It has been a grim old time but there are some good things that have come out of lockdown. A lot more puppies in the park, leggings being elevated to smart casual and Portia’s Happy Hour on Instagram are top of our list…
If you haven’t tuned into model Portia Freeman’s Friday night cocktail-making sessions, you are missing out. This woman exudes positivity and an infectious lust for life that everyone needs right now and she makes killer cocktails, that you won’t be able to resist, alongside special Zoom guests, like Jamie Oliver and Vick Hope. While Instagram can often present an artfully filtered version of reality, Portia’s entire @portiaportiaaaa feed is a breath of fresh air, showing all the ups and downs of parenting in lockdown and having to rely on your husband to dye your hair pink (pretty good skills for a bass player!). There’s just no faking that warmth and humour and there’s no faking her incredibly luminous skin either. Swallowed a lightbulb, lit from within skin, is Portia’s thing and we could not wait to find out all her skincare and make-up tricks.
Miu Miu Star-print nylon wash bag, £245, Matches Fashion
Read on for Portia’s top 5 make-up products and the skincare game-changers she swears by >>
As someone who has had to work hard to get her complexion on track, we were dying to know what Portia uses to keep her skin looking so fresh...
"I started using this fairly recently. I used to swear by Liz Earl’s hot cloth cleanser, which is excellent but when I ran out of that I started using this La Roche Posay face wash and my skin loves it."
"I love Trish McEvoy’s weekly peels. I have used these once a week for so long I can't remember and I swear by them."
"This has saved my skin. It just calmed everything down and I love it. You can use it for everything - all over your body - but I mix it with whatever moisturiser I’m using on my face (La Mer The Softening Moisturiser currently) because I just love it so much. On top of that I’ll use the 111 Skin Rose Gold Radiance Booster - it’s like putting a rose gold glow on your face - but that's not really skincare it's more like make-up."
"This is great for that end of day double cleanse. It's part of my evening routine. I really love La Roche Posay products , I find them really soothing."
When we launch into raptures over Portia’s glowing complexion, we have no idea what a battle it has been for her to get to the point where she’s happy with her skin…
“My skin has always been super problematic. I’ve had acne since I was 15 years old and after two rounds of Roaccutane for a ‘quick fix’, my skin eventually calmed down. Then I had two miscarriages before I had Rudy, which unsettled it again.” Portia tell us,”And then I had bad pregnancy acne so it’s been a bit of a battle.”
Wow. It’s hard to imagine going through such a deeply emotional rollercoaster with the added stress of hormonal skin thrown in but it’s a story that must be familiar to many women. Was there any one thing that really helped turn her skin around again?
“About a year and a half ago, I got introduced to Debbie Thomas of the Thomas clinic and she is the most incredible facialist who really knows her stuff. You can go and get facials from people who have been highly recommended and then there’s Debbie. Debbie looks at your skin and she knows exactly what to do – her whole process is amazing. I think I’ve only had four or five facials since I first started seeing her but the condition of my skin has significantly changed. I got sent lots of Retinols and heavy-duty skincare, which I was throwing at my skin to try and get that glow and she taught me to stop using all of that stuff and keep it quite minimal. I think that has really helped. ”
“When I found Weleda Skin Food it saved my skin. It just really helped calm it down.”
One of Portia’s key products (and a much loved FIIVE favourite) is Weleda Skinfood, and she can’t sing its praises more highly.
“When I found Weleda skin food it saved my skin so, so much. It just really helped calm it down. I mix it with whatever moisturiser I’m using because I just love the consistency and the calming effect.”
Looking at Portia’s make-up back-catalogue, one of the stand-out moments has to be her wedding to musician Pete Denton aka Pedro as Portia affectionately calls him. Her candy pink hair and soft dreamy make-up complemented her exquisite Liz Martinez dress to perfection and we admit we’re obsessed with her wedding photos on Insta.
“Ah thank you Babe! I was so scared of the pink hair being too pink and because it was such a grey day I wanted it to look quite soft and muted and luckily that worked out really well. And then I was so, so lucky to have Lori Woodhouse of Tom Ford and her wonderful team taking care of me and they did all of my girls too, which was amazing. It was really spoiling and they really looked after us!”
Looking at Portia’s incredible wedding pics with the cascading Champagne tower and trestle tables heaving with delicious food it’s clear that she is a very social creature so we weren’t at all surprised when she chose “Places I can’t wait to go” for her personal top 5 (we really do milk our Guest Editors don’t we?!). For anyone gasping for a drink made by someone else or the best cosy pub lunch, this is THE ultimate going OUT OUT list to follow. Cheers Portia! See you on the roof terrace!
You can follow Portia at @portiaportiaaaa and join her #PortiasHappyHour every Friday night.
Pics: 1. Classic Portia with her Pink hair courtesy or Redken City Beats. 2. That dress by Liz Martinez 3. The Moet Champagne Tower at Pete & Portia’s wedding 4. Tom Ford make-up artist Lori Woodhouse and Portia 5. Portia modelling for Red Magazine
All pictures taken from Instagram
People, places, the hum of chatter, the clinking of glasses. WE CANNOT WAIT and neither can Portia. The hospitality industry has suffered so much this year so it was great to get the low-down on the places she'll be making a beeline for when lockdown is over and it's safe to mingle...
“First things first is a date with Pedro. I can’t wait to get dressed up and go out! I miss those spontaneous nights when you get to 10 O’clock and you decide to grab dinner. The Wolseley would be that place. I can’t even remember the menu it’s been so long but Champagne and oysters are always a good idea.”
“A proper pub crawl with my girls is something I cannot wait to do again. We’d start somewhere in Islington, maybe The Drapers Arms and then end up in The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, which is also great for date nights and a cosy pub lunch.”
“The rooftop at The Ned is definitely on the list. We’d check in for the night and it would be dinner followed frosés on the roof top in a cosy corner – those frosés are intense and the hangover is savage but so worth it!”
Hakasaan for lychee martinis 100%. Has to be done. Still one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had.
“We love, love this restaurant. The owner used to be the general manager at The Wolseley and their food is insane. I always double drop with a Paloma and a glass of Champagne, then it’s oysters and a beautiful mackerel or a halibut ceviche.”
It's all about the glow for Portia who loves a paired back look with a classic flick eyeliner and dewy skin...
"The illuminator by Estee Lauder is always a favourite and I mix that with either Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser or Armani Prima Color Control Glow Moisturizer which both contain SPF."
"I’m really into Tom Ford Extreme Mascara - swear by it, love it... but I’ve just started a new one by Armani and I really love that one too! It’s such a beautiful mascara - it’s really soft and light and gorgeous."
"The best eyeliner pen for a precision flick. The colour is super dark and it lasts all day."
"I swear by Tom Ford’s Terra Bronzer. Love! It gives you a gorgeous but subtle warmth and just takes away the grey. I was never really into using bronzers before I tried this one and now I literally panic about the idea of this one running out."