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“I love to use skincare that’s stuffed with active ingredients, and I tend to seek out products from brands you would only find in cosmetic-doctor clinics. That includes Revision Skincare, SkinCeuticals, SkinBetter Science and iS Clinical. Expensive brands aside, I love Garnier’s Micellar Water for a first go at removing my make-up and I really rate the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. For SPF, it has to be La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Age Protect SPF50 or anything by Altruist – I buy its sunscreen by the litre. If I’ve ever had a savage procedure and my skin can’t be touched, I reach for Clinisoothe – the spray is amazing at calming skin down and healing it.
“I have what I call a ‘cleansing wardrobe’ where there will always be a wash-off gel for every day – like Beauty Pie’s new AcidEnzyme Exfoliating Face & Body Cleanser, which is a thick, creamy wipe-off cleanser. I’m also currently loving both CeraVe’s and the Skin Rocks cream cleansers.
“Finally, the products I go back to are the ones that make a visible difference. I believe skincare is like medicine – for good results, you need to be consistent and not use too much. One of my old favourites that still sits on my shelf is Alpha H’s Liquid Gold. I use it at night twice a week and my skin always has a better glow and clarity afterwards. I also love a good retinoid, like Medik8’s Crystal Retinal range. I was working with Environ last year, so I used their products consistently for months, and my skin looked fab – it was also rated as younger than before by the Visia imaging system that’s used in cosmetic clinics. A few months on, an Alumier MD regime amped it up visibly, too, as did the new Morphiya cream which is launching this autumn and is full of super high-tech exosomes.”
BODYCARE & SELF-TAN
“I’ve been really impressed by Beauty Pie’s Youth Bomb Retinol Body Lotion. It’s powerful stuff and has helped to make my skin look stronger, firmer and fresher. I love the brand Kukui too – I used to buy its Oil Body Cream in bulk but it’s no longer available so, instead, I’ve turned to its Hand & Body Lotion which is almost as delicious. Another body staple for me is the Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream. It’s not glam, but it smells amazing and works like a dream to soften and condition dry feet and nails. I’ll always keep a pot nearby.
“Dry body brushing is essential for me, too. I love to do a little bit daily to help drain my lymph glands and boost my circulation. It’s also a great way of lightly exfoliating skin.
“As for tan, I don’t lie out in the sun and can’t usually be bothered with application but, for the rare occasions when I do, I’ll reach for James Read’s Glow20 Instant Tan Mousse. It develops quickly which I love, as you can see how it’s looking and whether you need to tweak things.”
“I dislike most fragrances, but the ones I love, I adore with fervour. In my fragrance drawer (I keep them out of the light to preserve them), you’ll find a few leathers, ouds and incenses like Byredo’s Cuir Obscur, Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, Givenchy Encens Divin and By Kilian Rose Oud, all of which I tend to wear as invisible armour. When cabbies open the windows when I get in, I know I’ve overdone it!
“For more ladylike, grown-up fragrances, I turn to Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne – do yourself a favour and buy one of its sampling sets. I’d be surprised if you didn’t love half of them to bits. I also love Portrait of A Lady by Dominique Ropion for Frédéric Malle. It’s heady stuff with a big old hit of rose and sandalwood incense. Finally, I don’t think you can beat Chanel’s No5. I wore nothing else in the 80s and it’s always been there for me when I need it, so I keep a bottle in my drawer at all times.”
“In the past year, I’ve been loving Monika Blunder’s Blundercover and the foundations by Il Makiage. Both are light, buildable and promise a lovely finish. Right now, though, I am enjoying Erborian’s BB Cream. It’s not technically a foundation, but it does the job of covering skin lightly and giving it a good glow. I don’t use concealer, but I always tuck Trinny London’s Just A Touch Concealer into my make-up bag for any emergency cover-ups. To prime my skin for the above, I swear by Hourglass’ Vanish Airbrush Primer, though you also can’t go wrong with Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primers.”
EYES & BROWS
“As a teenager in the late 1970s, I plucked my brows far more than the poor things deserved and I have been trying to grow them back ever since. When I met brow queen Shavata Singh 25 years ago and she showed me, by tinting them, that there was a reasonable amount of brow hair, it was a revelation. Now I’ll do a home brow tint with Eylure’s Dybrow every few weeks and I will snag a professional brow tint whenever I’m having an eyelash lift. In terms of products, I like a brow mascara to fluff up my arches. Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brows is my favourite.
“For my eyes, I often turn to a palette, like Bobbi Brown’s Bare Nudes which covers all the options I’m likely to need. I am partial to Chanel’s Stylo Yeux Longwear Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils, too, as they’re so quick and easy to use. For mascara, I love Benefit’s Bad Gal Bang – it would definitely be my desert island product because it’s the best for delivering great curl and length. I also rate Beauty Pie’s Extraordinary Mascara Reviver which is basically a topcoat for your lashes. It piles extra oomph on top of any mascara at the end of the day when everything else has worn off. For quiet definition with less impact, I love Maybelline’s Great Lash in Brownish Black.”
BRONZERS & BLUSHERS
“For me, nothing rivals Hourglass’ Universe Ambient Lighting Edit Palette. It has a bronzer, two blushers, an illuminator and a big slab of universal glow-up powder that makes my skin look so healthy. I’ve belatedly realised it somehow ‘develops’ once it’s on the skin and continues to build a satisfying glow. When I need to switch things up, I reach for a blusher and right now I’m loving Ateh Jewel’s bright coral blush called Radiant Rav.”
“We could be here for ever – I love a good lip product. The ones I keep handy at all times include Albus & Flora’s Snowberry Red tinted SPF30 Lip Balm for everyday protection and hydration. There is also one without colour that I use at night. I always keep nude lipsticks handy and my favourite is Bobbi Brown’s Lip Luxe Uber Nude. For something punchy, I use Daniel Sandler’s Luxury Matte Lipstick in Gigi – a beautiful fuchsia – and Guerlain’s KissKiss Matte in Hot Coral.”
“I’ve become a massive convert to Michael van Clarke products in the past year because his Lifesaver Pre-Wash treatment has dramatically improved the condition of my long hair – especially when paired with his LifeSaver UV Leave In Styling Treatment. They work by cramming more hydration and strengthening proteins into the hair and are free from silicone. The latter ingredient is a false friend for your hair because it makes it look and feel lovely and smooth, but gradually dries it out at the same time.”
“I have taken collagen supplements – high-quality ones with a daily dose of 10,000mg of bovine or marine collagen – for the past decade. They really do help my nail strength, as well as the condition of my hair, skin and joints. I like to keep my nails short as it’s easier for typing. I’ve learnt the hard way that gel manicures do wreck my nails over time – no matter what they promise. I always use a cuticle oil, however, to keep blood flow going and to ensure my nails grow healthy and strong. About twice a year, I also book in for a Margaret Dabbs medi-pedi – if you’ve never had one, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s completely transformative for feet and toenails.”
“One of my favourite, under-the-radar treatments is LPG endermologie. It used to be marketed here for smoothing cellulite, but it’s developed into something more intelligent. It’s still a mechanical massage, but it now has a huge variety of settings, so it can massage the soles of your feet and your scalp, all while offering deep tissue massage in order to shift lymphatic build-up. It really does work to shift water retention and takes you down a belt-notch in a single session. While I don’t often have facials, there are a handful of people I would book in with. That includes Joanne Evans, Keren Bartov and Lord Gavin McLeod-Valentine. All of them combine superb, hands-on work with a variety of devices that change your skin at speed.”