The Posh Way London Girls Get Ready For Bed

Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
There are certain beauty rules that have been drilled into us: Always take your makeup off before bed, get a good eight hours of sleep, drink lots of water. While undisturbed sleep and adequate hydration may evade us on busy days working, playing, and everything in between, one thing we can control is our evening beauty routine.
Whether you're a wipe-and-it's-off type or you have a meticulous 10-step regimen, we're fascinated by others' evening beauty practices.
Click through to see how Refinery29's London staffers take care of their skin and unwind before bed, then check out the routines of our U.S. editors.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Georgia Murray, Fashion & Beauty Writer

If I'm in for the evening I take my makeup off straightaway, using Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water on stubborn eye makeup before massaging Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm over my face. I then use a washcloth soaked in hot water to take that off. If I've been out or worn lots of makeup that day, I'll go over my skin again with Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil. If my skin needs a real talking to, I'll then wipe a cotton pad soaked in Alpha-H Liquid Gold over my skin every other evening. It's an intense glycolic acid formula that is nothing short of a miracle.

Next up, I gently pat Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II around my tired eyes, as you can never start too young. I rotate my serums depending on my skin's problems at the time but right now,I'm using ZENii's Hyaluronic Booster Serum to fight the first signs of autumn's brutal weather. Once that's sunk in, I load up on Origins' GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer, which smells divine and works its magic overnight (I can't use too heavy a moisturizer in the daytime as my makeup loves to slide down my face by 1 pm.) Finally, I brush RapidBrow's Eyebrow Enhancing Serum over my brows, which have undergone a real renaissance since I started using this.

Every Sunday, I make time for a blissed-out evening bath, starting with Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask to blast away the week's dead skin and pollution. Then I'll use a second mask like Isla's Refine & Radiate Beautifying Face Mask or Lush's BB Seaweed. I don't like to draw attention to the amount of room taken up in my tiny flat by my ridiculous collection of face masks, lest my boyfriend catch wind... It's therapeutic, alright?
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Anna Jay, Art Director

My skin-care routines are always just based on making it up as I go along, but I'm happy with my current routine and my skin is thanking me for the consistency.

I'll start with a splash of warm water, which I just find gives me a base of moisture for step two: cleansing. I try to really avoid products tested on animals and the use of wipes which are so bad for the environment, so I opt for 100% cotton pads (compostable) with The Body Shop Camomile Make-Up Remover. Following this, I keep blemishes at bay with Murad Blemish Clearing Solution, which has been really effective so far.

Finally, two-step moisturizing with Alex Carro Balancing Face Oil and Facial Cream, which can be bought together or separately.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Alice Casely-Hayford, Fashion & Beauty Director

Ideally, as soon as I get home from work I would take off my makeup to leave my skin as clean and fresh as possible. (This never happens and truthfully I do this about five minutes before I fall into bed). I take off the majority of my makeup with a cotton pad and Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, then wash my face properly with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and a clean, hot washcloth.

I then wipe away any last traces of dirt and refresh my complexion with Tata Harper's soothing Hydrating Floral Essence Moisturising Toner before patting in three drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This stuff is 10 hours of glorious sleep plus two liters of water in a magic bottle. As I have dark skin that easily scars, I love products such as serums and concentrates that tackle pigmentation and help even my skin tone and fade darker marks. I finish off with a tiny amount of Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, which makes my skin really radiant, particularly in harsh winter weather.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Natasha Slee, Social Media Manager

First up, I remove all makeup with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and cotton pads. While my skin dries, I brush my teeth for two minutes with an electric toothbrush. I massage Epara Cleansing Oil over my face and neck, really rubbing it into my nose creases, chin and forehead. This smells divine, and is a dose of luxury after a long day. I like to hold my warmed hands over my face and inhale the scent. Depending on how sensitive my skin feels that day, I will either follow with Epara Moisturizing Cream or Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche for comforting hydration.

