8 August 2022

Pillow Talk: Influencer big sis Emily Valentine’s night-time routine

Emily Valentine — lifestyle influencer and champion of all things female entrepreneurship speaks to HUNGER about her sleep routine.

Emily Valentine knows her way around the influencer space. She’s our go-to for her considered beauty, fashion and lifestyle content, and now, for her new platform The She Brief, which uplifts female entrepreneurs with business tips, inspiration and advice. Here, she dishes on all things sleep…

Credit: Sarah Ellen Photography

Sum up what you do in 5 words. 

Lifestyle creator and influencer educator.

You’ve been influencing for a long time now, how do you stay inspired?

I stay inspired/harassed LOL by the ever-changing digital landscape on social media. There is always something new to learn or try out, and it’s never boring tiptoeing around the edge of burnout.

What made you want to create The She Brief? What did you notice was lacking from the industry?

The She Brief is a pandemic baby! I created this online community to help connect small biz owners and entrepreneurs after all IRL touch points and meetings were shut down. It grew into a space to educate and inspire women to launch and run their own online businesses while talking candidly about the struggles of working for yourself.

What are a few things / people that are inspiring you currently?

Travelling! I made a promise to myself at the start of 2022 that I would take a trip abroad every month of the year. We’ve been deprived for so long, and I’m soaking up every moment not spent in the UK right now. 

On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you love your sleep? 

If I get less than 8 hours sleep, then I do not function as a human being, so a lot. Sleep hygiene is important.

What time would you ideally like to go to bed, as opposed to what time you really end up in bed? 

I’m going to bed at 11 most nights, but I’m usually not asleep until midnight. I’d love to be in bed at 10, but my boyfriend is a night owl, so he delays my sleep somewhat.

What’s your usual reason for going to bed late? Work… scrolling through Instagram? 

My boyfriend likes to watch things in bed before he goes to sleep, so I end up watching something with him, or I can’t put down the current book I’m reading.

What side of the bed do you sleep on? 

I sleep on the right side of my bed, on the right side of my body. I swear to god it’s giving me wrinkles on the right side of my face. I should learn how to switch sides more often, but I don’t like the idea of facing someone while I sleep.

What kind of sleeping position do you normally find yourself in? Do you sleep on your back, or are you more of a fetal position kind of person?

I’m a dedicated back sleeper. That is where I get my best sleep, but I’m all too aware of the fact that I sometimes have a little snore session on my back, so I end up splitting my time between the right side and back most nights. 

What is your bed setup? Silk/bamboo sheets or something more simple? 

I tried to recreate a ‘Heaven on Earth’ sanctuary in my bedroom; the walls are muted tones, and the carpets are cream. I have a massive super king bed with a luxury padded headboard. The sheets are either linen or cotton of the highest quality. Aesthetically, I have about a million throw pillows, which all go in a basket. When it comes to actually sleeping, I like to rearrange myself around three different shaped pillows for optimal comfort and relaxation.

Light sleeper or heavy sleeper? 

Light sleeper. Hence the sanctuary set up in my bedroom. If I was a heavy sleeper, I probably wouldn’t bother. I’m jealous of heavy sleepers.

Morning bird or night owl? 

Can I meet you somewhere in the middle? Because sometimes I just crave an early morning and early night, and other times I just need to stay up, which is mostly driven by my brain not switching off or like an influx of creative ideas I must see through.

How do you unwind before bed? Can you walk me through your routine…

My bedtime routine has all the markings of a complete psycho obsessed with beauty and wellness. I kick off the bedtime routine with my skincare routine, which has about seven steps. I brush my teeth and slip into silk nightie or pure cotton pyjamas for comfort and breathability. I brush my hair, and I put on the bedside lights to create some ambiance. I pour a litre of purified water into my BPA-free drinking bottle because I get very thirsty in the night, most likely because I take fibre and magnesium before bed for detoxing and optimal rest and nervous system repair. I then usually watch something on my iPad or read my kindle, then lights out around midnight. Back when I was suffering from anxiety, I would do some breathwork, too, but I’m ok at the moment.

Do you read before bed? If so, what can’t you get enough of at the moment? 

I am obsessed with anything fantasy or romance. I also like anything that is on the side of erotic fiction or tales of women’s struggles and triumphs. I’m a sucker for a war novel too.

What products/items are on your bedside table 

A white vase shaped like a woman’s naked torso with some stems of eucalyptus, a marble coaster, a pot of magnesium tablets, my Kindle and my can’t-live-without Lanolips golden all over salve.

What’s the weirdest thing next to your bed? 

Probably not taboo anymore… but a few choice sex toys and lubes sit in a basket underneath the table — I don’t like to have them too out of reach.

Do you sleep with your phone next to you? 

Yes, I do, but I’m terribly embarrassed about it. I should know better.

What can’t you go to sleep without doing? 

My skincare routine and saying goodnight to my boyfriend with a kiss and ‘I love you’.

Do you always take off your makeup before sleeping? 

Honestly can’t remember the last time I slept in makeup. It was probably in my early 20s at university over 10 years ago. It’s just not worth it.

Favourite way to remove your makeup?

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H cream cleanser is the GOAT of cleansers. It is the perfect formulation for my dehydrated, combination-sensitive skin. It keeps things clean and balanced. I try other cleansers that always go back to this one because it’s just perfect, not fancy, but perfect.

How does your nighttime routine change on Friday / the weekend?

If I have make-up on, I do a double cleanse. If I’ve been drinking, I drink water before bed with electrolytes to minimise the hangover.

Can you walk me through your nighttime skincare routine? 

I have been using retinol products for six years now. I would be terrified of having a nighttime routine without it. Retinol is one of those products that when you start using it in your 20s, you don’t really believe in it. But when you get to 30, you realise that you haven’t actually aged that much and that it’s doing an amazing job. Don’t give up on the retinol, girls. I like to do an LED face mask a few times a week before bed as well. It really is fantastic for inflammation, making your skin look clearer and feel more supple. I use the Current Body one.

Favourite products to use before bed? 

I have a CBD bedtime balm by the Dreem Distillery that I love rubbing on my hands and elbows before bed. The smell is really soothing and reminds me of a premium spa experience, which is how I want to feel every day of my life.

What do you do if you can’t sleep?

I think taking a magnesium supplement before bed has a lot to answer for getting a good night’s sleep. When they’re not enough I crack open the Tylenol PMS, they always seem to do the trick — god bless America.

  • Writer Nessa Humayun
  • Streetstyle Imagery Sarah Ellen Photography

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