Leith Clark, Stylist & Editor in Chief, Lula


"I fly a lot, a few times a month or more. I get a lot done on planes. I feel like it’s a very creative time. It’s kind of the only time where you know where you’ve been, you know that this is a moment in-between, and you know where you’re going. It's like time is standing still for a while. And, generally, in real life, we never really have that in-between time—especially when you’re freelance like me, and you’re doing all of these overlapping projects all the time. I get a lot of ideas, too. I write a lot of random stuff down. My iPhone will be on 'Airplane Mode,' and I'll start setting reminders. I’ll write notes to myself, like, 'Read this again,' or 'Do this.' I’ll write a book title, or different products I want to try. And then you can just put a check mark when you actually do it.

When you fall asleep on a plane and you wake up, and it’s the next day—there's something so yuck about that, so I feel like the fabric and fit of what you're wearing is a nice way to not feel gross. And I always travel with a Ralph Lauren cashmere blanket, so I can wrap up my legs. It has my husband’s last initial on it—my parents bought it for me. I love it; it comes with an eye mask!

What else do I bring on the plane...Bose headphones, some kind of face mask. I usually buy Ren travel-size ones on eBay. You can get ten at once. I like the Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask; it feels as if you’re coated, and then you can go in the bathroom and wash it off. It’s just so dry on the plane that when you don’t do something for your skin, it feels really gross when you wake up. You can drink so much water and it doesn't even help. So, at the same time that you’d brush your teeth before going to bed, you can also do a peel, wash it off, and put night cream on. It feels nicer when you wake up. I also love SKII Facial Treatment Masks; I always travel with those, so the first night you’re in a hotel room, you can get your skin balanced.

At night, even on a plane, I use NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Cream. There’s a woman in London named Dr. Frances Prenna Jones who does this whole thing where she goes through your products and tells you what to use. You know how you can be using products that you think are helping but you don’t know what it would be like if you didn’t use them? And you don’t know if you’re mixing too many of them together? It's like how people mix medications and bad things happen. I have three different toners I use—what if I use them at the same time? Does it cross them all out? Are they no good then? So I went and met this doctor three months before I was getting married. I’d never gone to see a dermatologist before—I just went, 'Hi, how am I doing? What’s up?' And she told me to use NeoStrata. She has her own expensive line, but she still recommended this product one for me. She said, 'Your skin is good, you’re young. It’s just about maintenance, not about changing or reversing.'

In the morning, I have a process. I wash with either Cetaphil when I'm in a rush, or Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, which you use with these special cloths. It takes a little bit of time, you soak the cloth with hot water, put it on your face for a second, do it again, and so on; it's kind of a process. But it’s so nice, and you should make time, but sometimes you don’t. I quite often choose the Snooze button over doing anything.

After cleansing, I use Arcona Cranberry Toner. Arcona also makes these Triad Pads, which I use to take off my makeup. They’re so nice—you can even take mascara off with them. And they're great because, even if you don’t put on a cream afterwards, you don’t wake up in the morning feeling gross; your skin doesn't feel stiff, like with other makeup removers. Anyway, after toner, I'll mix in a different serum: Thalgo Serum d’Exception. It’s seaweed-y and seaweed is one of the best things for you! My uncle is diabetic and reads about superfoods all the time and he’s always obsessed with telling us about how good it is for you. If I'm in New York, I like going to this place on West Broadway, Bunya Citi Spa. They have a great whole-body seaweed wrap. You have to sit still for a while, and it’s a good lesson in just being still. I eat seaweed a lot, too—seaweed salads, hijiki... yum.

I change the serum I use all the time. Whenever I have a facial or work with somebody I like, I’ll say, 'OK, I’ll take that!' I did a campaign last year with Sienna Miller for this Korean skincare company, Amore Pacific, that has a spa on Spring Street. They gave me a bunch of products after that, and I loved them. They have a Rejuvenating Serum that’s really amazing, but the top comes off when I travel and it squirts, so I leave it at home. I like their mist, too, but it’s big, and I can’t travel with big products.

