Shop in London
Canadian-born, London-based creative director Estée Lalonde is much more than just a pretty face.
Since loving the UK a few years ago, Lalonde has grown from Essie Button – the name of her first beauty blog – to a well-respected podcast host and content creator whose successful career has included working with Daisy London and Lancôme just a few.
As she was preparing to start her newest venture, the online community MIRROR WATER, we caught up with Lalonde to chat about Lockdown, London and small purchases.
What part of London do you call home?
I live in Bermondsey in South East London and I absolutely love it. Bermondsey Street has a great community feel with lots of independent shops and restaurants. There is also tons of green space nearby, which is perfect for eating pizza and drinking wine outside when the sun is shining.
What are your independent businesses in your neighborhood?
I love getting special groceries at Giddy Grocer who sells excellent quality local produce and other foods. I also made friends with the owner of the Lechevalier Wine Shop who sells the most amazing selection of wine, cheeses, meats and more. It’s also the perfect place to have a few glasses of wine at the bar. My favorite little wine bar in London and it’s very local in my apartment – dangerous!
Which independent brands are you buying from this summer?
It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner, but I have my eye on a few tracks from Damson Madder and Cinta the Label. Both are beautiful independent brands.
What is the best gift you have ever given or received?
You might think I’m kidding, but my mom often sends me a care package from Canada with silly gifts or things that I miss like Canadian chocolate. She wraps the package with her hand-decorated paper with stickers, etc. Every package has a theme and I keep the paper because it’s so sentimental to me. She is the best and it makes me laugh every time. You can spot the glittery stickers from a mile away! It just goes to show that the best gifts are often all about the thought.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in London?
When my family visits me in London we always do tourist things and honestly I don’t think I can force myself to hop on the London Eye again. After living in London for 10 years, I take tea very seriously. Several cups of Yorkshire tea can definitely rub off on a person, and I couldn’t live without it.
How do you treat yourself
Taking a long bath is my favorite way to reset and treat myself. It gives me time and space to breathe. We all have busy lives and that 30-40 minutes without social media is pure bliss for me. Some bath salts or an aromatherapy bath oil paired with soothing music and I’m in heaven.
What are your favorite London hotspots that you will return to as soon as possible?
The decision to refill the world’s most beautiful stationery and head around the corner to the Arôme Bakery in Covent Garden is perfect if you love carbs as much as I do. If you’re leaving East and want a carbohydrate repair, I can’t recommend Rinkoff Bakery enough! One word: crodoughs.
Best kept London secret?
Hmm, that’s a tough question … I’m not sure if this is a secret, but every part of London is so different. I would really like to spend more time exploring different neighborhoods in London that I am not that familiar with. I look forward to what secrets I can uncover! Since that probably doesn’t count, I’d say the Kenwood Ladies Pond. It’s hugely popular, but I’m really looking forward to going wild (cross my fingers) this summer and would encourage the ladies to come out and have a bath!
What do you love most about the London shopping scene?
I would say the amazing independent young brands and designers. I love the markets we have in London like Broadway Market, Netil Market and Bermondsey Antique Market. I miss them so much and I can’t wait to discover new products and people face to face again soon.
What lessons will you learn from lockdown in normal life?
I think for me the biggest benefit of Lockdown was being around the people who make me happy. I want to spend all my free time with people who are comfortable doing things that make me happy. I will say YES to more things outside of my comfort zone as I continue to prioritize my own limits and sanity. I’m so excited to be social again and I say this as a great introvert.