When it comes to sussing out the beauty products that really work, Space NK’s very own Managing Director Heather Alexander knows a thing or two. From the skincare gems she buys on repeat to her considered approach to home fragrance and the bath and body essentials she relies on after a busy week in the office, read on to discover the insider’s guide to Sunday night beauty…
The Wind Down
I feel very privileged to work for such a special company – it is fabulous and so crazily fast-paced. However, working in London most days and commuting from Surrey, leaves me somewhat time poor during the week and having to cram lots of activities into my weekend; therefore my Sunday afternoon ritual is sacrosanct and really sets me up positively for the week ahead. Being somewhat detail obsessed — everything from the outfits that I will wear to completing any preparation required for scheduled meetings — must happen first in order for my mindset to be ready for ‘me time’. With my week full of wonderful beauty noise I like the contrast of silence when I begin to think about my own beauty routine. I have been a worshipper of Diptyque since it launched in Space NK in 1996, and there isn’t a day that I don’t light at least one of their candles. On Sundays I take a very considered approach to the scents that I burn to enhance my mood; this Sunday Pomander was burning in my lounge (as I was thinking about presents for Christmas) and Feuille de Lavande in my bathroom to layer and cut through with a fresh contrast. I drift between my bedroom, bathroom and lounge, taking my time and luxuriating in every stage of my routine.
There are two products that I always come back to and Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser is one of them. I love how easy it is to use, how it doesn’t give my skin a tight feeling, yet leaves it beautifully clean and soft. Omorovicza Omoroessence is the product that convinced me about essences. I didn’t really get them previously, but was told by one of our Beauty Advisers to think of the skin like a sponge; it will absorb better once a little damp. Having tried this product I’m a convert, it makes my skin more receptive to the products that go on after it, and has really helped my hydration levels. Colbert MD’s Stimulate the Serum is the other product that I always return to. It makes the skin glow and refines it like no other serum I’ve tried, and I really notice the difference if for some reason I haven’t used it. I like to do a weekly peel and if I am not using an exfoliating mask, I will do the Lancer Caviar Lime Acid Peel for a home facial effect. This peel gives a warm, tingly feeling and refines and brightens the skin without causing any redness or irritation.
I love masks, but Sunday is really the only time I get to use one unless I am on holiday, so I like to mix it up. Currently on rotation is 111SKIN Rose Gold Brightening Facial Mask – it really brightens my skin, Chantecaille Bio Lifting Mask – when I leave this on all night I wake up with gloriously smooth skin, and Eve Lom’s new Radiance Transforming Mask – exfoliating and incredibly hydrating. As I use a lot of treatment products, I like my moisturiser to really help build and protect my skin. Currently, I am using Dr Barbara Sturm Face Cream as it is nourishing and protecting but also feels light and fresh, and I really notice the difference. A little of the Natura Bissé Diamond Eye Extreme goes a long way when it comes to eye cream, and this really nourishes the eye area but without causing puffiness. It is such a good all-rounder! There are so many amazing mists to choose from but the with the heating on at home and work, my skin can feel dehydrated, so I use Veneffect Calming Mist in my regime and have Sarah Chapman Skinesis Liquid D-Stress in the office to help my skin cope with the effects of the city.
Showers waken my senses every weekday morning, but I do love to bathe at the weekend, I find baths calming and relaxing, and I do believe they are good for you too. Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts smell amazing and really feel like they have a therapeutic effect on tired limbs and Susanne Kaufmann’s Herbal Whey Bath really softens the water and therefore replenishes the skin. I love Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant but it works better when left on for a few minutes as it uses lactic acid. It’s definitely worth the wait and is great for dry, winter skin. I’m not generally a fan of oils, even though I know they are great for the skin, but Rodin Jasmin and Neroli Luxury Body Oil is my exception. It absorbs brilliantly and my skin feels wonderfully soft when I use it regularly. My fine hair needs attention and hates anything heavy. After washing my hair with Oribe Shampoo for Magnificent Volume, I then use Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Baby Blond. It’s a gorgeous violet mask that keeps my blonde hair cool-toned and shiny. I love to use IGK’s Call Time Smoothing Styling Primer as it detangles my hair and protects it from heat but doesn’t weigh it down. I use Living Proof Root Lifting Spray to create volume at the top.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important to me. I am a firm believer in its ability to improve concentration and productivity. I love getting into freshly laundered and crisply ironed bedlinen. I make sure my bedroom has been aired and that all technology is switched off. To help me wind down further I might look through the Sunday supplements and save the news for my Monday commute. I swear by This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and after about 30 minutes I am then feeling relaxed enough to fall asleep, usually around 10.00pm. Before I turn the lights out I apply Lancer Volume Enhancing Lip Serum, Byredo Eleventh Hour Hand Cream and De Mamiel Settle Sleep Series.
The alarm goes off at 5.30am with one 10-minute snooze, then it’s Nespresso time and a shower. I love Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel in the shower as it really wakes my skin up and instantly brightens it while Susanne Kaufmann Shower/Shampoo leaves my skin so soft. Once I’m dressed I’m out of my apartment with a final flick of Nars Audacious lipstick in Annabella and a spray of Byredo Velvet Haze – both woody and refreshing and my finishing touches!