My Beauty Uniform: Courtney Adamo

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)

  1. Elizabeth says...

    Would love an update interview since her life has changed so much!

  2. Binni says...

    All great I agree that nobody should be focusing on their insecurities, media does already so much damage to us. But I actually wished my parents had more knowledge on how to take care for skin and hair and passed it on me. Due to lack of that knowledge I ruined my skin as a teenager by not treating acne properly I also Ruined day hair by dying them at young age. Also I’m sure most women wished not to wear any make up however many of us have many skin issues and going bare face will remain a dream forever.:( how I wish I just dab some bb creamy under my eyes and look fab. I think such things only come from lucky people who are flawless and never experienced being anything else

  3. Obsessed with this! So cool!

  4. Wow, that is one stunning lady and four stunning kids! Not the mention the husband… thanks for sharing!

  5. These are great! Add more- I love reading these!

  6. Beautiful all around! Would love to know what she wears on her lips…thank you!

  7. I started using the Burt’s Bees Blemish stick because of this post. It works wonders! (not a fan of the smell but the results are worth it!) I love these Beauty Uniform posts!

  8. Love this! Her top in the photo below the Frederic Malle signature scent paragraph is TO DIE FOR!

  9. Hi there, This is very well.I like so much and this blog is very informative for me.
    I have collected some stok uniform this all is very well.


  10. Hi buddy, I always love fashion. your blog’s design is simple and clean and very nice pictures! i like it…. Magento

  11. Thank you for such a lovely post. I love her bag. Do you know where she bought it? Brand?
    Thank you for such a great daily read.

  12. She seems effortlessly beautiful. With four kids she still in good shape. Thanks Joanna for sharing beautiful story

  13. I’ve been thinking about my eyebrows ever since reading this post! I have a 10 month old, my first child, who is phenomenal, but I feel like I’ve aged 10 years since giving birth. I lot of my hair fell out and now it’s growing back all funky. Anyway, I’m trying to spruce up my beauty routine. I have very light blonde eyebrows and just purchased a brow pencil from Amazon. Hoping to change things up!

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  15. What a great series. I love her approach to beauty and the last part about being an example to her kids is so important. :D

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. that beach looks pretty close to home; I’m guessing Washington State?

  18. That beach looks pretty close to home; I’m guessing, Washington State?

  19. I love this new series! It was the opposite in my house. My mom spend a lot of time in front of the mirror putting on makeup, perfecting her hair, and obsessing over perceived flaws and her weight. It’s taken me a long time and still working on breaking out of those patterns of focusing so much on appearance and accepting my natural self. I love what she said about how she approaches this with her own children.

  20. Been following her Instagram for some time, and I love that she’s beautiful but not showy. She’s spot on about children picking up on our views on beauty and insecurity. I am very concienscious of this around my 5 yr old daughter. I never complain about my looks in front of her. Hope that pays off one day.

  21. Oh totally forgot to say PLEASE do Mimi Thorisson!!! She is amazing!!!

  22. she has the best style ever . . . so sweet

  23. I love her earthy, world-mamma style!

  24. this is wonderful!! Thanks for sharing. I’m no where near being a parent, but I do think it’s so refreshing and empowering to hear women older and more experienced than I am de-emphasizing looks. I truly do believe inner confidence brings out one’s beauty more than anything! Joanna, I’d love if you could maybe do a post like this but for people on a budget? I love reading about products and routines but a lot of the time I can’t afford even the moisturizers :) xxx

  25. Thank you everyone for saying such lovely, lovely things. I am sitting here blushing in front of my computer screen as I read all these nice comments. What a wonderfully kind and supportive group of women you all are. Joanna is a lucky lady to have so many lovely readers. :) xxx Courtney

  26. I am so excited about this series Joanna!

    Jennifer, I also over tweezed in high school, and didn’t hear a peep from my mom! Thank goodness they grew back! I wonder why we all thought thin, misshapen eyebrows were cool?!

  27. Such a great post! I love Courtney’s thoughts on what you pass down to your kids in terms of focus on appearance and insecurities etc. It’s really something to think about. Great interview Joanna!

  28. I wear tortoise framed glasses for everyday use and I always thought pencilling my eye brows would create two parallel lines above my eyes… But after reading all those comments about eye brows this spring (makeup experts say they can ditch every makeup product but eyebrow pencil), I am in doubt about my decision. Any thoughts?!

  29. I saw Courtney and her mother at the Shop Up event Babyccino kids put on and not only are they both gorgeous, they were super super friendly and polite. My daughter, who is very busy even by 2 year old standards, was whizzing about and just looking at Courtney’s mum made me feel calm! They have a lovely presence and I think you get that in photos of Courtney too. Thanks so so much for posting this! I’ve been wanting to know for ages Courtney’s routine because she always looks amazing. If you do a follow up fashion post with her too that would be grand!! And her family recipes. And her house. Basically stalk her for us please!!