For moisturizer, I love Decléor Hydra Floral Flower Essence Moisturizing Cream—it’s almost finished. If I use it for a while, I think it makes my hair get greasy. I have long bangs and they're always touching my face, and I find that if I am doing the same product for a few weeks, it will start to make my hair oily, but it doesn't do that if I've just started using it. So, I'll stop one for a while and do something else, like Thalgo Creme d'Exception.

I think it’s good to change your products, because you know how, with mineral water, whenever they reveal something about it—you cant drink it out of plastic bottles, or this brand's water is dirty—all of a sudden that’s like a huge revelation? There’s always these new things that come up. So I’ve always thought you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, because that could happen with anything. You should keep changing. Like, some days I won't use anything, and other days, I’ll be like, 'I want to feel really nice and smell nice,' so I’ll just go to the store and buy a new cream with pretty packaging.

In terms of makeup, I’m not used to seeing stuff on my face, really—I’m quite bare-faced during the day, whereas for nighttime, it’s nice to have a color-color, maybe. I like the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars. Most things I get from different makeup artists, and that I found out about from Romy Soleimani; she uses them all the time and likes them. I’m a bit of an idiot with makeup, so people are always like, 'Oh, this is a really easy one!' Anything that’s child-friendly is nice, nothing too complicated. Like, simple, use-your-fingers stuff. So, lipstick can feel kind of serious to me, whereas this Lip Tar is just dab-y. Dior Diorshow Mascara is easy and Stila Convertible Color is great, as well. It’s trashed! The lid doesn’t even stay on. I should get a new one, but I really only buy beauty things on the internet or at the airport, or after a facial if it was good. But otherwise, I would never think of it; I wouldn’t go to a Sephora. I’d go to Beauty.com or whatever.

For my hair, I love the Kiehl’s Silk Groom Serum—also, Pureology Antifade Complex shampoo and conditioner. It’s made for color-treated hair, and I don’t have colored hair, but a hairdresser gave it to me and I loved it. I always remembered when I used to color my hair in high school, how much softer it was, so I’m thinking maybe it’s better to use shampoo for colored hair. It makes my hair much silkier.

I don’t usually use the hotel's products. I would only do that if I ran out of my stuff. Except, when I was on honeymoon with my husband [James Hatt] in July, we stayed at a place called Como Shambhala and they have the best products—the shampoo I loved! Normally, hotel shampoos are a non-lather situation. I don’t like them, but I loved theirs. It was fun to have a travel-sized shampoo I could travel with for a while, but now I'm back to traveling with my Pureology.

This is usually what I keep by my bed wherever I'm staying: Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream and Caudalie Lip Conditioner. And Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is a bit heavy, but it's a nice refresher when I come home at the end of the day. This cashmere eye mask is great, as well. And when I'm not travelling or on a plane, I keep my blanket set in the freezer, because England has a weird moth problem. We keep a lot of our knitwear in bags, just in case, and instead of making this blanket complicated to get to, I just put it in a freezer. People will come over and think it's strange, but it kills the moths’ eggs. It doesn't harm the fabric or anything. Actually, I have an Alaïa skirt that lives in the freezer, too, because I’m terrified of them eating that."

—as told to ITG

Leith Clark, in an Orla Kiely dress, photographed by Emily Weiss at the NoMad Hotel in New York on September 10th, 2012.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://kitchenafternoon.blogspot.com/ Kitchenafternoon

    Serious skin care! This week I discovered the Rose Petal Mask by Fresh, great after a peel.

  • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

    Alaia skirt that lives in the freezer... Ha! That's hilarious! And her bathtub situation is gorgeous! I love these posts where we get to hear the secret details of beauty rituals, they're my favorites. And I totally agree with her on the stila convertible colors, I just got completely hooked on them myself!


  • http://twitter.com/joanabcggomes Joana Gomes

    Absolutely love this piece..


  • VotreAmie

    AH! Love that she busts a face mask out on a plane. Why the heck not, right?!

  • Dianna

    Emily, do you know the brand of her Argan Oil - I am currently on a hunt for one... Great post, as usually!
    BTW. I saw your picture on Style.com by Tommy Ton - you looked fabulous!

