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Porter
The Beauty Memo

Alexa Chung’s AM/PM routine

Famous for her eponymous fashion line, effortless style and a most-asked-for hairstyle, the presenter – and now also Code8 ambassador – lets us in on her go-to beauty products, her ‘bad face day’ tip and her nifty trick for perfecting her signature cat-eye liner flick

Beauty

In the AM

As soon as I wake up…

…I look at my phone. It’s not good sleep etiquette, but I immediately check my emails, Instagram and so on. I have better days when I get up and go straight to the shower. Maybe the life hack here would be to wake up, make a coffee, have a shower and then look at my phone while drinking my coffee.

My skincare regimen is quite simple…

I wash my face in the shower; at the moment I am using a new Dr Loretta face wash that I discovered when I made a YouTube video for sensitive skin. Then I put on whatever products I’m experimenting with at present – currently it’s a Holidermie serum followed by either Weleda Calendula face cream or Augustinus Bader The Cream. Sometimes I use the Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Mask while I’m brushing my hair and getting dressed. My skin is pretty good, but it can get a bit dry and I do get these chronic spots, one on my chin and one between my brows, so heavier creams don’t work for me. I don’t have an eight-step skin regimen or generally mess with my skin too much.

In the shower…

…I use Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser and then shampoo my hair – I have very fine hair and experiment constantly, so I have about seven different shampoos in there at any time. I love the Cleansing Purifying Scrub for the scalp from Christophe Robin – it’s so good – and I do like the Sachajuan range for fine hair.

I saw a herbalist in New York…

…who diagnosed me by holding a copper pole that sent a current through my body. I left with two tinctures and nine different pills to take throughout the day – one first thing, another half an hour before eating, and something else to take one hour after eating. It was for treating adrenal stress, but it was too stressful to remember what I was meant to be doing. Now, I just take magnesium and fish oil; my boyfriend is trying to get me to take glutathione (an antioxidant), but the pills are too big; it’s like swallowing a Pez.

On a ‘bad’ face day…

…I wear big sunglasses and a red lip – Code8’s Pop Art is the perfect pillar-box red, as it’s not blue-based. For every day, I love Shu Uemura makeup brushes and always use eyelash curlers; I also like the Code8 Glaze Universal Lip Gloss, which is a really pretty, peachy color.

I’m not a jogger at all…

…I hate too much effort, but I do quite like exercises when you are stretching and doing the odd squat. I’ve been working out with some girlfriends via Zoom every other day, and it’s not super-difficult, as it’s a mat and resistance workout. I definitely sleep better when I exercise. I joined a gym [before lockdown], but I only made it a maximum of twice a week; however, I love that they do small group classes with no more than three people being trained at one time.

I just cut out the nightshades food group…

…(including potatoes and tomatoes) to see if this helps my psoriasis problem; it’s tough as I love eggplant, onions and tomatoes. It’s very early days so I’m not sure if it helps yet, but it’s a skin issue that comes and goes.

In the PM

For an evening out…

…I do a side parting if I’m doing my own hair and finish it with a Simone Rochas hair clip – it’s the only thing I can do that makes it look any different. My makeup is always a darker eye or a stronger lip, but usually it’s the eye, because I’ll be drinking and eating and I don’t want to bother wondering how my lipstick is looking. I go for kohl inside the eye and the cat-eye flick with the Code8 Precision Eye Liner – it has a perfect fine tip; anything thicker means you can’t get that line. I’ve noticed in pictures that my method has changed over the years; now I try to get as close into the lash line as possible, and then for the flick I follow the curve of the bottom lashes upwards, so it looks more real.

My go-to experts include…

…Sandra at the Lanshin healing studio in Williamsburg, New York. Rather than booking in for a specific treatment, I just book in time with her, and then she decides what I need that day. Sometimes it can be cupping or Reiki – I love Reiki – or gua sha, and then another time it may just be a facial. I love that approach of reading what you need. My hairdresser George Northwood is another favorite; I get my hair trimmed about once a month, as we work together so often on shoots. I used to have a more directional cut, but now it’s just long.

I find jet-lag is horrific…

…there are no cures for me, I just have to wait for my body to catch up. I nap, which is absolutely the wrong thing to do, especially if you are going from London to LA and you have to meet someone for dinner that night ­– it’s game over. If you do push through it you can have the most fun night ever – you’re so tired you get almost psychedelic around 2am. When I’m flying, I always use a hydrating face mist and an under-eye mask.

I love having a bath…

…usually with magnesium salts and lots of different oils, especially lavender oil or the Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath for the Senses with all the herbs in it.

My evening regimen…

…is as simple as my morning routine – I clean my skin, use a serum and then a cream. Recently, a friend told me that now I’m in my thirties I should sleep on a silk pillowcase.

I go through stages of sleeping badly…

…where I wake up at 3am and worry. It helps having a companion in the bed rather than sleeping alone, as I can get a bit scared sleeping by myself in my house. I try to read before bed but, let’s be honest, I love Googling everything. Also, I listen to Esther Perel podcasts – she is so interesting – and BBC Radio 6 Music.

On my bedside table…

…I have a pillow spray, my water glass from Daylesford – it has ‘happy’ written on it and seeing that makes me happy – and a Code8 AM/PM lip balm.

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