Our editor Anna Bok reveals her personal beauty routine – with products by Susanne Kaufmann, Lovely Day, and Aesop
For a long time, my beauty routine changed around at record speed – for one, as a beauty editor, I’m constantly tempted to try out new tubes and jars. Also, I really love spying in other people’s bathrooms and when I saw something there I liked, I’d buy it almost immediately. It was something of a running joke in my circle of friends.
My skin, which up until then had been uncomplicated, unfortunately decided it couldn’t take it anymore and started reacting with redness and small blemishes: classic over-treatment, as a dermatologist attested. After a “zero skincare” start to the year, it got better and I’ve banned all the unnecessary products from my bathroom – especially the “chemical bombs.” I’ve been loyal to the products that my skin tolerates well ever since and I’m very selective when it comes to new additions. Having said that, I’m still on the path to refining the “less is more” principle …
I wash my face in the morning with cold water. Afterwards, I apply Face Fluid Line F by Susanne Kaufmann, which contains an herbal complex made of witch hazel, chamomile, and calendula and has a wonderfully calming effect. If my skin is looking really pale and pallid, I’ll add the Lucent Facial Concentrate by Aesop to my program – a fabulous brightness booster. I tap a little Brightening Eye Cream by Perricone MD around my eyes. I’m generally skeptical when it comes to beauty promises, but this cream with extracts of turmeric and green tea really does a good job with swelling and circles.
I take off my make-up in the evening with the Sensibio micelle solution by Bioderma, followed by the Mellow Mallow cleansing gel by Lovely Day, which thoroughly and gently cleanses the skin with natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and marshmallow root extract. It’s perfect used in combination with a konjac sponge. For a long time, I steered clear of facial oils because I believed they would clog my pores. The truth is that facial oils signal to the skin that it needs to produce less oil because it’s already getting enough from outside. Ever since I’ve been using the Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter (alternating with Rescue Oil by Lovely Day), my skin looks well-rested even after the shortest of nights. And should a small blemish show up anyway, the Active Agent Concentrate Clarifying by Susanne Kaufmann is a real help when your skin sends up an SOS: This brown bottle contains active plant salicylic acid that quickly brings my skin back into balance.
In regards to facial masks, I love the Deep Hydrating Mask by Dr. Barbara Sturm. Sometimes I even let this moisture booster do its thing overnight. For a deep-cleansing effect, the Charcoal Manuka Mask by Lovely Day is great. What I especially like about this black mask is the consistency – it doesn’t dry completely and rather stays nice and creamy.
I adopted a morning dry brushing routine from Julia Knolle and Julia Alfert. I use the Body Brush by Mio and even though the hard boar bristles took some effort to get used to at first, it was worth it: It tones your skin and makes it super soft. I used a shower gel from Line M by Susanne Kaufmann and a body lotion from the same series. I like it when scents remind me of certain moments, and in this case it’s a vacation to Austria. I went to the Hotel Post with the Susanne Kaufmann spa with a friend, and of course her products were in the bathrooms. We had to apply this body lotion a couple times a day – we were so addicted to its herbal, plummy scent. I just recently bought a bottle. Line M is intended for men, However, in my eyes, it’s completely unisex.
I finally have a bathtub again in my apartment in Berlin and at the side of it you’ll find Epsom salts, an ancient home remedy. This natural, magnesium-rich mineral detoxifies, moisturizes, and makes your skin so buttery soft you won’t need a cream afterwards. But because of my addiction to the body lotion described above, I always use it anyway. The Repairing Muscle Balm with ginger and mint by Night Delight is a boon during tense times – I’ll massage it into my shoulders and neck before going to bed. Also, something I never want to do without is the deodorant by Fine – finally, a deodorant made without harmful aluminum salts that works!
I used to buy every shampoo that had something like “for silky soft, smooth hair” on the label. My hair is the exact opposite: extremely thick, a little too dry, and difficult to control. In the meantime, I’ve learned that you should really select a shampoo based on the condition of your scalp – your conditioner will provide enough nourishment. At the moment I’m using the mild Calming Shampoo by Aesop, followed by the Damage Remedy conditioner by Aveda. In addition, I’ll use the Shampure dry conditioner by Aveda from time to time, which you spray into damp or dry hair.
I’ve reduced my make-up since the “over-treatment period” I mentioned above, but I’ve always liked to keep things uncomplicated during the summer months: It’s just my eyebrow gel that I won’t do without, because well-formed eyebrows provide the perfect frame for every face. I’ve been buying the eyebrow gel by Alverde for years – “blonde” is my shade – and have been able to convert a few friends. For my cheeks, I use a dab of Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint by Tata Harper in “Very Vivacious.” Gwyneth Paltrow raved about it in an interview. I’ve used it since – and I understand what she meant. I cover up redness and shadows around my eyes with “Un” Cover-Up by RMS Beauty. If I’m going out in the evening, I also use the Skintangible foundation by VMV Hypoallergenics. I would recommend the brand to anyone with sensitive skin like mine – all of the products are free of perfumes and artificial colors, parabens, and preservatives.
I either leave my lashes bare or just apply mascara to the top lashes. When it comes to mascara, I’ve tried everything from the cheaper brands to the luxury versions and it’s MyMascara that won me over: You answer questions on the brand’s website about the length, thickness, and curl of your own lashes, then you get a tailor-made mascara with an individualized brush and texture – a great concept.
Translation: Melissa Frost
Anna Bok was born and raised in Berlin. After stops in Freiburg and Florence, she made her way to Hamburg in 2007 to study journalism and art history – where she stayed and worked as a freelance journalist with various publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Blonde. She’s now returned to Berlin after nearly 10 years in the Hanseatic City. When Anna isn’t writing about beauty, fashion, or traveling, you’ll often find her on her yoga mat (recommendations for studios in Berlin welcome!).