Founder of cult brand Legology and ex-beauty editor Kate Shapland lets us in on her Sunday night routine, which features just about the most dreamy bath and body regime we’ve ever seen…
The Wind Down
I start winding down at teatime on a Sunday. As soon as I have a cup of tea I start to think I’m on the home run. In terms of prepping anything for the week ahead, life is far too short for that. The most I do is to bag up my laptop ready to grab in the morning and make sure I’m not due to be anywhere first thing. Sometimes I give my wardrobe a cursory glance, but inevitably it’s out of fear ahead of a meeting or event, because I don’t seem to be able to plan outfits calmly or rationally. I need a dresser. I usually feel excited about the coming week, occasionally I’ll feel a little apprehensive if the diary is full or there’s anything new or specially challenging to deal with. But I’m equally as likely to watch a film till late and roll into bed with a couple of Scottish terriers on top of me and without any thought about the week ahead whatsoever. I start my beauty routine proper after supper with a cup of herbal tea, and do it in the bathroom and then either on my bed while I catch up on email or on the sofa in front of the TV. It certainly gets me in the right head and my goal with it is mainly to make me feel relaxed and prepared; it’s a luxury not to have to worry about your nails or your hair all week. Although having said that, my hair is a continual worry as I’m growing it and I’m about six months into a year of bad hair days.
I’m a big scented candle lover – Diptyque Mimosa, Muguet, Cypres … how long have you got? I don’t listen to any particular music, more talk shows and podcasts. I have a podcast line-up: I love Marc Maron, The New Yorker Fiction, my good friend Liz Earle (because if she’s talking about a wellbeing topic I want to hear it), and my brother-in-law Vinnie Tortorich, who is a talented nutritionist and broadcasts with very distinctive style from his home in California – he makes me laugh out loud.
Day to day I use a cleanser and cloth, a micellar water wipe-off at night (lazy girl), a day cream and a night cream or oil. I’ve been an Eve Lom Cleanser fan for years, but I’m happy to use wipe off cleansers when I’m tired – I’m not a cleanser snob! Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals is gorgeous. Day and night are very much separate applications for my skin. I’ve been loving Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial – what a neat idea! And I’ve got through more bottles of Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil than I dare think about. I always have a facial spritz by the bed – De Mamiel’s Dewy Facial Mist is lovely last thing at night and first thing in the morning. My focus is massage and mask so I always use a face oil and a mask. I do like to experiment with what I use but equally if I’ve tried something previously and loved it I’m likely to go right back in there. These days it’s always about hydration, deep cleaning and restoring radiance. I’ve got off quite lightly with wrinkles so far, so active anti-ageing treatments don’t grab me – yet.
I’m extremely cautious around my eyes. I had an upper eye lift some years ago and since then I’ve been super wary about what I put in this area and how I handle it, especially because it’s a bit prone to puffiness. Sisley Eye Contour Mask is a miracle worker first thing in the morning. My latest obsessions are Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil – oh my goodness, that’s one fine oil – Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream, Dr Barbara Sturm Face Mask – I’d like to lie in a vat of that stuff, and I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask. Sometimes, just sometimes, when I’ve been working too hard, I do absolutely none of this on a Sunday night, and just lie on the sofa, eat pizza and watch TV instead.
I’m very much a bath person. Even if it’s at midnight. I’m very happy to lie in there for hours listening to the radio or reading. I’m a sucker for bath oils and salts; sometimes I think I should have created Bathology instead of Legology. I swap around with body oils, creams and splash tonics: Diptyque Precious Oils for Body & Bath is a joy, I add it to the bath if I’m not using Exfo-Lite, and I love Dr Jackson’s 04 Coconut Melt. My bathroom cabinet includes pretty much all of the Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, especially the Support Equilibrium and Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (no one made aromatherapy oil blends like Geraldine Howard), and Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts. Oribe Cote D’Azur Replenishing Body Wash is a new and rather lovely addition. Experimentation is always nice – I’m always on the look out and am currently rather intrigued by Tan-Luxe. That said, the staple edit gets increasingly tight – you know what you like as you get older, and what works for you.
I’ll do a quick body brush and a full body exfoliation before a bath, have a hydrating soak, leg massage and paint my toenails. Legology Lymph-Lite, my little palm-sized body brush, and Legology Exfo-Lite are the building blocks to my regime, like a healthy addiction. I use them both all over my body, and after I’ve massaged with Exfo-Lite I’ll sit down in the bath and soak in its diuretic salts and oil. I’m a massive fan of body brushing – it’s so simple yet one of the biggest favours you can do your body, especially if you suffer with fluid retention or a sluggish system. I’ll use Legology Air-Lite to massage my legs after a bath – if I’m feeling the bloat, I’ll massage with a detox oil first and add Air-Lite over the top. In my previous life, when I was writing about beauty, the regime was about reviewing products for my readers. I’m still doing that, but for Legology customers’ legs – so my body regime is now dedicated to the cause of new product development! On my toenails it’s a Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer – invariably Psycho Candy, a classic red with a sting in the tail. Generally I lounge on the bed afterwards while multi-tasking – answering emails, making phone calls, checking the back end of the Legology site and more with a face/hair mask on and my nail polish drying. It’s a delicate juggling act.
I’m a massive Oribe fan – his Ultra Gentle Shampoo is a godsend for people with troublesome scalps. A dry, sensitive scalp is a real challenge because scalp-sympathetic cleansers invariably do your hair no favours. This one seems to have bridged the gap, and it’s a joy to use too. I don’t use conditioner but sometimes I use a hair mask – it feels like the ultimate indulgence, or coconut oil, and I like to leave it on overnight wrapped in a towelling turban. I was introduced to Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask with Lemon by my mother-in-law years ago and I’m never without a jar of it. Don’t laugh, but I have a very specific styling method which involves pulling the cut-off end of a pair of tights over my hair like a skull cap while it’s still damp to keep it flat while it’s drying. My hair is thick, and I’m growing it at the moment, so this is my way of getting through the aforementioned year of bad hair days.
I usually get into bed anywhere between 10 and 11pm with a relaxing herbal tea or a large glass of water, then it’s books, papers and magazines. I read a lot and I used to have a Kindle but now prefer a hardback – I stare at a screen all day and print is more restful. As a result I have piles of books and magazines by my bed, which I dip in and out of constantly. I read a lot of social history, I like a good knitting pattern book and I have a stash of Country Life and Liz Earle Wellbeing magazines. I leave mediation and all that to my husband – he’s recently learned to meditate, so I just watch him and try to engage him in conversation to annoy him. I’ve worn ear plugs since I met my husband twenty years ago (he snores). I can’t sleep without them now, and I’ll often wear them during the day when I’m writing. We live in West London, and despite the ear plugs I still hear the Emirates red eye coming in to Heathrow every morning at 4.30am. I was a great sleeper until I hit my fifties when I immediately started waking up at least twice during the night, and sometimes every hour after 2am. It’s very disruptive. I long to sleep through the night. I’d say I need seven to eight hours. I can operate on a lot less for a while, but then I hit a wall and I go down like a pack of cards, weeping over nothing and eating biscuits. Pre-sleep I use hand cream, face spritz and eye cream and then add a dot of lavender oil to my pillow or nightdress.
I don’t need an alarm on a Monday because we have two Scotties who trundle round to my side of the bed and make it clear it’s time for breakfast from about 6am. I wake up feeling dazed but determined and then jump out of bed – I’m a morning person. The first things I do are feed the Scotties, make some coffee, start reading my emails.