Michelle Kinsella Lee is one of Ireland’s leading freelance makeup artists with over twelve years experience in her field. She lives in Dublin with her husband, two little girls and her pug Coco Pop. Michelle specialises in bridal, editorial, TV and celebrity makeup and travels nationwide and internationally for her work. She tells us how self care has become even more important to her after having children.


What does self-care mean to you? 

Funny, since having my two girls the meaning of self care has changed for me. I used to see it as a bit of an indulgence but now I see it as a necessity to give myself those little moments. Although it doesn’t always mean spa days or nights away anymore. These days it’s a walk in the Phoenix Park on my own, a hot bath in the evening, doing my nails in peace when the girls are in bed, a reformer Pilates class – any of those little things are all filed under self care for me now.

If you had 5 mins to do something nice for yourself what would you do?

Being a Mum of a 4 year old and a 1 year old is all go so if I had 5 minutes I would sit in silence with an oat cappuccino… the dream! 

How do you incorporate self care into your daily routine?

My skincare regime. I’m pretty obsessed with skincare. Skin is always in!! Every morning and every evening I have a skincare regime and it makes me feel amazing after I do it. It’s my little few moments to myself plus my skin benefits so win win! 

Do you have anything that adds a touch of luxury to your daily life? 

We just moved into our new home a few months ago in our dream location. It was a massive renovation/extension job – we literally only kept the front wall of the house. So it’s actually my gorgeous new kitchen that adds a bit of luxury to my daily life, I’m obsessed with it! 

When you feel like treating yourself to something extra special, what do you do?

Book into a really nice hotel with a gorgeous spa and have a night away. With some Champagne if it’s really special! 

What’s your favourite spa treatment?

A full body deep tissue massage. You can give yourself a facial at home with the right products but you can’t give yourself a full body massage!

What is the first thing you reach for when you are winding down?

Honestly?? A glass of good red wine haha! Or a hot bath with essential oils and candles – my favs are tea tree and lavender and sometimes I put Epsom salts in there too. I know some people drink their glass of wine in the bath but I’m not into that! I always bring a chilled glass of water into the bath with me. 

*As a thank you to Michelle for taking part we have made a donation to Australian Wildfire Rescue WIRES in her name


Ingrid Hoey is a fashion stylist and fashion presenter. Ingrid lives in Dublin with her husband Neil, two daughters, and a 9-year-old Bischon Frise dog that thinks she’s human. She sat down with us and shared how she practices self-care every day. 


What does self-care mean to you? 

Self care to me, is taking time out of the day to do something that I enjoy . It is doing something for myself.


If you had 5 mins to do something nice for yourself what would you do?

If I have 5 mins I make myself a cuppa and sit in the rocking chair in my kitchen.


How do you incorporate self care into your daily routine?

For me it is through exercise. I workout twice a week and try to run twice a week also.  I go for a long walk everyday with my dog regardless of the weather. I have been known to drag her around (she is TINY!) in torrential rain! 


 Do you have anything that adds a touch of luxury to your daily life? 

I have a beautiful silk eye mask by KDK , two fabulous Irish sisters, which I got as a gift. That goes on every night at bedtime!


What’s your favourite spa treatment?

A facial followed by a body and head massage.


What is the first thing you reach for when you are winding down?

Whatever book I’m currently reading!

*As a thank you to Ingrid for taking part we have made a donation to Pieta House in her name



February is the month of love and at Pestle & Mortar we’re celebrating the most important love of all, self love. Throughout the month we will be sharing conversations with women we admire about what self-care means to them. We’re starting with our own CEO and Co-Founder, Sonia Deasy.


What does self-care mean to you? 

To me, self-care means that you take responsibility for yourself by looking after your body and mind in whatever way works for you – that might be exercise, massage therapy, meditation, or having a ‘social blackout’ period in your day where you switch off all screens.


If you had 5 mins to do something nice for yourself what would you do?

5 minutes is a luxury when you have 5 children and you’re running a business! So when it happens, I literally just sit by myself, relax and clear my thoughts. 


How do you incorporate self care into your daily routine?

My skincare routine is my daily bit of self-care. I can depend on it to happen because it’s an atomic habit for me – something small that I do everyday that makes me feel good.


Do you have anything that adds a touch of luxury to your daily life? 

My bed is my daily luxury. It’s large, super-comfortable and always dressed in pure white Egyptian cotton. For me, there’s nothing more luxurious than a great night’s sleep!


When you feel like treating yourself to something extra special, what do you do?

I go for a long walk on the Curragh with my husband and kids.


What’s your favourite spa treatment?

It’s a pedicure. I absolutely love foot massages.


What is the first thing you reach for when you are winding down?

