The Wind Down
Every Sunday morning I go for a 25-30K walk with my dog and carry weights while I do it, so come Sunday night I’m ready for some ‘me’ time and a lovely bath. My beauty routine is regimented and I’m very disciplined; I keep a stack of clean white flannels at the ready (it’s my luxury) and always make sure I body and face brush. I do it every single day and have done so for years. It doesn’t just stop at my wrists and ankles though, I brush the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet and then I massage on our Revive Evening Bath and Shower Oil. It’s a combination of actually doing something and a mental affirmation of ‘I will be uplifted/revived/energised’, and it’s therapeutic as much as anything.
I tend to think of putting my products on in the morning as preparing me for a great day ahead and then taking them off at the end of the day as removing what has gone, any stress or trauma. Much like brushing my hair — I’m mindfully brushing out the tensions of the day. For me it’s beauty but always connected to mindfulness, intention and purpose.
I love a candle — whether it’s our own Relax Candle or one from Diptyque — and find that part of the meditation important. I pull off playlists that I love but right now after watching the recent George Michael documentary, I’ve been listening to him most evenings. I always do my routine in my own bathroom which is my sacred space. All my clothes get planned for the week ahead at this point too – I do a lot of early meetings and late dinners so I have to make sure I have something to wear that takes me from one to the other.
I love balms when it comes to cleansing. I love Emma Hardie’s and the Eve Lom Cleanser; I love a nurturing soft texture. I love the Radical Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads, the travel size ones are great to take with me when travelling. My skin is in good shape for my age, I love facials – our own but also those at Face Place and Face Gym. I’m a big believer in massage in general, every Sunday I have a 2-hour sports massage with Dan from Bentley Bodyworks. He comes to me at 8am and I choose my own oils. I have a professional set from Aromatherapy Associates of course, and together we decide what I need although I’m pretty good at figuring out what my body is craving. He laughs at me and says I’ve got more products in my bathroom than a branch of Space NK! After I cleanse, I dry brush my face. I love it because you really feel what’s going on with your skin and it’s a good way to tune into yourself. I believe my skin is connected to my mindfulness: if I’m not happy I won’t have radiant skin. It’s a whole 360 degree thing of nourishing and self-care; if I’ve got dark circles or dull eyes or lots of blemishes then I know something is going wrong somewhere. I use my face to check in with myself. Then I’ll use a face oil — I’ll switch them up depending on where I am in the world and what my skin needs, and finally a mask. I love our Rose Hydrating Mask.
When it comes to baths, our bath oils are a constant. I don’t just pour them in the water though, I pat them on my body and really work them in all over. Sometimes I can lie in there and top the water up for 30 or 40 minutes. I just sit and think about the week ahead. I’m a big body wash fan and love anything that is uplifting, neroli is one of my favourite essential oils so it’s usually something featuring that. I love body scrubs and then once I’m out of the bath, will use either a body cream or a body oil, whatever is at hand. I’ve always taken care of my feet and put on loads of cream (I love Margaret Dabbs products) on a Sunday night. Then I pop socks on before bed to let it really soak in. I’m totally useless with fake tan but thanks to Legology I don’t have to worry about it anymore. The Sun-Lite Sheer Lingerie For Legs treats them and covers up everything. I have my hair blow dried three times a week but I love O&M products. I can’t blow dry to save my life and I have masses of hair, so I just wash and dry it and then on Monday morning I put some hair wax in it and then head to the salon.
I’m an 8-hour girl, I just function better when I get that amount. I’m so relieved to hear people talking about the benefits of sleep now. It used to be that you could only be successful if you could survive on 4 or 5 hours and I used to feel embarrassed to say I needed a lot more. Now we’re finding out so much about the power of sleep and it’s bliss to be able to say I need it! I like to be in bed 9.45pm/10pm, that’s my ideal time. Aurelia Probiotics Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream is always on my bedside table, along with frankincense essential oil and our Support Breathe Roller Ball and Deep Relax Roller Ball. Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil is my desert island product, I couldn’t live without it. I also find I have the best, most productive dreams, it’s pure alchemy, a bottle of magic. I keep a bar of plain chocolate and a carafe of water by my bed too, over the years I’ve learnt ways to be kind to myself.
I take all the paper supplements to bed on a Sunday night, so when I’ve done my routine I settle down and read those. I have always box breathed — that’s breathing in for 4 seconds, holding it, breathing out for 4 seconds, holding it — and then I repeat it. In stressful times it calms me and also helps me sleep. Every night before I turn the lights out I thank every part of my body, working my way up from my toes. If I’ve had a bit of a backache I pay attention to it and just try and display my gratitude. It helps calms my mind and reminds me that I am human and that everything in my body has to work together in order to get me through the day.
I don’t have an alarm clock but will always wake up when I’m supposed to, I always have. I feel very positive when I wake on a Monday; once I’m up I’m up. If I ever wake up on a Monday morning and I feel unhappy it generally means something needs to change in my life. I have a cup of hot water and lemon and then I brush my face and body. I put some moisturiser and a tracksuit on and take my dog for a walk in a nearby conservation area. When I’m back home I have a cup of tea and go and get ready for the day.