While we can't all jump out of bed with ease, a natural capability when it comes to morning matters doesn't always equal a stress-free start - especially when skin concerns dictate your routine. Frances Phillips is the nutritional therapist behind The Natural Edit, whose trials with eczema led her to the all-natural beauty regime that now underpins her mornings. Here, she details the daily efforts that get her from A to B - and turned her skin woes on their head.
I usually wake up around 7:30/8am unless I have somewhere to be. My husband always brings me an almond milk latte or a black coffee in bed - I lucked out big time! We got this professional coffee machine and it's a game changer. After that, I'll drink a large glass of water. I'm definitely a morning person - it's not very cool to say that is it? I just function better earlier in the day. I can only ever really workout in the morning too. Three times a week feels like an attainable goal for me. I love Pilates, barre and boxing so it's usually a combination of those classes. Lately, though, I've just been doing online workout classes - it's too cold to venture outside!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I find that it's the easiest time to be super healthy and I enjoy the leisurely ritual. I'm definitely not a 'grab-and-go' kind of girl. It might be a smoothie or porridge or eggs but I always make sure I have time to eat something. I like to add a skin-boosting prebiotic to my smoothies. I also take all of my supplements after breakfast, including Bare Biology's Fish Oil Capsules.
If I can be bothered, I'll dry body brush for a couple of minutes. After that, I'll jump in the shower. I strive to use mostly certified organic products as that's something I'm really passionate about, but I do make compromises and include other natural products and some conventional ones too. It gets easier and easier to choose natural as there seems to be new brands popping up all the time. I use an organic body wash and moisturiser, designed for sensitive skin. I've suffered with eczema my whole life and these products are just perfect for me. Once a week I'll use a body scrub - I like Herbivore and Frank Body. I'm obsessed with the brand Dizziak for my hair. My friend Sarah introduced it to me. It's designed for Afro hair but can be used on all hair types. Honestly, it's amazing! I've always loved discovering more niche beauty brands. I also use a natural deodorant and toothpaste.
In the morning I keep my skincare routine quite simple - cream cleanser with a muslin cloth, pure rose water as a toner, Herbivore Pink Cloud moisturiser and a collagen-boosting eye cream. I'll add a couple of drops of Votary Super Seed Oil to my moisturiser too. I'll let that sink in for a few minutes while I decide what to wear.
It takes me literally five minutes to do my makeup. I much prefer a subtle and natural day-to-day look. I have quite dark features, so I can look a bit harsh with too much on. I'll start with mineral sunscreen. Then I use a lightweight concealer - I rarely wear conventional foundation anymore. I then apply a contouring bronzer - which I also use on my eyelids, cream blush and Cover FX highlighter. On my lips, I just use lip balm. I'll also curl my lashes and brush my brows with clear brow gel. It's not natural but it's the only thing that tames them! I don't really use mascara as my lashes are so dark. For me it's all about taming my brows and enhancing my skin to feel "done".
I've been dyeing my hair blonde for the last few years with my girl Natalia at Taylor Taylor in Liberty. I've had a few hair dramas in the past so I'm always really cautious about who I trust. She does both my cut and colour and she's amazing! Colouring my hair has really affected the condition though so I'm trying to let it air dry as much as possible. I used to hate my natural wavy texture but I'm learning to embrace it. It's very beachy… not very 'London'. Finding good silicone-free hair products has been my latest 'clean beauty' challenge. If I want to look more polished I'll blow dry and loosely tong it. Three days between washes is ideal if on the third day I can just tie it up, otherwise it's every other day.
I actually don't wear fragrance very often but if I do I'll spray it onto my clothes rather than directly onto my skin. I like Byredo Gypsy Water or I'll steal one of my husband's. I've always preferred more masculine scents. I also like using Bamford's Essential Oil rollers. I like the notion that fragrance also has a therapeutic purpose.