Trying great beauty products is par the course for blogger, writer and model, Ruth Crilly, but there are some that are so good, they feature in her weekly wind down routine, too. From the mask that doubles up as an indulgent cleanser to the “best smelling body product ever invented”, settle down and discover what Space NK gems make the grade…
The Wind Down
I start winding down early on a Sunday, almost before the kids even go to bed. Unfortunately Sunday is my YouTube upload day and usually they go live at 7pm so it doesn’t make for the most relaxing of days! I try to get my edit and upload done at lunchtime so that I can relax in the evening, and if all goes well I stop looking at my laptop at about 5pm. Routine is this: finish watching the TV, go upstairs and run the bath. Usually I can hear Mr AMR pottering about in the distance, unloading the dishwasher, which always makes me feel slightly bad but not bad enough to go and join in. He has the bath after me because I only dip in for five or ten minutes. I’m a shower person, the bath is just a relaxing bonus treat. As the bath is running I usually go up to my office and pick out some new bits and pieces to try – bath oil, body lotion, face mask, whatever I feel I’m interested in writing about – and then I take my wares back down to my bathroom to try. As the bath finishes running, I scroll through Instagram, because that is basically the world’s default thing to do now and I find it hard to stop. Sometimes I make work notes. It all sounds a bit workaholic perhaps, but I honestly love beauty and writing and I feel angsty if I don’t jot down my ideas and thoughts!
The nightly TV show (currently Boardwalk Empire) IS part of the wind-down and because it’s a weekend night I can have a Mint Magnum, which is the ultimate treat. It takes about fifteen minutes to chomp through it because it’s so massive but we have a new sofa so the enjoyment is marred ever so slightly by the fear of a piece of chocolate shell breaking off and melting, unnoticed, on the pale green velvet upholstery. I generally feel tired on a Sunday, but then I feel tired every night! I like the excitement for the week ahead – at school I used to hate Sundays but I love my job and so I’m always raring to go. Inside my head, at least. Sunday night beauty routine sort of caps off the week, like a finale.
My skin is very, very clear and probably combination. Normal to dry everywhere apart from the t-zone which gets mildly oily depending on the time of the month. I’m incredibly lucky with my skin, but I also think that having a solid routine helps enormously. It’s far better now in my late thirties than it was in my twenties. I have lots of fine lines creeping in around my eyes, which makes me want to set my face like a death mask and only smile when absolutely necessary, but worse things have happened at sea, for crying out loud. It’s a privilege to have a working face that’s growing older. The lines are definitely from having kids – I looked about twelve four years ago. I love a good balm cleanser like Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm followed by a serum like Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and then a moisturiser. This is where it then gets complicated, because I very much choose things according to how my skin is behaving and what time of the month it is. If I’m hormonal then I use something with salicylic acid like Malin + Goetz Salicylic Gel if it’s “on the spot” treatment I need, and then followed with moisturiser. Otherwise, in the evening I’ll use an AHA product (either an acid peel pad or serum) and then a moisturiser, or a retinol product and then a moisturiser. Clark’s Botanicals Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream is a new addition, it’s a gorgeous night cream and my skin has been really smooth and bright. Sometimes [I use] a glycolic like Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum then a retinol, but only about once a week as I worry I’m faffing too much!
I’m almost right to the bottom of my Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Cream, which I’ve been using daily for ages as a good all-rounder moisturiser to follow everything with. It smells amazing, which shouldn’t matter, but does. There’s also a beautiful Darphin Vetiver Aromatic Care Stress Relief Detox Oil Mask that has the most unusual, luxe texture, and if I’m out of my cleansing balm then I replace it with a five-minute massage using the mask! Or I love the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask. On a Sunday I might throw a bit of gradual tan in the old moisturiser, just to start the week with a bit of a glow. I love a subtle tan but can’t commit to full-on fakery because I worry about mistakes, so gradual is the way to go for me. If not that, then Sunday is – for some reason – the day I’ll do a bit of an oily face massage.
I never shower in the night because if I shower then I’m washing my hair and I can’t stand having to dry my hair before bed. So a bath, always! I love Epsom salts and a capful of Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil. I might get around to shaving my legs, but usually not. I’m terrible at changing the blades, so it’s like trying to chop down a forest with a wooden spoon. I never light candles, God no! I’m like the health and safety fanatic of Somerset. Since having kids I only light them in the kitchen, where there’s less flammable material. The shower washes I use are varied – I love the Caudalie one, it smells amazing, but also the Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Shower Gel is gorgeous and very gentle. Then, Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion to keep things smooth, and also Aurelia Probiotics Firm & Revitalise Dry Body Oil which is the best smelling body product ever invented.
I try to make the bath/beauty routine my very last act before sleep because I’m trying to minimise iPhone pointless screen time, so after face routine and then teeth, I’ll get into bed and maybe read for a few minutes before turning out the light. We still don’t have any side tables or lamps in our bedroom a year after moving, so if I read I have to get back OUT of bed again to turn off the main light, which annoys me, so sometimes I just go to sleep with my eyes under the pillow and Mr AMR turns off the light on his way to bed! Pre-sleep I use This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and throw the dog off the bed. He climbs up and sleeps on my legs, so I wake up frequently without any sensation in them. I need nine hours’ sleep, but I get about five on a bad night, seven on a good. I’m an unconscious sleeper. I’d like to say I always have one ear open listening out but I think I probably sleep quite heavily.
I need no alarm. Usually Ted will start crying at about 7am or Angelica will appear next to my face like in a creepy film and ask to play games on my phone. I used to be the world’s biggest snoozer – I could snooze it for over an hour – but now I just drag myself up. Actually, Mondays are good and productive. My friend and assistant Rach comes on Mondays so I look forward to catching up and then getting some work done! [When I wake up] I try to remember what day it is, try to negotiate with Mr AMR as to whose morning it is (we take it in turns to be the one to go and get Ted and change his nappy!) then look at my to-do list on the iPhone so that I can plan my day.