Time to Shine: Peony Lim on Festive Beauty

Having had her celebrated fashion and lifestyle blog for the past decade, it seems almost unbelievable that Peony Lim only started writing about beauty a year ago. This was much to the excitement of her legions of fans, who for years had been sending her endless requests to share her tips with them. And given her flawless complexion and model-worthy makeup looks, it’s hardly surprising.

When I ask her over coffee why it took her so long to branch out into beauty, she explains: “I wasn’t willing to produce beauty content until I could be sure it would be of a high enough standard. So, I waited until I had researched all the right brands and moved to a new house and into a bathroom that I had designed, which would serve as the backdrop for my shoots and tutorials.”

Unsurprisingly, Peony’s beauty blogs have proven highly successful. Like her fashion choices, Peony is very discerning when it comes to the beauty brands she recommends and is an advocate of luxury beauty. This is therefore why she has long been a fan of BY TERRY and its commitment to producing high quality products that stand the test of time. She first discovered the brand through hearing about its legendary founder Terry de Gunzburg, the woman responsible for creating YSL’s cult product, Touche Éclat.

When she learnt that Terry had left the fashion house to launch her own beauty brand, Peony decided to book an appointment at the company’s newly opened flagship boutique, Véro-Dodat, while on a trip to Paris with her mother. From that moment on, Peony has been a staunch supporter of BY TERRY, a brand which she believes has successfully bridge the gap between skincare and makeup.

Peony Lim's Beauty Blog
Peony Lim's Beauty Blog

What are your top beauty tips for the ultimate party look?

I love glittery red toenails. They always make me feel festive even though I’m not going to wear many outfits in which I’ll be able to show them off. I often have red fingernails as well just because they make me happy.

Are you a red lipstick girl?

I love red lipstick, but not for Christmas as I feel everyone wears a red lip. If you have the perfect outfit it’s great, but otherwise you can look like you're trying too hard. I love glittery, shimmery eye makeup during the festive period. I try to go quite light during the day and then add depth in the evening. I very rarely wear dark, heavy makeup in the day because I think it closes your face and you want to look bright and fresh.

Peony Lim
Peony Lim Style Guru

How do you transition from office to Christmas party?

I will think carefully about what makeup I’m going to put on in the morning, so I’m able to top it up later. If you apply too much shimmery eyeshadow, you won’t be able to add dark, matte colours for the evening. If I’ve used a primer and a setting spray on my face, I normally don’t need to touch up again. Maximum I’ll do is add a little more bronzer and blush to refresh, but never foundation.

Why won’t you top up your coverage?

A lot of people’s mistake is that when they have an imperfection they try and cover it. I think that’s very much the culture now – YouTube tutorials teaching us how to put concealer over spots and then setting it with powder. Everyone’s skin is different, but for me, any additional products on top of an imperfection just draws attention to it. So, I will do the exact same normal routine on my skin, even if I've got a hideous breakout and if anything, I just use a bit more mattifying powder, so BY TERRY's HYALURONIC HYDRA-POWDER is perfect on top, so it’s not catching the light.

Peony Lim's Morning Makeup Routine
Peony Lim's Morning Makeup Routine

How do you keep yourself looking fresh after lots of late nights?

Drink lots of water, make sure you take your makeup off and do an intense treatment like a concentrate or a mask during the night because when you’re tired, your skin becomes very dehydrated. I think it’s better to invest more time in your skincare routine rather than simply putting on lots of makeup. When I wake up, I’ll wash my face with a foaming cleanser, then use an exfoliating scrub to resurface by skin, before applying a nourishing cream. Next, I’ll put on some BAUME DE ROSE lip balm and do my brows, brushing them out before applying some gel. I often think if your eye area is messy, you look messy because that’s where people tend to look. Then I’ll apply concealer, bronzer and a shimmery blush to bring some colour back into my face. Apply the blush on your cheeks, eyelids, nose and temple - all the places where you would normally flush.

What makes BY TERRY stand out from other beauty brands?

I have really sensitive skin so any brand that is putting skincare into its products which I don’t react to and isn’t drying is ideal for me. I’m lucky in that I have good skin, but I have hardly any pores so I need products that sit well on my skin and nothing that’s too pigmented or dry. BY TERRY produces a lot of products which have this kind of texture. I’ve tried so many brands’ BB creams and yours is at the very top.

Three go-to BY TERRY products?

So the SHEER-EXPERT foundation I love, also the CC CREAM and the BRIGHTENING SERUM.

What do you love most about Christmas?

I normally spend Christmas Day at my parents’ house in the country, but this year I'm in the Maldives with my husband. We are spending our first Christmas as a married couple alone together without the rest of the family, which I’m excited about.

Christmas at Peony's
Christmas at Peony's

Favourite Christmas holiday memory?

We had perfect Christmas’ as children. I had ponies when I was younger, so I always had to muck out on Christmas Day which isn’t most people's idea of fun, but then my mum would prepare this amazing lunch. We’d normally have caviar or foie gras to start, followed by a very traditional lunch with all the trimmings. The Christmas pudding had charms hidden inside it so wedding bells or a bachelor’s button and whatever you got was what was going to happen to you. I’m pretty sure I received wedding bells the Christmas before I got engaged.

Favourite festive haunts in London?

I used to love Winter Wonderland! I’d go for the churros and the hot dogs. But now it’s a bit crowded and hectic. I’m not a massive fan of ice skating because it can be a bit of a death slip, but there is a beautiful rink in Kew Gardens which has a bar on it. And because it’s behind their greenhouse and it’s all lit up, it’s very pretty and romantic.

Peony Lim Style Guru
Peony Lim Style Guru

Ultimate cocktail hour look?

People think of me as being quite dressy, but I don’t really wear dresses that much. I look very girly, but I’m actually a bit of a tomboy. I’ll often wear quite masculine clothes like a tailored suit or a shirt, but then will unbutton it so it’s sexy in a mature, sophisticated way.

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