The Wind Down
My Sundays are always dictated by putting up a YouTube video for my channel #TheBeautyKnowItAll, so I can’t really wind down until that is up and I have answered my followers’ questions (I try to answer every one personally). I try to give myself a Sunday skin pampering before I go to bed, which will be after I watch an episode of The Real Housewives (I used to be embarrassed about this but ever since Lena Dunham tweeted me about her guilty addiction to this TV franchise I don’t feel so bad).
Generally I just like to relax, do a peel and prep my skin so that I wake up on Monday with clean, hydrated, fresh skin to face the week with. If I can remember to sleep in a hair mask and slather on some exfoliating body lotion then that’s my spa at home sorted. But I believe in stealth beauty – so if a product doesn’t work it’s sent to a charity sale. I believe in Minimum Effort Maximum Results, beauty products that show visible results. I want to see my hair shinier, my skin smoother, my dry skin gone, my pigmentation fading, or why bother? Life is too short to waste on expensive products that just don’t work, right?
I don’t light candles because I have two cats, but I do infuse the air with essential oils, usually to wake me up and I love Aesop Post-Poo Drops. I know they’re formulated to be used in the toilet bowl, but this is what I use in my diffuser and my house smells like a spa, it’s so delicious! I am also obsessed with Diptyque Feu De Bois. I tend to double cleanse and do my gritty exfoliation in the bathroom, tweeze my eyebrows there and take a shower – but when I peel I walk around dancing to R&B (it’s a sight, trust me) because deep down inside I wish I was Beyonce.
I usually start with Ren No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm and Cloth – a great gets-it-all-off gentle cleansing cream with a cloth. Then I like a second cleanser like Rodial Super Acids Glycolic Cleanser. I put this on, brush my teeth for two minutes then rinse off – it’s great as a mini peel after filming if I have worn a lot of makeup. DCL C Scape Enzymatic Cleansing Gel is another great leave-on second cleanser that I sometimes do for a few minutes that mildly exfoliates too. I also love Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel and the Algenist Triple Action Micropolish and Peel is a great physical scrub with an enzyme and acid to resurface. I usually combine this with my Clarisonic for an at-home facial in minutes.
Next up, serums – I couldn’t live without them and rarely use a moisturising cream. These should double up as eye and neck products (take everything down to your nipples) and should sink in in seconds to work quickly leaving no sticky skin. I use a hyaluronic acid-rich serum, then an antioxidant-rich one and finally a hydrating one. I avoid oils at all cost as they block my pores. Sunday Riley Good Genes is a fabulous lactic acid-rich overnight resurfacing serum that also hydrates, you really do wake up to smoother plumper skin, and I love DCL C Scape Night Booster 30, a great supercharged vitamin C night serum that helps tackle and fade pigmentation. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Age Repair Serum is a classic hyaluronic acid-rich hydrating serum and I also love Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinol Overnight Serum, which has lots of retinol but with ferulic added to minimise irritation and peeling. My skin is well-balanced and rarely breaks out but it’s obviously getting older by the day so it is prone to fine lines and pigmentation. I’m currently testing the Dr Denis Gross SpectraLite to see if it can bust my laughter lines a little.
On a Sunday I always do some lymphatic drainage massage around my eyes as I’m prone to puffiness. Do you know that your eyes drain both ways so you can press clockwise and anticlockwise around them? And they drain into the temples and down into the jaw and neck. So that’s the way you massage, just lightly press. It takes two minutes, I was taught by the facialist Anastasia Achilleos.
Sundays are not specific for my body as I believe it’s little and often when it comes to your body. I dry body brush before my shower using overlapping strokes up towards my heart then I jump in the shower and slather on a lactic acid body lotion, or glycolic body lotion and feel the tingle. Ren Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash is a favourite, it smells so zingy and fresh it wakes you up. Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion is the best around, it might not smell great but boy it works and is loaded with lactic acid for smoother hydrated skin, so no more dry shins or bumpy red backs of arms and legs. If I have a last-minute panic and have dry shins Natura Bisse C+C Summer Lotion is my go-to. It smells divine like citrus fruit and sinks in to leave a sexy gleam.
I like a super gentle but effective shampoo (Philip B Anti Flake relief Shampoo for use in emergencies after root colour but otherwise Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo, a classic for those of us with greasy roots, dry ends) and lots and lots of super rich hair masks. My hair is triple processed, ie. it has an all over colour to cover greys, balayage with my beloved Nicola Clarke for lights and is Brazilian smoothed by Zoltan to take out the frizz. In other words trust me, it needs masks and lots of them. I hate mousses and anything that leaves my hair feeling sticky or tangled or full of product, so I like to use a gentle leave in conditioning cream serum on the ends. Living Proof 5-in-1 Styling Treatment is fab and can be used on wet and dry hair. I also like O&M The Power Base, a good three times a week conditioner for processed hair. Then I put it up in a bun while I am doing my DIY facial, which means I often wake on Monday to great skin but bad hair. But then I jump in the shower and blow-dry it and it takes me five minutes to do. The tutorial on my YouTube channel is one of my most watched and popular videos.
I get into bed around 11.30pm, and catch up on Instagram and emails but with my phone on a night setting so not too much blue light. I firmly believe that gadgets of all types cause most of the modern day stress and anxiety that we all have; it’s impossible to switch off these days and we are all expected to be on 24/7. Right before bed I take two magnesium citrate tablets to relax me, put on a retinol serum and an eye mask and I’m out. I wear an eye mask as I like to sleep in a blacked out room. I won’t oversleep as my cats wake me up when they are hungry. I need 8 hours of good quality uninterrupted sleep. I’d say I sleep relatively well but light.
I am self-employed so I rarely set an alarm unless I am travelling somewhere, doing live TV or filming early. I realised quite recently that I think this single fact might have been my driving force for being a journalist and being self-employed because I hate to be sleep deprived, it is physical torture to me! It’s why I rarely drink a lot of alcohol – because the sleep deprivation is not worth it to me. I am not a morning person. I wake up, check my phone, feed the cats, get up, open my mail, get to my desk and check emails, then maybe cleanse my face and put on some makeup.