With email at your fingertips, nonstop group texting, and around-the-clock social media delights and distractions, actually making the time to unwind and shut down at the end of the day frequently takes a backseat to just one more tour of your Instagram feed. But, logging your requisite REM sleep is all about establishing a consistent evening routine, so who better to advise us than those for whom beauty sleep is a veritable job requirement? In this installment of our Best Night Ever series, we asked Carolyn Murphy to take us through her perfect evening.
I ‘unplug’ by 8pm.
What is your nightly beauty routine?
My evening beauty routine starts with clean skin, and I prefer Re-Nutriv Hydrating Creme Cleanser. Then I have some chamomile tea and a hot bath, followed by Advanced Night Repair serum for face and Advanced Night Repair Eye, a creme like Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Creme, and finally I slather on a body creme. The bath opens your pores, so I apply cremes afterward, so the products penetrate the skin.
You were recently introduced to the new Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask. When do you wear it?
I'll use it on a Sunday night, preparing for the week ahead. I'll have a cup of chamomile tea while I relax for 10 minutes with the mask on.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received on getting a good night’s sleep?
Not to use any devices with an LED screen (phones/computers) after 8pm, to keep electronics out of the bedroom and to use blackout curtains. The body needs to know it’s time to "turn off" and not have stimulation or disrupters.
My nana spoiled me with Youth-Dew Bath Oil.
What are your best tips for getting a good night's sleep?
My best tip is to create a routine that you follow at least 5 nights a week (saving a couple for those nights out—be realistic!). I "unplug" by 8pm, take a hot bath and usually read myself to sleep. If I watch TV, I make sure it's something non-violent, like a classic film. I also have an arsenal of silk eye masks and earplugs.
Do you have a nighttime ritual?
My ritual of taking a bath goes back to childhood. My nana spoiled me with Youth-Dew Bath Oil, and she would even let me use her body powder. I still take baths, but recently, I've added in meditation—20 minutes helps me sleep like a baby.
Talk to us about your ideal night.
A perfect night is an early dinner with my friends in my garden, a little pasta and wine. Then a bath, snuggle time and reading with Dylan, and being in bed by 10:30pm.
How many hours of sleep do you average a night?
I need at least 8 hours of sleep, and I maintain that at least 4-5 nights a week or I'm a mess. My ideal would be 10-12 hours on weekends, but with kids and dogs, it’s kind of a pipe dream.
Are you an early-to-bed, early-to-rise—or a night owl?
I’ve adopted my father’s favorite saying, “The early bird catches the worm.” I love going to bed early.
I love a silk pajama set.
Nightshirt or pajamas?
Both night dresses and pajamas are good, depending on my mood. I usually wear silk nightgowns, but if I'm cold or cranky, I love a silk pajama set.
Silk, cotton or linen sheets and why?
I use silk pillowcases because they reduce friction on the hair and skin. But, then I like high thread count cotton sheets, because they tend to be softer and keep you cool.
Any tips on looking rested when you don’t get much sleep?
It’s all about good beauty products and makeup! Using the Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask is crucial, as well as Advanced Night Repair Eye, which helps reduce the look of puffiness. The secret is dewy skin and fresh, berry-toned lips and cheeks. Another makeup artist trick: using very little concealer or powder, as both can make you look older and more tired.