"Hi! I’m Phoebe Rose Cotter (@phoebe_rose91). I was born in London, grew up in Ireland, and moved back to London about five years ago after I graduated. I work in the city as a Business Development Associate and Account Manager, providing investors and advisors with data on the alternative asset market—essentially, I provide specific market intel on the infrastructure and energy market.
My week is usually pretty busy, so my regimen is focused on what makes me feel the best about myself. If I have a beauty philosophy, it’s probably ‘Enhance, don’t mask’. I spent a lot of my teens absolutely caked in makeup to hide my damaged skin, and I remember the feeling of shame when people would make fun of me for it, as well as the fear that someone would discover what the makeup was hiding. Curing that over the past few years has literally felt like taking a mask off, and has made me appreciate how much fun cosmetics can be when they aren’t constantly being used as a disguise.
I’ve struggled with dermatillomania since I was about 11—which is a compulsive desire to pick at your skin—but only recently found out I had it. People with dermatillomania will often actively search for bumps or imperfections in the skin, so that they can ‘purge’ them. I myself have a real fixation on ‘clean’ skin so, in my teens, I tried everything from Differin, Retin-A, Benzamycin, Duac, and numerous others that I can’t even remember. At one point, I remember cleaning my skin with surgical spirits. Thankfully, with a proper diagnosis came an ability to better manage the behavior. Now, I’m far more gentle with my skin. Not only do I break out much less, but the psychological switch from ‘cleaning’ my skin to nourishing it has made me much less likely to pick.
My evening routine always has a double-cleanse. I usually take off the initial layer of makeup with Bioderma Micellar water, which lets my oil-based cleaners get to work. I’ll then use either Dermalogica Precleanse, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, or Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm. I’ll warm any of these up on my hands first, massage in to my face for at least three minutes and then take off with a hot towel. Afterwards, I’ll use Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip and let that sit for a while before rinsing off. Toner-wise, I use either Dermalogica Multi-Active toner or rosewater and spritz directly on to my face. While my face is still wet, I use Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair and layer that with Clarins Double-Serum. Usually, I also pop a vitamin E capsule or two on top, so that my skin is just fat with moisture. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll also use Sunday Riley Good Genes. I know this is so expensive, but you see the results overnight, and a bottle lasts for ages if you’re sparing. I’ll also run Careprost—generic brand Latisse—over my lashline, wait for it to dry and then run a mascara wand through some castor oil, and then comb that through my lashes.
Once every two weeks, I’ll get a bit more physical with my exfoliation, using either Nude Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash, or Dermalogica Microfoliant. They both make my skin feel squeaky clean, without stripping or overdrying it. At the moment though, I’m enjoying Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Hydroxy Pads, which Santa kindly brought me. There’s just something so professional about them and if you suffer with hyperpigmentation, which I absolutely do, they work total wonders. Every morning, I’m actually excited to see how my skin looks! Similarly, I have a big bottle of Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2, which I ration out but only if my skin is feeling quite dirty because it’s pretty strong.
In the mornings, I’ll gently wash with Omorovicza Cleansing Foam, before spritzing with Dermalogica Multi-Active toner and applying my moisturizer. Sun protection is really important–for everyone, but especially for me, after a skin cancer scare last year–so I use Eve Lom Daily Protection SPF 50, let that sink in and then use Dermalogica Barrier Repair on top.
I probably play it pretty safe when it comes to makeup. Ideally, I just want to look like a better version of me. I use Dermalogica Hydrablur or Smashbox Photo Finish—or both!—before patting in my foundation. I recently discovered By Terry’s Light Expert Click Brush, which has more of a pink-tone base. I do the rest of my routine while I sip a cup of green tea. It’s fully my time to get ready for the day and wake up as gently as I need to. A mix of Glossier Haloscope and Benefit Watts Up goes of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupids bow. If I use blush, it’s either Nars Orgasm, or the gorgeous Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Activist, which gives a really dewy finish when used on cheeks or lips.
The one eyeshadow I always come back to is Chantecaille in Patchouli, a brown with subtle hints of purple, which makes my green eyes look brighter. Charlotte Tilbury Amber Haze is a more dramatic version of the same, although I never feel like I’m having a dramatic enough day to warrant wearing it outside of the house. Urban Decay's Naked3 contains, in my opinion, all the best shades for my colouring, so I’ll use that for a bolder look. Nooner is my favourite from this palette, and bonus, it also works for contour if you’re in a jam.
Even though I love lipsticks and liners, I find that I tend to play it very safe. That said, I have two reds—Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in Rouge Rock, and Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Carina Love, both of which are super rich and deep, but don’t leave me feeling like I’m playing dress-up. Most of the time, MAC Velvet Teddy, Whirl or Honeylove are my go-tos. Honeylove especially is beautiful with a mix of Laura Mercier Pink Pop or Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lip Gloss on top.
I get my hair done at Windle & Moodie, and have done for the past three years. Actually, funnily enough, that’s where I met my boyfriend, Charles. He was my stylist, and I had such a crush on him that I kept going back in order to give him my number, but chickening out horribly at the last minute. I even ended up getting a poorly thought-out fringe, just to have a legitimate excuse to see him again. I use Windle & Moodie’s Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which makes my hair feel so soft and healthy, but also so strong. They contain coconut oil so, as I don’t use heat on my hair, I find it stops me from getting quite as many flyaways. In recent months, I’ve also been doing Olaplex treatments on my hair at home. There’s an amazing place that sells it online, and my hair is basically Kardashian-shiny after I use it.
I don’t wash my hair more than about once a week, but I shower twice a day. In the mornings I use Yves Rocher Mango Coriander body wash, which I was recently gifted, and in the evenings, I just use plain ol’ unperfumed Sanex, as I feel it’s more gentle on my skin before I get in to bed. I get quite bad KP on my thighs and back of my legs, so I use Ameliorate for that specifically, although it’s so expensive.
My favourite scent is Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud. It’s so rich and adult, but without being overly cloying. I love those scents that are almost a little bit overpowering, like Diptyque Olene. In the summer, I wear Acqua di Parma Mirto di Panarea, although I recently sprayed it at my desk and one of my colleagues said it smelled like lemon kitchen cleaner…"
—as told to ITG