International makeup artist Caroline Barnes knows that great skin leads to great makeup. Which is why her Sunday Session is packed full of calming cleansers, decadent masks and more than a couple of lip balms. Read on to discover her Space NK favourites.
The Wind Down
I have three boys so weekends are pretty mental. We have a new rule that at around 8.30pm the TV gets turned off, the boys go up to their rooms and I have a quick tidy up downstairs before I head upstairs to my own space and peace and quiet. I love Gregory Porter so will often have him on in the background just to mill around to and get uniforms sorted. I always have to get the boys sorted before I can sort myself out. I’m a working mum so it’s nice to be able to make my bedroom a nice space, where I can light candles and just chill out. If I was downstairs I might feel like I had to put another dishwasher round on or tidy something else up, but actually being upstairs eliminates all of that. I absolutely love my candles. Diptyque are a big favourite because they smell so amazing but when it’s not feasible to do that all the time, I often just light little candles my son buys me; it’s just lovely to have that light and the smoke from the wax. It’s so calming and makes it feel special.
There’s no planning involved in my Sunday night. I’m a last-minute.com person. I don’t want to waste time planning so I wing it as I go really. I wish I could – I wish I had OCD — but I never have been that kind of person. I think it’s because I have so little routine in my job – I never know when I’m working, things can change last minute – and it’s always been like that. I guess I’ve just adopted that kind of way of living in my personal life too.
My Sunday skincare routine has to feature a mask – more than anything because it’s funny to scare the children. I love the Omorovicza UltraMoor Mud Mask. I’ve got quite lazy skin, it doesn’t do a lot for itself so I have to put in quite a lot with it and make sure I cleanse, peel and hydrate properly, doing that’s made a huge difference. I had terrible skin throughout my teenage years and twenties with acne and scarring, so it’s really where I put my investment in now. I don’t have time for professional facials so it’s all about my home routine. If my skin feels great I feel great, but if it doesn’t then nothing I can do will help; it’s like going out with crumpled clothes, it never feels quite right. I love cleansing balms – De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm is one of my favourites. Annee is my number one woman, both for who she is and her products. I feel like her products are such a treat and like I’m spoiling my skin and feeding it at the same time. I tend to use a balm in the morning more and then at night I’ll use a wash off cleanser to really get everything off. I’ll do a double cleanse – one to wash my makeup off and then one to wash my skin and I love the Malin & Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser for that. I try to do a peel once a week, the Alpha Beta Universal daily Peel by Dr Dennis Gross is just brilliant. I think of peels as personal trainers for my skin, just helping to get it going and turning it all over. In the last 18 months I’ve seen a big difference in using active ingredients. I love retinol and love Sunday Riley Luna because it keeps it hydrated too, which in the winter is so essential. My skin is dry and combination so I find the mix of using AHAs and the retinol oil just works really well for me. When I can I use Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, it’s so light and sits beautifully under makeup.
I hate my skin in the winter because it’s always just so dry and itchy. I use Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion, which is formulated with AHAs in it. It’s transformed my skin and totally stopped the itchiness. I like anything that dries super quickly – that’s my criteria — so am not a fan of oils and heavy creams. If I’m wearing a frock and want my arms to look a bit better, then Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish just rocks. It’s insanely brilliant and like a filter for your skin. I probably should use scrubs and brushes on my body but I don’t. I do always like a natural body wash because of my itchy skin, I’m a big fan of anything from Ren like the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash. Any scents that are feminine and calming really.
I wash my hair on a Sunday night and blow dry it quickly until it’s rough dry, then I’ll tong it in the morning. My mum always says ‘ why don’t you get a nice blow dry?’ but I like it messy! Bumble and bumble products are great. I do hair as well as makeup in my job and they’re just such great industry products, I use their shampoos and conditioners. The Oribe styling products are amazing, I have to have them in my kit and sometimes if I’ve got a meeting or want to look especially good, I will dip into my pro kit and treat myself.
I usually get to bed around 9.45pm after we’ve watched a bit of a box set. The candles in my bedroom will still be going strong and I’ll jump into bed and either read or carry on with the box set until lights out – usually at around 10.30pm. I keep hand cream by my bed. My hands get so dry because I’m constantly washing them for clients or for filming, and also because I’m constantly washing up! I have all sorts of lip balms too; the Veneffect one is a favourite, it’s amazing especially just before applying lipstick. It’s not oily at all and smooths lips beautifully and really helps the colour to grip. I also love ones from Lancer, Sisley, La Mer… I’m not especially loyal!
I keep lots of soothing essential oils by my bed because I’m a hopeless sleeper. I take magnesium tablets and I am getting better, but it’s been an issue for me since I was in the Brownies! I’ll try anything to help me sleep; I’ve done Headspace but I’m a fidget and quite an active person and I just couldn’t connect with it. I can’t seem to calm down, it’s just not my reality. I used to have This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray but my son took it. Now I have a cup of herbal tea instead, a sleep one.
I could sleep for 20 hours quite happily – I hate getting up! Nevertheless I’m up at about 6.30am, I need a minimum of about 7 hours. I set a radio alarm and then my boys start to get up. I have to jump out of bed to wake up. Once I’m up I’m generally okay, it’s just the initial hideousness I hate! Unfortunately with my work early mornings are something you just have to get used to. I take a probiotic for my tummy once I’m up, and then if it’s a good day I have hot water and lemon. I start the day with a quick shower and a cleansing balm. How my week looks depends on what I’ve got on, I haven’t got a routine as such. I’m a very busy person and I never get bored, which I just love. My YouTube stuff is exhausting to create but I really enjoy the conversations I have and the people I meet. I feel so lucky to be passionate about what I do and the fact that I get to help people decide what to spend their money on, it’s a real privilege.