Caroline Barnes

International makeup artist Caroline Barnes knows that great skin leads to great makeup. Which is why her Sunday Session is packed full of calming cleansers, decadent masks and more than a couple of lip balms. Read on to discover her Space NK favourites.


The Wind Down

I have three boys so weekends are pretty mental. We have a new rule that at around 8.30pm the TV gets turned off, the boys go up to their rooms and I have a quick tidy up downstairs before I head upstairs to my own space and peace and quiet. I love Gregory Porter so will often have him on in the background just to mill around to and get uniforms sorted. I always have to get the boys sorted before I can sort myself out. I’m a working mum so it’s nice to be able to make my bedroom a nice space, where I can light candles and just chill out. If I was downstairs I might feel like I had to put another dishwasher round on or tidy something else up, but actually being upstairs eliminates all of that. I absolutely love my candles. Diptyque are a big favourite because they smell so amazing but when it’s not feasible to do that all the time, I often just light little candles my son buys me; it’s just lovely to have that light and the smoke from the wax. It’s so calming and makes it feel special.

There’s no planning involved in my Sunday night. I’m a person. I don’t want to waste time planning so I wing it as I go really. I wish I could – I wish I had OCD — but I never have been that kind of person. I think it’s because I have so little routine in my job – I never know when I’m working, things can change last minute – and it’s always been like that. I guess I’ve just adopted that kind of way of living in my personal life too.


The Routine

My Sunday skincare routine has to feature a mask – more than anything because it’s funny to scare the children. I love the Omorovicza UltraMoor Mud Mask. I’ve got quite lazy skin, it doesn’t do a lot for itself so I have to put in quite a lot with it and make sure I cleanse, peel and hydrate properly, doing that’s made a huge difference. I had terrible skin throughout my teenage years and twenties with acne and scarring, so it’s really where I put my investment in now. I don’t have time for professional facials so it’s all about my home routine. If my skin feels great I feel great, but if it doesn’t then nothing I can do will help; it’s like going out with crumpled clothes, it never feels quite right. I love cleansing balms – De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm is one of my favourites. Annee is my number one woman, both for who she is and her products. I feel like her products are such a treat and like I’m spoiling my skin and feeding it at the same time. I tend to use a balm in the morning more and then at night I’ll use a wash off cleanser to really get everything off. I’ll do a double cleanse – one to wash my makeup off and then one to wash my skin and I love the Malin & Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser for that. I try to do a peel once a week, the Alpha Beta Universal daily Peel by Dr Dennis Gross is just brilliant. I think of peels as personal trainers for my skin, just helping to get it going and turning it all over. In the last 18 months I’ve seen a big difference in using active ingredients. I love retinol and love Sunday Riley Luna because it keeps it hydrated too, which in the winter is so essential. My skin is dry and combination so I find the mix of using AHAs and the retinol oil just works really well for me. When I can I use Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, it’s so light and sits beautifully under makeup.

I hate my skin in the winter because it’s always just so dry and itchy. I use Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion, which is formulated with AHAs in it. It’s transformed my skin and totally stopped the itchiness. I like anything that dries super quickly – that’s my criteria — so am not a fan of oils and heavy creams. If I’m wearing a frock and want my arms to look a bit better, then Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish just rocks. It’s insanely brilliant and like a filter for your skin. I probably should use scrubs and brushes on my body but I don’t. I do always like a natural body wash because of my itchy skin, I’m a big fan of anything from Ren like the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash. Any scents that are feminine and calming really.

I wash my hair on a Sunday night and blow dry it quickly until it’s rough dry, then I’ll tong it in the morning. My mum always says ‘ why don’t you get a nice blow dry?’ but I like it messy! Bumble and bumble products are great. I do hair as well as makeup in my job and they’re just such great industry products, I use their shampoos and conditioners. The Oribe styling products are amazing, I have to have them in my kit and sometimes if I’ve got a meeting or want to look especially good, I will dip into my pro kit and treat myself.



I usually get to bed around 9.45pm after we’ve watched a bit of a box set. The candles in my bedroom will still be going strong and I’ll jump into bed and either read or carry on with the box set until lights out – usually at around 10.30pm. I keep hand cream by my bed. My hands get so dry because I’m constantly washing them for clients or for filming, and also because I’m constantly washing up! I have all sorts of lip balms too; the Veneffect one is a favourite, it’s amazing especially just before applying lipstick. It’s not oily at all and smooths lips beautifully and really helps the colour to grip. I also love ones from Lancer, Sisley, La Mer… I’m not especially loyal!

I keep lots of soothing essential oils by my bed because I’m a hopeless sleeper. I take magnesium tablets and I am getting better, but it’s been an issue for me since I was in the Brownies! I’ll try anything to help me sleep; I’ve done Headspace but I’m a fidget and quite an active person and I just couldn’t connect with it. I can’t seem to calm down, it’s just not my reality. I used to have This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray but my son took it. Now I have a cup of herbal tea instead, a sleep one.


Monday Morning

I could sleep for 20 hours quite happily – I hate getting up! Nevertheless I’m up at about 6.30am, I need a minimum of about 7 hours. I set a radio alarm and then my boys start to get up. I have to jump out of bed to wake up. Once I’m up I’m generally okay, it’s just the initial hideousness I hate! Unfortunately with my work early mornings are something you just have to get used to. I take a probiotic for my tummy once I’m up, and then if it’s a good day I have hot water and lemon. I start the day with a quick shower and a cleansing balm. How my week looks depends on what I’ve got on, I haven’t got a routine as such. I’m a very busy person and I never get bored, which I just love. My YouTube stuff is exhausting to create but I really enjoy the conversations I have and the people I meet. I feel so lucky to be passionate about what I do and the fact that I get to help people decide what to spend their money on, it’s a real privilege.