'We're matched in our energy'

Oonagh and Leslie Boman. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Make-up artist Oonagh Boman (46) reckons the industry she works in keeps her young. The Belfast-based mum of two is married to Leslie Graham (33).

She says: "I think the days of tight, grey hair and dowdy mother-of-the-bride dressing at 40 are gone. No one gets to their 40s and thinks it's an excuse to not exercise any more, you're not allowed to get older.

"I think the 80s really shaped my generation. We wanted it all then and that attitude hasn't changed now I'm 40.

"I want to take care of myself, go to spin class and watch my diet. I have my own sense of style and I have to look well for work – the fashion industry keeps you young. I feel this is me now, this is how I look. I've worked hard my whole life and now that I'm here, I like who I am. Over the years my opinions have been tried and tested so that now I don't doubt myself and I'm confident in myself.

"I had been married and after that I started going out with friends and met Leslie, who also worked in the fashion arena and had done a bit of modelling.

"It's not that I was looking for a younger man, it was just what happened. We're matched in our energy but I think it is a different dynamic, I'm 12/13 years older, I have a career and a family – my head is in a different space.

"Leslie says I've raised the bar and he had to come up to it. I think he almost felt he had to catch up and it keeps him on his toes.

"I think generally women are more aware of age. I know what Leslie loves is my sassiness and that I'm self-driven, at 20 I was probably a bit ditzy and easier to sway – I wouldn't want to be 20 again."

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