Lydia Millen talks chic styling tricks, life-changing books and her £3.75 ‘everything’ cream she can’t be without

The content creator talks through her self-care Sunday favourites...

lydia millen

by Aimee Jakes |
Updated on

Self-care will forever be our favourite hobby but we appreciate that recharging and putting yourself first looks different for everyone. Each week, we'll ask the celeb lot to share their ideal self-care Sunday routines, the hard-working beauty products they recommend to their friends and which TV show they're currently binging…

This week it's all about luxury content creator Lydia Millen, best known for her beautiful book, Evergreen: Discover Joy in Every Season, dressing 'expensively' and working with huge global brands including Dior, GHD and Cult Beauty.

One of her most hands-on partnerships to date is with British retailer, Karen Millen, where Lydia has collaborated on many collections which quickly fly out of stock. Her latest summer collection has finally launched and it's packed full of beautiful dresses made with a garden party or wedding in mind.

Lydia talks exclusively to heat about her skincare savours, wise advice and the supplement she swears by for gut health...

On self-care

So, what does the ultimate relaxing Sunday look like for Lydia?

"I feel like I've perfected this over the years because I have all of the things that don't work for me and all of the things that do.

"So, early morning, as early as possible. I'm talking 5/6 am, that's my happy place. I feel so alive when I get up early. I feel like I've got a whole day ahead of me, especially at this time of year when the sunrise is so beautiful.

"I love to start by just doing a really early walk around the garden, seeing what's changed, what the weather's like, what's happening in the garden, that kind of thing. I always think that sounds a little bit airy fairy, but it massively helps me, especially as someone who works from home quite a lot.

"It's easy to not step outside for a few days and not realise, so I have to make a conscious effort to get outside and re-calibrate out in nature because being out in nature is a huge, huge part of me feeling good.

"Then I probably want to go for a run or workout. I think this year particularly, my relationship with exercise has changed massively. It's gone from what I look like to how I feel.

"I think my mornings really cement my day and I like to do as much as possible. I find that eating well, early mornings, nature and exercise are my fundamentals really."

On styling tricks

The old-money aesthetic is now all the rage, but Lydia has been channelling the chic and timeless look for years. What are her top tips on dressing 'expensively'?

"It's funny because I have done this for my entire career online and it's always been at the forefront of my style. I always like things to look more expensive than they are.

"What I've realised over the years is that sticking with that more pared-back look is always the way to achieve that.

"Stay away from logos, really identifiable designs I think is key. Sticking with the classic shapes even when it comes to tailoring.

"At the moment, I've just had a suit made by my tailor and I know that there's a big oversized trend of suits at the moment, but I've gone for that more fitted suit because I know that I'm going to wear it for years to come. It's still the same sort of three-piece suit that you're seeing, but I've kept to my size.

"I think staying away from anything that feels too trendy, anything too identifiable in its design attributes and then logos anything like that. You could be wearing anything and no one would know and I love that."

On skincare

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Lydia Millen attends the BAFTA Television Awards 2024 with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

"My skin lets me know when something is not quite right and I'm actually very grateful for that. It means I know if something isn't working or is working quite quickly but I have to pay attention to what I'm putting in my body and on my body. That's a fundamental."

"I would probably say that one thing I don't shut up about when it comes to skincare at the moment is the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Day Cream because it's unbelievable when I put it on my skin, it gives that really natural, glowy look. It's really hydrating as well as it's quite rich. I'm always telling people they need it in their life, it's just the best start to the day."

On budget beauty buys

"I literally bought it yesterday, it's Sudocrem. I get really bad perioral dermatitis if I use too much stuff. And obviously, I'm constantly trying new beauty products all the time. Some things work and some things don't work and are too strong.

"I haven't used Sudocrem in a while but I was in the supermarket yesterday and it was just what I needed because I've been having a little flare-up, I woke up this morning and it looks instantly so much better. It just does everything, it's one of those creams, it's so good."

On ride-or-die make-up products

"I would have to say my collaboration with Sweed which launched last month. We launched the Eternal Bloom edit which was two lip liners and two lipsticks and I have not stopped wearing them since I first finalised the colours. It's been such a long process and the fact I can finally talk about them is something I'm not taking for granted.

"Yesterday was a bit hot and spicy in the weather so I went for Holly Hock which is a coral colour and I was wearing it on its own, but you can wear it with the lipliner which makes it a little bit more finished. I like the subtle flush it gives. Today I'm wearing the rose thorn lip liner with the Wild Rose lipstick on top."

On daily wellness habits

"Supplements have changed my life. I recently started taking L-glutamine and it was actually on the back of a story that Emily English did. She talked a lot about the symptoms that she had been experiencing and how this powder had really changed the game for her. I ordered some and it was almost overnight the difference it made to my stomach.

"It makes you realise how important nutrition is because I clearly wasn't getting enough of that supplement in my diet. I've been on a huge journey and food and nutrition have massively changed the game in my overall health, especially as I was diagnosed with PMDD in January.

"Supplements are a huge, huge part of wellness and self-care because I don't think we understand it enough. It shows in your skin, it shows in your energy levels. It's really changed my life."

On life-changing books

"There are so many! I would say the first book to truly change how I think and approach life was Solve For Happy by Mo Gawdat.

"My husband and I actually listened to it on Audible together and it was transformative for us in just understanding happiness. I think as a society we've lost a lot of touch with a lot of things that cultivate happiness in it. It really is a much simpler process and we tend to overcomplicate it as humans, so the book was incredible.

"Then recently The Daily Stoic has been a huge learning as well.

"I also recently finished The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday who wrote the Daily Stoic, but I actually listened to them the wrong way around. But my husband thinks it's a more simplified version of The Daily Stoic and he found it a lot more beneficial. All three of those books have changed my life."

On wise advice

Are there any words of wisdom or quotes that Lydia is channeling right now?

"That's such a good question because I was in my garden yesterday and often when I'm in my garden, I'm by myself in my thoughts. I was thinking about the saying 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger' and how we use that saying so flippantly that it's almost trivialised. We truly don't understand it.

"I was thinking about this because there's lots of stuff online at the moment for Mental Health Awareness Week and someone I know on Instagram Stories saying about how he had been struggling.

"I realised that quote doesn't really necessarily mean what we think it means. It's literally that if you don't allow it to kill you, you literally get stronger every day. The stronger you get, the more confidence you have in yourself. Before long you will, rather than believing you're strong, you'll actually know it and you won't think about it anymore. You'll be so strong that it's not even a thought in your mind, but we use it as a throwaway quote, that I got lost thinking about what it actually means. Even if it's that you survived a day at work or a difficult meeting, that's always a step towards being stronger."

Quickfire round:

Show you're currently binging? I've just finished watching The Tattooist of Auschwitz and it was a difficult watch. It's not usually my genre, but I do like learning more about things that have happened in the past.

Go-to cuppa? I like my hot drink with five leaves of lemon balm and a teaspoon of honey.

Go-to loungewear brand? LilySilk cashmere

Everyday perfume? Jo Malone English Pear and Sweet Pea

Go-to takeaway order? Chicken tikka masala, pilau rice and peshwari naan

Favourite candle? Jo Malone Wild Berry and Bramble

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