Grab today with both hands.
Have a great weekend
J & A x
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for lotions and potions and a salesperson’s dream, buying into all sorts of ridiculous claims: ”This lip gloss makes your teeth look whiter” – I bought it….it didn’t!
I’ve always been fascinated by skincare and, thanks to my Mum, have always looked after my skin. Recently I was asked if I might pop a
quick blog up about my daily routine. I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, just someone who takes care of their skin and is rather obsessed with products!
I’m a Liz Earle girl at heart. When I left drama school I temped at the Liz Earle store in Sloane Square for about 6 months and fell in love with the brand. I saw first hand the difference the products made to people’s skin and seeing Liz herself – well she is the best ambassador for her brand as her skin literally glows – and that was when she had no makeup on!- I know life is so unfair!
I have always been a firm believer of ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ and ALWAYS, no matter how tired/ drunk you are, believe in taking make up off at night. I have normal to combination skin which can be slightly sensitive.
I’m going to do my morning and evening routine side by side as they are basically the same.
Liz Earle’s cleanse and polish is my staple go to cleanser for removing make up and cleaning the skin. It is so gentle that you could use it on a baby, yet it removes make up and leaves the skin feeling so soft. It also smells gorgeous…not an added perfume smell but the natural aroma of the eucalyptus in the product. You massage this all over your face and neck and then rinse of with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water.
Particularly for getting off stage makeup, I use something like this L’oreal Micellar Solution before the cleanse and polish just to get rid of the mascara and excess make up, as although the cleanse and polish does a good job on removing light make up you just end up with a filthy muslin cloth of make up.
This is my life saviour taking off stage make up and having tried lots of different products such as the Shu Uemura oil and the Mac oil I think this wins hands down as if the oil goes in your eye you can’t see for a good five minutes…not always ideal when you’re trying to rush out of the theatre. Also it’s much cheaper!
My beloved cleanse and polish was nearly finished and I decided to try something else (*hangs head in shame*) after hearing such incredible things about Clinique’s take the day off cleansing balm.
Now I’m not a lover of Clinique skincare. For me I have always found it too heavy and harsh on my skin and years ago hearing that their cleanser was strong enough to wipe down their counter surfaces with, I think it stuck in my mind even if it was just hearsay. However I like to be proved wrong.
I’m in love. I can’t recommend this product enough. It comes in a hard waxy balm and you pop your finger in and dig out a small amount, warm it in your fingers and massage it all over your face (including eyes). You can rinse it off just with water but I prefer to use a flannel or muslin cloth. Your skin is left feeling as smooth and soft as a baby’s bottom and squeaky clean.
Now when I went to the Clinique counter and requested this product (it wasn’t on show as they seem to always be sold out) the lady got one out of a cupboard and said yes it’s great for removing make up, but that’s all it does, it won’t help your skin and you have to use a cleanser on top of it to remove it – I knew that she was then going to show me her Clinique 3 step system and try and sell me that….and voila she didn’t disappoint! I didn’t want the 3 step system I’d only heard negative things about it and she only said I needed a cleanser on top to try and upsell….I ignored all her advice and went with my gut.
Thank goodness I did. My skin has never looked better and you don’t need a cleanser to take off the cleansing balm – the notion is absolutely ridiculous and I hate using too many products – surely product on top of product is just going to clog my skin?!
After cleansing I always use a toner and yes back to Liz Earle and their tonic. I pop a bit on a cotton wool pad and sweep it all over my face just to hydrate the skin and get rid of any residual product left on the skin. In the mornings I tend to use the spritzer version to wake me up a bit!
After that it’s time to turn to my old faithful Nivea. I have tried so many different moisturisers from high end to Boots own and turn back to Nivea time and time again. My skin is quite fussy and it seems to love it. The light one for the day so that my skin isn’t left too greasy with too thick a product and then their slightly thicker one at night for some skin tlc. I always moisturise my neck in an upward motion as well – I swear this is going to stop me getting a wrinkly neck…hmmmmm
My little skin saviours are Elizabeth Arden’s eight hour cream – although I’ve run out at the moment and instead having been using Lucas’ Papaw. An Australian all time favourite product with similar healing properties and much cheaper. I still prefer Elizabeth Arden’s but this little red tube is filling the time nicely till I restock. The best lip balm ever and can be put on any blisters, cuts, burns, blemishes, dry skin.
