Five years ago, I was diagnosed with depression and on my way out of a very dark time in my life, I realised that I’d stopped looking at myself. Over time I had stopped looking in the mirror and with that, I had stopped doing my makeup and styling my hair. I feel very lucky to have gone through that experience because I feel as though it prepared me for the challenges that came with this pandemic and the various lockdowns. It’s easy to fall into the ‘what’s the point?’ trap in lockdown (which was a characteristic of my depression) so every time I feel that way, I change direction and really go for it.
Starting The Day Right
Every morning I like to get up and put on my gym gear. When I’m working out at home, I’ll just brush my teeth and get straight into it. If I’m going out for a walk, I’ll cleanse with Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser, ¥299 and apply a generous amount of Ultrasun Ultrasun Very High 50+ SPF Face Anti Pigmentation Treatment, ¥282 I’ve developed patches of melasma on my cheeks, so I don’t take any chances when it comes to sun exposure - regardless of the weather.
Exercise has been vital in keeping my mood positive during lockdown. I recently had Jillian Michael’s on my podcast, and I’ve been following her routine and seen some incredible results. Whether it’s a yoga flow or intense HIIT session, I’ve found that exercising daily and doing it first thing really helps my productivity throughout the day and I don’t get the usual dips in energy or enthusiasm. Post-workout, I’ll cleanse with the Sisley-Paris Buff and Wash Facial Gel, ¥792 and follow with a vitamin C serum (usually ) and hyaluronic acid formula - I love the Ren Clean Skincare Instant Firming Beauty Shot, ¥370. I finish with either Ultrasun’s SPF or Caudalie Anti-Wrinkle Face Suncare SPF30, ¥158.
Changing Your Mindset With Makeup
When I’m in a ‘what’s the point?’ mood and am tempted to let my hair dry naturally, I always reach for my T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand, ¥2,288 and change my mindset. Giving myself Veronica Lake waves and painting on a vivid lipstick (it would be rude not to!) never fails to boost my mood. I love the Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick, ¥57.5 in She Means Business.
The days when I also think there’s no point in putting foundation on are the ones I’ll give myself that ‘lit from within glow’ with Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation, ¥414. Usually one thing leads to another and before I know it, I’m completely made up and somehow the day ahead feels brighter. The ritual of hair and makeup isn’t just about the process of prettifying yourself and getting ready for the day, it’s about what happens later when you catch sight of your reflection and the person staring back is absolutely thriving.
Listen To Your Skin
I have my hormones to thank for steering me towards a career in beauty as symptoms of PCOS at the age of 11 meant I had acne, stretch marks, facial hair and alopecia. The only place where these things didn’t make me feel out of place, weird or odd were the pages of the glossy magazines where the problems of spots, hair loss and hirsutism were tackled with sensitivity. I may have been teased when I went to school but beauty directors, their byline pictures smiling at me reassuringly from the pages of magazines, were on my side and, perhaps most importantly, they had my back. I absolutely knew I wanted to be that source of comfort, camaraderie and help for others when I was able.
In my time as a beauty editor, I’ve been seduced by every claim, fad and trend and have since learned my lesson. I now only use skincare that I know will give me results. I want my regime to be simple, functional, and effective. Favourites I swear by include IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser, ¥114 and Paula's Choice 1% Retinol Treatment, ¥106, which I use together as part of my evening routine. If my skin needs some extra hydration, I’ll add a hyaluronic acid serum on top.