meet our guest editor... Susie Willis

We chatted to Romilly Wilde founder, Susie Willis about skincare with soul, the problem with filters and why it really matters what ingredients you put on your skin…

When Romilly Wilde’s Light + Energy Serum Cleanser glided into PANEL’S Top 5 Hot cloth cleansers, we knew we had to ask founder Susie Willis to be one of our Guest Editors. The wonderfully nurturing experience of using her products paired with their deeply hydrating and brightening effect, really made a huge impact at PANEL HQ and having tried the new Advanced Supercell Serum + Active Boost Face Oil “Power Pair”, which smells INCREDIBLE, our interest was more than piqued.

Nurturing seems to be the word we always reach for when we’re describing Romilly Wilde products and this quality is definitely key to our experience of the brand, we tell Susie.

“Yes, I love to hear that and it was always a huge part of what I wanted to do. We cleanse, we moisturise but most skincare you come across is white and has no soul to it. If you love aromatherapy and you love sensorial things, there’s a level of connection with something that has a natural smell about it. There is so much synthetic skincare and so much “synthetic” in all personal care,  you can really tell the difference between smelling something that is meant to be there and something that really shouldn’t be there.”

Susie is quick to point out that as intrinsic as the ritualistic aspect of skincare is to her brand, the efficacy and accumulative benefits of the products are just as important…

Read on for Susie’s essential skincare and beauty products as well as her favourite creature comforts >>

Alexa Washbag, £52, Romilly Wilde



Susie's Top 5 Make-Up products

"I don't wear much make-up but there are a few items that I really love and rely on.", says Susie. Here are the five items that made Susie's very pared back list. That means they must be good!

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, £42

"My top eyebrow pencil is by Tom Ford. It has an arch shape so you can really use it to elevate the natural arch of your brow, plus the ‘taupe’ colour that I use isn’t too dark. There is nothing worse than ‘slug’ eyebrows or sharp brows. It also comes with a great brush to blend in - always blend in!"

nails inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat, £15

"I love a nourishing and clear nail varnish. Nails Inc do a really good ‘kale’ superfood base which really helps strengthen weak nails and is perfect as a nail mask."

Dr Barbara Sturm Lip Balm, £40

"I use the Dr Barbara Sturm lip balm. It is soft and glossy without being tacky or greasy, and it is caring for the skin around the lip line - which is very important."

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, £29

"I love it as it doesn’t bulk or clump, plus I love their make-up as they focus on Cruelty Free principles like us."

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer, £49

"Hourglass Bronzer – I always love to add a bit of colour to just cheekbones and bridge of nose/forehead for that sun kissed look. I love all of their colours; they are not too ‘bronze’, just very subtle and illuminating."

Continued >>

” A lot of natural skincare is perceived as very wholesome and not very efficacious but even though we are absolutely about next level, natural ingredients this is skincare that does perform on the skin – it triggers a change in the skin’s activity – so it’s not just a temporary or immediate effect that you get from synthetic ingredients.”

“Filters are fantastic for messing about, for shits and giggles, but we need to see reality.”

Prior to creating Romilly Wilde, Susie founded another well known brand, Plum Baby. We’re pretty sure if we’d launched an internationally acclaimed organic baby food brand, revolutionised an entire food sector and become a household name we would be resting on our sofa shaped laurels and turning down appearances on The Apprentice but Susie decided to apply her passion for nutrition and clean ingredients  to skincare.

“There’s a real synergy between the two.” she says, because I really do give a crap what goes into products!”

Why are natural ingredients so important in skincare?

“Your skin should be absorbing stuff that is essentially natural to your skin cells so that it then doesn’t reject it. A lot of the products that you apply to the skin are absorbed into the deep cutaneous layers and are then absorbed into our system, go into our blood supply and then end up in the liver and if you keep on overburdening the system our body will reject at some point  – it could be something very simple like the skincare just doesn’t do anything or you can get more noticeable reactions that can be adverse – you don’t want your body to be battling or fighting. It’s this overburdening that I keep on talking about… If you have a healthy skin then you won’t need those layers and layers of make-up and it gives it a chance  – your skin is an amazing organ and it can reproduce new skin cells and it can be at this healthy homeostasis but the more you mess about and challenge your skin the more it will never get to that point where it can self-sustain.”