Tea Tree oil directly onto any blemishes. It is a natural antiseptic so a dream at tackling those unwanted spots.
When I want to look more bright eyed and bushy tailed I pop on the Clarins beauty flash balm. I usually wear it like a primer under my foundation, not only does it prolong the wear of your foundation but it tightens the skin and makes you look more energised. It can also be worn on its own.
And finally if you’re going to look after you skin you can’t forget the rest of your body. In the summer I’m pretty good at slathering on yummy body butters but in the winter I am always too cold and so this new moisturiser Spray from Vaseline is the answer to my prayers. Just a quick spray and rub in (you can ignore this last step if you’re feeling particularly lazy) and you’re done.
What are your skincare saviours and products you just can’t live without?
My last post was brought to you from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom of Glorious Theatres, in association with rain and wind. It was all about my recent job and I promised you the next instalment from Oman would be a little sunnier.
(The Sultanate of) Oman hugs the south-eastern edge of Saudi Arabia, bordered by The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen and is just across the water from Iran. It’s a lovely place to spend some time, with lots of traditional Asian/ Middle- Eastern atmosphere.
After a long flight and a change at Doha International in Qatar, we finally arrived into Muscat. Check-in was quite the experience!
We were staying in the capital, Muscat, in the North- East of Oman in a very new, three-week old, hotel. It was so shiny it felt literally untouched!
I couldn’t resist hauling myself up early the next morning and into the gym. Seeing a new place bright and early is always one of my favourite things to do, especially with such lovely weather to wake up to!
We were off to what turned out to be a very wonderful gem of a school that morning. It was the very first time Shakespeare (of any kind) had been performed in the Sultanate and these kids were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable we just couldn’t resist paying a visit!
and playing some football!
Between playing football and signing for the kids, we managed to get some work done!
A blistering 150 kph, no seatbelt, white-knuckle taxi convoy later and we were back at the hotel and in the pool, despite it being after dark and only 17 degrees! We’re British, we will pool wherever, whenever!
Dessert in this place was to die for! Someone went to a lot of effort to make plenty of pudding minis for our hungry tribe which is, of course, the best possible way to have dessert because you can load up with one of everything. And I did!
I don’t think Amy was having quite the same time back home in rainy old England though!
I’ll check in with you in a few days when its off to Dubai to experience the ‘LA of the Middle East’.
February is a funny month….although it is the shortest month, it can feel never ending – and the weather most definitely does not help matters!
This morning on my usual route to the train I noticed this little shining beacon of Spring appearing out of the murky grey drizzly morning….Pink blossom to melt even the stoniest of hearts
I thought I’d share it with you as I think it’s saying to us all “hey guys keep going, Spring is on its way”
We were very lucky to be invited to the opening of the Cornel Lucas photography exhibition ‘Photo Noir’ at the National Theatre on Wednesday Night.
Jamie worked with Susan, the late Cornel’s wife, in the play Daisy Pulls It Off last year, and it was Susan’s image that was featured on the huge banner as we walked in. She told us that this image was taken the very first time they had met during a shoot at Pinewood Studios.
Virginia McKenna opened the exhibition. Star of Born Free and Anna in the King and I opposite Yul Brynner at the London Palladium.
Cornel is the only photographer to have received a BAFTA for his work.
He photographed anyone who was anyone and the shots are simply exquisite. Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Jean Simmons, Steven Spielberg to name just a few. Have a gander at his website to see more examples of his work.
Jamie and his friend Rob with Susan. They are in front of Cornel’s photograph of Susan and her mother.
It really struck me seeing that someone as beautiful as Brigitte Bardot was self-conscious…
There was something rather ironic about everyone snapping away on iPhones when Cornel apparently hated using digital, much preferring the quality of traditional methods and the transformation of developing.
The exhibition is on at the National Theatre in the Lyttleton Exhibition Space until the end of March and we cannot recommend it enough…we’re insisting our parents come up to see it and we’ll definitely go again. And to top it off, entry is free!
A lovely walk back home along the Southbank…London really is beautiful at night
J & A x
I realised I don’t very often talk in too much detail about my work on here so I thought, having just returned from the Middle East, I’d share a little bit of it with you.
