Founder and Creative Director of luxury women’s label ME+EM Clare Hornby dedicates her weekends to entertaining friends in the country and cheering her sporty children on from the sidelines. Find out how her Sunday evening ritual helps her feel focused for the busy week ahead, and which handbag essential she admits to being completely obsessed with.
The Wind Down
My kids are at boarding school so weekends are about trying to spend as much time with them as possible. On Sunday I’ll go to their matches, bring them home for lunch and then take them back to school later in the afternoon. My husband and I will then drive from our new house in Oxford back to our flat in London ready for Monday morning. During the drive, Johnny and I will do a lot of diary management, chat about the week ahead and I’ll start to think about logistics and meetings and jot down some notes to my PA from the car. So there’s a lot of winding up to do before I can even begin to think about winding down. By the time we get into London, which will be around 9.30-10pm, I can finally start to think about winding down, by which point I’m absolutely on my knees. Pretty much the first thing I do when I walk in is always light a candle. Fragrance is very important to me and I can’t relax until I’ve got scented candles lit. I buy a lot of Diptyque from Space NK. I love Baies and Figuier, and I’ve often got those in both homes. I like to read the papers and watch an episode of something before heading upstairs.
I’m fairly consistent with my beauty routine. I’ve used Eve Lom for years and years, and I’m religious about that. I use all of the cleansers, the original balm Cleanser and the new gel, pump-action formula one for in the shower too. For me, it’s just the most amazing, amazing product. As I’ve got older, I’ve become much more about prescription skincare, and I tend to use routines and products recommended to me by my dermatologist. Even though everything I do in my life is about getting results fast, I am happy to be patient when it comes to skincare and wait to see the results. My skin is naturally very dehydrated and so hyaluronic acid is a big thing for me. On a Sunday I’ll often add in one of Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Sheet Masks – a combination of hyaluronic acid and rose water to deeply moisturise the skin and plump up the complexion. I’ve probably spent about a gazillion pounds on Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm For Lips over the years. You’d laugh at how many of those I’ve bought from Space NK. I have a phobia of dry lips, and so anyone who knows me, knows I’ll be putting this on constantly. If I don’t have one of these on me, I can’t concentrate or relax. That’s the thing I’m weirdest about.
Next, I’ll have a bath and put a podcast on – I find I’m not very good at relaxing unless I feel like I’m achieving something. I like to listen to a lot of entrepreneurial ones, like Beauty of Fashion – they always have the best interviews with entrepreneurs. It’s really important to me that I’m always learning as I have this fear about dead time. Even if I’m reading a novel, it has to be a historical novel, it can’t just be a novel, because I would panic about the fact that I wasn’t learning something. I’ve almost got to the stage now that when people recommend a TV series or boxsets to me, I’ll always go, “how many episodes?” because I want to be able to see something or watch something fairly quickly. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, so I like to use magnesium salts in the bath. I also take magnesium tablets just before bed and I like the body spray too. I’ll mix it up with relaxing bath oils from Aromatherapy Associates and I’ll sit in the bath for about 20 minutes and then I’ll stand up and take a shower; our shower is in the bath so that’s easy. I’m not really brand specific when it comes to shower gels, I’m using Laura Mercier at the moment. When I get out of the bath I slather my body in Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion, I love it and have used it for years and years. I’ve got very curly hair and find it much easier to get my hair washed and blow-dried professionally. I usually go to Show Dry opposite my flat but my favourite is Hari’s on Ledbury Road. I probably have two or three blowdries a week. I’ll wear my hair curly on holiday, but for some reason I never feel quite ready to go unless it’s smooth. That’s my armour.
When I go to bed I will read but if you’re really, really, really busy like I am (we do a lot of socialising, both Johnny and I run our own businesses and we’ve got five children between us) the problem with stopping to read is that you fall asleep almost instantly. It means I try and cheat and do anything that’s quick and top line, so I’ll keep up with the week by looking at a few key articles from The Spectator, and I like Economist Espresso. I also read The Guardian a lot just for the headlines and the leading article in The Times – anything where you can get good information quickly. I try and navigate my way around like this and find it to be really effective. I always have lots of ginger tea before bed, especially on a Sunday. I find that after a weekend when you’ve been out for dinner and you’ve had wine, that fresh ginger in hot water is very cleansing. The other thing I do is to have a shot of Amazing Greens – it’s a vegan plant-based superfood supplement and it’s a great way to detox after a heavy weekend. Before I switch out the lights I spray my bed linen with This Works Pillow Spray, apply Sarah Chapman’s eye cream and massage Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm into my hands, as I have very dry hands and of course use Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm For Lips. I do struggle a bit when it comes to sleep, I have to have wax earplugs, because my husband snores, in fact I do have a slight fear of running out of wax earplugs too…
I always get up very early, so it’s a 6am start for me on Monday. I usually feel pretty good and obviously I’ll have gone through my diary and plans the night before which helps me to feel organised. I always have Radio 4 on while I’m getting ready and I like to listen to the Today show. I start my working day before I even get to the office with an early morning call to my PA, Charlotte. Because Johnny and I do a lot of entertaining and the kids have their various activities at the weekend, I like to make sure I can transition smoothly into work mode and make a seamless start to the week. We’ll discuss the upcoming week and plans for the weekend ahead. I always try and exercise first thing too. I’ll either have my personal trainer come to the flat and we’ll do some TRX training or I’ll go to the studio across the road and take a Reformer Pilates class. Then I’ll get ready and have a blowdry before an early morning breakfast meeting at 8am. Sometimes on a Monday, I might let myself start meetings at 10am, but every other morning I’ll stick to my 8am breakfast meeting, as there’s so much that can be done before 9am.