Alex and Olivia Bowen talk skincare, lockdown dates and their top picks from Lovehoney

Including the £3 moisturiser Olivia can't live without

Alex and Olivia Bowen

by Aimee Jakes |

We love a bit of self-care and all this time at home has really given us an excuse to look after ourselves inside and out. Each week, we'll be asking the celeb lot to share their Sunday self-care routines, because taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

Alex and Olivia Bowen, to put it simply, are relationship #goals. They met and fell in love on season two of Love Island and have since married, launched their own loungewear company Exempt Society and have worked with huge brands including their own his and hers pyjama collection with InTheStyle.

Now they're partnering with Lovehoney on its Mind Blowing Valentine's campaign and we are absolutely living for it, tbh.

Olivia and Alex chat exclusively to heat about keeping the spark alive in their relationship, skincare routines and their number one tip for falling asleep...

On lockdown for couples:

Olivia and Alex Bowen

Olivia: It’s definitely a testing time for couples, we spend a lot of time with each other and are used to that, but even we have had our bickers and arguments so I’m not surprised that couples are finding it a bit strenuous to be with each other. It’s bit of a test to see if you can put up with someone for that long!

I think what’s really important is you still have your own time to yourself, whether you’re in a house, flat or whatever, it’s important to have something you do just for yourself. Alex goes and works out and I’ll do my online course. Just make sure you’ve got something that is just for you and you can go back to each other and talk about it and you’re not spending every waking moment together.

Alex: I think the first lockdown we were writing down little things to do throughout the day, just to keep ourselves busy, even if it was like, ‘right, I’m going to design this for the new collection, go to the gym or train outside, go for a run come back and do my washing and then we sit on the sofa and chill.’ You’re doing your own thing without being on top of each other for the whole time.

On Lovehoney must-haves:

Olivia Bowen wearing Love Honey

Alex: I would buy lingerie for Liv, well it’s kind of more for me, as well. I actually bought some from Lovehoney last year and didn’t even realise. It’s really nice.

Olivia: A really nice quality set we had, it’s from the 50 Shades of Grey range they just brought out and the quality is really, really lovely. It’s a bit different, a bit kinky and nice to introduce in lockdown as well to keep the spark alive. We’ve also got the Sucker for Love bundle, which has lots of bits in there that you can experiment with and kick start the relationship again after being stuck inside for months.

It’s just really nice to explore and I think it’s a great conversation to have for couples and for singles as well. It helps everyone feel more confident about using sex toys and just being more open.

Sucker for Love Valentineu2019s Coupleu2019s Bundle (6 Piece)

On Valentine's Day plans

Alex: So Liv has actually planned something for me this time, we take it in turns. So I’ve actually got no clue what she’s got planned. It’s going to be something in the house obviously, maybe something in the garden…

Olivia: I think we’re going to get dressed up, make ourselves look pretty and not wear our joggers for once. Then we’re going to do a three-course meal and then a cute little cinema thing in the garden which we’re having set up which will be really nice, just to make it a little more special.

On self-care Sundays

Olivia and Alex Bowen

Olivia: You know what, I absolutely love a bath. I’ll just put on a hair mask and sheet mask. I swear by Skin Republic masks. I’ve got my own one with them called the Prep + Glow Mask and that's my go-to. You can get one for your hands, your feet… anything like a sheet mask always feel proper - like I’m having my very own spa day. But for everyday self-care, things like working out, especially for Alex...

Alex: Yeah, to be honest, working out for me is my therapy kinda thing. I wake up every morning and get to the gym straight away to clear my mind. Sometimes I got for a run as well. Some people find it difficult to motivate themselves in lockdown but you just got to get it done.

Olivia: It definitely makes you feel better.

Alex: I sometimes use Liv’s sheet masks. The other ones I really like are the under eye masks.

Olivia: They’re like collagen eye patches.

Alex: Yeah, I like them. They make your eyes feel cool and I’m getting old now!

On meditation

Olivia: I struggle with meditation, I’ve tried it before, but for me, there’s different types of therapy for different types of people. When I go to the stables to see my horse, I’m so zen. It’s so weird, I’m so chilled. It’s like my happy place. It’s not necessarily trying things like meditation, for me it just doesn’t work and I really struggle. But finding my happy place, which is what meditation is about, I think that is the key.

