'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.