Change is inevitable. Work has changed, our sense of home has shifted, and how we approach wellness has evolved. But one thing that remains constant is the desire to find joy in celebration in ways big and small, especially as we enter a new post-pandemic era, full of a cautious sense of optimism. This is precisely what I was thinking about when I got invited to the first proper party I’d been to in ages courtesy of Sunday Riley and Downton Abbey.
To celebrate the optimistic new season, Sunday Riley announced a new partnership with Downton Abbey commemorating the new film Downton Abbey: A New Era (in theaters now!) and redesigning their best-selling Wake Up with Me Kit in gilded Downton-worthy style. The swanky limited-edition kit — containing six Sunday Riley favorites — is perfect for travel, rediscovering your glow, and ushering your skin into its own new era. The kit is also perfect, as I recently discovered, for prepping your skin for a red carpet fête fit for the Crawley’s.
To toast the partnership, the film, and the start of this new adventure, Sunday Riley invited a few friends and influencers from around the world (Sara Sampaio, Jasmine Tookes, Lucien Laviscount, Natalie and Dylana Lim Suarez, Alex Michael May, Kit Keenan, and Josephine Skriver, to name a few) to join for pre-red carpet facials using products from the new kit.
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We first kicked off the glamorous day with brunch at Majorelle at the Lowell Hotel on the Upper East Side in NYC. I was instantly reminded of the Crawleys’ dedication to dressing for meals. This group brought their A-game in tailored suits, hot pink silk, and a turmeric-hued puff sleeve ensemble, making me want to weep with joy after months in sweats. After some gorgeous greens, an antioxidant-rich berry pavlova, and a white-glove service that would have done Downton’s own Mr. Carson proud, it was off to The Mark Hotel in NYC to get our glow on.
The Sunday Riley Red Carpet Ready Facial
It’s a true testament to the power of Sunday Riley’s famous Wake Up With Me kit that it feels right at home in the hands of a high-end esthetician. Before heading to the red carpet, we got to unbox the new limited-edition kit and put it to the ultimate glow-getting test.
Step one: a skin-calming cleanse with Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser, which left my skin feeling hydrated and washed away all traces of makeup with ease.
Step two: a spritz of Pink Drink Firming and Resurfacing Essence, which may be my new all-time favorite product. Described as “kombucha for your skin,” Pink Drink feels instantly hydrating with a hint of fizziness that’s hard to describe unless you’ve tried it. A few spritzes and my skin looked awake, hydrated, and not like I’d had two glasses of champagne at brunch.
Step three: C.E.O. Glow Oil paired with C.E.O. Brightening Serum. Applied in succession or as a cocktail, this duo will help you get the Riviera-worthy glow Laura Carmichael’s Lady Edith sports in the film. (For even more glow, add a mini mask moment using C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Gel Cream. The advanced vitamin C formula brightens, firms, and plumps skin.) Combined with a vigorous facial massage that wakes up the lymphatic system, they leave skin feeling like satin and cheekbones like Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary.
Step four: two pumps of Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment. Skin-brightening licorice reduces the look of dark spots, and the deep exfoliation power of lactic acid removes dull surface cells and gives skin an instant plump up. For a red carpet, pro tip: Apply two pumps of Good Genes before applying foundation. It gave my skin an instant glow and immediately helped shrink the look of pores and fine lines, so makeup glided on smoother and didn’t settle in as the night went on.
For a red carpet, pro tip: Apply two pumps of Good Genes before applying foundation.
Step five: Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream, which uses caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root to instantly brighten and depuff. The aestheticians expertly applied it under the brow bone for an extra lifting effect.
Skin glowing like the promise of a new era, it was off to the red carpet at The MET Opera for the premiere. It was the perfect balmy spring evening for a red carpet, and the Downton cast brought some serious glamour in sparkling silver Givenchy (Michelle Dockery) and a Michael Kors crop top skirt set (Joanne Froggatt).
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Then it was masks on and into the MET under the iconic opera house’s galaxy crystal chandeliers to watch the premiere. No spoilers here, but trust me when I say the film is a delight — a movie that will make you love going to the movies again and remind you that a new era is always right around the corner.
The limited-edition Sunday Riley x Downton Abbey: A New Era Wake Up With Me Kit is available exclusively at sundayriley.com.
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