Co-founder of This is Mothership & ex-Stylist Beauty Director, Samantha Silver shares her tips on speedy Sunday night pampering…
The Wind Down
Sundays are the only time I really get to spend some time on myself. Once my little boy Leo is in bed, I retreat to the bathroom away from the chaos of the weekend. It’s so easy not to carve time out for yourself when juggling two jobs and kids, but the smallest treats can make you feel so much better – that’s what we tell our audience on This is Mothership. Since having Leo I look back and marvel at the time I used to spend on myself. These days, especially since being pregnant with my second, I rely on having some quick tricks up my sleeve and an arsenal of products that work, and work fast. Sunday is about getting it all done rather than relaxing, I’m afraid. I need products that work fast and deliver real results – life is too short otherwise.
Because I’m juggling a toddler, a pregnancy, a freelance career and This is Mothership, I know that I won’t have time in the week to do any beauty upkeep, so I do all of my essential maintenance on a Sunday. That’s everything from exfoliating, to tweezing my eyebrows (and random stray hairs, where do they appear from?!) and fake tanning. Now it’s winter I can get away with just patch tanning too – so the parts that people see, like my face and my arms.
My beauty routine often starts early, I’ll do a sheet mask while Leo eats dinner and I’m emptying the dishwasher (I love the Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask, it gives spa worthy results in seconds) and then I might pop a hair mask on while Leo’s in the bath. His bedtime routine is the optimum time for this, and it means I’m ready to wash it out as soon as he’s in bed.
The en-suite is my haven away from the boys, it’s where I can have all my girly bits on display without them getting grabbed or knocked over by a football. I had it decorated in grey and white marble to replicate a hotel bathroom and wanted it to be somewhere that I can really chill out. It’s full of Diptyque Baies candles, diffusers, pretty pots of products and old candles washed out and refilled with cotton wool and ear buds, alongside beautiful apothecary-style Aesop Mouthwash.
I like complete silence, and I love candles; I feel like lighting a candle is a real signal that it’s time to wind down. I always pack Leo’s nursery bag for the next day and then go through my diary and work out what’s on and who’s doing nursery drop off during the week.
I have different cleansers for different reasons but on a Sunday I tend to use a balm cleanser as I have more time to play with. I’ll usually do a second cleanse as well, something like DCL C Scape Enzymatic Cleanser is a good second cleanse option or I’m am obsessed with This Works In Transit No Traces, and will dip into those if I feel I haven’t got everything off with my first cleanse. Sometimes I’ll add a dollop of grainy exfoliator or for a deeper exfoliation I love the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pads. I’m not using them right now, but am looking forward to using them after I’ve had the baby because my pigmentation has been really bad in this pregnancy. In terms of masks Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask is an oldie but a goodie when I really need to give my skin an overhaul. It zaps all traces of knackered, dull skin replacing it with bouncy, dewy supermodel skin.
I have a serum wardrobe for different reasons too, and tend to be very prescriptive in terms of what my skin needs; if I’m feeling dry I’ll use a hydrating one, if I’ve got some breakouts it’ll be one with salicylic acid or an antioxidant one if I need some repair. On Sunday I have more time to layer things up so I’ll put an oil on over my serum, especially in the winter when every bit of hydration counts! I interviewed someone recently who told me that because of our circadian rhythms, you lose the most hydration between the hours of 9-11pm, so we should always aim to have our makeup off and our skincare done by then. I love the Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster and I’m obsessed with Odacite. I first discovered them when I was in Paris for Fashion Week a few years ago so I’m thrilled that they’re in the UK now; I love how bespoke you can be with them, it’s a really clever brand. I also love Sisley Black Rose Precious Oil – actually I’m obsessed with the entire collection, and I love the Aurelia Probiotics Revitalise and Glow Serum, I’ve gone through three bottles in the last year. I’ve just started using De Mamiel Pregnancy Facial Oil too which is so heavenly, and I love La Mer The Renewal Oil because it has a really has a fast impact on skin.
I used to be a bath person before I had kids but now that room is totally taken over with toys – I can’t remember the last time I had one. Showers also mean I’m not inclined to check my phone, which is definitely a good thing as I can fall easily into an Instagram hole. I can’t remember the last time I exfoliated and I’m generally quite bad with body maintenance except when I’m pregnant. I love shower oils and am currently using one from Diptyque.
At this stage if I’ve done a hair mask early I’ll have washed it out – I usually go for something for coloured or dry hair because my hair has a tendency to go a bit brassy. I see Amy Fish at Larry King or Adam Reed at Percy & Reed for my colour. Even though I’m brunette Adam told me to use a purple hair mask for blonde hair to stop any of the lighter bits from going too orange. Then I’m all about volumising products because even though I have lots of hair it’s very fine. Bumble & bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner is in my shower at the moment, as is Oribe’s Glaze for Beautiful Colour, which is so luxe that I save it for Sundays only. I also adore O&M 7 Day Miracle Moisture Masque; I love that it comes in a tube and not a pot because it makes it so much more practical to use in the shower. I also keep a Tangle Teezer in there so I can comb everything through gently when my hair is wet. After I blow dry my hair I use a serum like Rossano Ferretti Intenso Softening & Smoothing Serum on the ends and a then volumising spray. In the morning I’ll use either the Oribe or Ouai Texturising Hair Spray, just to give it some oomph. I also love the Invisible Day & Night Cream by Windle & Moodie because it doesn’t weigh my hair down.
I used to be really into tanning and spend so much time doing it twice a week but now I’m all about a low maintenance, speedy solution. I always go back to the Sisley Self-Tanning Hydrating Facial Skincare and I love the Tan-Luxe Tan Booster because you can just add them into your own moisturiser and it’s so easy.
I always have Byredo Suede Hand Cream, La Mer The Lip Balm and the Bloom & Blossom Pillow Spray on my bedside table. I love using my jade roller before lights out because it’s soothing and helps with any pregnancy-induced puffiness. My husband often complains about the smell of my face because I put so many things on! I don’t do any meditation, but I’ve started turning my phone onto airplane mode at 9pm every night and it’s made such a difference. There’s an app called Moment that counts how often you use your phone, how often you unlock it and look at it, and my results just freaked me out. It just made me realise I need to be more present so I made a conscious effort, and now Sunday nights are much better. It’s so easy to just reply to a quick email at 10pm on a Sunday night but it’s so unhealthy really; turning it on airplane mode is a step towards breaking my phone habit. I’m sleeping so much better and the temptation to scroll and stay awake has gone. It also means Nick and I actually talk to each other! I stress out if I’m not asleep by about 11.30pm.
I set an alarm but there’s absolutely no reason to because Leo always wakes up shouting for me at 6.45am. He’ll come into our bed and watch a bit of the iPad and then we’ll get up. I used to be a real snoozer but now I jump out of bed and am much more of a morning person than I ever was; it helps that we’ve got so many exciting things happening with This is Mothership because it means I really look forward to the week ahead. It’s all a bit of a rush in the morning as I have to get Leo to nursery for 8am, so it’s only a tight window to get us all ready and out the house. He’ll sit on my bed while I’m getting ready in the bathroom; I just do a quick version of my routine — a quick cleanse, a bit of serum and then a bit of eye cream like Bakel Cool Eyes, which I like because it de-puffs. Then I do my makeup which I do in 2 minutes and 17 seconds – I’ve timed it!