Former beauty journalist Gabriella Pisani spends her time sharing her passion and expertise of the health, beauty and fitness industry with honest, real-life reviews. Her blog showcases all things makeup, skincare, hair and health, and most recently, extends to travel and lifestyle. We found out what her Sunday evening beauty ritual looks like, from targeting rosacea to overnight tanning.
The Wind Down
During the week I usually work until late and I don’t have time to pamper myself, but on Sunday I try not to do any work, pay much less attention to social media and really focus on relaxing and re-setting for the week ahead. I live in London, but I generally head home to my mum’s on a Sunday afternoon and around about 5.30pm we’ll start our Sunday beauty ritual together. We put on our comfiest clothes, take our makeup off and watch something on TV. It’s about spending time together and making it feel like a girls’ night in.
If I’m at my mum’s I’ll have a bath because she’s got the most insane bath in the world, it’s huge. But before I run the water, I apply Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish to my legs and bum and gently exfoliate my body. I’ll run the water and pour a few capfuls of Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath Oil in and soak for about 45 minutes. I really love using essential oils, it’s not just the smell it’s also the way they make you feel. While I’m I the water, the scrub leaves a silky, moisturising oil behind on my skin so there’s no need to use another product once I step out of the bath.
When it comes to skincare I sway towards high-tech, pharmaceutical brands, I don’t ever use any sort of botanical or plant-based skincare as it tends to break my skin out straight away. I always double cleanse, so I’ll start with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and mascara and then I follow up with something richer that doesn’t dry my skin out; it will either be a cream or a milky cleanser. Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is my go-to for my second cleanse. I’m really into multi-masking, because my skin is combination and so different areas have different concerns. One of my main concerns is rosacea and this does tend to flare up on my cheeks and nose if I’ve been out the night before. I find my skin reacts to alcohol, particularly red wine, as well as bad diet, lack of sleep and sometimes stress so Sisley Facial Mask with Linden Blossom is really good for calming the redness right down. If I don’t need to use a mask, I like to exfoliate, and I’ll either use a physical scrub like Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment or a chemical peel with AHAs like Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads. I started on the sensitive ones and now I use the normal ones. I’d never use a physical and chemical exfoliant together, it’s just too much, and I only ever exfoliate at night, as it can make skin more sensitive to light. I’ve recently come round to the idea of oils, I used to think they’d just break me out but I do now use the La Mer The Renewal Oil, which I love. I use it instead of a moisturiser and massage it into the skin to help it to absorb better. I follow this with the La Mer The Eye Concentrate.
I used to wash my hair religiously every single day and everyone criticised me for it, because obviously it strips away the natural oils but when I went out to Bali for seven weeks, I found myself only washing it every four to five days. It was just so hot there and using heat on my hair made me even hotter, so I started washing it less frequently and I’ve continued to do that now that I’m back in the UK. It’s so much better for it. I do have quite a lengthy hair routine with regards to the products I use, and it is a bit of a laborious process, so I tend to leave it to Sunday. I’ll start with a deep conditioning mask, which I leave on while I’m in the bath and then I’ll wash it out with a clarifying or detoxifying shampoo or something super hydrating. I do colour my hair, but I don’t think you need to use a colour-protecting shampoo. Ouai and Oribe are my all-time favourite haircare brands and I tend to stick to using those. When I’m shampooing and conditioning my hair, I’ll really get my nails on my scalp and try to stimulate hair growth and lift any debris that’s stuck around the hair shaft. Sometimes I use a scalp massage device too, like the Briogeo one. I apply hair oil to the ends of my hair while it’s still damp and leave it to dry naturally instead of blasting it with heat.
Whenever I go back to my mum’s I like to wear proper old-school, fluffy pyjamas so I’ll put those on and snuggle down to watch a film with her. There’s always stuff buzzing away in the back of my mind, I’ve been like that for years and sometimes I find it quite hard to focus on conversations because there will be a hundred other things going on in my head. I sometimes use a meditation app called Breethe, which really helps to silence my busy mind. What’s nice about staying at my mum’s is that it’s out in the countryside so it’s really quiet. I usually get a better night’s sleep there as I am able to switch off from everything, including work. I don’t go to bed very early, even on a Sunday, probably about 11pm. I do need a lot of sleep though, at least seven hours. During the night I have quite broken sleep and I often wake up. I always have done and so I’m just used to it now, but the meditation app does help. One of the last beauty things I do before lights out is apply Tan-Luxe Sleep Oil to my face. I absolutely love Tan-Luxe and won’t use anything else on my skin. I apply it straight onto cleansed, hydrated skin and by morning my face looks tanned, revitalised and radiant. I’ll sip a cup of lavender tea to get into the right headspace for sleep and I’m really funny about a dark room. I don’t like it and I don’t like sleeping masks or anything like that, I’m not sure why, so the room won’t ever be pitch black.
I’m naturally an early riser, but I do set an alarm for 6.30am on a Monday. I really am a morning person so I don’t find getting up difficult, I just get on with it. I always have a coffee first thing and I can’t function without one. I’ll often take an exercise class, at the moment I’m enjoying F45 – which is an intense, 45-minute HIIT workout. I like something short and sharp, I’m not a Yogi at all. My Mondays vary, I’ll either be on my laptop planning and writing content or I’ll be out and about shooting people or products, something I really love doing and am getting more into. I’ve had a few jobs recently where I’m the photographer. Or, I’ll be off to an event or breakfast, which is all about networking. I don’t really wear that much makeup, although more so if I have meetings or am going to an event. That said my hero makeup product is By Terry Cellular Rose Brightenting CC Cream Lumi in Sunny Flash. It’s a hybrid skincare and makeup product and you don’t really need to wear any foundation with it, it just gives skin this flawless, natural radiance. I love what I do, it sounds corny, but I really do love my job so I always feel happy on a Monday morning.