When Poppy Delevingne joins our Zoom call, she has her entire beauty collection laid out in front of her. “I’m the world’s biggest beauty junkie,” she says, as she picks out her haircare must-haves and skin saviours. Like so many of us, Poppy has experienced “almighty bad” skin days thanks to the pandemic and virtually living in face masks, but with the help of an expert facialist and pro makeup artist, she managed to turn things around – on an affordable budget no less.
Ahead, we talk all things beauty with the model and actress, including the cream she swears by for minimising eye bags, her low-maintenance wavy hair routine and why she’ll never wash her face in the morning.
The affordable moisturiser that transformed her sensitive skin
Even as a model, Poppy gets the odd problematic skin day. Though stressful at times, she’s a lot more accepting of her blemishes, sensitivity and recurring dermatitis (itchy, dry skin) and there’s one product she swears by to tackle all of the above: CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream, £9.
“The first time I came across this brand was last year,” says Poppy. “I was on a shoot for Vogue and makeup artist Florrie White noticed I was having a bad skin day, which I’m sure everyone has experienced. My skin was irritable, reactive and I had come out in teeny tiny bumps in a rash around my chin. I felt terrible but Florrie said that the cream was really simple and goes back to basics but it works.” So began Poppy’s obsession.
“I remember the day she used the moisturiser on me and it smoothed out my bumps around my chin and got me through the day. From that moment on, I was hooked. As soon as you put it on, you know through its simplicity that it’s working. There is no perfume and it’s not mucking around. It does what it says on the bottle.”
The clever trick she swears by for concealing acne
Wearing face masks has taken its toll on Poppy’s skin but she has a smart hack for concealing blemishes and breakouts. First, she treats her skin to the By Terry Baume De Rose Beauty Toner, £36, which she says feels calming when her skin is reactive. “I never like to put a foundation or concealer straight onto my skin because it gets really dry and peels off, so I use a tip recommended to me by Florrie,” adds Poppy. “I take the Moisturising Cream and mix it with concealer, which I find makes the product really hydrating, so it stays put and looks natural on the skin throughout the day.”
Why she’ll never wash her face in the morning
“I don’t like to cleanse in the morning so much,” says Poppy, who prefers to wash her face in the evening. It’s a tip skincare expert Sarah Bradden gave her recently. “She told me that your skin creates its own natural oils overnight and it’s not great to eliminate them. Instead, I start with the Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Rosewater, which I buy online. It’s just pure rosewater, so I wake up and the first thing I do is spritz this all over. Then I follow with the CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £17, and my moisturiser.”
To protect her skin from the sun and environment, Poppy rates R29 favourite, Heliocare 360 Gel Oil-Free SPF 50, £31, which is lightweight and doesn’t clog pores. “When I had acne in my 30s, this was the only thing that would protect my skin from the sun, which actually made my skin worse. It’s a game-changer and it has a little bit of a tint in it, too. If I ever get spots, I like the Dr Barbara Sturm Clarifying Spot Treatment, £40, which also has a slight tint.”
The simple nighttime routine transforming her lockdown skin
As Poppy skips her morning cleanse, she likes a deep gel cleanser to eradicate dirt, oil and makeup at the end of the day: CeraVe’s SA Smoothing Cleanser, £12, which boasts salicylic acid. The ingredient sneaks into pores and breaks up the mixture of dead skin and oil, which can otherwise lead to breakouts and blackheads. “If I feel like I’m overusing it, I switch to the hydrating version, especially if my skin is feeling erratic.” The last step is Aurelia’s Cell Repair Night Oil, £62. “All the things I use are good for skin that does its own thing. I love this night oil because it contains neroli and lavender; it’s heaven in a bottle.”
The high street eye cream she uses to minimise eye bags
“Since I was a baby, I’ve had sensational bags under my eyes,” laughs Poppy. “When I was five days old, my parents said I looked like I’d been on a 10-day bender. Any eye cream that helps me keep those bags at bay is the one for me and the CeraVe Repair Eye Cream, £12, works very well.” Poppy uses this as part of both her morning and nighttime skincare routine, after her serum and just before moisturiser.
The best beauty advice she has ever received
“My granny would have to be my beauty guru,” says Poppy. “She is 85 and she is the most sensational, glamorous person to me. She has always been obsessed with beauty and she told me never to overcomplicate things. During lockdown especially, there has been that temptation to sit in front of the mirror and use everything you have, but that’s not really good for my skin. Less is more,” as Poppy’s minimal skincare routine proves.
The act of self-care which has brought her joy in lockdown
Self-care is incredibly important to Poppy, especially lately. “Bath time got me through lockdown,” she says. “My husband was actually quite concerned. I would sit in the bath for hours enjoying me-time and literally wait until I turned into a prune. Nothing has brought me more joy. I love lighting candles and I really like the Neom Tranquillity Bath Foam, £22, and putting on a SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque Hyaluronic Acid Gel Mask, £60. I love to listen to something too,” continues Poppy. “Fiona Arrigo does recordings for A Place To Heal and she talks about creating a Sunday sanctuary and empowering women. These recordings got me through lockdown.”
The hairstyling hack she loves for accidentally perfect waves
“I’m quite low maintenance with my hair and that’s because I’ve had years of having it being hacked at and professionally blow-dried and styled on shoots and film sets,” says Poppy. “I’m way more lowkey when it comes to my hair than when it comes to my skin.” Effortless waves are Poppy’s signature style and it’s actually pretty easy to achieve them. “My hair is naturally wavy but to help it along in the night, I go to sleep in a single braid,” she says, which creates loose waves come morning. She rates two brilliant hair products in particular: “I love the Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask, £32.85, which reminds me of being on holiday, and the Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Original Hair Oil, £39.90. They are my beauty standbys.”
The professional treatments she’s booking in for post-lockdown
The first person Poppy will pay a visit to is facialist Sarah Bradden. “She does facial acupuncture,” says Poppy, “and I met her when I was going through a tough time with my skin. It’s not scary and she’s super gentle, but she puts these needles in your face, does reiki on the body, reflexology on your feet and uses these amazing energy lights. She knows everything about gut health, food and skincare, and finishes each treatment with a facial massage. The things it has done to my skin are phenomenal.” Then, of course, Poppy’s next stop is visiting the god of hair colour, Josh Wood. “I don’t know what I want to do with my hair, but I want to do something outrageous because I’m bored of my look now and I want to go nuts. Watch this space!”
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