Courtney Adamo of Babyccino lives in London with her husband and four children, and she’s one of the sweetest and most effortlessly beautiful people I’ve ever met. For ages, I’ve been dying to know her beauty secrets, and finally I just…asked:) Here, as part of a new series on women’s beauty uniforms, I’d love to present her tips and tricks…

What’s your beauty routine?
My skincare routine has been the same for the past 15 years! I wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser. A dermatologist in high school suggested I try it because I was having allergies to lots of other products, and I’ve used it ever since. I use this Sjal face cream, which I love and have used for as long as I can remember (my mom generously sticks it in my Christmas stocking every year). I dab a bit of this Chantecaille tinted moisturizer under my eyes to cover any dark circles and hopefully make me look less tired. I don’t wear very much makeup, but I always pencil in my eyebrows and curl my eyelashes with an eyelash curler. And because I have thick, unruly hair, I put a little dab of this Aveda styling cream in my hair to keep things under control.

When did you start penciling in your brows? I’ve never done that, but I’d love to try.
I studied broadcast journalism in college, and I remember all the girls in my class would put on their makeup in the bathroom before going in front of the camera. I really had no idea what I was doing, so I paid close attention to the girls who seemed to have a knack for it. One of them suggested I pencil in my eyebrows and she quickly showed me how it was done. After class, as I walked around campus, I had three (!!) people stop and tell me my eyebrows looked good! I was so shocked by the difference it had made, that suddenly this facial feature I had never paid any attention to (apart from wishing them thinner) was actually something people were complimenting me on. Since then I have learned to like my thicker eyebrows, and I always pencil them in to give them a more defined look.

Do you have a signature scent?
I love ‘Une Rose’ by Frederic Malle. My friends must recognize this as my signature scent because I’ve been given lots of rose-scented candles and lotions over the years for birthdays and special occasions, all of which I like…but my favorite rose scent is still the Frederic Malle one.

What’s your “this-changed-my-life” beauty product? The product you’d take to a desert island?
I swear by this Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick, which again, I’ve used since high school. At the first sign of any blemish, I roll the stick over the area and it works like magic! It contains herbal ingredients and tea tree and juniper oils, which are naturally antibacterial. It tingles a little bit on your skin but really seems to dry out any blemish. Also, I’ve started exfoliating my skin once or twice a week with this facial exfoliant paste from Aesop. I love how soft my skin feels after I use it!

Do you have any funny little beauty rituals?
My sister once told me to put face wash directly onto my face without wetting my skin first, give it a good scrub, and then add water to make it foam up before rinsing it off. Apparently this is more moisturizing? Really, I have no idea if it works but I do it anyway.

What did your mother teach you about beauty? I love hearing the things women pass down.
I grew up on a farm outside a small town. Apart from the odd evening when my parents would get gussied up and go into the city, I hardly ever saw my mom wear very much makeup. I know she always liked beauty products, but it just wasn’t a thing we talked about together. I think I was sixteen before I ever asked my mom to buy me makeup, and even then she handed me a tube of mascara and an eyelash curler and I stuck them in a drawer and forgot about them. I am actually thankful for the lack of beauty education I received from my mom. In a way, I think it’s refreshing to have grown up without very much emphasis put on the way we look, and to have felt confident, even as a teenager, without wearing very much makeup.

Do you take the same approach with your own four children?
I’m certainly aware of this when raising my own children. I try to spend as little time as possible in front of the mirror, and I’m very conscious of the fact that our own values and even our insecurities are not lost on our children. They pick up on so much! It sounds so cheesy, but I think it’s really important that our children learn to value themselves based on their inner beauty rather than what they look like. In the same way that I pretend to like spiders (so my kids don’t inherit my fear!), I try not to talk about appearances in the hope that they won’t attach value to it or inherit insecurities.

Thank you so much, Courtney! That last answer was so so sweet. I hope you like this new series. I’d love to hear which daily beauty products you swear by! xoxo

P.S. 16 hair tutorials, and how to feel pretty on a date.

(Photos courtesy of Courtney Adamo. Graphic design element at top by Rachel Ball)