    • Katie

      I found a great argan oil from Simplers. It's a small company based out of Nor Cal. I believe you can get it at Whole Foods or any co-op grocers.

    • Christine

      I'm pretty sure those small Argan bottles are hotel toiletries. One's a shower gel, the other's a shampoo.


    The sleep mask has a bit of lint on it...but it's all good...we suppose.


  • ClosetCravings

    I really envy those who can travel so stylishly. This entire article was a delicious "note to self."
    Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

  • Alison Bell

    Brilliant piece, sounds like she takes excellent care of her skin. Evidently I could learn a thing or two!

  • Lera Pet

    I was wondering how the Lip Tars are on the lips, moisturizing or dry-ish?


  • Beautyidealist

    I didn't know Leith Clark before, but after reading this I'm pretty sure she is my skincare spirit animal. Her philosophy on not putting eggs into one basket and being able to change products/regimen is something I practice.



    I think this is the best Top Shelf that's come along in a long time - she is so jet-set and fabulous, yet still comes across as very approachable and down-to-earth. Makes her routine and story easy to read and relate to. I loved this: "I quite often choose the Snooze button over doing anything." Can definitely relate to that and her affinity towards cashmere!

  • frances

    Nice the jetset life:)


  • Genevieve

    She seems very impressionable.

    • sashi

      yes, but that seems really honest., instead of claiming to be just inspired by her own mind. There are outside influences... of course. ITG gives me new ideas all the time, for example. I loved this TopShelf and especially in contrast to over the top Fashionweek posts which exhaust me.
      btw, I put my pillows and blankets into the car outside when it is very super cold in the winter because the cold kills things. -2 F temperatures? Bring them on !

  • cat

    Who makes the dress she's wearing?

    • NT

      It is by Orla Kiely

  • San Francisco Editor

    Try the Babor Fluids after a peel, amazing! great read : )


    What a gorgeous clawfoot tub! Anyone familiar with that argan oil?

  • http://norwegianwo.tumblr.com/ Norwegian Wood

    I don't care for the products, but the bathroom is gorgeous! Interesting bit about the freezer, too.

  • http://rokderm.com/ ROKderm

    Wow amazing! loads of stuff to look into here, the doctor really intrigued me.. I'll have to check her out, studying to be a dermatologist myself one day, I'd love to give the same kind of service!

  • http://mybeautysample.com/ Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Loved this one--I really like that she kind of just got right down to the knitty-gritty. The Top Shelf feature is my absolute favorite, so when I read one, I want it as filled to the brim with beauty-talk as possible! This one was quite satisfying :P

  • NeenaJ

    Great tip about buying the facial masks on ebay. Never thought about keeping clothes in the freezer as a means to preserve them - that's what hope chests are for. Besides, my freezer is too full of White Castle cheeseburgers and booze for any clothes! LOL!

  • Tea

    Finally, Neostrata in The Top Shelf. Love their stuff! Her routine reminds me of my own ;)

  • Rose

    She's adorable! And she has awesome style. Loved this TopShelf!

  • Guest

    Pretty please do Abbey Lee X

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DJQMGJU7MZMBVLSD4GUTPJEPD4 murt

    I loved her thoughts on airplane travel - I've been flying a ton lately as well, and just moved to Nairobi a few days ago, so I can completely relate. (Though I can never manage to fall asleep on a plane, and I'm far too lazy to use any products in transit, unfortunately.)


Dior Diorshow Mascara
Eve Lom
Eve Lom Cleanser
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Caudalie Lip Conditioner
Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream
Pureology Thermal Antifade Complex SuperSmooth Shampoo
Pureology Antifade Complex Essential Repair Hair Condition
Kiehl's Since 1851
Kiehl's Since 1851 Silk Groom Serum
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar
Amore Pacific
Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum
Thalgo Exceptional Cream
Decleor Hydra Floral Flower Nectar Moisturising Cream
Thalgo Exceptional Serum
Arcona Triad Toner Pads
ARCONA Cranberry Toner
Eve Lom
Eve Lom Muslin Cleansing Cloths 3-Pack
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
REN Six Of The Best Set
Bose AE2 Audio Headphones