'I’m the director of an art gallery in New York City, and so I moved here for work. Before that, I was running a gallery in London, and before that, I worked for the longest time at the Tate. Now I live in Brooklyn—it’s like my sanctuary. My schedule keeps me fairly busy so a low maintenance routine works very well for me. Quick dressing, quick products. Anything straightforward.
I’m not a huge makeup aficionado—when I’ve dabbled in it, I haven’t gotten very far. I feel too bizarre and I think that, because I wear glasses all of the time, I've already got something on my face. If I then have lipstick or foundation or anything then I feel like a clown. But I've always wanted to be someone who would wear like red lipstick—I think it looks beautiful. I tried it once but it just isn’t for me. It felt like an alien had landed on my face and I couldn’t talk to people and be normal. For me, combined with the glasses, it just feels like too much masking. But I love skincare and, once I find something that works, I stick with it. My skin is best when I’m consistent with it. If I jump around, my skin doesn’t take kindly to it—plus, doing the same thing every day doesn’t take up too much brain space.
In the morning and evening, I use Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner just to clean my face and then, once or twice a week if I actually feel like washing my face properly, I use Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish. It comes with a muslin cloth but that disappeared into my laundry somewhere after I used it once. Occasionally, I use Bioderma but now I prefer The Rose Petal Heritage Store stuff because you can use it on your eyes, face, everything. I’m completely obsessed with it.
After that, in the morning, I’ll spray Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refresher to wake me up—it’s the most efficient thing you’ve ever seen. The Neal’s Yard Rehydrating Rose Toner is really good for a pick-me-up as well. They also do great vitamins that I pick up whenever I’m in England.
I grew up in London and spent the majority of my life there, so I have a particular affinity for Boots’ line called No.7, which is amazing. Five or six years ago, everyone in England was having a heart attack about this one cream that they had and it made me go, 'Hmm…they do face products!' Then, one day I picked up their Beautiful Skin Day Cream when I was in a rush at the airport and now I love it and I buy multiples when I’m in England so that I don’t run out. It’s super light and it smells really great. Occasionally, I’ll use Rodin Luxury Face Oil if my skin is really, really dry. That would be my luxury addition in winter, or in the summer if I’ve been swimming loads or something!
My mum was a Clarins addict so I sort of am, too. It gives me a sense of nostalgia. I’ve been using their After Sun Replenishing Moisture Care for Face forever. It's really calming and somehow quite mattifying, which is nice, because especially in the heat, you can get too oily. I think I have been using it for 15 years.
Then, I use this stuff called Biafine for lip balm. Biafine is an obsession of mine that I discovered maybe 10 years ago in France, when I burnt my hands with coffee. I had poured a hot kettle onto my hand and I went into the pharmacy with this giant blister and they were like 'Put this on, but cake it on. Don't rub it in. Let all that absorb and continue to put it on, put it on, put it on, put it on.' Then, it completely went away. They recommend it for sunburn as well. So it's become a slight cult product for me, I also use it for really dry skin but it’s amazing for any kind of scarring. So that is a firm favorite, and I always keep multiples.
If I do use makeup, I’ll put on some of No.7’s Extreme Length Mascara—although not in the summer, because my eyes get irritated and I just will not have it. As I start to feel slightly like I've got jaundice and I begin to look more tired during winter, I will start to use it because it just opens my eye up a little bit. My sister is a ballet dancer and so she has so much stage makeup…once or twice I’ve tried her undereye concealer but my skin just doesn’t hold it well or something and it ends up feeling like it’s congealing. I mean, there are probably days when I need it and I look like crap but that’s fine by me. Instead, I just drink more coffee and buy really expensive green juices.
One time, I was in Greece for a work thing and saw all this Korres stuff at the airport for really cheap. I never buy it here because it’s expensive, but I feel like it’s their national equivalent of a staple brand so I bought a massive bag of it and gave shower gels to all my friends. Now, I use their Japanese Rose Shower Gel, which is so good. And someone bought me Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Shower Gel that I love, it’s the smell of heaven. Big fan. Big, big fan.
I actually have big curly hair, which you wouldn’t believe because it spends its entire life scraped back. For years, I’d just use Johnson's Baby Shampoo and whatever standard conditioner I could find, which worked in England, but something in the water changed my hair when I came here. It would just dry out and I turn into a giant bird's nest. My partner, Duffy, is a hairdresser and will often come home with whole batches of products for work. Occasionally I’ll steal his Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner because it’s the best. I leave their Signature Conditioner in as a mask and I don’t wash it off—rather than using a spray or a gel, I just slick my hair back with that. I never wait for it to dry so I generally have wet hair most of the time, which I'm sure is not good for my health but I'll get over it.
Duffy doesn’t do my hair or anything...I don’t want him to have to come home from work and be like, 'Hi, can you do my hair?' I mean, if I have my hair cut then it’ll be by him…although actually, he was away the last time, so I cut it myself out of desperation. He was devastated when he got back because I couldn’t find the proper shears so I just used nail scissors. What’s funny is that I never wear my hair down so it basically makes no difference but, when he does cut my hair—when someone who knows how to do it does it for you—it’s a whole different thing. Like, shit, this is what I’m meant to look like! This is great!
I have an incredibly astute sense of smell, which I attribute to the fact that I'm practically blind. Byredo’s Gypsy Water is my favorite perfume, or I wear Jo Malone’s Amber & Lavender. For years, I only wore Chanel No. 5. It was like a routine and then all of the sudden I couldn't smell it anymore...I think my system negated it so I switched.
I take a lot of baths. Like, a lot of them. I use this bath salt soak, chamomile and lavender, that is super mild and really clean smelling…I guess that’s part of my world of smell obsession. When I was 15, I was convinced I was going to become a perfumier. I went on some school trip to a perfume factory and decided that was my calling. But it never happened.”
—as told to ITG
Lucy Chadwick photographed by Tom Newton.