How does Funmi Fetto, Vogue’s Contributing Beauty Editor and Space NK’s own Editor-at-large, unwind on a Sunday night? In style and with as many lotions and potions as she possibly can, naturally…
The Wind Down
Sunday night usually starts around 7/7.30 pm when the children are tucked in bed and the house is totally quiet. Once my husband and I have kissed them goodnight and shut the door to their bedrooms, he heads downstairs to prepare their packed lunches for the next day and I go into my bedroom, draw the blinds, put on my beside lamp and sit on the bed in total silence. I don’t look at my phone or emails or social media. It is a great way to calm my mind, absorb what has usually been a hectic day of church, family lunch, Dulwich Park and generally trying to keep the kids from destroying the house! This ‘pause’ gives me a second wind to start the prep for the coming week. After 15 -20 minutes, I start running the bath. This is the only time in the week I have a bath. Normally I have a shower but on a Sunday, having a bath – especially as our bath is a huge standalone Victorian bath in the middle of the bathroom – feels like a wonderfully indulgent and relaxing way to kick off the week. I dim the lights, light my Diptyque Feu de Bois and pour in some bubble bath (I love bubbles – any bubbles!). While that’s going on, I head to our home office to check emails and appointments for the next few days and make my to-do list. I never use my phone for this or for meetings – everything I have to achieve needs to be written down in my notepad and my diary — I never want to lose the art of writing things by hand. I then make sure my diary, notepad and everything I need for Monday morning is all packed and ready in my handbag. If I have a big meeting the next day, I will also plan my outfit but for the most part I get a rough idea in my head of what I’d like to wear and then in the morning, I see what I’m in the mood for.
I turn off the bath but before stepping in I put on Radio 4. I love Radio 4 – it’s one of the things I miss most when I travel. On paper, the topics covered are probably not particularly conducive to a restful time but in a weird way, I find the programmes comforting. What I cleanse my face with really depends on what my skin is doing. If I’m having breakouts or my skin is a little congested, I’ll go for Dr Sebagh’s Breakout Cleansing Foam. If my skin is feeling parched and tired, I will use an oil cleanser; Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil is magnificent. As I have quite oily skin, I was initially sceptical of oil cleansers but this particular one actually really cleans, balances the skin and doesn’t leave a residue – which is one of my pet hates. With this, I’ll usually cleanse and rinse in front of the mirror, layer it on my skin again and leave it – almost like a pre mask. And then I step into the bath.
If I’m feeling achy or especially tired, I’ll add in a few drops of bath oil from Susanne Kaufmann or Aromatherapy Associates and have a good soak. In the midst of that I rinse my oil cleanser with cold water and apply Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask. I know sheet masks are all the rage but I still absolutely love an old-school mask. And honestly, this particular mask is a game changer. It’s like a facial in a pot. I’ve used it for years and it has made a huge difference to my hyperpigmentation issues. My next step is to scrub from neck to toe with a brightly coloured body ‘sponge’. It isn’t really a sponge in the traditional sense – it is made out of a soft mesh fabric and is the best body exfoliator. People do talk about the importance of body exfoliation now but funnily it was never ‘a thing’ in in African households, it was just something we all did and had always done every single day. And so I still use my mesh sponge every day – even in the shower. I tend to use it in conjunction with a bar soap, something I am slightly obsessed with. I can’t quite articulate why but there is nothing like unwrapping a fresh new bar of soap – Rodin’s is one of my absolute favourites; the texture is so creamy and the scent is out of this world – which means you go to bed smelling utterly incredible. How long I stay in the bath is very much dependant on how terrifically absorbing the programme on Radio 4 is! Then I moisturise my entire body with a body butter (I love Kiehl’s Creme de Corps) — I do this every day without fail.
My skincare routine is my favourite part of my beauty regime. My husband always rolls his eyes at my burgeoning pots and potions and we do laugh about the fact that my beauty stash may need it’s own house soon but I really do feel like there is hope in these bottles – perhaps that’s a remnant from my days as a teenager and in my early 20s when I really battled skin problems. I tried everything and so this whole new age of layering up your skincare in the quest for great skin really speaks to me. I am the layering queen!
