Experience as beauty editor at leading magazines including Stylist and I.D. means Shannon Peter certainly knows her stuff when it comes to the most efficacious beauty rituals. But, she’s practical too – as a mature student currently studying for a masters at Goldsmiths University alongside her role as editor, when it comes to her routine, it’s both functional and time efficient. Carving out time for relaxation is essential, whether it’s cooking with her boyfriend or indulging in a Real Housewives binge. We chatted to Shannon to find out how she keeps her signature ringlets perfectly coiled, her skin glowing and even manages to fit in the odd spot of facial massage…
The Wind Down
My number one Sunday rule? Never make plans on a Sunday! The most I’ll do is take a leisurely walk through the park and then cook a roast dinner. Anything more strenuous than that, and you’re asking too much. My wind down starts after dinner, when I take a long, hot shower. Then I’ll spend five minutes writing out a couple of tasks for the next day, just to alleviate some of the Sunday scaries and check my calendar to see what work breakfasts and events I have on that week so I can plan in dinners and what my boyfriend and I will cook that week. To relax I love watching trash TV, like the Real Housewives, which I always say is my mindfulness. When their arguments get too much, I read; at the moment I’m into Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels. There is something unequivocally cosy about lighting a candle, so it’s become synonymous with winding down on a Sunday. Right now, I’m burning Byredo’s Chai candle. It smells even better than the actual drink.
The goal of my skincare routine is to wake up on a Monday morning, not looking like it’s a Monday morning! In terms of skincare, I take a very functional approach, I try and keep it simple, only using the products that I know really work. My skin is combination with an oilier t-zone and dry cheeks but I’m lucky that it tends to be pretty calm and consistent. In the evenings, I use Tata Harper’s Nourishing Cleansing Oil with a soft flannel, which is brilliant at melting away makeup. Then I’ll do a second cleanse to freshen up the skin with something like Kate Somerville’s Cold Cream. I massage it in and wash it off with Erborian’s Konjac Sponge, which works as a soft exfoliant and is compostable, which I really dig. If my skin is a bit tired-looking, I’ll perk things up with an exfoliator. I love Ren’s Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. On a Sunday when I have more time I’ll apply a face mask. The type I use depends on my how my skin is feeling, if it’s congested I’ll use a clay mask like Herbivore’s Blue Clay Detoxifying Treatment Mask, or if it’s dehydrated then nothing beats La Mer The Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask. I love facial massage and follow tips I’ve picked up from facialist Charlotte Connoley, I use my knuckles to knead out the knots in my jaw and try my best attempt at lymphatic drainage by using sweeping movements across my face and down my neck. If I’m feeling particularly decadent, I might massage my skin with a Herbivore Jade Roller.
I am the worst at taking care of my body and I have the dry skin to prove it, but I try my hardest to use a body scrub like Herbivore’s Coco Rose Body Polish in the shower, which I love because it’s nice and coarse so feels properly scrubby. Ren’s Atlantic Kelp and Magneisum Anti-Fatigue Body Wash is great because the pump is fully recyclable and it has a fresh, invigorating scent. For hydration, I love Votary’s Body Treatment Oil for the backs of the arm, knees and even the bottom. It contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate the rougher skin in these areas. Then I’ll coat myself in Kiehl’s Crème de Corps from head to toe.
I have fairly dry, curly hair. I love a cleansing conditioner, like Boucleme’s Cleansing Cream as it flushes away product build up without stripping my curls. Then, I apply conditioner, but only towards the ends where hair gets drier. I’m using Briogeo’s Curl Charisma Conditioner right now, which feels suitably creamy but doesn’t hang on to the hairs after rinsing. I’m a hair mousse connoisseur but so many of them leave your hair sticky and/or crispy. Bumble and Bumble’s Curl Conditioning Mousse is basically unnoticeable once dry and helps my curls hold their form. I have a fairly dry scalp too, so every now and then I use Ouai’s Scalp and Body Scrub. It’s the weirdest sensation trying to rub it into the roots, but really works to freshen things up. The best way to style my hair is to blow dry it with a diffuser straight after washing, but that’s too much effort for a Sunday night, so I tend to just brush it and then plait it and sleep on it wet.
It’s cliché but I adore a pillow spray, especially the one by Votary London which I spritz generously all over the sheets. And then I tend to watch TV in bed on my laptop until I fall asleep. I know it’s not the healthiest approach, but it works for me. Despite moving in over a year ago, we still don’t have bedroom curtains so I always sleep with a Slip Silk Sleep Mask, and that’s always a good way to peel my eyes away from the screen too. I always keep a tube of Kiehl’s Lip Balm bedside, and I keep a face oil like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which smells soothingly herbaceous, in my bedside drawer too. If I’m particularly stressed and finding it hard to switch off, I’ll put on a meditation recording to help me drift off.
I’m definitely a snoozer. I have to set my alarm twenty minutes before I actually need to be out of bed as I always snooze it a few times and I hate being rushed in the morning. The first thing I do when I wake up is have a little scroll through Instagram, though I am trying to train myself out of it. Then I’ll peel myself out of bed, put the kettle on and watch the news. I avoid checking my emails before I get to work in the morning and I travel to the station with my boyfriend and make sure we talk about the interesting things we’ll both be working on that day to set us both up in a positive frame of mind.