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Polly Vernon

In amongst her mammoth fashion ‘try-on’ sessions, author, journalist and columnist Polly Vernon makes time for some tried and tested beauty favourites. Read on to discover her must-have products and why she’s a sleep evangelist…

polly vernon sunday sessions

The Wind Down

My Sunday beauty regime is pretty much the same as my weekday beauty regime: rigorous, extensive and incredibly good fun. I never understand people who say they struggle to find ‘me’ time – I’m REALLY good at it. I sort of organise the rest of my work- social- and home-life around it. Some might call me selfish – I like to think I’ve worked out what keeps me sane and happy, and it involves a shed load of skincare and exercise. But I probably am a bit selfish, too.

My Sundays are entirely leisurely. Sometimes, I have to work for a few hours, but I love writing, so it never seems like a gross intrusion. Otherwise, I hang out with friends, drink coffee (mine’s an oat milk flat white, thanks so much!), thank the Lord I persisted with my childhood plan to never have kids of my own (selfish, see?), read or listen to cold-case murder podcasts, and generally have a fine old time. I’ll do at least one exercise class – yoga or my beloved pilates – then probably have another coffee. At some point in the mid to late afternoon, I’ll have what my boyfriend delights in calling ‘a bit of a try-on’, which involves me messing about, trying to format different outfits for the following week. I have a lot of clothes, and I love a fashiony Instagram post; it takes a bit of effort and planning and a lot of heaping clothes randomly onto our bedroom floor, to rustle up any strong new fash vibes – but again, it’s something I love doing.  Dress-up for grown-ups. My boyfriend, on the other hand, loves mocking me for it – he’s my in-flat Troll – me having a try-on is what passes for high entertainment in my flat. That, and arguing over whether we’ll watch Love Island, or football, next.

polly vernon sunday sessions

The Routine

I love an evening bath in the winter, but it’s too hot for that right now (hallelujah), so my evening regime starts at around 7pm, with me cleansing my face of makeup or sweat or city grime, or all of the above. I double cleanse with a gel – I like RéVive Gentil Cleanser, then a cream – Sisley Lysait Cleansing Milk if I’m feeling fancy. I’ll work the cream cleanser deep, with a Foreo cleansing brush, which always makes me feel like a pro. Then I’ll often use something more rigorous and exfoliating as well. I’ve just discovered 111SKIN, and I think the Exfolactic Cleanser is bang on. Thoroughly cleansed, I get onto the fun stuff: the gadgets. My current fave is the NuFace Mini which is brilliant for toning and lifting with an electric current. I’ll tone with Sisley Grapefruit Toning Lotion, then treat – I’m really into DCL C Scape High Potency Night Booster right now – unless I’m on a retinol regime, in which case: a prescription cream, then a good, gentle barrier cream to minimise peeling. I wash my hair every three days; a hair-washing day that falls on a Sunday feels pleasingly traditionalist. I love Bumble & bumble’s Seaweed range.

polly vernon sunday sessions


I’m a sleep addict. I think sleep is one of the best, most blissful things that can happen to a human and I go overboard ensuring I get as much high quality sleep as poss. I stop looking at my phone at 8pm – particularly accursed social media, aka the drainer of good moods, the obstacle to contentment – and I leave it charging in the living room. It comes nowhere near the bedroom; I keep it, its blue light pollutants and its incessant demands for attention, well out of there. I take magnesium supplements – which are really good for sleep – at around 9pm, and around half nine, I will (no joke) lie for 10 minutes on my back, on the floor, with my legs at a right angle up against a wall, because a yoga teacher once told me that’s relaxing for the nervous system (no idea if it works – I just know it feels good). I generally go to bed at 10pm; I spritz my pillow with This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, whack a silk-covered yoga eye pillow on top of my eyes – the weight of it against on your optic nerve slows your heartbeat apparently; it also blocks any remnants of streetlight – and I’m out like a light within a quarter of an hour.  Sleep plus skincare. My kind of Sunday.

polly vernon sunday sessions

Monday Morning

I’m always up by 8am and I double cleanse the night off my skin straight away. For some reason, no matter how hard I cleansed my makeup the night before, I’ll always, always wake to find traces of yesterday’s mascara beneath my eyes; so I’ll get some Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water on them. Next up: the big guns. Serum. I just got DNA tested for predictors on the factors that will – and already are – ageing my skin, and it seems my capacity to pick up a tan is my biggest issue. So my focus is vitamin C suffused serums, to repair the damage I’ve already done, and SPF to protect against more. Dr Sebagh’s Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream or Sunday Riley C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, specifically. I don’t wear moisturising cream, my skin tends towards the greasy end of the spectrum naturally – I find the serum with an SPF works best for me, so I’ll finish with RéVive’s Soleil Superieur SPF 50.

polly vernon sunday sessions

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