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



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.



Glycolic Acid is a skin-care ingredient that many people might shy away from, not least because it has the scary A-word in its name. However, it’s worth remembering that anything below pH 7 is classed as acidic and that includes skin, yoghurt and milk! Glycolic Acid is the most-studied of the alpha-hydroxy acids and is fast becoming a can’t- do- without ingredient amongst skincare experts. We’ve summarised everything you need to know about this super-exfoliator below:

 

  1. Glycolic Acid (most-commonly derived from sugar cane) is a member of the alpha-hydroxy AHA) group of ‘skin-friendly’ acids. Powerfully penetrative due to having a very small molecular size, most at-home treatments have concentrations of between 5 and 15%.
  2. The main function of glycolic acid in skincare is as a skin exfoliant. This super-penetrative molecule works primarily on the uppermost 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.
  3. Glycolic Acid in skincare is most effective at lower pH’s, but very low pH can increase the risk of irritation. Look for a glycolic toner with a pH of 3.5 and an acid concentration between 6% and 10%. This will ensure that your skin receives maximum benefits without the risk of irritation. The nice thing about glycolic acid is that at the correct concentrations, it’s good for virtually all skin types with the exception of those with extremely sensitive skin or diagnosed rocacea.

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