conditioning body serum, £35, Ark

Press Association Images

False lash effect mascara black, £11.99, Max Factor at Superdrug

False lash effect mascara black, £11.99, Max Factor at Superdrug

Press Association Images

AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, £38, Murad at Cult Beauty

AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, £38, Murad at Cult Beauty

Press Association Images

Rose & geranium roll on deodorant, £8 Neal’s Yard

Rose & geranium roll on deodorant, £8 Neal’s Yard

Press Association Images

Moroccanoil treatment, £32.85, FeelUnique

Moroccanoil treatment, £32.85, FeelUnique

Press Association Images

Kirsty Gallacher recently recovered from the coronavirus

Reflecting on the last few months, Kirsty Gallacher is remarkably upbeat for someone who caught coronavirus and had to put a number of work projects on hold, saying she feels "very, very lucky" to have spent lockdown in the "dream house" she bought at the end of last year.

"It was almost fate, looking back, because (the house) nearly fell through last summer," she says of the barn conversion in the Berkshire countryside.

"We were in heaven, really, compared to a lot of people who were stuck in cities."

The TV presenter was joined some of the time by sons Oscar and Jude, who split their time between Gallacher and her ex-husband, former rugby player Paul Sampson. The couple split in 2015.

Suffering with Covid at the end of March wasn't heaven, Gallacher admits, but says she only had the virus "moderately".

"I wasn't hospitalised, but I did speak to a GP on the phone. I had all of the things - sickness, sorry to say it but diarrhoea, I had the cough."

Unfortunately, Gallacher's parents caught the virus off her (when she wasn't showing symptoms) but all made a full recovery and now, the 44-year-old is looking on the bright side: "I was tested and was very strongly Covid positive and antibody positive."

But there is a positive to come out of this challenging period. The mum-of-two says that being forced to spend more time alone this year has helped her learn how to be happy on her own - something she struggled with in the past.

"Touch wood, I've possibly cracked that - which was a real problem for me and caused me major distress when I got divorced.

"It was one of the biggest causes of my terrible couple of years of anxiety, not dealing with things very well because I couldn't be on my own.

"I cope better now, which is really, really lovely. And I'm much happier in my own skin."

Speaking of skin, Gallacher says she's been getting a lot of compliments on her complexion recently, which she puts down to a treatment called Ultherapy.

Earlier this year, the former Sky Sports News presenter took on a new role as brand ambassador for the non-invasive procedure.

"It's an amazing treatment that uses ultrasound energy to give your skin's collagen production a boost. Your collagen starts working for itself within your skin - rejuvenating your skin, sculpting, lifting - all the things that collagen does for us."

Gallacher says that before she was approached by Ultherapy, she was considering other anti-ageing treatments but "wasn't ready for needles" and says she finds it worrying that so many young people are having fillers.

"I get really upset when I see 16, 17, 18-year-old girls or boys plumping their lips up.

"I would discourage anyone that young from having an invasive treatment, because you just don't know what you're going to be dealing with in 20 years."

During lockdown, the broadcaster - who is launching a podcast in September - has been enjoying not wearing make-up, and admits she was shocked when she saw herself fully made-up for a virtual interview on Good Morning Britain.

"I looked at myself after and I thought 'Oh God, you look awful'," she says with a laugh.

So, it's no surprise her favourite cosmetic products are all about enhancing one's natural beauty. These are Kirsty Gallacher's beauty must-haves...

Conditioning body serum, £35, Ark

"I use Ark products on my face and they do this incredible Conditioning Body Serum. It's basically a moisturiser, but it's a serum rather than an oil - you put some in your palm and it goes so much further.

"The other thing is it gives your body a little bit of a sheen, but it's not greasy, because it's a serum. I'm obsessed by it."

False lash effect mascara black, £11.99, Max Factor at Superdrug

"If I had to take one piece of make-up on a desert island, it would be mascara with a really good wand.

"I hate thin wands - it's got to be one that you know will give you lots of layers but won't clog your lashes. I think Max Factor is pretty good for that."

AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, £38, Murad at Cult Beauty

"I'm quite fussy about what I put on my face, and this is amazing, It's great for the neck, because that's the area I worry about - the neck tells a thousand tales, doesn't it?

"It's wonderful, and then you put loads of moisturiser on after and it feels so good."

Rose & geranium roll on deodorant, £8 Neal's Yard

"Natural deodorants - I've tried them all, because I wouldn't use a spray any more, so I was really scouring to try to find the best roll-on.

"Neal's Yard do the best deodorant I've ever used in my life and I'll never swap again."

Moroccanoil treatment, £32.85, FeelUnique

"While I'm on holiday, I'm putting oil in my hair. I don't have a flaky scalp or anything like that, but I can get a bit of a itchiness in hot weather.

"Moroccanoil is great for the scalp and the hair, I just coat it when I'm outside then put my hair up in a knot, it's wonderful."

Kirsty Gallacher is the UK and Ireland brand ambassador for non-surgical lifting and tightening treatment Ultherapy. For more information visit ultherapy.co.uk

'I cope better alone now, I'm much happier in my own skin'

Belfast Telegraph