I'm 35 and Get 5 Hours Sleep, But Friends Think I Look 27—Here Are My Tricks

For as long as I can remember I’ve passed as being a few years younger than my actual age. When I was 22 I was mistaken for being 16, and on my 27th birthday I was asked for ID when buying alcohol. Why am I telling you this? Well, since becoming a parent, I’ve wondered if I have still retained my youthfulness. I can’t deny that there are now bags and dark circles under my eyes when they weren’t before. As I type this, I feel very tired. The sort of tired that’s only caused by long-term sleep deprivation. And what were once tiny, almost non-existent lines on my forehead are now becoming deep grooves. 

Now firmly in my 30s (I’m 35), I decided to canvas my colleagues to see how old they thought I was. Over Slack I asked them how old they thought I looked and asked them to be genuinely honest. All of them said between 27 and 29 (I promise I didn’t pay them). I was, of course, over the moon that they said I looked so young. I maintain that it’s thanks to a mixture of good genes and a pretty strict beauty routine, I’ve been about to keep my skin in check. While I can’t do much about the former, I can tell you all about the latter. 



Before I start, however, I think it’s important to acknowledge a few lifestyle factors that impact my skin. I don’t regularly drink alcohol, I don’t smoke and I also run a couple of times a week, plus I’m often, quite literally, running around after my toddler. I mainly drink black coffee, water, and an occasional can of coke on weekends (I know, I’m wild). My diet is pretty good but I have a sweet tooth and I eat meat (but rarely red). 



Okay, so now that’s out of the way, I have two main rules: always take your makeup off and always wear SPF, even in the winter. As much as I’d love to look tanned and glowy all year round, I very much fake it if I want to give my skin a less pallid shade (currently I’m enjoying using the drops from Isle of Paradise). 



Ready to find out my whole skincare routine? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know. 


On the makeup removing front, unless you’re really inebriated (hey, we’ve all been there), you need a decent makeup remover, not wipes, and then you need to wash your face after too. As I’m currently trying to be more sustainable, even with beauty, I’m using reusable makeup pads and they’ve been brilliant so far, but my favourite way to remove makeup is to use to a balm. There are various on the market but one of my all-time favourites is the Elemis one. You only need a little bit to rub onto a dry face and you’ll get rid of everything you were wearing that day. 

Next, you need to wash your face. I love this calendula foaming wash as it feels really gentle and always leaves my skin feeling completely clean. 

Important step number three is moisturize. Now, I have used various different ones over the years and I sometimes use an oil (but not every night). However, this is my go-to always good moisturizer. 


I can’t tell you how much I love this moisturizer. It is the moisturizer to end all moisturizers. It is skin-brightening thanks to the vitamin C and is so thick, it makes your skin feel so smooth. It also helps to reduce the signs of aging. I use this a couple of times a week for when I really need a pick-me-up. 

Thanks to the glycolic acid in Pixi Glow Tonic, your skin is gently exfoliated when you use this product. It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and leaves you looking glowing. I use this a couple of times a week in the evenings after I’ve taken off my makeup and washed my face and before I’ve put on moisturizer. 

Another “can’t do without this” product. Thanks to those aforementioned dark circles, I now need eye cream. As this contains vitamin C it helps to brighten up the area. I genuinely believe I’ve seen overnight results after putting this on before bed. 


As a once-a-week deeper exfoliation, I’ll use my Clarisonic. Not only does it help to clean my face in a more intense way, it then means the active ingredients in my skincare will work better, as they’re not just all sat on the surface of my skin. 


I believe that the better you look after your skin, the less you’ll want to rely on makeup. That said, there’s no getting rid of my dark circles unless I resort to concealer. Glossier’s little pot is a wonder—I often use it as a tinted moisturiser as it’s that hydrating. It's ideal for under eyes and it doesn’t appear to settle in any of my creases. 

I don’t always use foundation as I think it can be aging, but when I want my makeup to stay put all day, I will use it. This one is light and makes my skin glow. 

If I had to choose between concealer and bronzer, I’d always go for bronzer. It’s such a brilliant product and immediately makes any face look brighter. I use this sparingly and dust lightly over my cheeks, on the bridge of my nose, and a little on my forehead. 

After bronzer, I like to add a little color to my cheeks. There’s something about this pink that gives off a youthful glow. 

The best eyebrow pencil, hands down. Great for getting your brows into shape and then filling any gaps with the pencil. 

One of the sharpest eyeliners I’ve ever tried. I always need a flick on either side of my eyes to give the impression I’m more awake than I feel. 

Finally, a slick of mascara to open up my eyes and make me look awake. 

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.