Alex: This might be the wrong thing, but every night before we go to bed, I’ll turn the tv off and I can’t sleep without rain and thunder on from YouTube. I can’t sleep without it because my mind is just thinking about so many other things and when I put that on I feel like I can sleep. A few weeks ago, I woke up at five in the morning and I just wrote something down about my fitness website and what I wanted to do, so it’s nice to chuck that on so I can get back [to sleep].

Olivia: Yeah, we actually listen to thunder and rain, it’s like a white noise kinda thing. It’s a little bit like meditation, I suppose!

On sleep

Olivia and Alex Bowen

Olivia: We love our sleep, don’t we?

Alex: Honestly, it’s mad to say, but we’re in bed from like 7pm, I’m not even joking. Not asleep...

Olivia: We’ll chill won’t we?

Alex: We’ll just have our dinner and go to bed and chill.

Olivia: We put candles on to make the room really cosy, we’ve got one of those night light things that put the stars on the ceiling, so we turn off all the lights and put that on. I always moisturise before I go to bed (Olivia loves the Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Cream) and a lip oil, because I find my lips get so dry. They’re my go-to rituals at the moment. I love the Iconic London one, though it does have a tint in it. It’s really nice because it’s not sticky at all and it’s really good for your lips. It does feel amazing on.

On skincare routines

Olivia: I go through stages with my skincare routine, I’ve been quite bad recently, I don’t know what it is. I go to a place called Doctor MediSpa and they do medical skincare. When I’m good, I do everything, I cleanse in the morning, I use my toner, I really go for it. If I’m feeling lazy, my favourite products are from Nivea, just because they’re so easy. They don’t have a strong smell and I hate fragranced creams because I feel like they irritate my skin. Nivea is really kind to your skin and so affordable and I’ve always used it. My mum was the first one to introduce it to me, so that’s my go-to if I’m feeling lazy. I love their day moisturiser, it’s a really nice, thick moisturiser that’s really great.

Alex: I’m probably the most standard person ever, I do have a face wash from L’Oreal upstairs which is really good for beards too, even though I haven’t really got a beard. It makes your face feel really nice and I use that daily. I’m really lazy when it comes to stuff like that. I just don’t care, but really I should as I turn 30 next year!

On budget beauty faves

Olivia: I’ve just put a whole can in my hair, so I have to say Batiste Dry Shampoo! I can’t get my hair coloured obviously and it just gives you more of that white blonde look. For pictures and just for around the house, it does make your hair look more highlighted, so that’s definitely my budget go-to.

On life-changing books and podcasts

Alex and Olivia

Alex: There’s a podcast I watch every Monday without fail, it’s an American one, they’re two comedians and it’s called Bad Friends. I can just listen to them all day, they chat about the most random stuff, there’s no point to the show but it’s great to listen to. You know when you’re on long car journeys? I prefer listening to a podcast than music now.

Olivia: I love The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F-ck by Sarah Knight and there’s a couple like that and it’s just about mind management and learning to just get over things. It’s been really great for me, because I can hold onto things. Especially for people who suffer with anxiety, it’s a great way of moving on from things.

Quickfire round:

Shows you're currently binging?

Olivia: We've just finished How To Get Away With Murder, we loved that.

Your go-to cuppa?

Olivia: We like a dark tea with one sugar, we're the same aren't we?

Favourite loungewear brand?

Alex: Our own brand of course, Exempt Society,

Favourite face mask?

Olivia: Definitely Prep and Glow, I've got to say my own one don't I!

Favourite candle?

Olivia: Ooh we love a wood wick one.

Alex: The one that crackles, isn't it? We've also got that big Jo Malone one.

Olivia: Pomegranate Noir, it's just divine, isn't it?

Shop Olivia and Alex's self-care favourites:

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Surprising Lockdown 3.0 trends:

Little Moons: the Mochi dessert which is essentially little balls of ice cream wrapped in a sweet rice dough. The flavours are GOOD (think passion fruit to cookie dough) and they're just 69 calories per ball. TikTok is going WILD for them. Try them now and thank us later.

The TikTok tortilla wrap: old us would have attempted a sort of 'rolled up sausage' for our lunchtime wrap, but now it's all about cutting a line to the centre and folding it in quarters. Honestly, our minds are still blown.

Bridgerton: the Netflix series which is a glorious mix between Downton Abbey and Gossip girl has got us all dreaming of summer soirees, Regé-Jean Page and wearing corsets post-lockdown.

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