Space NK’s Buying Director Margaret Mitchell knows a thing or two about great beauty products. We pick her brains on everything from the best sleep aids for insomniacs, to the best multi-purpose candles to stock up on…
The Wind Down
I start at 5pm on a Sunday, I usually spend Sundays doing emails so I have to start turning off several hours before I go to bed otherwise I get the Sunday night blues and I don’t sleep well. I try and go to a yoga class usually in the afternoon and then come home, shower and do my stuff.
I’m lucky enough to have my own bathroom so I do my routine in there. It was one of the requirements when my husband and I were looking for a flat, I have so much beauty stuff to fit in there. I usually like silence when I’m doing my routine because I find it more relaxing and helpful in getting me to switch off. I’m not a huge music person but if I do want to listen to music it’ll be something classical or a relax playlist on Spotify. Candles feature in my Sunday routine always, I love a good candle. The Malin & Goetz Cannabis Candle is my favourite ever, plus the jars make really good gin and tonic glasses if you rinse them out afterwards. The fragrance is just amazing, it’s quite green and earthy and not super floral, and the candles just burn really, really well. They’re just heaven! I also love Diptyque Mimosa and Byredo Tree House, both of those are so good.
Sunday is my time to do a few extra treatments that I don’t have time for ordinarily during the week. I like to do a full cleanse and usually use a balm cleanser as well as an exfoliating cleanser, then I’ll do some sort of peel as well. In the week, it’s just a quick scrub in the morning to wake my skin up and then an oil or a balm cleanser at night, but on a Sunday I like to clean everything out, so I’ll use both. In terms of masks, I have so many but I really rate the 111SKIN Bio Cellulose Eye Mask, the material and the weight of it mean you can really feel it pushing the serum into your skin. It’s so cooling and I love that you can see immediate results afterwards, too. The Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask is also a favourite. I get clogged pores quite easily but then I also get dehydrated because I travel so much, so I have this really weird combination skin. This mask is so great for me because the clay pulls everything out, but the honey soothes and hydrates as well. I usually use a few more serums on a Sunday too. The Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster is a current favourite. My job means I’m trying new products out all the time but I am attempting to use things up more, because I tend to breakout if I use too many different things at once.
During the week, I just use a body wash – the Ren Moroccan Rose Otto and a lotion, the By Terry Baume de Rose Body Cream, but on Sundays my favourite thing is to add a little extra indulgence by adding a pre-shower oil in to my routine. Right now it’s the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Oil, it’s amazing. I love to use it after I’ve been to a Yen Yoga class because it’s just so soothing and immediately zones you out. And then I love the Mauli Sacred Union Scent & Dry Oil. Anita, the founder of Mauli taught me about Mala meditation beads and she gave me some to use, so I’ve been trying to practise with those. You count and push the beads through your fingers, it’s very relaxing and it’s definitely helped calm me down. I’m absolutely a shower person. I love the concept of a bath but find that by the time I’ve actually filled up the tub and get in, I’m a bit bored. I have to say that I sometimes find scrubs a little annoying to use in the shower because they’re a bit messy, but the Ren Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Salt Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub has changed all that. It has a flip cap which means no fiddling about with unscrewing the lid and getting it everywhere – it’s amazing how little things like that matter. It helps that the scent is to die for, too. My latest obsession though is Legology Exfo-Lite Daily Scrub. It’s insane. It’s a little bit of a messy process but is so incredibly stimulating and really you feel a big difference in tone and smoothness afterwards. It was designed specifically for heavy legs but I use it all over, paying extra attention to very dry patches like my elbows.
I usually do different things to my hair depending on how it’s been feeling in the week. Sometimes I use a pre-shampoo mask but will always use Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt followed by the Clarifying Shampoo. I won’t condition because the London water and pollution really weighs my hair down and I don’t want it to feel any heavier, but usually do some sort of reparative mask because I have a lot of split ends and my hair is really fine. I never blow dry it on a Sunday, I just leave it to air dry.
I try and be in bed by 11pm, any earlier and I can’t fall asleep. My husband and I are pretty good about turning our screens off, usually by 10pm, so I read my book in bed. I love the This Works Sleep Plus + Pillow Spray, which has helped me so much when it comes to falling asleep, and then I try to do a bit of meditating. There’s a good app called Buddify which gives mediations for every part of your day but I’m always trying to find new ways to relax my brain. On my bedside table I have my Kat Burki Intense Recovery Rose Hip Eye Serum, which is just about the best eye cream I’ve ever used. I put that on last thing at night and first thing in the morning too, it just fixes all eye issues. I keep my Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask on my bedside table too and use it as an overnight mask – it’s heaven and makes my skin so plump and glowing come morning. I put that on and then put an oil on top; I love De Mamiel oils, the blends are amazing and I love the artisanal process that Annee goes through when creating each one. Right now I’m using the Summer Facial Oil. The I have my mediation my beads and my Diptyque Mimosa candle. Oh and I love the De Mamiel Dewy Facial Mist too, that’s a bedside staple and it comes on all my flights with me as well. I always have hot water with lemon before bed and then first thing in the morning. In terms of sleep, I need a solid seven hours. My REM cycle is three and a half hours so I either need three and a half hours or seven; if I get anything more or less than that I’m a disaster the next day. I’ve had lots of sleep issues over the years so I’ve come to know my patterns really well and what works for me.
When I do sleep well, I generally wake up feeling refreshed. My alarm is set for 6.15am on Mondays. At the start of the week I usually jump out of bed but by the end of the week I’m snoozing my alarm…When I can I try and get up and go to the gym, but it can be a bit hit and miss – I’m better when I’m in the US because I’m jet lagged so am up early. I always keep my gym kit packed and include a good mist – the Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist is really refreshing. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is have my hot water and lemon and then I always try and do a quick meditation. I don’t function well if I don’t do that. I’m a big over thinker so it really helps me rationalise and set my head straight for the day ahead. Then I’m good to go.