A true multi-hyphenate if ever there was one (she’s an award-winning beauty journalist, blogger, director, producer, mother of twin girls and soon-to-be brand founder) Ateh Jewel takes her beauty regime very seriously. We chatted to her about her beauty loves — from old favourites to new finds — to discover what makes it into her Sunday night routine.
The Wind Down
I’m a complete night owl and find it hard to fall asleep and switch off. Working for yourself and having 7-year old twins means there’s always something else I can be doing. I usually try and wind down after the girls are in bed and I can watch a Netflix show, have a chat with my husband and start to relax. I love rituals and my beauty regime is a sacred space for some ‘me’ time to be alone with my thoughts and have some space. I love to take my time — I find it luxurious and decadent to have my toilette. I love the 18th century because they knew how to look after themselves! To help me get into a more serene space I turn all the lights out at around 10pm or 11pm and light candles — candles and scenting my home is really important to me. Some of my favourites are Diptyque’s Geranium, as it makes me feel like I’m in a spa, or Figuier and Feu de Bois. I find these fragrances incredibly comforting and snuggly. Aromatherapy Associates Relax Candle when I want to knock myself out and sleep. I lock myself away in the bathroom and make it into a holistic spa like space. Lots of candle light, deep breathing and day dreaming.
My life is fun and fast but also stressful. I juggle lots of different jobs and hats as a beauty journalist and blogger; I have an award-winning beauty website for women and men with darker skin tones and textured hair, I’m a producer and run a production company Couture Communications, and I’m developing and launching my own range of foundations for darker skin tones called Ateh Jewel Beauty (@atehjewel for updates and launch dates). I’m also a twin mum so my routine is about calming down and being prescriptive in my approach. On a Sunday night I generally feel hopeful, pumped up and inspired for the week ahead. I work for myself and never get that Sunday school feeling where you dread getting up in the morning. I feel really grateful and it’s my time to think how I’m going to attack the week.
I’ve had a strict skincare regime since I was 13/14. I love looking after my skin, it’s like a hobby or having a pet. When I first started out in the beauty industry I slapped everything on my face and watched my skin scream back in protest. I have learnt my lesson and stick to things I know and love and will only experiment if I know my skin will love the ingredients and bases of the product. My skin can’t handle artificial fragrances, synthetic waxes and ingredients and colours; I know this and will have a play with more natural, essential oil, seed oil based products. My skin since has always been well behaved; it can get dehydrated but it’s a combination skin type. I walk the line between trying not to put rich, cushioning thick formulas which would leave me with white heads but hydrating serums and moisture packed formulas that give my skin the drink of water it needs. Cleansing is literally the foundation of great skin and I take it very seriously. I double cleanse using Votary Cleansing Oil – Rose Geranium & Apricot with the flannel, which is nice and soft but gives the skin a gentle exfoliation. I then go in with Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser which is creamy and leaves my skin soft and nourished. I spritz my face with Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist before putting on any facial oils or creams as a prep. I love using eye serums as this texture is great for darker skin tones, which are normally oily/combination and dehydrated. Thick creams can leave me breaking out. I like Odacité Ba + S Eye Contour Serum Concentrate, it’s light but packs a punch and you see a noticeable difference. I also love using oils at night to really penetrate and repair my skin. I use Votary Intense Night Oil – Rosehip and Retinoid, three times a week and alternate with their Facial Oil – Neroli & Myrrh, which leaves my skin feeling plump and hydrated without fear of congestion. On a Sunday I love to put on sheet masks or a hydrating mask like Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment, which leaves my skin feeling bouncy and plump.