  30. I think I’m going to love this series!

  31. I love this new series! One beauty habit I have is using witch hazel as a toner. It feels so good on my skin and I have way less blemishes than I have in the past. Also, since I travel all the time, I have started carrying facial wipes with me for when I get off a plane. It makes a huge difference because I used to always break out after a long exhausting day of traveling.

    Also, I would LOVE to know how your friend finds and chooses outfits. Her style is effortless and lovely.


  32. JW says...

    What a fun series! I love how you featured somebody who looks beautiful with very little fuss. Lately I’ve been trying to go out more without a full face on. My skin always feels much better at the end of the day, and after getting over the initial insecurity I feel for about ten seconds, I forget about it!

    Some products I love are Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment and Dior Hydra Life Serum Sorbet for extra moisture during the dry, brutal midwest winters.

  33. Thanks for doing this series, Joanna. I didn’t have a mom around to help out with beauty stuff and I’ve always felt like an odd duck. I love hearing the tips and how feeling pretty doesn’t have to be a big production. Your whole blog has actually taught me a lot. Thanks!

  34. Joanna, I really respect you and your posts. But did you really ask her what beauty product she would take to a desert island? This implies that beauty products are things we can’t live without, and I thought this blog was above such frivolity. We all love our beauty products, but let’s not talk about them in life-or-death situations. I dunno, that just rubbed me the wrong way.

  35. Ive been following her on Instagram – lovely girl and adorable family!

  36. What a lovely woman Courtney is, my gosh. I can appreciate the fact that making herself up wasn’t an integral part of her upbringing and think it’s beautiful how she approaches love of self with her children. I think I’m going to love this series… yay!

  37. This is a great idea for a series, would especially love to hear from women of different ethnicities, ages, from different countries/states about their beauty regimens! I’m four months pregnant and my daily beauty routine has changed quite a bit but I’m loving Korres cleanser and josie maran beauty oil for cleansing/moisturizing. And I’ve been wearing less makeup lately, but swear by bare minerals concealer, always fill in my brows, and use lots of mascara.

  38. This is such a great new series! Your friend is seriously beautiful, and I love her minimal approach to beauty. My routine is much the same. I really need to hop on this eyebrow pencil thing though. Everyone’s been recommending it to me!

  39. Love this new series! And Courtney is gorgeous – the perfect person to kick off the first post!

  40. I don’t pencil in my eyebrows but I do use a brow brush + shadow and it makes such a huge difference. Love this series!

  41. and liz, i’d love to share my beauty routine. it’s funny how loyal people are to their beauty products, don’t you think?

  42. joe, i’ll ask her! and dakota, hope your day got better:) xoxo that’s really interesting, lindsey, i never would have thought that!

  43. Oh how fun to spot this beautiful family over here… made my day!!! Lovely read!!!

  44. I love this series – second only to the parenting around the World Series. Keep up the great work!

  45. I love these kinds of things – thanks so much for starting such a fun series. Would also love to hear your hair genius friend, Caroline, tell us her favorites!

  46. Wow, she is absolutely beautiful and apparently gorgeous inside too. Her insight on not letting her “negative” traits rub off on her kids is so inspiring. So beautiful. Thank you for this, your interviews are so so great to read on a stressful afternoon! <3

  47. Love this idea for a series! Excited to try some of her tips :)

  48. I always had acne-prone skin and I used so many face washes and topical creams to dry out my skin. Only later did I learn that what my skin actually needed was moisturizer! I spent so much time drying out my skin that it was over-compensating in it’s oil production and thus produced way more blemishes. Who knew! Since I’ve discovered this, I have noticed a HUGE difference since I’ve started using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer and their Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque. They have absolutely changed my skin, and now I hardly wear any foundation at all- just a little tinted moisturizer here and there some of the time. Kiehl’s is amazing!!


  49. Oh I loved this post, Joanna!! I love Courtney since your post about her family holidays in Positano… I started following her and since then I can’t help liking every single photo she or Michael share on Instagram. I also love her blog, despite I have no children. The truth is I want to have children now, thanks to her darling family… they’re all natural beauties but, best of it, they are always so smiling! :) I wish I know them.

    Needless to say, she’s gorgeous and I love her words about no passing her fears to her children.

    Thanks for these new series and thanks Courtney for sharing your beauty routine!

  50. Ok, I DO like this idea, but let’s be real. This woman is stunningly gorgeous and doesn’t need much makeup to help her. What about the rest of us who don’t have perfectly straight noses, plump lips, great skin, and full brows??

  51. she is so beautiful! i am so excited about this new series! i love how she started using many of the things she mentioned in high school. i am seventeen now so it’s good to be reminded that i have to start now:)))

  52. For a minute I thought you had interviewed Rebecca Gayheart! She looks just like her…or a not-so-distant relative. Fun post.