An actor’s life is turbulent and not always plain sailing when it comes to planning the next job in this business we call show. Sometimes there are a few things on the cards, other times there is nothing to choose from and you are required to make your own work. Oftentimes something will just come out of the blue, unexpectedly, requiring some quick thinking and planning.
Last December I very happily signed on to be a part of a UK and Middle Eastern tour of Macbeth and we began rehearsals on the first working day of 2014, January 2nd. We started with two weeks of rehearsal which included a table reading, where the cast read through the entire script on the first day, followed by staging, learning material and choreographing the fight scenes in the days and weeks after. Towards the end, and in the days running up to opening night, we entered ‘tech’ where the lighting, sound and other technical layers are added.
I play Banquo, Macbeth’s loyal right-hand man and close friend who supports him in battle, before (spoiler alert) being brutally murdered amidst Macbeth’s insecurities and plot to rise to the throne as King of Scotland.
‘Sometimes’ the Producer will work hard!
The cast need downtime like anyone else, and at a late late stop-off at a service station, this is most definitely necessary!
After opening briefly outside of London we visited some beautiful venues around the UK before jetting off to start the first leg of our Middle-Eastern tour, in Muscat- in the Sultanate of Oman.
Keeping fit and healthy is important on a hard touring schedule. ‘Hardcore training’ with our resident fitness instructor, “Harry Stone Actor”.
Myself and a few others get quite bloody in this production and so, much to the amusement of the rest of the cast, a good skin-care routine is also a must! More face products than Amy at the moment!
Next blog up- the Middle East! See you there.
The next day saw us pulling back the curtains and peering out wondering what the weather had in store….
We ventured to a beautiful area for a blustery but sunny walk along the beach.
Even the seals popped their heads up to say ‘hello’.
We stumbled into a local pub to warm up……with this many layers being peeled off I turned into what appeared to be the ‘coat attendant’
That night was the main celebration meal for the birthday girl.
Touching up on the go…taking the role of make up artist very seriously
Champagne greeted us all on arrival
Lou and I fought over who was the real lady of the house!
and the gong was rung to summon us into the dining room…
What’s a birthday without a birthday tunnel to mince down!
Predictable hat wearing from Will
Jamming around the piano was requested and out came the guitars, cajon and saxophone ready for some old school renditions.
The ever professional band continued, despite the surrounding chaos!
We laughed and ate until our tummies hurt.
Scotland, you have been a joy! Herbie most definitely thinks so.
It was my Mum’s birthday this weekend and when they told me that we were spending the weekend with friends in a big country house, I had visions of sun, sea and sand. Dad said “change all of that to wind, rain and cold” and that’s where we’d be! Scotland!
Find a wheelchair and travel in style!
We were up near beautiful Inverness and, in an apparent attempt to soften the blow, they insisted that we were in our own microclimate. I actually think I agree as, considering the weather in the rest of the country, we hardly had any rain!
But we were stocked up ready for anything:
Some of the braver amongst us returned from a run around the estate – the main decision being whether to take the north or east drive! Herbie greeted everyone with his teddy like they’d be gone for years!
Sixteen people, three course meals every night, dog walks on the beach, roaring fires and lots and lots of laughter!
We all crawled into our Princess beds and snuggled down for the cosiest sleep, ready to see what tomorrow had in store.
I’ve been spoilt this week with the girls all rallying around to look after me.
Wednesday night saw me, Tanya, Sofia and Rachel taking cover in Wahaca from the rain for a long overdue catch up. We all went to drama school together but everyone’s conflicting schedules mean we rarely all get together.
My sister, Louisa, and her friends from the National Youth Theatre Rep Company have set up their own band, The Cavalier. They’ve already performed at The Old Vic Pit Bar and are getting quite a name for themselves. Three girls, an array of instruments which they all play, voices which blend beautifully, clever mash ups….they are BRILLIANT!
They dedicated a Spice Girls song to me so I was over the moon….
Loads of friends turned up to support
Dancing was a necessity…in unison if at all possible…
Me and Lou
They have a gig on Valentine’s Day in The Pit Bar at the Old Vic – so if you’re at a loose end (or wanting to drown your sorrows) I assure you that you’ll have a fun night with these three ladies at the helm.