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Bryony Gordon On Her Realistic Approach To Self-Care

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Photography: Emma Palmer

Mental health is a subject very close to Bryony Gordon’s heart. The author and columnist for The Telegraph has written about her own experience of alcoholism and depression. Over the years, before self-care became a buzzword, Bryony has championed the idea of taking time out for yourself. However, don’t expect to read about her lengthy meditation sessions or 6am yoga classes, Bryony’s approach is refreshingly realistic: “I don’t have time for massaging or meditating.” 

“My skincare routine is my meditation, it’s my ‘me-time’. You don’t have to be standing on your head,” says Bryony. “I’m a recovering alcoholic and I’ve suffered with bouts of depression, so looking after myself doesn’t come naturally. I don’t wear masses of makeup. It’s a reminder for me to look after myself.” 

With a young daughter and a demanding job, time is a luxury and Bryony has what she calls ‘self-care moments’ throughout the day. “Mornings are never quiet in my house. I have a seven year old and we have one bathroom, so I do as much as I can,” says Bryony. “There isn’t much pampering, but it’s enough for me to feel better.” Here’s how she makes it work… 

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Photography courtesy of Bryony Gordon

My Morning Ritual

I’m very obsessive about my skincare routine. I have a little shelf in the bathroom with all of my products lined up. It’s the only part of the house that is mine. Occasionally I’ll let my husband put his Kiehl’s Facial Fuel on there. 

My morning routine starts with the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel. There’s no facial massage or fancy steps. Next up, I use Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner and 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Eye Cream around my eyes. After this I go downstairs to use Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Serum, which I keep in the fridge. While I’m there I also take my daily shot of Symprove. 

Over my vitamin C serum I use Oskia Renaissance 360 and finish with Sarah Chapman Skin Insurance SPF 30. And, after skincare it’s time for coffee. 

My Pre-Zoom Ritual

As I work from home all the time, I don’t wear any makeup day-to-day. If I’ve got a Zoom call I’ll use a little bit of Becca Under Eye Brightening Concealer. It makes me look like I’ve been on holiday for three weeks, even if in reality I’ve had zero sleep and a child throwing up on me.

I usually add Becca Skin Love Glow Elixir on top and finish with a dusting of Laura Mercier Invisible Press Setting Powder and a bit of blusher. If I’m going all out, I’ll also use Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop – it gives you a beautiful glow. 

What I love about makeup is that it not only makes you feel good, but if you find the right brand and products for you, it can really accentuate your natural beauty. I love products that don’t mask your skin. I like to look well-rested, as though I’ve been at the beach and the sun has hit me at the right angle. It’s about looking and feeling confident and healthy. 

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My Evening Ritual

I like a hot bath in the evening before dinner when the kid is in bed and my husband is cooking dinner (I’m a terrible cook). Epsom salts, a bit of bath oil and a nice Diptyque Candle – my one concession to wellbeing. I also like being clean before I get into bed and that includes clean pyjamas. 

I’m equally as obsessive about my skincare at night as I am in the mornings. My husband laughs about it. While I use the same cleanser, I add in a muslin cloth and follow with the Fresh toner. I alternate with my skin treatments though to avoid overloading my skin. One night I’ll put on 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil, the following night I’ll apply an AHA based exfoliating treatment; and on the third night I’ll slather on 111Skin Meso Infusion Overnight Clinical Mask

My Pre-Sleep Ritual

I read for 1.5 to 2 hours before bed and limit my screen time. I don’t need to look after my phone after 9pm, especially at the moment. I’ve got a Byredo Bibliotheque Candle by my bed. I can’t remember the last time I struggled to sleep.  

It might sound frivolous but it really works for me and I’m obsessive about it. I just finished Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and it was great. It reminded me that the world is a bigger place and that it’s all going to be alright. 

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