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Vogue – Simone Ashley On Therapy, Big Fluffy Coats And Her Daily Steaming Ritual For Clear Pores

Simone Ashley is best known as Bridgerton’s Kate Sharma, and has starred in Sex Education, Disney’s 2023 remake of The Little Mermaid, and the pages of British Vogue. A La Mer muse, Vogue’s acting senior beauty and wellness editor, Hannah Coates, chats to her about all things skin and self-care.

On how she starts her day
It depends, season to season. Lately – because it’s getting so cold in the morning and I have really early call times – I wake up and do a steam bath. I fill a bowl with boiling, steamy water, sometimes put a drop of vapour rub, eucalyptus or lavender in, and then put a towel over my head and steam for five to 10 minutes. It’s a nice way to start my day, and then my pores are open and I’m decongested. In the summer, I usually try and do an ice bath, which is really great.

On her evening skincare routine
I always have a hot shower to wash off the day when I’ve been working or travelling – it’s a really nice way to reset. I’m obsessed with La Mer’s Body Crème – there’s something about going to bed with moisturised skin… I sleep better and then wake up with my skin glowing, supple and moisturised. On my face, I like to use La Mer Concentrate, especially if I’ve been working and wearing lots of make-up. It’s got lots of healing properties and I’ve really noticed it helps rejuvenate my skin. No matter how tired I am, I’m disciplined with my routine before bed – it’s just a self-care thing. Then you wake up and feel and look like a better version of yourself too.

On the traditional Indian rituals she loves
Hair oil is not as practical when I’m travelling or working so I don’t use it [as much] anymore. Sometimes, on the weekends, I like to use it as a mask, especially if I’m in the steam room or sauna, which helps open the hair’s cuticles so it can absorb all the products [you put onto it]. I also use a kind of clay mask [traditionally used in India] which you mix with water and apply to your skin – it tightens your pores and clears out any impurities.

On her favourite way to exercise
I am a hardcore reformer Pilates girl. I love it. I go to Heartcore in London and it’s changed my life. It’s a really thoughtful way to connect your mind and body, and use muscles that you’ve never really felt connected to before. I love to dance and a lot of the moves are very similar to a lot of ballet techniques, and it’s really good for your core.

On her skincare M.O.
I don’t use many tools, like cryo balls or anything like that. I like to keep it simple so I can do my routine wherever I am. I’m all about keeping everything really clean and sanitised, and being disciplined. If I have a spot coming up, I try not to touch it. I know it sounds silly but I try and have a positive mindset [about my skin] because it’s a form of self-care – the more I’m enjoying and loving it, the more I feel I’m glowing anyway. I do love an infared mask once in a while. My friend gave me one with different lights on – I’m new in the LED mask club!

On her star sign
I’m an Aries. I’m not cynical about star signs but I’m waiting for someone to really blow my mind and make me feel they’re accurate. I’ve heard Aries are quite strong-willed and stubborn and I guess I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t true, so maybe there’s some truth in there that I need to surrender to!

On the most used item in her make-up bag
I love a lip gloss – even on the days when I’m not wearing make-up, I wear one. It makes you feel really hydrated and polished.

On her go-to beauty treatments
Maybe a nice hydrating facial or massage. Really, I just love to sit in the sauna for half an hour, and alternate between that and an ice bath. That way I can switch off, have a cup of tea and enjoy half an hour of sweating it all out. That’s my favourite.

On the best beauty tip she’s received
I was doing a shoot for Vogue Singapore a few years ago with my make-up artist, Alex Babsky. It was the last shoot before we wrapped for Christmas. He was like “you should really grow your eyebrows out”, and it was the best thing I ever did. That’s a good tip.

On wellbeing
If you have the means to be able to go to spoken therapy, that’s a form of wellness that I would highly recommend to anyone, especially young people. Actually, scratch that, to anyone! It helps you to understand yourself more and gives you the tools to be able to relate and communicate with others, and it’s something that can really create a lot of space within yourself. I’ve also got a little dog, so going for walks is a form of wellness for me as well – I just leave my phone at home and go. I’m yet to have a more disciplined routine with meditation… maybe I’ll have that as a new year’s resolution next year.

On her ultimate party season look

I love having my nails done all Christmassy, with dark reds, jewel tones and greens – and I have some fun with it, maybe some nail art. With the outfit, I mean I could go on and on but there always has to be a statement warm coat. When you’re going out, you have to be warm! I like a big fluffy style.

On gift giving
I did all my Christmas shopping last weekend [in October] because I am so booked up and have commitments until Christmas, which means I won’t have the headspace or time [between now and then]. I love spoiling people and planning different activities and surprises. Last year, I did a big Christmas-slash-birthday surprise for my boyfriend, and it took me eight weeks to plan the whole thing. It’s one of my favourite things to do.

On how she unwinds after a long day
What I would love to do is sit on the sofa, not even take my shoes off and just zone out immediately. But I make sure I make myself a really nice meal, take my dog out, call up my loved ones, do my skincare, and all of those kinds of things. That way, I’m the best version of me and ready for another day of work. I go to bed and then I relax.

On her secret to a life well lived
I’m 28 years old so that’s something I’m still [working out]. I’m on a journey, discovering and learning for myself, but I think it’s a balance between not caring too much and being in the moment. And also taking the time to be thoughtful and grateful for things. A balance.

Author: Hannah Coates
Published on Oct 27, 2023