One of the things we really like about Romilly Wilde’s approach at FIIVE is that the brand seems to have a very positive approach to creating high performance formulas, without placing a huge emphasis on anti-ageing and taut, plump skin.

“A lot of people – especially women – want to constantly perfect themselves and look like something that isn’t normal. Especially young women. I’ve got two daughters and it really concerns me that there is this preoccupation with  filters and that fake “perfect” look. So many people use filters on social media and they get used to those filters and then of course  when they aren’t using them in a real human to human situation, they then feel insecure and then you’re going down a whole slippery slope of psychological trauma. The more celebrities who don’t feel the need to use them really make a difference. Kat from the Does My Bum Look 40 insta account is brilliant –  she did a filter/no filter thing the other day and it was glorious and so real.”

What about the argument that filters are just a bit of fun? We’ve been filming some reels and playing with filters to emphasise what real skin looks like and the filters are so realistic it’s scary and we have to admit they were hard to switch off!

“Yes, I think filters are fantastic for messing about, for shits and giggles but we need to see reality. The minute someone shows their real face, warts and all, especially if they have status or they’re a celebrity the pressure goes immediately.”

Amen to that!

All pictures from Instagram. Left to right: 1. Romilly Wilde Collection 2. Susie Willis in her home office 3. Susie glowing. 4. Fliter free Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. “This is such a great image. I should repost this!”

You can follow @romillywilde for product updates and @cleanmuse for Susie’s musings.





Susie's Top 5 Creature Comforts

Susie chose to share her favourite cosy, quiet moments with us and we're basically quietly desperate to spend a weekend hanging out with her...


“My favourite retreat is to read in bed. I love historical fiction and my top female authors are Tracey Chevalier, Phoebe Wynn and Phillipa Gregory. “


“I always start my day with early morning dynamic Vinyasa yoga and have a celery juice that fasts me until lunch time. “


“My favourite weekend would be tea in bed, a food market and a walk in the woods with my dogs.”


“Going to art galleries. I love all art: modern or 19th Century, fine art or abstract.  I also love looking around vintage shops for art or good frames.”


“Nordic walking. I have my pneumatic sticks and love to go hill climbing with these. It is tough but great for cardiovascular health and good for the head.”

Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Cream, £38

"My favourite body cream is from Aromatherapy Associates - it has a fantastic rose scent and is just the right balance between lotion and cream."

Olverum Bath Oil, £36

"I have used the Olverum Bath Oil for 30 years.  It has never changed formulation and is as fabulous as it always was. I love this product morning or night to uplift or wind down."

Romilly Wilde Light + Energy Serum Cleanser

"I love our Light + Energy Cleanser which is an ‘over achiever’. Due to its nurturing and energetic formula, it creates homeostasis within the skin to elevate metabolic recovery whilst sourcing imbalances within the skin. It is part of our ‘skinimalist system’ approach to skincare with synchronised products that all support one another."

Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, £20.80

"For hair care, the best smoothing and glossing product I have ever come across is by Colour Wow and it is called ‘Dream Coat’. It not only protects the hair but reduces static and gives a gorgeous ‘post salon’ gloss to it. Perfect for my fine hair that hates any humidity."

Romilly Wilde Advanced Supercell Serum and Active Boost Face Oil Power Pair, £155

"Our Power Pair (Advanced Supercell Serum and Active Boost Face Oil) provide all of your daily skincare needs from an energetic, cellular level, promoting a hydrated and protective layer as you go about your day. The concept of our whole range is to mix and match; it’s all about layering and boosting skin for optimisation, as your skin has different needs depending on environmental hormonal or system changes. Therefore, your skincare needs to adapt and support those ever-changing needs. Adaptable skincare is modern skincare."