Self-care Diaries: Darren Kennedy, the TV presenter dressing in the brightest brights

How TV presenter, stylist and beauty brand founder Darren Kennedy is spending this time in lockdown


Self-care doesn’t mean you have to be a kundalini yogi, have mastered meditation or achieved nirvana. Even the most minute act done for yourself, from wearing bright lipstick to making yourself a cup of tea, has the power to turn your whole day around. There is no right way to do it. So we’re asking people during this period of isolation to tell us about the joyful moments in their days, be it a beauty product or a Netflix series.

Today’s self-care diary comes from Darren Kennedy, an Irish stylist, TV presenter, fashion journalist and the founder of men's grooming brand Kennedy & Co. Alongside running his brand, Darren has hosted TV shows and authored documentaries, regularly contributes style advice to publications and TV, collaborated on menswear, partnered with some of the biggest names in fashion including Hugo Boss and Mr Porter, not to mention that he is (what I am sure he considers his great achievement) our longtime host at the IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards. While we're in lockdown, he's been working on an Instagram Live series Cocktail Time, long before anyone had heard of the QuaranTucci. You get to have a nosy into his home and make the greatest Cosmopolitan, Margarita or Skyball — definitely check it out. Did I mention he does it topless?

Here, he shares how he’s spending lockdown.

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Related: Self-care Diaries: Courtney Smith, the stylist self-isolating in cashmere sets

Where are you isolating at the moment?
In my home in central Dublin with my pooch Harry. I mean, thank God for dogs!

What is your daily routine consisting of while in quarantine?
I start the day as I would normally, which is over a nice quiet cup of coffee and a banana (can someone please do a banana-coffee bread recipe!). Then I'll walk Harry before making breakfast. I'll answer emails, do a little exercise, lunch, video calls in the afternoon if needed. My nature is to keep going with work 90 miles an hour like I'm used to so in this time I'm also consciously trying to enjoy taking some time out. In the evening I'll go for a nice walk along the canal, listening to a book on Audible (right now I'm flicking between Michelle Obama's Becoming and The Hidden Life of Trees) before dinner and Netflix.

How are you dressing while working from home?
It's a real mixed bag. Many days it's in gym gear or cosy casuals to lounge around the house. I'm particularly enjoying Reiss' athleisure range. Other days I make the effort to go all out. One day, I was feeling a little down so I put on lots of colour and print with a Cuban collar lemon and orange print shirt, white flat-front chinos and loafers...it snapped me out of it instantly.

Are you working out while at home?
I'm trying to keep as much routine as possible, so doing some form of workout 5 days a week. Now the sessions vary from 10-minute kettlebells to longer workouts but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself and just do some form of exercise each day. I also try to get in my 10,000 steps but I'm not always succeeding truth be told.

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How are you engaging with self-care at the moment?
I'm trying to take the time to reflect on how I'm feeling each day. And if I happen to be having a bad day, I'm acknowledging it and sitting with it for a while, but not allowing myself to wallow, before I take the steps to come through it. We are all only human and each and every one of us will experience up and downs through this.

What’s bringing you joy right now?
Chatting with my friends over a glass of something strong every Saturday night is the craic. It's no substitute for the real deal of course but it's the best we have right now and I look forward it. I've also watched all four seasons of Money Heist on Netflix which I loved. I started learning Spanish at the beginning of the year (with weekly Skype classes using the app iTalki) so watching this in Spanish really helped.

What’s been your favourite thing to eat while stuck at home?
Lots of ice-cream and chunky chocolate with hazelnut bars. I've been making lots of cocktails and sharing them on my IGTV which is fun!

Kennedy & Co Purifying Peat Face Scrub, €9.95

What beauty product are you enjoying using the most at this time? 
I've been using Haeckels Eco Marine Hand Balm, €23. It contains a blend of fragrant coastal flowers, seaweed and geranium extract to gently nourish skin after all the sanitiser. I'm also using my Kennedy & Co Purifying Peat Face Scrub, €9.95, as a mask once or twice a week — it's great for skin and some chill for the mind!

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Photography by @darrenkennedyofficial.

Check out more Self-care Diaries here.

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