  53. What a nice new series! Love it! :)

    Actually some of the beauty products I use regularly were ones I learned about on this blog: Rosebud salve for my lips and NARS ‘Multiple’ stick for my blush/lips/eyes.
    The NARS stick especially is awesome, because I have no idea how to apply makeup and it’s easy to just rub on the apples of my cheeks and go.

  54. She is so lovely! I’m in my mid-twenties, and started wearing less make-up about six months ago. I really love a prominent brow, and I use Benefit’s Brow Zings to fill mine in. I also started using CC cream instead of foundation. It’s so light, and with the SPF I feel protected all day. Just add some highlighting under my brows and a little mascara, and I’m set. I’m going to have to pick up that blemish stick…

  55. What a nice new series, and, as some others have commented, it’s nice to see a beauty series that is not just about products. Perhaps you (Joanna) could share your secrets in one post? :-)

  56. Anything about Courtney is always a must-read. Congrats Joanna, it seems to be a fantastic series!

    I am 21 and recently I’ve found out a few tips: I have straight hair and I realized when I brushed my hair, it always got static cling. So I bought a curly hair comb. It has changed my life definitely.
    On my skin, I use KORRES products everyday, it’s a Greek natural brand, I don’t know if they sell its products in America. It’s cheap and great, at least for young skins.
    The last one: when I put mascara on my eyelashes, I do it also in the exterior part, in the rear. They seem longer this way.

  57. Love this series! I love how a mother of 4 can still look “together” without going overboard.

  58. Hello! I love this post. I am looking for a fedora for spring and wondered whether you can tell me where she got hers. Thanks!

  59. What lip balm, gloss, or lipstick does she use? I love reading about other people’s beauty routines! I once had to pencil in my eyebrow after accidentally trimming too much of it off with an eyebrow trimmer, whoops!

  60. i just started doing my brows! I never over-tweezed them, even when it was the look…because it hurt. they are super dark and kind of thick, so i’m glad i resisted the urge. Now I pencil in the inner ends. I love how it looks. There is a video of the actor Jeremy Renner talking about how he used to be a makeup artist (i think on Ellen) and his tips for women was browns, lashes and lips…frame the face.

  61. I’ve always wanted to know too, she is gorgeous.

  62. Oh the baby look adorable in this picture.


  63. This is going to be a great series! I love it!

  64. Her comments about not passing on your insecurities are so spot on. When my children were growing up, I made very sure to not comment on my weight or how I looked or anything like that. Consequently, my kids have very good self-images.

  65. Love this series. I follow Courtney’s blog and Instagram as well..she seems very sweet. Xoxo, Fernanda from

  66. I enjoy your blog very much, thank you!

    I do feel it is a little silly hearing beauty tips from someone who genetically fits society’s stereotype of beautiful. Not that she doesn’t have a voice or right, of course she does. It just seems like the women you feature all are from the same demographic.

  67. RB says...

    I love this new series! I also grew up with a very low-fuss mother, which was wonderful and liberating. But as I get older (34 this year eek!) I am starting to pay much more attention to maintaining my skin and upgrading my beauty routine, and I don’t quite know where to start. Thanks, Joanna!

  68. love this new series, especially because I’m trying to figure out a beauty uniform myself!

  69. She is gorgeous. Like, model! I love this new series– I hope someone will be featured who is slightly overweight, with large circles under their eyes, and flat hair, so I can learn tips for how to be beautiful starting at ground zero (instead of at the penthouse, like this woman!). That being said, I do love the tip on brows– started doing that a few years ago and it makes a huge difference.

  70. What a beautiful post! I so enjoyed reading this. I had no idea that some put facewash on *before* the water… might have to try that! And I loved what she said about her kids. So sweet that she pretends to like spiders. :)

  71. Love this new series!

    It seems to me one giant beauty secret she left out was that she appears to be really and truly happy. Amazing the glow that will give you :)

  72. awww I love this new series! She’s gorgeous! :)

  73. I’ve never commented before, but I love this new series! Joanna, you do a great job with these. I love “Motherhood Around the World” and am so excited to read more “Beauty Uniform”!

  74. Fantastic new series! I so need some inspiration to put on my best face every day. I don’t want to be a frumpy Mom! Can you do something like this with fashion as well? I’m about to have my 3rd baby (most likely the last) and I’m excited to get back in shape and get some new clothes. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve bought anything besides maternity clothes!

  75. Fantastic new series! I so need some inspiration to put on my best face every day. I don’t want to be a frumpy Mom! Can you do something like this with fashion as well? I’m about to have my 3rd baby (most likely the last) and I’m excited to get back in shape and get some new clothes. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve bought anything besides maternity clothes!

