Sarah Jossel

The Sunday Times Style Beauty Director and #BeautyBoss on her ultimate Space NK edit, how she deals with tricky skin and why a hairband is a non-negotiable beauty routine essential…

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The Wind Down

In my job this is something I think about 24/7, I don’t see Sunday as a hugely different day for my beauty routine. What I definitely have on Sundays, which I don’t have on any other day of the week, is time. So my Sunday ritual is one that makes me feel relaxed and helps me to feel great for the week ahead. I’m a very emotional person so I find that I need to feel my best possible self on a Monday morning, to eat well on a Sunday and get an early night’s sleep. It’s worth saying also that sometimes I actually do my self-care on a Monday when I get in from work. Monday can be quite a hard day so sometimes I like to use it as a way of picking myself up and starting the week as I mean to go on. Anyway on a Sunday from 6pm onwards it becomes, okay, let’s start thinking about things in the week ahead. I don’t get Sunday night blues, but from about 6pm my mind goes into work mode. My goal and dream in life is to plan but I don’t. I am desperate, in the words of Marie Kondo, to spark some joy! I open my wardrobe and nothing sparks joy! That includes my beauty cabinet. I need a rebirth with my cabinet! Anyway, no I’m rubbish at planning. I love candles and room fragrances, they are my thing. Smokey woody, cashmere are my kind of scents. Byredo Bibliotheque is a favourite and for bathroom I go more lavender-based. Music-wise I like a bit of Van Morrison, Billy Joel and Avicii, they’re on my Spotify.

sarah jossel sunday sessions

The Routine

I always wear makeup, I don’t have very good skin and I don’t feel confident without some sort of base because I’ve got lots of acne scarring and it is something I’m working on. So yes, every night is about taking makeup off first. I’m probably your most boring interview when it comes to skincare because I think I take all the coolness and fun out of it! It is so results-driven for me that I don’t care what it looks like, what it smells like or what I can put on Instagram; I am so precious with my skin because I have had such a long and difficult journey with it. I have had so many moments of thinking, how can I be a beauty director if my skin isn’t good, but my motto with my skin is about consistency and making sure it’s behaving so that I don’t get any big flare-ups. I don’t like anything with oils, I can’t have oils anywhere near my skin, so I’ll use an oil-free, micellar water and then I’ll cleanse again, I really like the Sisley Gentle Cleansing Gel With Tropical Resins. My skin is really dehydrated so I take a bit of extra time and I do massage but not because I think it’s going to give me cheekbones but more for the sensation of just taking an extra minute and making sure I feel relaxed and clean. It’s probably a minute where I’m not looking at my phone, too! I always have a hairband on while I’m doing this too by the way, I’ve got such frizzy roots that if my hairline gets wet it goes so frizzy that it stresses me out so much. I’m a real vision when I do my skincare! So then I get a nice warm flannel or a Konjac Sponge, wash it all off and really use the flannel as my first step of exfoliation. I have been using the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Peel Pads, they’re just so good. It’s like if you were to hit a bag of dusty clothes in the attic and you can see all the dust come off; that’s what I feel that they do to my skin, they just zap that top layer of dust. Then I tend to mix – I can’t be bothered to do serum and then moisturiser – so I cocktail the two together and massage them in, not pulling anywhere. I’ve got such sensitive skin that I feel like I could pull my eyes now and there’d be a line. I normally use a hyaluronic serum like Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, I love that one, mostly because I like how it thins out any kind of heavy moisturiser. I like a slightly more lightweight texture so that my skin doesn’t feel tacky. I like the Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturiser for that. Learning to read ingredients has been so important for me. Growing up it was all like Latin to me and now that I know the key things that my skin doesn’t react well to, it just turns guesswork into facts. I like a hydrating mask like the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Moisture Infusion Masks or a calming mask for redness in the winter but that’ll be different to what I look for than say on holiday. I also love the Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating For Sensitive Skin as well.

