Leading menopause campaigner, founder of The M Blend and icon of the nineties Brit Pop scene, Meg Mathews talks about melancholy Sundays, life with two dogs and the pleasure of a great box set watched in the bath. Plus, she reveals her must-have hair range that’s loved by supermodels and her surprisingly low maintenance beauty routine…
The Wind Down
I don’t know why but I’ve always felt that Sundays are a bit melancholy, it’s a here nor there day. I wake up on Sunday morning really looking forward to the day and then I sort of hit the Monday morning blues around roast dinner time. I don’t know, it’s a bit too quiet everywhere or maybe it’s because I had never done my homework – I still have that feeling of dread! My mum would never let me go out on a Sunday, all my friends would be allowed out and she’d be like “we’re all having cooked breakfast together, roast dinner together, do not be running off anywhere!” I remember her saying “get your uniform out and ironed”, and now I hear myself saying the same to Anais. I definitely do like to pull out what I’m wearing for the next day on a Sunday afternoon, not so much lately since I’ve been in the menopause, previously I would have an outfit and heels ready for Monday, but now I live in gym gear – comfort over looks!
Sunday night is always a bath night, although I do like a bath most evenings and I always put Epsom salts in. I do find the menopause makes skin dry from the inside out, so I have to put oil in every bath – I like Susanne Kaufmann and Aromatherapy Associates. After the bath I always feel I need to put oil and moisturiser on, so I’ll use the Susanne Kaufmann Body Butter. I have got expensive oils, but I keep them for special occasions. Sometimes I will mix in coconut oil with Susanne Kaufmann oils – I can go through a lot and its expensive otherwise.
In the bath I always watch a boxset, I have my iPad set up on these two white trunks and I have candles out. I’m watching Ray Donovan at the moment, I’m 52 and I love a boxset, it just helps me escape, I start watching it and I forget everything, I know I should be listening to a wellness podcast, but I prefer to get lost in a different world. I have Diptyque candles everywhere in my home, from the patio to the bathroom, the light and the fragrance are just essential mood setters. The evening is a real downtime for me, I don’t like the lights up, I like to feel relaxed. The bath is such a good way of washing everything off from the day and also really moisturises my body for the night as my skin feels quite dry by the evening. I use a CBD oil spray on my legs to help if they feel restless or achy.
I’m not 100% brilliant at looking after my skin, I have to say that sometimes I might even have a bath and forget the face bit and just get straight into bed! I don’t really wear makeup so often I think I won’t clean my face, but there’s so much pollution and grime in London that I know I really should. I’m looking for hydration in beauty, I’ve never been one of those people who wants to try every new and out there product, I just want to get from A to B. Maybe if I’d started out with flawless Cate Blanchett skin then I would have kept it up, but look, I’m 52 I’ve still got spots, I’ve always had freckles, broken veins, capillaries, I’m happy with my skin, I’m happy with myself. I like my false lashes, I like my false nails, just easy beauty.
If I do use anything, it’ll be the Charcoal Soap from Herbivore which is really unusual and really good. I like Herbivore products because they don’t contain water, so they really moisturise. I’m not really into a ten-step routine or anything, I mostly I just wash and moisturise, but I often use oil as well now that my skin is so dry. I love these Odacité oils because you can pick and choose depending on how your skin is feeling– I use the Pomegranate Rose because it’s for hydration. I pick different ones from the Space NK in Primrose Hill – I just walk there and I love it. I like the range for hormonal skin – VenEffect, they stock that, I really like their mist because it takes redness away – great for hot flushes. I do have a day cream with SPF and I use the Herbivore Moon Fruit Night Cream because I have been told about the ageing effects of the sun even in our cloudy weather. I’m covered in sun spots, I don’t worry about them, I was brought up in South Africa I didn’t wear any sunscreen, but I do tell Anais not to go in the sun and she’s got the most amazing white skin; at nine I was already brown as a berry and running around barefoot in the midday sun.
Nowadays I actually have to carry moisturiser around with me all day long. I put Herbivore Pink Cloud on throughout the day because it’s so whipped and light. Also hand cream! My mum and my gran always had hand cream in their bags, I didn’t understand that at all but now I’m just like ooh where is it? My hands are so dry, it’s a horrible feeling, it just feels like everything that you see your mum doing, you just end up doing too.
I’m happy with my hair, I’ve been using Christophe Robin since 2000, I was pleased to see it in Space NK more recently. I use the red one because that’s for dry and coloured hair but I’ve used his stuff forever because when I used to go to Paris with Kate (Moss), all the models would use it. Occasionally my scalp feels dry and then I use Mauli Grow Strong Hair Oil, but I only wash my hair once a week, often on a Sunday. I don’t put any product on it afterwards, I’m very low maintenance really.
I go to bed quite early; I like to have the bath about 7pm and I like to get into bed about 8pm, then I probably go to sleep about 10 or 11pm. I have a pillow spray, This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, which I mist everywhere and I have both my dogs on the bed, they sleep there too. No men stay over at my house! This is the girls’ house, I keep my routine, I like my ways about the house, I do date night and you don’t have routine on a date night, that’s not sexy! So, it’s nice to keep things exciting and get dressed up and go out, and be naughty, and then come home to cosy pyjamas and the dogs! I watch a box set in bed and I always take my own CBD Oil, I use my drops – they’re calming. There are so many amazing benefits in CBD oil – it releases receptors to the brain to stop you getting anxiety and panic attacks, it stops nausea, it stops aches and pains, it helps me to sleep. You take it like a vitamin – once in the morning, once at night and your body builds it up and it goes into the receptors throughout the whole body. It helps me with practically every one of my symptoms of the menopause. It is just phenomenal, it changed my life. An American girlfriend of mine came to stay and I took hers and I loved it so much. I have never, ever taken anything that has got rid of everything like that, so I ended up starting my own company and making my own CBD oil, The M Blend, right here in the UK.
On Monday morning I just wake up naturally, I never set an alarm and I always feel happy – my dogs, Ziggy and Oscar are both there looking over me, which just makes me smile. Straight away I put on my anti-SAD Lumie light on for thirty minutes and take my CBD oil. I drink a litre of water and I feel happy and content.