Finding the fabulous: How to be glamorous in lockdown

From kitchen dance parties to bright clothing and getting ready for cocktail hour


Izzy Keane (23) from Galway, built her business on colour and creativity. Izzy Wheels, the enterprise she co-founded with her sister Ailbhe, creates colourful wheel covers that can be matched with the user's outfit.

“‘If you can’t stand up, stand out’ is my motto for everyday life,” she says, “and the premise behind our brand.”

Keane has been using the time in self-isolation to work on her business and to (virtually) catch up with friends.


“What’s keeping me relaxed is just staying home, keeping myself safe, and not indulging in the online chaos.”

Izzy Keane’s self-isolation tips: “When you wake up in the morning, don’t stay in your pyjamas. Get dressed in your most colourful clothes, even if you don’t intend on leaving your home. It will instantly give you a psychological boost.”


Glaswegian and senior lecturer at UCC, Amanullah De Sondy (40), says he feels most comfortable in a suit and tie but , with Pakistani roots, a Scottish childhood and now Irish influences, Amanullah’s style is eclectic.

For De Sondy, being fabulous means, “knowing yourself in relation to those who are radically different from you and being able to say ‘hey, that’s pretty cool too’. We need to be fabulously pluralistic in this crazy world of people trying to impose very particular ways of thinking.”

In this lockdown period, De Sondy says he’s dressing up and recording himself reading entertaining books in silly accents to entertain family abroad.

“I’m putting on all the clothes that I had set aside for special occasions with colours and dazzle.”

De Sondy’s self isolation tips: “Listen to the news and the experts, but try and do things that are fabulous too. Look out for ordinary people out there who are doing crazy, fun stuff right now.”


Nadine Reid (42) from Jamaica, is a journalist and TV presenter living in Dublin with her friend, 94-year-old Minnie Byrne. Reid defines her personal style as colourful, powerful and chic.

“My fashion style is inspired by the Caribbean where my family is from,” Reid says. While self-isolating, Reid has put in place daily goals for herself.

“I’m making sure I get fresh air, that I keep moving my body, keeping my space tidy and keeping my endorphins high.

“I put a bit of make-up on so that if I catch myself in the mirror I go, ‘Oh yeah, you look good, have a great day’.”

Reid has created uplifting playlists to listen to while she’s house-bound.

“I’m a woman of faith and music is crucially important to me. Connecting with the feeling of a higher, bigger purpose is really helpful. Whether you call it the Universe, God, whatever it is; reconnect to that thing. It really does help uplift your soul.”

Nadine Reid’s self-isolation tips: “I suggest saturating your social media with good news and taking time to breathe and relax. This is a great time to reflect on what you want from life.”


Andrea Horan (39) and from Dublin, is the owner of nail salon, Tropical Popical, which found global fame when Saoirse Ronan raved about it on the Ellen Show. She also hosts the United Ireland podcast with Una Mullally.

While harbouring a not-so-secret desire to be an extra on ‘Dynasty’, Horan can usually be found wearing leopard-print and dripping in sequins.

While house-bound, Horan says she is still dressing fabulously and is prioritising self care.

“We’re so conditioned that we should always be productive, achieving something. I’m trying to disassociate with that as much as possible.”

Andrea Horan’s self-isolation tips: “We have to self-isolate so how can we make that joy filled? I’ve scheduled co-watching of films with friends online. I’ve started getting back into the groove of cooking. I’ve embraced naps. I’ve set cocktail hour where I’m getting full-on Dynasty glam.”


It would be hard to be a shrinking violet in the sex toy industry and American Shawna Scott, 36 and owner of Irish sex shop Sex Siopa, does not disappoint.

Scott is a self-described “extroverted introvert”. “I like being with people and being the centre of attention in very short bursts. I want people to have fun when they look at me.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve one particular style – some days I love big shoulder pads and sequins; others I love dungarees and my bright red rubber rain boots.”

For Scott, the key to being fabulous is to be unapologetically yourself.

“The most fabulous people I know are the ones who can’t help but be themselves, whether that’s trendy or not.”

Shawna Scott’s self-isolation tips: “Putting together a nice outfit and doing my make up makes me feel wonderful and inspires me to do something creative like writing, drawing or painting.”


Stoneybatter resident Paul Dunphy, who describes his age as, "old enough to know better", is a social media manager who has worked with Marian Keyes and Tom Dunne. With regard to sartorial style Dunphy prefers bespoke shirts and tailored suits: "I'm known for my array of dickie bows."

For Dunphy, the key to being fabulous is all about attitude. “Having an open mind and heart, being kind and fun.”

Dunphy says he is making the best of self-isolation by reading raunchy books, listening to Abba and instituting cocktail hour before dinner.

Dunphy’s self-isolation tips: “Bring out your inner fabulousness even if that’s just dancing around your sitting room. Turn off the media for a while, you won’t miss out, take breaks, read your books and play with your children/pets/partner.”


Ilaina Khairulzaman (26) from Malaysia, is Head of international public engagement for a Dublin-based science charity. Khairulzaman starts every day by complimenting herself, "Just so I start off on a good note."

Khairulzaman is self-isolating in her Dublin flat.

“I’m dancing and singing in my pyjamas a lot more. A bit of Whitney a day keeps the anxiety away.”

Ilaina Khairulzaman’s self-isolation tips: “If you’re self-isolating with family and friends, do things with them. Play a board game. Start your own movie club. If you’re self-isolating alone, do things you’ve put off. Start a mini garden in your kitchen, read a book, catch up with your pals over video call. Remember we’re all experiencing this together, you are not going through this alone. Ireland has the best sense of community in the world – we’ll get through this.”