sarah jossel sunday sessions

On Sunday nights I like to take a bath. I love bath salts, I’m obsessed with them, the big tub of  Ren Magnesium Booster Bath Salts is great. I love Aromatherapy Associates too, everyone does bath oils but I always find myself back with those and I think it’s to do with comfort. There are lots that don’t feel nice on your skin once you get out the bath – and I don’t know how to put this – but lots irritate sensitive areas… lots of them, I’ll be frank, irritate the balance of one’s vagina. I love Deep Relax especially. Oh and I love the Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath for the Senses and Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Honey Bath. I find it funny cleaning myself in a bath with oils, so at the end of the bath I’ll jump up and clean myself with the shower and I’d either use a traditional soap for that or I’ve got a lovely Malin + Goetz Body Wash that I like. I love dry body brushing but I find it too painful to do on dry skin so I do it quickly in the shower at that point. I like the Ren Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Salt Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub and I’m quite addicted to the Radical Express Delivery Enzyme Body Peel. I’m obsessed with my Kiehl’s Crème De Corps and I also love the Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant. It’s everything. Quite honestly they could launch anything and I would love it. It’s results-driven and I trust it. I have a blow dry once or twice a week and then don’t really do anything for the rest of the time. I tend to have a blow dry on Tuesdays right before This Morning which I film on a Wednesday, and then again on a Friday morning. On the occasions that I do style my hair myself I use anything sulphate-free because I’m addicted to my keratin treatments which I get done with Amir at Hershesons. I bring love letters to him every time I see him because he just saves the day. If I wash my hair at home, Virtue is my number one and once a month I treat my head like my face and use really nourishing treatments that help to tame my thick, frizz-prone hair. I use the Christophe Robin scrub treatment, it’s so menthol-y and fresh. Then I use my Virtue shampoo and conditioner and then the Restorative Treatment Mask or the Living Proof Restore one, just on the mid lengths to ends. I often just put my hair in a ponytail to make sure I don’t go near my roots, then I’ll wrap it in a bun just to keep it altogether and then do my routine and wash it out after. Then when I come out I like the IGK Good Behaviour Treatment because it makes my hair really manageable and then I like the Virtue Split Ends Serum. I also cheat and just blow dry the front, tie my hair into a low pony and when I wake up in the morning it has a nice wave in it.

sarah jossel sunday sessions


I probably need to be more zen. I go to bed quite late, around 11, 11.30pm. I’m such a faffer, that even when I think, right bed, I just can’t time-keep and it always ends up being a late night. I’ve got my Votary and This Works pillow sprays by my bed and kind of choose depending on my mood. I just look and know which one I want to use. I’ve also got my Slip eye mask – I am a cliché beauty editor, sorry – and I try and listen to a bit of Insight Timer. It’s a free tool where you basically type in whatever issue you need help with – sleep, anxiety, grief. I type in sleep and then it gives you all these free different trial and error things to try. I don’t like people talking so choose from the music options, but there are stories and everything on there. I just play it out loud, my boyfriend is like, what are you doing? but it’s usually only 20-minutes, I’ll have a Rooibos tea and then I’m out! I probably need between 6-8 hours, I’m so tired every day that I’m usually out like a light.

sarah jossel sunday session
Credit: @sarahjossel

Monday Morning

I have to set my alarm. My goal in life is to become a morning person. I set my alarm 15 minutes early and then snooze three times. After the first one I’ll wake up and then I’m so tired, that I sit with my eyes closed and plan my day, and then by the time the third one goes off I feel like I can actually get going. At this point I really have no time because I’ve snoozed up until the last minute, so I have about 20 minutes to get ready and out the house. I do my morning skincare, which is wash my face with a cleanser, apply a good antioxidant, a moisturiser and an SPF, my non-negotiable now. And then if I’m not having breakfast with someone I have avocado on toast. This sounds so cliché but because I really love what I do, I’m so excited; there’s so much to do so let’s do it!

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