Getting a good nights sleep has a lot to do with cultivating healthy habits (and sticking to them). When we spoke to a leading sleep psychologist earlier this week, she dished out some low-key wisdom: a late night here and there won’t hurt, but always wake up at the same time; avoid screens at night; and use mindfulness as a tool to cut down on high-paced, negative thoughts.
But here’s the thing: a good nights sleep is also about creating meaningful rituals. It’s about making that wind-down period on your way to Snoozeville something that you actually look forward to each day. And so, with that in mind, we rounded up our 12 sleep essentials, from skincare and soothing drinks to bath salts and blemish oils.
Add one (or all of them) to your arsenal and never look back.
Styling, Alicia Sciberras
Sisley Paris Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream
We first cottoned onto the Black Rose range when makeup ~guru~Lisa Eldridge revealed that she uses the facemask on herself and clients ahead of a big event. Naturally, we went straight out and ordered every product in the line. Just like the mask, the Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream is a cureall for tired skin and one of the only products we’ve ever found to give such immediate and dramatic results. That’s a plumper, smoother, brighter ~lewk ~, which only gets better the longer you use it. It’s not cheap. But when you find something this effective, you WILL find a way to ensure you have a backup at all times.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Night Concentrate
“Luminous” and “dewy” have become overwrought buzzwords in the world of beauty, thrown around as frequently and indiscriminately as Trump’s use of “tremendous”, “millions and billions” and “covfefe”. Only Tatcha’s beauty sleep in a jar is not, as it turns out, fake news. Full of brightening ingredients like green tea, ginseng root and licorice root, believe us when we say you will wake up each morning with impossibly plump and bouncy skin.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue
Charlotte is the queen of hyperbole *darling* so when she calls an eye cream ‘magic’, is it really? With plumping peptides and renewing retinol, it’s about as close as we’ve gotten yet.
Olaplex Hair Perfecter No.3
Olaplex is no longer an industry secret, so if you haven’t already been using it to reverse ill-informed hair decisions (read: heat-styling and bleaching), what HAVE you been doing?? The breakthrough formula is ultra-sciency, so by ‘miracle’ we really mean that it will re-bond the most severely damaged of hair follicles. Here’s our little secret: leave it on overnight once a week and, to quote Melanie C aka Sporty Spice, your hair “will never be the same again”.
Chanel Le Lift Crème
Remember alfalfa sprouts? If you had New Age parents who shopped at wholefoods in the Nineties you will be intimately familiar with the superfood craze that predates what we now know as wellness. So we never thought we’d see the day that a Chanel Le Lift Crème would list botanical alfalfa concentrate as its core ingredient. The rest of the formula is 94% naturally-derived too, so this is basically a jar of the most bougie wholefoods in existence. It’s velvety AF and left our skin like velvet after a month’s use.
Votary Blemish Rescue Oil
Finally, a spot treatment that promises to erase unwelcome breakouts and delivers. Hidden within many other formulations are synthetic ingredients that tend to further irritate inflamed skin. Votary’s oil is free from such undesirables as minerals oils, petrochemicals and artificial fragrances. Only the good stuff here: that’s salicylic acid to target the infection within the pore and tamanu oil to heal.
James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face
You may be tempted to do a whole face-body tan with the one product. But be warned: self-tanners for your body are incredibly drying and may not leave you looking your ‘glowiest’ come AM. So when we heard Rosie Huntington Whitely was a huge fan of this all-in-one facial tan, mask and serum, we wanted in. We won’t bore you with the gritty details, apart from the fact that we woke up with a complexion that glowed like the sun (thank you, self-tanner), appeared impossibly hydrated (thank you, hyaluronic acid), and fresh (cucumber and algae extract). It’s the ultimate all-in-one fix for the lazy girl.
The Beauty Chef SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder
As above, we’re all for an all-in-one fix. A drink packed with so many nutrients we can forget all of our worries and gorge on chocolate bars for breakfast (kidding!). The Beauty Chef Sleep Powder is incredibly soothing after a single sip. Finish a whole glass of this nighttime tonic and you’ll be in heavy-lidded heaven, thanks to a potent blend of natural sedatives, including passionflower, lemon balm and sour cherry, an ingredient rich in melatonin. Add that to the bio-fermented pawpaw leaf and turmeric and within two weeks of nighty consumption our skin was glowing, too.
Sunday Riley Luna Oil
Since Madeleine Woon raved about this hit from Sunday Riley last year – along with her nocturnal teeth gnashing and her grandma’s predilection for gossiping about the royal family – it’s become a staple at THE FILE HQ. In fact, you’d have to wrench it from our blue, grimy, Luna oil-covered hands because we have never found anything that has faded pigmentation and scarring so quickly, nor given more of a translucent, Cate Blanchet-esque translucence upon waking.
Ayu Facial Mist
Crafted with high-quality water and soothing essential oils – that’s lavender, chamomile and rose geranium – The Ayu Facial Mist has become a fixture on our bedside tables. Perhaps the calming effects are a placebo more than anything. But it’s a placebo we are not willing to give up anytime soon.
Orchard St. Calm Tea
Orchard St’s ultra-calming herbal blend of oats, chamomile, licorice, lavender and rose petals is not only a joy to watch swirl in your teapot before bedtime, but it has also proved the perfect way to digest and unwind each night. Put down your phone, pick up a book, and pour yourself a cup.
Do you really need an excuse to run a bath before bed? We get it. Few of us have the time to indulge in an hour-long soak after a long day at work, though in a perfect world we’d soak ‘til we pruned every day. In the real world, find time each week to fill a hot tub with magnesium salts and a few drops of lavender oil to improve your hydrate and heal skin, decrease inflammation and relax those world-weary muscles.
Images inspired by the one-and-only @gelcream.