A mug of cardamom tea and my kindle.


Adding an acid toner to your skincare routine provides multiple benefits, but it can be difficult to know which acid is right for you. Depending on how your skin feels, it’s a good idea to mix acids in your routine. Use our Simple Guide to Acids to figure out what’s right for you.  

THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO ACIDS IN SKINCARE

 

PH

Let’s start by explaining skin pH. The skin’s acid mantle is a very fine slightly acidic film which protects the skin. This is the layer that we are constantly trying to keep balanced. pH measures how acidic the skin’s acid mantle is. Healthy skin is on the weakly acidic side of the pH scale (around 4-6). You will know that your skin has a balanced pH if it has a soft texture and no dry spots. Most reputable skincare products are pH-balanced, meaning that they are formulated with a pH that falls in the range of healthy skin. Using an acid toner (e.g. AHA, BHA or PHA) whose pH is in the acidic range is not a problem – the skin will re-adjust its pH within an hour of application and acidic substances stimulate the skin to produce key substances that it needs to look smooth and supple.  

Hyaluronic Acid

What is it?

Hyaluronic Acid is a carbohydrate found naturally in skin that keeps every aspect of the skin structurally stable and constantly renewed.

When should I use it?

Everyone should incorporate Hyaluronic Acid into their routine every day because as we age, the amount of HA present in the body diminishes. Incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare regime is therefore crucial to maintaining a youthful complexion.

What does it do?

Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture. One single molecule of HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. In addition to retaining skin moisture, HA also facilitates collagen production, contributing to anti-ageing benefits for the skin. A good hyaluronic serum will instantly plump up the complexion and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  

Glycolic Acid

What is it?

Glycolic Acid (most-commonly derived from sugar cane) is a member of the alpha-hydroxy (AHA) group of ‘skin-friendly’ acids. It is powerfully penetrative due to having a very small molecular size.

When should I use it?

At the correct concentrations, glycolic acid is good for virtually all skin types with the exception of those with diagnosed skin conditions, like rosacea. Its main function is as an exfoliant. Use glycolic acid when your skin looks dull and your skin tone appears uneven.

What does it do?

It works at the very top layer of the skin, breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together. The result is clearer pores, a brighter complexion and fresher-looking skin.  

Lactic Acid

What is it?

Lactic Acid is a naturally occurring carboxylic acid found in many foods. It is present in milk and according to legend, it’s the reason why Cleopatra bathed in this substance to keep her skin soft and beautiful.

When should I use it?

Lactic Acid is a sensitive skin hero, gentle enough for use on all skin types. It improves the skin’s natural moisture factor, or the means by which the skin keeps itself hydrated. Use a lactic acid toner when your skin feels dry and unbalanced.

What does it do?

Lactic Acid exfoliates the skin by sloughing away dead skin cells on the surface and hydrates skin by enhancing its ability to moisturise itself. Hyperpigmentation fades and fine lines and wrinkles diminish. The visible benefits are smoother, softer skin and a radiant complexion.  

Salicylic Acid

What is it?

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from willow bark. It is more oil-soluble than the AHA acids which makes it highly penetrative. It penetrates deep into the pores of the skin to dissolve skin debris that clogs them.

When should I use it?

Use salicylic acid when you are experiencing blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts.

What does it do?

Salicylic Acid dissolves the type of skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne. It loosens and removes dead skin cells deep in the dermis and helps to dissolve blackheads.  

Top Tips!

Spritzing after toning calms, hydrates and rebalances the skin – and feels great. Just remember that in the case of hyaluronic acid only, it’s better to spritz first as hyaluronic acid will lock-in moisture from spritzing. AHAs and BHAs make you burn faster in the sun. Wear sunscreen while you’re using them and for at a least a week afterwards. Many people find that waiting a few minutes for hydroxy acids to sink in before applying other products gives better results.


Pestle & Mortar’s Exfoliate Glycolic Toner has won Denmark’s prestigious Beautyspace Aarets Quickfix Award 2019. According to beautyspace.dk:

“Exfoliate quickly delivers visible skin-enhancing results but also goes deeper than the surface. A smoother, more uniform complexion is achieved with consistent use.”

Exfoliate is a glycolic acid based formulation which evens-out skin tone, brightens the complexion, tightens pores and promotes skin cell renewal. With a free acid-value of 6.8% and a pH of 3.5, Exfoliate is suitable for all skin types and delivers instant skin benefits. Formulated with skin brightening and toning ingredients, Exfoliate diminishes dullness to deliver a glowing and rejuvenated complexion.

Beautyspace.dk refers to Exfoliate’s ‘uncomplicated recipe’. True to the Pestle & Mortar philosophy ‘less-is-more’, star ingredients glycolic acid, niacinamide and white daisy flower extract play the central roles in a toner that quickly delivers visible results.


