Winter Beauty Essentials

As the skies darken and the rain falls incessantly, I look to beauty products to bring me some comfort and luxury, especially while we are all spending much more time at home. Here are my favourite skincare and haircare pick-me-ups to make you feel sparkly and healthy this season.

Beauty essentials

Honest Beauty – This 100% cruelty-free beauty brand was launched by Jessica Alba, a ‘green beauty’ concept that aims to deliver easy to use skincare that promises a natural glow. I’ve been trying the matte primer and everyday radiance moisturiser, quick and simple products that give my face a fresh appearance each morning. You only need a small pump of the moisturiser to give a luminous glow that lasts throughout the day.

Beauty essentials

typology – The minimalist branding of the Parisian typology won me over instantly. Their cleansing oil is a perfect fragrance-free formula for even the most sensitive skin. Follow it with the 9-ingredient moisturiser with a light, non-greasy texture that makes it a great option year round. I love the silver tube of the moisturiser too, and have found it to be the ideal handbag companion.

Beauty essentials

Beauty Pie – My hair despairs when the weather gets bad, drying out and getting tangled every morning. Beauty Pie’s super healthy hair repair treatment is best used after conditioner, left in for 3-5 minutes and then rinsed out. It smoothed my split ends and added shine to my dulled colour. After the success of this product I’m now desperate to try the rest of the Beauty Pie range!

Beauty essentials

Organic Apoteke – Organic Apoteke prides itself on producing high quality, organic products, that have a strong basis of scientific research behind them. Their buttermilk cleanser and rejuvenating face cream are a luxurious duo that will add a touch of indulgence to your winter morning routine. This face cream is great for any skin type; toning and firming your winter-worn skin.

Beauty essentials

Mádara – Mádara is the name of a flowering green plant found in Latvia, which symbolises the naturally curated ingredients that goes into each product this brand carefully produces. In winter I like to add a serum or oil to my daily skincare routine… the Mádara range is perfect for adding some extra hydration to a cold weather skincare ritual. Try the deep moisture vitamin oil, a lovely citrusy scented oil that will make your skin extra supple and soft. I also loved the rich hydra-barrier SOS cream, perfect for stressed and dehydrated skin, I find it is particularly nice on my cheeks, which get extra dry in winter.

Beauty essentials

Nimue – These everyday products from Nimue are multi-functional… after using the gentle cleanser, massage the day cream generously onto your face and neck, helping to restore and protect your skin for the whole day.

Beauty essentials

SachaJuan – The SachaJuan overnight hair repair is a magical product… leave the product in overnight and there’s no need to wash out in the morning. My hair was glossier and strengthened after just one use of this product, especially when accompanied by the Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner.

Beauty essentials

Drunk Elephant – Drunk Elephant is my new favourite beauty brand… the eye-catching neon branding won me over before I even tried the products! The Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser has become my go to cleanser, so easy to use and gentle on the skin, I now use it religiously day and night. I’m also getting to know the Micellar water, a cleansing water made with wild melon seed oil and marula oil, which gently removes makeup and leaves skin looking and feeling fresh.

Beauty essentials

ila apothecary – I think of ila apothecary as a spa brand, but you can also buy the products for home use and they will make your daily routine feel extra special and indulgent. The SOS body balm has been the ultimate treat for my skin after soothing winter baths. For an extra pick-me-up use the Feminine Happy Oil, a nourishing product made with a mood-balancing blend of fragrant essential oils to lift stress and fatigue.

Beauty essentials

MZ Skin – MZ Skin is a doctor-led brand made by women for women. Their Hydrate and Nourish range is perfect for winter skincare nourishment. The Age Defence Retinol Day Moisturiser is rich in vitamins (crucial in gloomy winter months) but also has 30 SPF to protect your skin whatever the weather. For an extra moisture boost, use the moisturiser with the vitamin C corrective serum.

Beauty essentials

Summer Fridays – I have added the Summer Fridays overtime mask to my Sunday evening routine. This vitamin rich mask will gently exfoliate the skin, while also brightening and hydrating the skin. After using the mask I immediately noticed my skin feeling softer, with a more even skin tone. The perfect product to add to a stocking this Christmas.

