Tess Ward, Chef


"I'm a chef and a food writer and a consultant, and right now I'm working on a book, so that's taking up most of my focus. It's about occasion food—the experience of eating and the pleasure of eating with people—which is a departure from my first book, which was really healthy. My personal approach to eating and wellness is all about balance. I like to think that I’m still really healthy, but there are times—like when I’m hungover—when everything and anything that’s put in front of me is going to be eaten. There are times when a whole tub of ice cream seems like a good idea. [Laughs] But generally, I eat what works for my body. So I try not to eat things that I know aren’t going to digest so well, or are going to give me a headache, whatever. But not obsessively. I’ll have a piece of bread before my lunch, or I’ll have a bowl of pasta if I want to. You have to eat things that make you happy.

If I eat the wrong food, I notice it immediately in my skin. It’s so annoying. Some people have perfect skin, and they can eat whatever they want. I think if I had perfect skin, I would probably just not care. But I'm very conscious about cleansing my skin properly—especially because the pollution in London is so bad. I sometimes will cleanse with coconut oil, and then wash it again after that. Think about it—you have to take off the pollution and the makeup, and then you can cleanse your face. Or else you just washing dirt around on your face. You need a flannel to do it right. That is very British.

At night, what's really good is the Dr. Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask, especially if you leave it on for a bit. There are also peel pads from Zelens that I'll use to exfoliate with. My favorite clay mask is the Pai Deep Cleanse Clay Mask. It has AHAs in it, but you don't really notice them. It's very gentle. But you also need to really moisturize after those, so I like the Dr. Sebagh Rose de Vie Hydrating mask and this La Mer Intensive Revitalizing mask. It’s so good.

I don't always feel like I need to cleanse in the morning, but if I do I use Dr. Sebagh Cream Cleanser because it's gentle but still takes off that film you get when you sleep. Then I'll use the Elemis Biotech Skin Energizing Day Cream, let it sink in, and follow with the Zelens Daily Defense Sunscreen with SPF 30. The Elemis has a nice smell and texture, plus it goes nicely under the Zelens. Then I love the Zelens because it smells like nothing and has the texture of a cream. I don’t feel like I have a tacky layer on top of my skin, which is my worst nightmare, because then it feels like you’re oily and it’s horrible. I also have the This Works In-Transit Skin Defence with SPF 30. The texture is quite good and it also doesn't smell.

Then I put on the Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Cream SPF 10 for a dewey situation. It's essentially a luminator and a primer, but subtle. And it probably cost me £12. For more coverage, I use the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer and the Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream. If I don’t wear any other makeup, I’ll wear lipstick. And black eyeliner on the top with a flick. I like the YSL liquid liner—it’s a felt marker. I always gravitate towards plum lipsticks, like the Rouge Coco in 416 Coco, and this Clarins 132. I usually mix it with something a little bit red. Maybe a bit of bronzer and mascara. The Tom Ford Mascara is my favorite for opening up the eye. It’s easy to put it on, and then I’m like oh my gosh, lashes.

Nothing I do takes too long. I like products that work, but that work efficiently. I almost never sit and get my nails done or get a facial. Honestly, that's time I'd rather spend working on something. But then again, sometimes you just need to get the facial. To take care of your skin, and to just sit still for an hour and relax."

—as told to ITG