Well, what a year it’s been so far for us here in Pestle & Mortar and not least due to the fact that our co-founder Sonia Deasy was chosen as one of 24 finalists in the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme passionately believes in promoting entrepreneurship across the island of Ireland and empowering entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Ireland, Northern Ireland and around the world. As a skincare brand that is focussed on building global customer trust in Irish skincare, we were certainly empowered as the journey progressed throughout the year.

The theme of this year’s programme was ‘Be Brave, Be Bold’, an inspiring message for entrepreneurs and businesses across all industries. Sonia travelled to Hong Kong in May in the company of EY Alumni and fellow finalists where she experienced the scale of industry in the East. Being in the company of Irish entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries was an education in itself:

“My journey with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme was simply amazing. I learnt a lot, but I think the lesson that stood out for me was that there isn’t a single (successful) entrepreneur anywhere who doesn’t have to take a deep breath and step out of their comfort zone at times. Success lies outside your comfort zone and not within it. You really do need to be brave and be bold. That’s the lesson that the programme reinforced for me.”

This year’s programme culminated in a glittering televised Awards Ceremony last Thursday night in Dublin where Richard Kennedy of Devenish was crowned 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. The night was charged with excitement, fun and friendship with the Pestle & Mortar team and their families in attendance to support Sonia.

As a brand that launched just 5 years ago with just one single product, Pestle & Mortar is truly honoured to have been the only Irish Skincare brand taking the stage with finalists from a wide range of tech, retail, industry and agri businesses.

A massive thanks from everyone at Pestle & Mortar to the EOY committee, Alumni and fellow finalists for what was a truly rewarding experience.

 


Fasten your seatbelt and listen up! We’re excited for you that you’re going on holiday and all that BUT we are worried about your skin.

Did you know that the lack of humidity in an aircraft cabin is a whopping 20%-50% lower than what the skin is most comfortable in? You may not have known it, but you probably have noticed it. This decreased humidity is responsible for serious dehydration and  a dulled-down complexion. To add insult to injury, water retention caused by sitting still, munching on salty snacks and drinking alcohol on-board causes puffy under-eye bags.

So for a smooth skin landing, follow the inflight instructions below!

1.

Travel Make-Up Free

A dry aeroplane environment paired with occlusive makeup creates the perfect conditions for break-outs. Coupled with this, a full face of make-up will most likely appear smudgy and sloppy after hours in a cabin. So embrace your natural self, go make-up free and land smoothly!

2.

Spritz on-board

Using a refreshing, hydrating facial spritz on-board will fight dehydration and maintain the skin’s protective barrier. It also feels energising and calming all at once – just the remedy for a stuffy flight!

3.

Top-up with a Skin Serum

Bring a multi-tasking product on-board like a Hyaluronic Serum to plump-up skin and seal moisture into the skin. Perfect for warding-off stressed skin, flakiness and dullness.

4.

Drink Water

We don’t mean ‘drink water and alcohol’. We mean drink water only! Hydrating on-board is essential so drink up the H2O and save the celebratory beverages for when you land with your glowing complexion.

Simple Skincare Solutions


1.

Use an Exfoliating Skin Toner

Winter often leaves us with dry, flaky skin and more skin cells dulling the surface of the complexion. Before travelling, it’s essential that dead skin cells are sloughed away – otherwise, you’ll end up with flakiness, dry patches and an uneven complexion. Start using a mild acid toner such as a glycolic-based exfoliator as soon as your holiday dates are set. Glycolic Acid works wonders for dull skin, minimises pores and has some impressive hydrating properties too

2.

Lighten up your Moisturiser

If you switched to a heavier moisturiser for Winter, now is the time to lighten up. Pestle & Mortar’s Hydrate is formulated with squalane – an ingredient which is not only super-hydrating but also has low comedogenicity. It is unlikely to block pores. Squalane also plays a role in protecting the skin from UV radiation. In addition to containing the super beneficial squalane, Hydrate is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin. It is the perfect travel-prep moisturising solution , providing essential hydration without clogging pores.

3.

Use a Serum

Lock-in moisture with a hydrating serum. Now is the time to ensure that your skin is getting maximum moisture after prolonged exposure to harsh Winter conditions. If you are serious about prepping your skin for travel, a hyaluronic serum is your best friend. Hyaluronic Acid, contrary to its name, is not harsh – rather, it’s a polymer that attracts water to an amazing extent. Pure Hyaluronic Serum will hold water on to the skin when applied over damp skin and skin will look and feel plumper, more hydrated and smoother.

Simple Skincare Solutions


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