Leading skin therapist Nicole Manning shares her nightly skincare rituals

Nicole Manning is one of Australia’s leading skin therapists. Having just opened her new space FENN in Sydney, the facialist shares her bedtime beauty stories with Body+Soul.

Hello and welcome to our editorial series Bedtime Beauty Stories. It’s a space for talented individuals and big names in beauty to share how they get ready for slumber, including ways to wind down, nighttime beauty rituals and go-to remedies for falling asleep. We catch up with one of Australia’s most in-demand skin experts, Jocelyn Petroni, makeup maven Charlotte Tilbury, new mum Ksenija Lukich, sexologist Chantelle Otten and natural skincare pioneer Tata Harper.

Nicole Manning and Clare McColl are two of Australia’s leading skin therapists and the go-to facialists for Beauty Editor’s in Sydney and beyond. Together they have 25 years of local and international experience and have put their magic hands together to launch FENN, a skin sanctuary in Sydney’s Paddington with a holistic approach to skincare, focusing on traditional and modern techniques. Here, Nicole shares her bedtime beauty rituals and her PM complexion routine.

What’s the first thing you do to wind down before bed?

I tidy up all of my baby girl’s toys! Which returns our lounge room to a more zen space. Dim lights to promote melatonin, pop my Addition brass oil burner on with some lavender essential oil or the Addition Studio Downer Blend.

I don’t really watch TV so I like to turn on some music, generally a very chilled playlist, while I do a bit of work to wrap up the day.

And the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

I take a moment to do what I love most… skincare! I cleanse my skin and go through my skincare routine, it’s a really satisfying me-time moment after a full day being a mum and working alongside that.

Talk us through your nighttime beauty routine…

My treat is a weekly blow dry as my hair is so thick it tends to last (and makes life easy when you’re working and have a baby) so I tie my hair up in a bun for the night with a scrunchy to keep it wavy.

As I have more time in the evening this is where my skin gets most of its attention. First off I’ll cleanse with an oil or balm such as the Maryse Enzyme Refine Cleansing Balm before removing with a warm compress. For the second cleanse I use the Josh Rosebrook Moisture Cleanse.

Then I’ll mist with the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, which hydrates and preps the skin to enhance the absorption of my serums, including the Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum. Then I alternate between the Emma Lewisham Vitamin A Oil and Medik8 Retinol #6 and then layer some nourishing rich Omega Oils from Maryse over the top.

Once a week I will wear a hydrating mask to bed for an extra boost, I have been trialling the Emma Lewisham overnight mask (launching soon!) which is a super nourishing creamy texture or I alternate between Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask.

Do you take any supplements or sleep-aids?

Our amazing naturopath, Michaela Jean, who works at FENN specialising in skin, prescribes me a practitioner only alkalising stress formula with high dose magnesium, glycine & taurine to support my adrenal glands and a herbal tincture with passionflower, withania, California poppy and valerian root to support the nervous system.

I take this when I need some extra support for a sound restorative sleep (as a business women and mum I need this more often than not). I am also currently taking an Alexis Smart flower essence remedy called Beauty Formula No.8 for a sense of beauty and self confidence that radiates from within. The remedy works to help shift your perspective, melt tension and ignite your inner beauty.

What do you sleep on?

In Bed linen sheets always.

What’s your stance on technology before bed?

I’m trying to be a lot better at this, I actually don’t watch television but the reality is I do a bit of work once my baby has gone to sleep. I do try to have my phone on flight mode by about 9:30-10pm and laptop closed around the same time.

Do you have a preferred or go-to late night snack (if any)?

I definitely have a sweet tooth and love a bit of chocolate and herbal tea after dinner. Lately I’ve been making honey and ginger tea with Activist Manuka Honey and I’ve swapped to carob chocolate to avoid the caffeine in dark chocolate. The Manuka honey has incredible, pure and potent healing potential. I’ve been experimenting with using it as a face mask recently too, great for breakouts and inflammation.

What time do you usually hop into bed?

9:30pm.

What do you do if you can’t drift off or have trouble sleeping – do you have a go-to fix?

Luckily I am a great sleeper, but if I am restless, a few pages of my book and I am out like a light.

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