450 Years

MY CITY LIFE: SOPHIE BERESINER

The beauty director, author, Sunday Times columnist and mother on missing London and adapting to new routines

01 March, 2021

Where abouts in London do you live and work?

I have lived in Honor Oak Park in South East London for nine years now and I love everything about it, not least its excellent connections to central London where I used to work before my maternity leave and then the pandemic struck!


What’s your earliest memory of London?

I have a few and they all revolve around my grandparents who had a flat in Dorset House in Marylebone, the Art Deco building with the bright green balconies. We used to go and visit them and have grandparent treats, so the Baker Street Pizza Express and Hamleys are definitely my earliest memories of London.


What makes London special to you?

Sometimes I stop taking it for granted and really imagine how it must seem to a tourist or just someone who’s never been before. Walking through Soho after work in summer and seeing so many different types of people getting together for drinks after work. Or even speed-walking through the City with my takeaway coffee dodging in and out of all the suits. I used to love that I worked among these amazing cosmopolitan streets, that I was a legitimate Londoner. 


How would you describe London in three words?

Very much missed.


What’s your usual morning ritual and has it changed much in the past year? 

Everything about my whole day has changed 100 per cent in the past year, along with most other people’s. For one, I don’t get to commute in to my job anymore, but I wouldn’t anyway since I’m on maternity leave. It is mad to think that the time I planned to take out to be at home, and to relish a break from the craziness, turned out to be at the same time everyone else is doing the same, but the craziness has just taken on a different form. 

My morning ritual used to be dragging myself out of bed, rushing to get ready because I have way too many clothes and never know what to wear (but love dressing up for work), running for the train then doing my makeup on it, which I’d share with my Instagram followers using my dedicated hashtag #makeuponthemove (I’m a beauty editor so it’s OK, OK?). I’d grab a coffee on my way in and then sit at my desk on Great Marlborough Street and get to work.

Now I am up at 7am with my baby, totally engrossed in watching Piers Morgan annihilate another member of government each morning as I feed her, and wondering when I will be able to introduce my daughter to the world as it should be. 


What do you do to keep a good work-life balance?

I make sure I still feel productive while I work at being a mother. I adore it and it’s a huge challenge in so many totally new ways, but when she sleeps I find I can’t sit and relax. I think if the world was more open I would be able to feel more balance, but since it isn’t I find myself creating jobs for myself, from building and maintaining a new brand and website to customising clothes.  


What activities, habits or rituals have you found help you to maintain good mental health through challenging times? 

An unapologetic glass of wine once the baby is in bed and watching Mad Men on the sofa with my husband. Very little things that help us to connect while we can’t make any exciting plans.

I work best with escapism.


Are there any resources that you use, and would recommend, to help keep a positive state of mind?

I can’t think of anything I do that I’d recommend because everyone is so, so different in their approach to maintaining their mental health and positivity. I work best with escapism. Having time to myself to not think about anything, rather than trying hard to think better, or just differently. I enjoy watching TV shows like Schitt’s Creek and This is Us to zone out. Or reading a book to take me somewhere else.  

I hope my new book – The Mother Project: Making it to Parenthood the (Very) Long Way Round, which will be released this May – will be a good way to escape. It’s a story of hope, encouragement, and overcoming adversity, with conversations and better understanding of the challenges many people face on what can be a complex and highly emotional life event.


What do you like to do to relax?

I quite enjoy my own company and I’ve not had it for almost a year now. He won’t mind me saying, but I long for the day my husband gets to go out and play football and see his friends again so I can dedicate a whole evening to lying on the sofa and watching a movie (something he doesn’t enjoy) with popcorn and prosecco for one. Aaand breathe.  


What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 6 months?

Girl, Gurl, Grrrl by Kenya Hunt


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t save it for best.


What thought always puts you in a good mood?

My daughter did this cute/funny/new thing today…


Sophie Beresiner is an award-winning journalist and the beauty and style director at digital editorial platform Buro. Her weekly Sunday Times Style column, The Mother Project, in which she shares her infertility journey, won her PPA Columnist of the Year and is consistently among the newspaper’s most-read features. She was beauty director at ELLE for seven years and is author of the bestselling Back Chat Beauty: The Beauty Guide for Real Life. Her book The Mother Project: Making it to Parenthood the (Very) Long Way Round will be released on 27 May 2021, and is available to pre-order now; motherprojectofficial.com

Image credit: Petros


The Royal Exchange is partnering with Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest to encourage conversations about mental health, wellbeing and community spirit. For further information on Mind in the City, its support services – a range of innovative and collaborative services to support people’s mental and physical wellbeing, resilience and recovery – and how you can get involved with campaigning, fundraising or volunteering, please visit: mindchwf.org.uk

Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest is part of the national Mind network, which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing difficulties, visit mind.org.uk to access information about a broad range of topics and services, designed to help you overcome the challenges of this difficult time