On Rituals

Amy Lawrenson

Byrdie UK's resident beauty buff opens up the inner workings of her morning

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Early rising isn't for everyone - for every dawn gym go-er, there is a serial snoozer in need of a serious wakeup call. So, in the spirit of highlighting the beauty in our difference, we're laying our AM regimes bare: beauty, breakfast habits, daily battles and all. You would think that a seasoned beauty aficionado would have their routine down to a tee, yet it seems no amount of knowhow can take the sting out of that first alarm. To offer some clarity, this edition calls upon Amy Lawrenson, Editorial Director of Byrdie UK - the leading online destination for all things beauty.

I am not a morning person. I'm trying, I really am. It's not so much that I think I need to be a morning person to get more done, but I do find that on the rare occasions I spring out of bed and manage to have a productive start, I feel better throughout the day. I'm an optimist so I always set my alarm for between 6 - 6:30am. I also snooze, which is a terrible habit I've had since I owned my first alarm clock as a child. On a good day, I'm out of bed around 7am, on a bad day it's more like 7:30am - then I have to rush, so let's talk about the good!

At 7am I head downstairs to feed the cats: we've had Louis (a sphynx) and Cedric (a British shorthair) since November and they have definitely helped me want to get up! If I have time, I'll do a quick sun salutation yoga sequence or 20-minutes of Vedic meditation, to help me mentally prepare for the day ahead. It's a rare but awesome day that I can fit in both! I'll then make myself a black coffee and have either some toast or a protein shake if I don't have a breakfast meeting. I'll then jump in the shower. I multi-task so I wash my face while I'm in there; at the moment, I'm using Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Cleanser. And my hair, if I need to. I tend to wash my hair 2 - 3 times per week, more in the summer when it's hot. I'm lucky that I can leave my hair to dry and it goes naturally wavy, I might use a wave spray just to give it a little extra texture.

I'm obsessed with exfoliating toners - my current love is Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic - and tools. I have a face massager, dermablade and dermaroller. I use the massager every day to eliminate puffiness and stress that can get stored in the muscles around my jaw. I also run the dermaroller over my face daily, this does two things-creates microchannels so my serums can penetrate more effectively and boosts collagen production so skin appears plumper over time (good for rolling away fine lines). The dermablade I use three times a week to remove dead skin cells so skin appears brighter and more glowy. I'll follow with a serum (or three! I like to layer different ones for different things like Vitamin C for brightening, hyaluronic acid for hydration and peptide for fine lines) and eye cream. Sometimes I'll apply a moisturiser if my skin is feeling particularly parched or just looking a bit meh.

I truly believe you could split women into two camps, those who moisturise their bodies and those that don't. I don't. At least, I didn't. My skin isn't dry so I don't need to slather on lotion but I'm not getting any younger and my skin isn't immune to ageing! I have started applying Ren AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum or Kiehl's Crème de Corps, if I have time. Often, it's a cursory swipe up the shins, thighs, forearms and chest but it's better than nothing.

When it comes to perfume I'm particularly drawn to Byredo and Le Labo fragrances. One of my favourite things to do is wander around the Liberty fragrance hall discovering new scents. I have quite a selection and tend to spritz on whatever I'm drawn to that day.

I am one of those people who has no shame and does their makeup on the tube. Anything to allow me extra minutes in bed, even if that means strangers side-eyeing me. I keep it quick-an illuminating tinted moisturiser (so I can forgo highlighter for speed), concealer, my go-to Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow in Taupe, a cream bronzer, mascara and either a nude or bold lip. It takes me about 5 stops to do a full face. I'll then mentally think through what I have to do that day and add anything I've missed to my to-do list so I'm ready to go when I get to my desk.

At work, I have a selection of face mists that I use to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. A spritz of Aveda Chakra Spray can help centre me if I'm having a stressful moment and I also keep a hand cream at my desk too.

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