My Five Beauty Obsessions: Nicky Kinnaird

You know her as the "NK" in Space NK Apothecary. And she's been curating luxe skin-care lines for consumers since 1993. We got a peek into her own beauty bag.
(Photo: Space NK Apothecary)
(Photo: Space NK Apothecary)

You probably know Nicky Kinnaird by her initials. She’s the “NK” in Space NK Apothecary, and founded the leading high-end beauty retailer in 1993. The brand now has 62 locations in the United Kingdom and 23 in the United States.

So it’s no surprise that with hundreds of luxury products at her fingertips (and serious professional savvy) she’s figured out exactly which ones work for her own beauty routine. “Time is my most precious commodity, so I have it down to a fine art,” she says. “Twenty minutes, including shower and hair wash. It’s all about finding the products that work for you and your lifestyle.”

And just like Space NK’s shelves, Kinnaird prioritizes skin care over makeup. “I would always rather have someone say my ‘skin looks amazing,’ rather than ‘I love your makeup,'” she explains.

Which is why she also pays attention to the other habits that affect her daily glow. “I always pack my Brooks trainers and try to get in a daily run no matter how early it has to happen,” says Kinnaird, who travels extensively. “This helps reset my body clock to the local time zone, and I find I sleep better when I have had my daily exercise.” (Take that, dark circles!)

Here are the products the jet-setting beauty tycoon is using right now. —Jamie McKillop

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 5.01.25 PM 1. African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil ($60) African Botanics’ antioxidant and omega-rich cleansing oil gently purifies and removes makeup, pollution, and surface impurities and is suitable for dry, combination, and sensitive skin. It transforms into a lightly milky emulsion when you add water and it rinses cleanly away. I like its gently exfoliating AHA blend derived from bilberry, pink grapefruit, sugar maple, sugar cane and lemon. For me this has raised the bar for cleansing oils.

2. Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask ($58) This is ideal product to rejuvenate damaged, dull hair and ensure it is in tip-top condition for summer. The tiny molecular size of the omega-9 rich ungurahua oil is said to penetrates into the core of each strand to nurture, fortify, and infuse thirsty hair with moisture, and it has a long history in South America for promoting scalp health, hair shine, and preserving color vibrancy.

Aromatherapy 3. Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath and Shower Oil ($65) Aromatherapist Geraldine Howard’s therapeutic blends deliver, and this one is a very personal formula created when she was battling a serious illness. An empowering blend of clary sage, frankincense, and cardamom essential oils, Inner Strength helps calm your thoughts and fortify physical and emotional strength during difficult times. Plus 10 percent of proceeds go to the Defence Against Cancer Fund, helping to pioneer new cancer vaccine treatments.

This Works 4. Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil ($90) Tata Harper’s body oil has won me over with its blend of plant extracts—skin-oxygenating alfalfa extract, inflammation-reducing arnica extract, and revitalizing and toning geranium essential oils. They’re in a base of nurturing apricot kernel, borage, and grapeseed oils. It absorbs quickly and improving my skin’s appearance and elasticity.

5. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray ($29) A good night’s sleep is essential to any beauty regimen. So I use this calming natural blend of vetiver, lavender, and wild chamomile essential oils to both fragrance my bed and promote a restful night’s sleep via aromatherapy.

BEAUTY BONUS: By Terry Baume de Rose ($60) This cult multi-purpose balm makes dry, chapped lips vanish. It contains plant-based waxes, rose extracts, vitamin E, shea butter, ceramides, and sunscreen. And it doubles as an incredible cuticle treatment.

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