I start with REN’s Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. I think of this as a toner with added benefits – it gets off any remaining grime and residue but is also an acid infused exfoliator that preps the skin for what’s to come. I tend to alternate this with Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel – these are perfect for travelling and so easy to use. I follow this with This Works Evening Detox Spray-on Exfoliator; the glow this gives you is off the scale. (I know it says ‘evening’ but I must admit I do sometimes use it in the mornings on the days my skin is looking a little dull). My next step is Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Overnight Facial (the smell alone sways me) and a little bit of Sunday Riley’s Luna – it’s a retinol oil which is great for fine lines but I’m not so concerned about that, I just love that it generally improves the texture of my skin. I then finish off with Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster and moisturise my neck with Eve Lom’s TLC Cream. I’ve noticed when things are full on with work and I have numerous deadlines to meet, I’ve begun to experience a teeny bit of eczema on my neck. The thick consistency of the TLC Cream really soothes the dryness. Oh and the rose scent is addictive.
At this point my husband will have wandered in our bedroom a few times wondering what is taking me so long . So I put on my housecoat and go down stairs where we tend to download something we specifically want to see. I don’t watch a lot of TV but when I do, we are very decisive on what we want to watch. We love a lot of indie TV and at the moment we love ‘I’m Dying Up Here’. Every so often in the middle of this, I will covertly spray This Works Evening Detox spray and add another layer of Sarah Chapman’s Hydrating Booster before my husband notices and asks, ‘How much stuff does your face actually need?’ He doesn’t understand the concept of layering.
My last major step is painting my nails. I do this after we have finished watching TV and my husband has gone up to get ready for bed. I know everyone is having gels at the moment and I also get them every so often but I like a break and still want colour – despite finding the process laborious. Smith & Cult however make it a joy. It is magnificent. It goes on smoothly and evenly and the colour is so opaque and punchy. I never veer from reds and pinks regardless of the season.
I tend to have a hot cup of fresh lemon and ginger tea just before bed and after brushing my teeth, I rub a bit of By Terry’s Baume de Rose Lip Care on my lips. It is the best lip balm I have ever used and a little goes a long way. By this time it’s around 10.30pm. I would love to be one of those people that gets in bed by 9.30pm but I don’t think that will ever happen!
My alarm goes off at 6am every morning and I ignore it for at least half an hour and go back to sleep. I do try to get up before my children but there are days they beat me to it and join us in bed at 5.30am raring to go! I tend to roll out of bed between 6.30 and 7am. It is never really manic in the mornings however there is a lot to do with getting the children prepared for school. Once that’s done, I go to the shower and wash my hair. The afro hair washing ritual is generally quite convoluted but I’ve managed to work out a system that keeps it relatively short. My pre shampoo treatment– Leonor Greyl – is left in while I’m getting the children ready then I rinse this out in the shower. If I have a lot of build up in my hair, I will always follow it with Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, this really cleans the hair and also exfoliates my scalp. Time permitting, I use IGK’s Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner and a nourishing hair mask from Oribe, Living Proof or Kiehl’s. Hydration is absolutely key to maintaining Afro hair so these products are perfect for it. Then I just use a paddle brush while the product is in my hair and rinse out. I never blow dry my hair, I just towel dry it, and apply pure shea butter with a homemade spray mixed in with Christophe Robin Moisturising Oil with Lavender and IGK’s Thirsty Girl Leave-in Conditioner. I then scrap it back in a bun and finish off with a flaxseed gel.
My morning skincare routine is super pared down compared to the night. I double cleanse, use Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Peel and slather on Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and Goldfaden MD’s Brightening Elixir to combat uneven skin tone. I finish off using Sarah Chapman’s Intense Hydrating Booster again, Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir (the best EVER!) and an SPF. I am fanatical about SPF. I like Sisley’s as they have a lovely consistency and blend well on darker skin tones.
Bar putting on my shoes, I get myself completely ready before putting on my makeup in the bathroom. Mornings are never the time to experiment so the routine is the same and it only takes me 10/15 minutes absolute maximum. I then shoot out of the door ready to face the world.