I moisturize all over with & Other Stories Moroccan Tea Body Lotion. My nails and cuticles become tatty quickly, so once a week I’ll give myself a DIY treatment using Beauty Kitchen’s 60 Second Manicure, or the Body Polish if that’s on hand. Lastly, I slather my hands in Arket's Hand Lotion (not available in the US but try Molton Brown's Pomegranate and Ginger hand lotion!), and try not to touch anything else!

I take a big glass of water to bed with me, and drink it all by morning. (I drink at least three liters a day without even thinking about it.)
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Jess Commons, Health & Living Editor

I will always, always take my makeup off before I go to bed. First, I wash my face with La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel, which I find does a really nice job of keeping my quite oily skin blemish-free. I wash twice, then I dab Bio Oil onto a cotton pad and wipe away the remaining traces of makeup and the rest of the day's dirt. Bio Oil acts as a really good makeup remover – especially for some harder-to-remove makeup – and I feel like it nourishes the skin really nicely too.

Afterwards, I put on my nightly dose of The Ordinary Buffet Serum (I use this morning and night) and finish up with a drop of The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Oil. Next, I use the brand's Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil as it's full of antioxidants and I don't think London's pollution is kind to anyone's skin.

Finally, my very first grown-up eye cream (I know, I know, I'm late to the game): Tata Harper's Restorative Eye Creme, which smells delicious and makes me feel like I've done my bit for my poor old eyes after a hard day's work staring at screens.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Sarah Raphael, Editorial Director

I start by taking off my eye makeup with cotton pads and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. Then I wash my face with warm water and Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser which is really creamy and soft – it's probably my favorite sensation of the day. A few times a week (read: month), I use a cooling face mask which I leave on for 10 minutes or so. I then apply Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Serum, dab some Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment around my eyes and use Skinceuticals Daily Moisturizer on my face and neck – I'm not classy enough for a dedicated night moisturizer. I put in eyedrops before bed, it's like a refreshing little eye drink. Then I spray lavender Sleep Mist by Calm on my pillow, and rub lavender oil into my temples and wrists to help me sleep.

Having said all that, a beautiful woman once told me that she only ever splashes water on her face and uses no products at all, so I go through phases of doing that, too.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Sian O'Flaherty, Senior Branded Content Manager

I'm full-on obsessed with going to bed with the cleanest, freshest skin possible, and I have no greater vice than fancy (read: French) skincare. Aside from the obvious (brushing my teeth), my nightly skincare routine goes a little like this: First, I remove makeup with everyone's number one product Bioderma Sensibio, then I use my new fave — Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser (honestly I am obsessed with this, it's so light and refreshing, plus it removes every last drop of makeup). I apply this with a washcloth and warm water, but to each to their own. Then I use La Roche-Posay's Hydraphase serum, which is heaven, and then the final touch is Embyolisse Lait-Creme, which, let me tell you, is the best $16 you'll ever spend. You can thank me later.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Social Media Assistant

My skin-care routine is very precarious. If I so much as look at my left cheek the wrong way, I'm left with dark red pigmentation for weeks (this is not an exaggeration). So I try and keep it as simple as possible, both morning and night.

I don't wear skin makeup, so cleansing is quite an easy affair. I use gel-based cleansers because anything that foams or contains sodium lauryl sulfate causes painful whiteheads (SLS is the devil). I currently use Mario Badescu Gentle Enzyme Cleanser which is super gentle but gets rid of all the day's dirt.

On a standard day, I then follow with a few drops of The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid – I have very oily skin so moisturizing is never a problem for me, but even when it's oily you've got to keep your skin retaining water! This helps keep it ticking along without any unnecessary ingredients I find in a lot of moisturizers for oily skin.

Next is my slow-burning lifesaver, Differin. It's a low-level retinoid I get on prescription for my late-onset cystic acne. I apply a large pea's worth all over my skin, concentrating especially on my cheeks and chin (my "problem areas"). It's making massive headway in cutting down on the number of cystic spots I get, and fading the vicious hyperpigmentation they leave behind. It's not a miracle product (especially against hormonal acne) but after nearly three months I'm seeing great improvements.