I love baths and showers, and I will always take a shower before a bath; a shower to get clean and a bath to deep breath, ease tired muscles and switch off. In the shower, I love This Works, Deep Sleep Shower Gel and Ren’s Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash. Ren’s Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish is loaded with almond oils so isn’t too harsh on my skin, which can get irritated by harsh rough body scrubs. Bath oils and body oils really are my thing and I love the heady fragrances that snake around the house after my baths. I love Aromatherapy Associates, I use the Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil when I need to be knocked out and sleep. I use Bloom and Blossom Indulgence Bath Oil as a form of nostalgia. I used it when I was pregnant with my twins and it leaves my skin feeling soft and supple. I keep my skin soft and itch free by slathering on body oils like Cowshed Knackered Cow Relaxing Bath & Body Oil and Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Firm & Revitalise Dry Body Oil, which makes me happy as it’s laced with neroli, which always makes me smile. I’m developing my own range of foundations for darker skin tones launching next year. In the bath I think of ingredients, shade names and always run soaking wet to write them down. After my bath I lie on my bed for 20 minutes and just breath and chill. The kids are asleep and my husband knows to let me do my thing. It’s one moment in the day I can collect my thoughts, relax, reset and be me. I always slather on Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatic Hand Balm before jumping into bed. I wash my hair once or twice a week but wet it every day. On a Sunday I have the time to really give my hair lots of love, double shampoo, treatment, conditioner and leave conditioner and then cream to finish. I love Bouclème and use their Curl Conditioner, Curl Cream and Curl Towel as it doesn’t rough up the cuticle and helps to keep my coils ultra-defined. Since going natural my hair is super easy. I spent my life fearing my hair would be hard to style and it’s the opposite. After I might add some jojoba oil on top and let it air dry. If I want to be fancy I sponge it or do a twist out.
I’m a night owl. It used to be 2 or 3am but I know that’s terrible, so I’m aiming for midnight, which is like 8pm to me. Right before sleep I do bed yoga! I do the cat and cow, child’s pose, supine twist, upward dog, knee to chest and finish with corpse pose. It’s really helped me to fall asleep. I also do some gentle stretches and yoga with my seven-year-old daughters. It has chilled them out so much. My daughter Ola also does a guided mediation at their bedtime, where we sit with their night light and close our eyes and talk about our day. All the highs and the lows. I think it’s one of the healthiest things I can teach them. To talk about the day, deal with it and then let it go in a safe loving space. It’s taken me 40 years to do what they can do and they’re seven. Makes me proud.
I have a sleep playlist full of my favourites like Mozart and Gnossiennes: No. 3 – Lent, Gymnopedie No. 2 and Gnossiennes No 1. I also read a book in bed, which helps me switch off my busy chatting mind. I love a pillow spray such as the one in Bloom and Blossom Baby Bedtime Routine Set, I also love a rollerball for my pulse points like De Mamiel Soothe Sleep Series, which has lavender and sweet orange and feels like someone is giving you a hug. I also love Le Mer The Lip Balm, which is the Bentley of balms. I love doing the headspace app. It really relaxes my mind. I love peppermint tea and drink lots of water before bed to help my body naturally detox and I do love a lavender eye pillow. The scent and weight makes me feel cocooned. I can run on very little sleep but with seven to eight hours I feel like I’ve been to a health spa and won the lottery. My skin also looks about ten years younger, it’s creepy! I find it very hard to fall asleep, as I’m a complete control freak and the thought of being switched off and unconscious is mind boggling. We still know so little about sleep and why do humans need to sleep, where do we go, our soul when we sleep. I’m an over thinker but once I’m in REM I sleep deep, long and hard!
I have several alarms to get me up as I hit the snooze button. I’m a kapha dosha type (in Ayurvedic medicine) so I can be a bit sluggish and slow to rise. I have my alarm set for 7am, 7.10am, 7.15am and then I’m up. I generally wake up excited and pumped. I do lots of prep in the evening like sorting out school uniforms and snacks the night before, to try and take the stress and panic out of doing the school run. I wake up before my kids, so I can wash my face, get ready and be prepared. I want my kids to love what they do and have a positive attitude, which means I have to love what I do and have a positive attitude. If you hate Monday morning then something is wrong in your life and you need to fix it asap. I put some music on next; I have a Hype playlist full of 90s hip hop and I do some bed stretches. I then brush my teeth and wash and moisturise my face. I love a non-foaming gentle cleansing wash, which won’t strip my skin followed by a hydrating serum full of hyaluronic acid, eye serum, lip balm, facial oil like Darphin’s Tangerine Aromatic Care, great for hyper pigmentation and skin radiance. Followed by some Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser, which is nourishing without being heavy or Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream, depending on how my skin feels as it’s so soft, dewy and plumping.