Ilkin Kurt knows true beauty. Aging naturally, a combination of face yoga and Chanel Beauty for an extra lift. And when it comes to taking care of your body - steamy showers, long baths, dry body brushing and a morning stretch.
For the fashion and brand consultant, no two days are the same. From international Zoom meetings, styling and creative direction, life ebbs and flows. Here, she talks about her night routine for optimal skincare, aging gracefully and beauty tips from Nanna.
What is your morning beauty routine?
Since COVID I have been spending more time taking care of myself in the mornings. I start the day with warm lemon and honey water, it has been a ritual for a while now followed by some stretching. Then I clean my face with cleansing oil as it leaves skin feeling supple and smooth. Often I rotate my morning face oils depending on my mood really. Then Gua Sha! I turned 36 this year, I prefer aging naturally as much as I can, so Gua Sha is a great way to improve your circulation and relieve the tension on the areas that wrinkles tend to stay. Also, a great way to examine yourself internally and physically.
Some mornings I start the day with a mask after cleansing and one product I can swear by is AOTEA Manuka Honey mask. It has pure mānuka oil which cleans the skin and kills bacteria so that not only does this mask hydrate, but it is also deeply cleansing.
What is your night beauty routine?
I try to have a bath a few times a week. There’s nothing more relaxing after a long, busy day—especially on a cold winter night—than a soothing soak in the tub. I have a little mix that literally makes my skin super smooth and shiny (Epsom salt, magnesium flakes, honey, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal and coconut oil mix). I find a bath encourages mindfulness plus helps break up congestion from common colds and allergies. Because I rarely wear make-up, so my face cleansing routine is very simple at night.
I mostly use a chemist beauty product to wash away the day, followed by Emma Lewisham The Supernatural Triple Retinol A+ Face Oil a targeted vitamin A boost that leaves skin feeling silky and lastly Chanel Le Lift Crème de Nuit for an ultimate soothing which also optimises cell revitalisation. A make-up artist of mine (who is the Chanel Ambassador in Turkey) recommends this night face yoga routine after applying Le Lift:
Use your thumb and forefinger to slightly pinch facial contours. Start under the chin and go up, gently moving skin back towards ears, then finish by smoothing the face. Perform this movement gradually from the bottom to the top. Repeat three times on each side of the face. Like Gua Sha without the tools.
Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?
I work as a fashion/brand consultant specialising brand-building in fashion, design and art. It is a really broad field that involves creative direction/designing to buying, styling to retail or campaign strategy, visual identity to tone of voice… which means you have to follow up day to day what is happening around the world.
Since COVID, a typical day is a bit more relaxed. I just moved into a new place where I am closer to the water. 30-40 mins daily morning walks followed by a good break'feast’ is my thing now. I really take my time to have a proper breakfast. Then I would catch up with emails and read retail news around the world for an hour or so.
I wish I could say each day is different, but it is not these days. I have started to get really bored with Zoom calls as my profession needs face to face meetings, touching the garments… It gets really hard when you try to communicate with a client who is based in NY! But it is what it is. Having said that I’m grateful to be able to keep doing what I love doing during this pandemic.
What is the supermarket/ drug store/ chemist beauty product(s) that you use and love?
Bioderma Sensibio, Nuxe Huilo Dry oil (I use it as a hair oil), Nature’s Bounty E-Oil, Embryolisse Lair-Crème (not sure if you can purchase them in Australian drug stores).
What is your main form of beauty body maintenance? What products do you use on your body?
I am trying to drink more water and am obsessed with dry brushing. It encourages you to take a moment and focus on your body. Even, if aesthetically there's no life-changing improvement, feeling good about the body you live in is always a goal worth achieving. After brushing I would do Prima Oil around my neck and décolletage followed by long-time friend Le Labo Lys 41.
How do you keep fit/ healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?
I have my morning routine of fast walking and stretching. Sadly, I became super lazy during COVID. I wish I was a Youtube pilates/yoga video tutorial obsessed kinda woman. I just do some stretches and squats every morning.
What cosmetic procedures/ professional treatments do you have as part of your beauty routine?
I basically had no professional treatments for the last two years which I feel like I should start at some point. There is one thing I can’t live without is a Turkish bath/spa (what a surprise 😊). Nothing feels better than whole-body exfoliation.
What do you do when your body needs to recover?
A bath. A long nice bath with some magnesium flakes and Epsom salt and sleep as much as I can.
You’re tired/ hungover/ rundown: what is your beauty hack?
A steamy shower and frozen cucumbers. Old nanna trick works wonderfully! After a steamy shower you literally hold the cold cucumber slices around your face maybe 1-2 mins. Voila!
What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?
Cleaning my face before bed.
Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?
I don’t think I have. Having said that if I have a chance I wouldn’t mind having a chat with Susan Sarandon on how to age gracefully…
What is the best advice on beauty you’ve received?
Less is more and exfoliate your skin.
What is the best advice on health you’ve received?
Listen to your body, learn about your gut and have enough sex.
What is the one product you can’t live without?
Moisturiser with SPF support.