  76. She’s such a natural beauty! As for me, I just became a recent convert to Ultrabland facial cleanser from Lush cosmetics. It’s so gentle, and wonderfully moisturizing. Plus, all of their products are made without harsh chemicals or animal testing. Bonus!

  77. Stunning. She and her husband and kids look genuinely happy and fun, which often makes people even more attractive!

  78. Ok, this chick is just way too pretty. And four kids? She must have more secrets that she hasn’t spilled.

    I wish I had inherited my mom’s attitude when it comes to beauty. She’s a no-fuss-no-muss kind of gal. I can’t walk out the door without my ‘face’ on… even if it’s just foundation, a little contour, and a ton of mascara.

  79. That last answer is so adorable (and definitely important – I don’t think I saw my own mother look in a mirror once when I was a child!) Also, love the eyebrows tip – really keen to experiment with my own as I’ve never done anything but pluck them!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  80. I love this new series!
    Defined eyebrows are so important. My eyebrows are naturally super blond/basically invisible. A few years ago I filled mine in for a Halloween costume and it made such an amazing difference I’ve done it every day since. It’s the one thing I won’t leave the house without doing.

  81. I ADORE Courtney! So glad you posted this! Her Instagram is one of my absolute favorites.

  82. I love this! So sweet. I was wondering if you might consider asking these ladies for some style tips, too. Courtney is dressed adorably in these photos. I wonder if she has a go-to “uniform” for feeling stylish?

  83. This is such a great series! I love what Courtney had to say about being extra-conscious about vanity in front of little ones. I totally agree they pick up on that. I’m amazed she has four kids! She seems like a natural beauty, inside and out. Thanks for sharing her tips.

  84. That was really fun and sweet. I think I’m going to like this “beauty uniform” series a lot! Love that her beauty uniform was so minimal!

  85. Loved this!
    I personally swear by Elta Block sunscreen, Mario Badescu and SKII.

  86. Adore this post, and this idea for the series. And now that I have a baby girl, all the more reason to think carefully about how I monitor my own vanity/insecurity while still conveying a good sense of practicing self-respect and creativity through care of self. What a lovely conversation to have on this site!

    Also, she is absolutely gorgeous. But then, I think we are all a bit more gorgeous than we realize!

  87. Genuinely love this post! Look forward to the next in the Beauty Uniform series :)

  88. She is just so effortlessly pretty – thanks for this post!

  89. kelsey, i loved that comment, too. so smart and true. i’m going to try to stop complaining about my looks in front of the kiddos—i’m always joking about my wrinkles or my dark circles, etc….going to stop!

  90. Oh, I love that this is so substantive and thoughtful, rather than just a list of products to buy! It’s so true that beauty comes from within — it’s like that Roald Dahl quote, that “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Also, a little FM “Une Rose” doesn’t hurt; that’s one of my all-time favorite perfumes.

  91. cara, yes! courtney told me that there’s a little boutique in London called Aimé which carries Isabel Marant and other pretty French labels. She likes Couverture in London because they have independent designers and pretty homewares, and she always buys her jeans from Topshop! xoxo

  92. What a natural beauty!! I have to say, though, I admire her fashion sense almost as much as her beauty routine. Any idea where she shops? I’m an American who recently moved to London and I could use some suggestions!

  93. That Sjal cream is $240!!!! That is insane.

    Courney is beautiful…what a great example of true natural beauty that comes from projecting confidence and uniqueness rather than trying to look like the models in magazines or famous people. She is setting a great example for her children!

  94. It seems like the secret to beauty is three things: clear skin, good, thick eyebrows that frame your face, and a happy smile. So simple, even though we know that maintaining all three of these things can sometimes be a lot of work!

  95. s. says...

    I’m glad I’m not the only one pretending to like spiders. :)

  96. Great post, I love the products that she uses: I’ll definitely try the Burts Bees and Aveda.

    More TLC to our skin this season!

  97. You’re right, she’s so beautiful! I love this series and am so excited to learn about how different women approach beauty. I find it not only interesting but empowering, too.

  98. I love this new series! I personally can’t get enough of hearing about other women’s beauty secrets. :)

  99. Love, love love this new series! This was a great read.

  100. Oh I love the comment about her mother not emphasizing beauty products and time in front of the mirror. My mom is very no-fuss and so I grew up not really knowing anything about makeup and clothes, which could be frustrating. But ultimately I’m so glad that appearance wasn’t something that was made to be so important, I hope to pass this on to my children too. I love this new series!

  101. She is spot-on (ha) about the Burt’s Bees Blemish Stick. I love Tarte cheek and lip stain, there is something about a kiss of color on your cheeks that is timelessly irresistible. I also find that when I pause after a shower and moisturize before I step into the hallway and cacophony of 3 daughters, I feel pampered.