A self-confessed product junkie and Instagram rising star, Ali Cromarty of @TheAliValley loves nothing more than luxuriating in a lengthy Sunday beauty routine, all chosen from her beautifully curated bathroom shelves. Read on to discover her Space NK must-haves…
The Wind Down
Sunday night is when I tend to do more time-consuming things. Week nights I can try and squeeze things in but it’s a lot harder. About 3pm or early afternoon is when I probably begin to wind down, or at least start that process. I’ll mostly do my beauty routine in the bathroom but I’ll bring it out into the lounge room as well, mostly where my boyfriend is or where there’s people, I like to make it as relaxed as possible. I like to listen to the radio or if I can manage it, I’ll watch YouTube. I love watching beauty tutorials, I watch a lot of British people like Estée Lalonde and The Anna Edit and a few others like that. I love Byredo candles and Diptyque ones; Baies, Roses, those are my go-tos. I do try to be a bit adventurous but those are classic for a reason. I like to set the mood and have all my comforts going. I like to wash my hair on a Sunday and do a hair mask so I’ll do that as I’m doing things around the house; I love using the Ouai Treatment Masque. I’ll leave that in for a long time so that it’s good to go by the time I’m in the shower. The earlier it is in the day the better I feel. Then, as I edge towards the evening I start to think “Ugh”! I don’t like to think too much about what’s on in the coming week, I try to just keep my mind free from work, just to make the weekend last as long as possible. My boyfriend always asks me “What have you got on this week?” and I always say, “I don’t want to talk about it!”. He’s banned from that question now. The more sleep I get (I like a lot of sleep) then the better I’m going to feel about everything.
I use more products on the weekends. Weekdays my routine is very basic and simple. On a Sunday, it depends on what I’ve done during the day, but I usually don’t wear makeup, only sunscreen and moisturiser. I love the Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF50, I’m obsessed with all of her stuff. For cleansing I love a micellar water with some cotton pads, then I’ll use the Eve Lom Cleanser to melt the day away. I like a balm for the first round, then it’ll be a second cleanse with a cleansing gel. My skin is dry and sensitive but if I’m on top of it then everything’s okay. I’m very strict with myself but I am a product junkie so I like to have everything but I stick to what I stick to. When my friends come over I’m always like “Let’s do a facial!” My boyfriend is very lucky, he gets facials from me. He has the best skin anyway but he’s also a good guinea pig. It’s all about just seeing how my skin is feeling and what it needs and then I’ll go from there. I don’t want to be too aggressive, I don’t ever use an exfoliator with grains, so I like doing masks with that kind of a purpose – like a resurfacing mask. I like the Tata Harper one and I want to try the Kat Burki Dual Acid Peel. If I’m doing something that’s exfoliating then I’ll do something that’s nourishing afterwards, I love the Darphin Stress Relief Detox Oil Mask. It’s about relaxation but it’s also nourishing for your skin and it looks incredible – like you could eat it – plus it’s got vetiver in it and so it smells amazing. I also like to do a lip scrub because my lips get super dry. I’ll follow that with a lip serum or a balm, I love the By Terry Baume de Rose Lip Care or the Omorovicza one. Then I do a vitamin c serum, like the Kat Burki Retin-C Treatment Complex or I use the Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum. Then depending on how my skin’s feeling I’ll moisturise but I might also add an oil in. I’m obsessed with the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet, it’s so good, I use it every day of the week. I might mix an oil in with it, something like the La Mer Renewal Oil which I like. I’m not too religious about eye creams but if I’m doing one then I’ll use the 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Contour Gel that comes with a lovely wand. On top of that if I feel it then I’ll use the Patchology Rejuvenating Eye Gels. And that’s it for my face.
I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my body. I always have a shower, I actually don’t have a bath in my house. I love body oil but if I need it I’ll do a body scrub as well. Gentle scrubs are the way to go for me, I like the Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub, that’s an old favourite and they’re from Australia too! I love applying the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuese as I’m drying and when my skin is still wet. I keep it basic when it comes to shower gels, but I prefer them to be as natural as possible.
I will have done my hair mask before – I put it in dry hair – and then put my hair up in a topknot and then wash it out in the shower later. It’s so annoying to have to use a mask after you shampoo, so I prefer to do it this way. My hair is really long and gets really knotty so I really need to be on top of hydrating it and looking after it. Before I shampoo I use the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt because my scalp can be dry and flaky at times; that’s a good restart treatment. Then I shampoo and condition with Oribe Brilliance and Shine Shampoo and the Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner. When I get out of the shower I use my Aquis microfibre hair turban. I’m obsessed, I don’t know how I haven’t known about it before. Once it’s towel-dried I’ll use a leave-in treatment like the Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil. I always leave my hair to air dry, I don’t own a hairdryer and I don’t really brush my hair; my hands are my brush, I play with it and work out the knots.
Around 9.45pm I head to bed. I try and be asleep by about 10.30pm so that way I have a bit of time to relax first. When we first moved to Bondi where we live we didn’t have internet so it broke the habit of watching things in bed, and I started reading instead. I love it now, it’s such a beautiful way to wind down. I try to keep a tight edit of products by my bed. I have This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray by my bed and I take it with me everywhere. When I travel, if I’m feeling anxious or if I stay in a hotel it’s just really comforting and makes me feel like I’m at home. I also have a lip balm there, and the Rodin Jasmine & Neroli Luxury Hand & Body Crema, it’s so beautiful. I get eczema on my hands and it fixes it right away, it’s amazing. I have a candle there too but more to look pretty. Once it starts to edge near 10.30pm I’ll turn the light off. I just read a good breathing technique to help me fall asleep, it’s the 4-7-8 technique [breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, breathe out for 8 seconds]. I think it helps.
My alarm is set for 7am but where we just moved to has lots of windows and natural light in the bedroom so I end up waking up before then. It’s so nice and is making a real difference to how I feel. I’ve stopped snoozing and it’s so much easier to get up. I love the mornings with that light. I’ll look at my phone for a little bit then get up. I don’t wash my face in the morning, just moisturiser and sunscreen and maybe a little makeup. If I’ve had sleep then I feel optimistic in the morning and I’m ready to do it. I walk up to the health food store, have a kombucha, get on the bus and listen to a good podcast.