After many years of trial and error, Joanna Halpin has finally found what works best for her skin: to keep it minimal, both in terms of the products and the ingredients within the products.
Meet the British model turned photographer as we chat with her about the many benefits of plant-based beauty, the self-care routines she practices to keep in tune with her body and her mind, and the happiness of living close to nature.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from a beautiful part of England called Cornwall; it’s small communities and coastal towns surrounded by nature. I moved to London in my early twenties after graduating from university and fell into modelling; which has given me the most amazing opportunities and experiences, along with the freedom to explore creative ventures. I am now based out of New York, still modelling, but also very much focusing on photography and collaborating with brands that align with my outlooks philosophically and aesthetically.
Define your skin.
Generally, I am very fortunate with my skin. I occasionally get hormonal spots, and it tends to feel more sensitive in winter, but other than that it is pretty unproblematic and easy to manage.
"The less I use the better, both in terms of the products and the ingredients within the products."
Which products are there on your beauty shelf? Which ones do you use on a typical day?
After many years of trial and error I keep to a very minimal skincare routine. I have found the less I use the better, both in terms of the products and also regarding the ingredients within the products. I cleanse morning and night, then I apply Witch Hazel Water, a simple moisturiser with SPF 50 to protect my skin from photo-ageing, and then a few drops of Macadamia Oil over the top. I rarely wear make-up but use a little Weleda Skin Food on my eyelids and cheekbones as a very natural, moisturising highlighter. At night after cleansing I use ROWSE’s Repair Night Serum and that’s all.
How did you start with photography?
It started very organically by really enjoying documenting my surroundings and people closest to me in a natural way. This is still very my attitude and approach to how I shoot, I just sometimes just incorporate products or clothing into the environment too.
Where did you shoot this series for ROWSE?
This is my boyfriend’s beautiful home in Upstate New York. It was the start of spring and it was so incredible to see all the nature thawing back to life with the new season and each day getting warmer and extending slightly longer.
What is your favourite place on earth?
Probably here in my boyfriend’s home in upstate New York, it’s really special in every way. Or a warm sunny day in London; they are so rare that when London has a brief moment of true summer everyone is so happy and the city has a really great energy.
“I love how ROWSE products’ smell. They are so raw and natural and true to the ingredients used in the making of each product.”
What do you most appreciate about plant-based beauty?
For me it’s really important that I know exactly what I put on my body, that everything is completely natural and organic without any hidden surprises along the way. It’s also important in terms of sustainability, which extends out to all aspects of the brand’s journey from the ingredients, sourcing, packaging, shipping and recyclability.
And what about the smell. Does it matter to you?
Absolutely. I love how ROWSE products’ smell. They are so raw and natural and true to the ingredients used in the making of each product –if something smells heavily perfumed or artificial I know it’s not for me and won’t be good for my skin.
What are the first things you do when you wake up?
I cleanse and moisturise my face, brush my teeth and make coffee.
How do you keep your skin hydrated?
I drink plenty of water alongside making sure I use the products that my skin responds to positively.
Describe your perfect Sunday morning.
Waking up naturally with the sunlight, making coffee, stretching to a morning yoga class and then preparing a delicious breakfast to enjoy slowly (preferably outside if the weather allows) with the company of those I love most.
What makes you feel beautiful?
For me beauty is so tied to feeling authentically comfortable, happy and confident in myself.
Any daily self-care routines?
I don’t always have the time or self-control to do this daily, but I know I feel much better in myself when I make the time to start the day with a 30 minute Power Yoga class. And then if I’m in a really good routine I will end the day with an hour of Yin Yoga class before I go to bed. I discovered this slow meditative style of yoga about a year and a half ago now and I can’t recommend it enough. It really allows me to switch off and change my mindset. It also really teaches me how to be more present in such a nice, gentle way.
How is your skin feeling after a few weeks using ROWSE’s routine?
Honestly, it’s incredible. I have been complimented on how great my skin is looking recently by friends who see me regularly and I’ve had make-up artists asking me what products I am currently using as it’s looking so good and hydrated.
“I adore the Summer Body Oil, it’s absolutely wonderful. It has completely blown my mind and I can’t get enough of it. It’s no sticky at all and makes my skin look and feel so smooth and hydrated with this really beautiful, subtle glow.”
Which one of our products has surprised you the most?
That’s the Summer Body Oil. I always use something to hydrate my entire body after showering, but generally lean towards a moisturiser as in the past I have found oils too sticky and sometimes leave the surface of my skin feeling a little clogged. However this blend has completely changed my opinion and I can’t get enough of it. It makes me skin look and feel so smooth and hydrated with this really beautiful, subtle glow.
How is your face cleansing ritual? Soap, balm or oil?
I am using the Tangerine Cleansing Balm right now, which I am loving. It creates a milky consistency when mixed with water and leaves my skin feeling so clean and awake afterwards.
What are your essentials when you want to treat yourself with some extra care?
As I am pretty low maintenance a treat to myself is a face mask and a hair treatment as an extension to my daily routine. I love a simple White Clay mask, it's deeply purifying, it helps mattify while also leaving a healthy glow.
Tell us about your hair. How do you take care of it?
Like with my skin routine, I have a very low maintenance approach. I use shampoo and conditioner every couple of days when I wash my hair. And because of the nature of my job, heat frequently gets applied, so I used a deep conditioning treatment every so often to protect it as much as possible.
“As I am pretty low maintenance a treat to myself is a face mask and a hair treatment as an extension to my daily routine. I love a simple Pink Clay mask, it's deeply purifying, it helps mattify while also leaving a healthier, brighter complexion.”
Last things before bed time?
No phone, brush teeth and ROWSE’s Repair Night Serum. My skin is really loving it, it feels hydrated, clear and glowy.
What’s your favourite plant?
Japanese anemones; they are so resilient and grow well outside in most conditions. The white flowers also look so simple and beautiful when cut and placed inside in vases. We also had them in our garden growing up so maybe they offer me a welcome feeling of nostalgia and familiarity too.
What are you looking forward to this summer?
Being able to (hopefully travel restrictions allowing) go back to London for a moment. As much as I feel so fortunate to be here in New York, a city that I love, with so many great friends in town, I do get pangs of missing London... As I mentioned before when you catch London on a good sunny summer day it really is a wonderful place.
Photography: Joanna Halpin