Finally, once this has absorbed in (while I do the washing up), I put a few dots of acnecide, a benzoyl peroxide formula, on any bad spots I have lurking. I never look cute before bed, but I've been with my girlfriend long enough that I really don't care.

If I'm feeling fancy, I'll do one of two special treatments post-cleanse but pre-moisturizer. The Elemis Papaya Peel is such a good gentle exfoliator, making my face feel baby soft without aggravating it. I do this once or twice a week. The other option depends on how bad my skin is (aka how close I am to my period) — when needed, I'll do Lush's Cosmetic Warrior Face Mask; it's like a low-level spot zapper. Makes me feel v. fancy and like I have way more followers on Instagram than I actually do.
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Tamar Riley, Marketing

As soon as I turned 25, I upgraded my nighttime routine: Gone were the days of scrubbing off layers of makeup with a face wipe and applying any old moisturizer. I think it was a quarter-life crisis situation (when I got overly upset about how many eyelashes I'd lost during this process) but I'm glad it happened — I refreshed my routine and I would like to think it's paying off.

In winter, I love a hot shower before bed to take off all the pollution and makeup on my skin, and feel squeaky clean before getting in some white sheets. I cleanse with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser, which has a super fresh scent. A few times a week, I'll use the Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash from Elemis to exfoliate. If I don't have a shower, I cleanse with Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water.

The Hero Project's Night Drops Serum (a US-available alternative is Root Science's Restore serum) is incredible — the smell sends me to sleep! I love rich night creams and Eisenberg's Hydra Comfort is fairly pricey but lasts forever as you only need a tiny, tiny amount. Lastly, I put on some Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, as it's the only time I remember to do so!
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Illustrated by Lauren Alexa.
Charisse Chikwiri, Editorial Intern

After a long day of running the streets, and maybe serving a cute makeup look, the first stage of my nighttime beauty routine is always cleansing. Usually after fighting the urge to just collapse straight into bed, but I’d much rather avoid a war with my pores.

I have normal/dry skin, and so I’ve had to find a solution to makeup removal (and cleansing in general) that doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and stripped. Coconut oil has been my saving grace! I use my fingertips to massage cold-pressed virgin coconut oil into my face and over my eyelids. While I do look like Danny Zuko’s hair in the process, it literally lifts all makeup from the surface of my skin. I then dampen a few cotton pads with warm water and wipe the coconut oil away. I use a separate cotton pad for my eyes, making sure to gently swipe through my lashes.

l learned about the double cleansing method from a book on Korean beauty secrets, so after the coconut oil I follow with my Dr Organic Tea Tree Facial Wash or Manuka Honey Face Scrub. Both products are gentle but effective cleansers which keep my skin feeling supple, even before moisturizing.

My toner is my own blend of rose water, glycerin and 2/3 drops of essential tea tree oil. I spritz this over my face and let it settle. The rose water is calming and anti-inflammatory (it also smells amazing), glycerin works to help my skin retain/absorb moisture and the tea tree oil is antibacterial. Mario Badescu and Lush both do great rose water toners if you’d rather not make your own. Lastly, I moisturize with my own blend of pure argan oil and raw African shea butter. Even separately, they are the best non-comedogenic and nourishing moisturizers for my dry skin.

If I notice any raised or inflamed spots, I’ll use a cotton swab to dab tea tree oil and Sudocrem directly onto them. Generally, they’re reduced or pretty much gone by the morning. I steer far away from harsh chemicals and enjoy having control over what I’m applying to my skin, especially since it’s the body’s largest organ and absorbs everything!

My nighttime beauty is mostly focused on my skin and with half-closed eyes, I twist my afro up so it’s not tangled by the morning. This all takes about 30/40 minutes before bed, but with music playing, a baggy T-shirt and my comfy sliders on, it’s a lovely ritual of self-love to wind down with.
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