Beauty essentials

AHC – When I visited South Korea last year I loved discovering some of their best beauty brands. AHC is just one of the many brilliant South Korean skincare brands worth getting to know. Their products are unfussy but effective, particularly lovely on the skin in winter. Try the Aqualuronic cleanser which works wonders on dehydrated skin. The AHC natural essential masks are also a treat for neglected winter skin.

Note: This beauty round-up includes some gifted products.

Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Every few days I get asked where I would recommend for a relaxing and fun weekend break. I often umm and ahh, ask questions and debate in my head, but usually my answer is Cornwall. Watergate Bay, on the North Cornwall coast, is one of my favourite places to stay in this part of the world. A stylish, seaside hotel with great facilities, good food and comfortable bedrooms… it ticks every box.

I have been shown round the hotel a few times, as research for my Weekend Journals Cornwall guide book, but last month was lucky enough to visit for a short and restful staycation.

Watergate Bay

Soon after check-in, when the rain had paused, I ventured out to the beach for a bracing afternoon walk. Watergate Bay organise and run surf lessons and sometimes, if you are lucky, you may spot a group of dolphins in the waves.

Watergate BayWatergate Bay

There are different room types to accommodate guests’ preferences, but all are decorated in a contemporary, seaside style with muted colours and stripey accents. The big beds are ultra comfortable, topped with thick feather duvets and plump pillows.

Watergate BayWatergate Bay

In the mornings I found myself in the Living Space with a milky coffee, tending to emails while enjoying the seascape surroundings.

Watergate Bay

For a real treat, book yourself in for a relaxing treatment at the hotel spa or just visit for a refreshing swim in the pool. I got my fitness fix each morning with a few lengths… even if it was just to justify having a bigger breakfast!

Watergate BayWatergate Bay

The Watergate Bay eateries have a focus on local seasonal ingredients and seafood. At lunchtime, the Beach Hut is a great spot to feast on fresh fish and chips or a hearty steak. Most head to Zacry’s in the evening for a more sophisticated and special dinner, which is also popular with guests who are not staying at the hotel. The menu is international with influences from world cuisines… I particularly enjoyed my Indian inspired vegetable curry.

Watergate Bay

A continental breakfast can be enjoyed in the room, but I recommend heading down to Zacry’s restaurant where the delicious buffet includes buttery pastries, cooked breakfast and make-your-own waffles.

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is a magical place to escape to for the weekend, with your partner, a group of friends or the whole family.

Find out more about Watergate Bay in the Weekend Journals Cornwall book here.

Honest Burgers, Liverpool Street

There are very few chains in London which make the successful transition from one-off triumph to multi-branch brilliance. Honest Burgers however, now with fifteen branches across London, has spread from Brixton market to some of the city’s most prestigious postcodes.

honest burgers

Liverpool Street is a full of suits during the week, but when Saturday dawns the hipsters come out to play. I love visiting this area on a Sunday morning for the colourful Columbia Road flower market, and afterwards I am often in need of sustenance. Honest Burgers Liverpool Street is a large venue, with a pretty white tiled exterior and lots of space for groups inside.

Choose from the short and simple menu… I always go for the classic Honest burger with Dry Aged Beef, onion relish, smoked bacon, mature cheddar, pickled cucumber and lettuce. There are often special varieties of burger to choose from, using extra indulgent ingredients or a different cut of meat. Every burger arrives with an irresistible pile of rosemary-salt dusted fries.

Honest cater for non-meat-eaters with Cauliflower Fritter burger and poultry fans should opt for the Chicken burger. On the drinks list there is a range of tin-cup cocktails and local craft beers, but my favourite is the homemade lemonade, which I find is sharp and citrusy enough to cut through the rich burger.

honest burgers

For weekenders in the area Honest Burgers now serve brunch too, a lavish list of dishes to get you ready for the day ahead. I’m looking forward to going back to try the avocado with Brindisa chorizo, guacamole and fried egg on sourdough and the Bubble and Squeak.

Read more about Honest Burgers Liverpool Street here.