Venetia Archer, founder and CEO of London’s first digital beauty concierge Ruuby knows a thing or two about how to wind down in style. Find out how she fits time-saving beauty treatments into her busy schedule and the targeted beauty routine she swears by to help her feel ready to take on the world come Monday.
The Wind Down
One thing I like to do on Sunday, which doesn’t sound that relaxing but does actually help me to feel more focused and organised for the week ahead, is to spend a couple of hours working. At about 5pm, I’ll start going through my emails and attend to anything that’s still outstanding from the previous week or try and get a head start on tasks for the week ahead. While I’m going through my emails, I’ll have one of the Ruuby manicurists come to my house and do a mani/pedi while I’m working.
Come about 7pm and once I feel comfortable about work and don’t have any stresses hanging over me, I’ll really start my wind down. I always like to book myself in for a massage; one of the Ruuby masseuses will come to my house and set up in my bedroom. I’ll light candles and spend the next 90 minutes enjoying a deep tissue back massage mixed with some acupuncture. I’ll sometimes have some acupuncture on my face as well, if I feel I need a lift. Unlike in the week when I’ll have more heavy-duty sports massage, Sunday is all about feeling relaxed. I feel the mixture of deep tissue massage and acupuncture really helps me wind down. After my massage I head upstairs to my bathroom to start my beauty routine, which is a little more comprehensive on a Sunday simply because I have more time. To set the scene, I like to listen to classical music as it really helps me to wind down. One of my ultimate luxuries is to light my big, three-wick Diptyque Baies candle. It’s so effective that the fragrance emanates throughout the whole house. While my Sunday skincare routine is about unwinding and chilling out, my regime is quite results-driven as I have more time to be more diligent than in the week.
Depending on my skin, I’ll start my routine with one of two cleansers. I’d say my skin is normal, but it used to be dry and it’s only really because I’ve got my skincare regime under control that my skin has got a lot better and is now normal. If I feel like my skin is in a good place, I’ll use a calming cleanser. I like Darphin Refreshing Cleansing Milk but if my skin needs some TLC, I’ll use a more serious cleanser – something containing glycolic acid to speed up my skin cell renewal process. Next I’ll do a bit of exfoliation. I love the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel – they are out of this world, just so fantastic. I’ll wipe the first pad all over my skin in small circular motions and if I feel like my skin needs an extra go, I’ll wait slightly longer than the recommended two minutes before going in with the second pad. Sometimes, I’ll even do the whole process, from scratch, again. Then I’ll add in a mask. I like the GlamGlow Flashmud Brightening Treatment. I really rub into my skin and it is a bit tingly but that’s because it’s packed with lots of active ingredients and you can really tell, the results are pretty immediate. And, when I wake up on Monday my skin is really bright and rejuvenated. Then, I follow with oils. I’ve been using the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, which is incredible. I got the recommendation off my sister and her skin has completely changed since she’s been using it and I absolutely adore it too, now. It’s got a bit if an unusual smell, which takes some getting used to but I love the fact that it’s blue, it’s quite fun and novel. It does contain retinol, but I find it’s quite gentle and so fine to use every night. I leave Luna to sink in first, then I like to double-dose with Votary Intense Night Oil – Rosehip and Retinoid – I feel like my skin can take it.
I love baths. They are my favourite thing, even in the summer. And in the winter, I’ll very often take two baths a day. I’m such a fan. But before I get into the bath I like to use Omorovicza Gold Sugar Scrub, as I have quite poor circulation, and this helps. I use it all over my body and you can really feel the results, and after the bath my skin feels so clean and smooth. I try and body scrub at least once mid-week too. I’ll shower the scrub off using Susanne Kaufmann Shower Gel and then get into the bath. I love using bath salts as they’re really good at helping zone you down. I recently went to Susanne Kaufmanns’ spa retreat in Austria and I think she makes the most incredible products and is a real expert. I load the bath up with Epsom salts and then add Susanne Kaufmann St. John’s Wort Bath, which has calming properties. I’ll be in the bath for about 45-minutes, and I’ll use this time to scroll through Instagram, catch up on the news and generally just laze. Once I’m out the bath, I’ll moisturise my body with Jo Loves White Rose & Lemon Leaves Body Lotion.I’m trying to grow my hair at the moment, and it is actually getting there. But, twice a week I use a hair mask. I like to massage the mask right into my scalp and then leave it on overnight for maximum effect. Sunday is a great opportunity to do this.
I find that an hour of TV before bed really provides a detox from the working world. At the moment, my boyfriend and I are really into The Crown. We’re behind though, like seriously, we’re on episode eight of the first series so we’re watching one episode a night. I try not to drink alcohol on a Sunday as I feel that it doesn’t set me up well for the week ahead, so I’ll have a chamomile tea with honey. I don’t really have a sleep routine as such, but there are a couple of apps that I listen to. Calm has some great sleep stories and the Happiness podcast has short talks that help put me in a really positive mood for the week ahead.
I usually switch the lights off at about 11pm and I don’t struggle with getting to sleep. However, sleep can be a challenge for me when I’m very stressed. I am finding that the more I can do to deal with stress in my day-to-day life, the better I am at sleeping. It’s an on-going challenge. I find that I really must apply myself when it comes to learning how to manage stress. With running my own business, one thing that has really helped me with this, is the concept that things can wait. Not everything has to be dealt with right now, at this moment. It is hard to allow yourself to let things wait, but if you can learn to balance things and instil some work/life boundaries, I find it makes coping with stress a lot easier. If I am having sleep problems, I’ll sometimes spray my body with magnesium spray as I find it helps me sleep better and of course we’re all magnesium deficient anyway. The only thing with magnesium spray is that it can make you quite itchy, so you literally have to do it before you go to sleep.
I always try to go to the gym on a Monday morning, so I set my alarm for 6.30am but I only actually make it to the gym 50% of the time. If I wake up and am not feeling it, I think it’s far better to stay in bed and get the extra hour of sleep than beasting myself at the gym. I also don’t mind missing the gym on a Monday morning as I know I can always go on Tuesday or Wednesday. Again, it’s about finding that balance. If I have a meeting on Monday, I’ll book a Ruuby hairdresser to come in at 7am and blow-dry my hair for me, but I am trying to grow my hair at the moment and obviously this can be rather damaging, so I’ll try to resist or do it myself on a cool setting to reduce the breakage. My office is about a 30-minute walk from home, and I use this time to clear my head and focus on the upcoming week before getting into work and chairing the Monday morning meeting. I love the walk in, it’s such a meditative time. I arrive at my desk feeling collected and raring to go.