Pillow Talk: Lingerie brand founder Pia Harpur Conaghan’s night-time routine

We sit down with Pia Harpur Conaghan, the founder of ethical lingerie brand Studio Pia, known for their bespoke embroideries, to get the lowdown on her night-time routine. Conaghan has been involved in the lingerie industry since 2010, working for a range of lingerie brands (both established and start-ups), and eventually stepping into the deep end to begin her own brand. Now, she oversees all departments at Studio Pia, leading the business development, creative direction and design of each and every collection. Here, we unwind with Conaghan and talk all things sleep...

Can you sum up what you do in five words?

Design beautiful and ethical lingerie!

Why did you start your business – what gap in the market did you spot?

Studio Pia was born out of a desire to create lingerie that was not only truly luxurious but ethical, too. We exclusively use organic, cruelty-free peace silk paired with bespoke embroideries and work with a modern lingerie atelier based in Romania that has high ethical and environmental standards. We believe that choosing ethical production should never mean sacrificing style.

What’s next for your brand?

I can’t give away too much, but currently, we are working on AW24, not only a new collection but also a new look for the brand.

Being an entrepreneur can be tough! How does your workload reflect in your unwinding/self-care routine?

Self-care for me is in-person yoga classes when I can fit one in, listening to a comedy podcast, a long hot bath with the door locked, and my Saturday morning lie-in (my husband and I take turns on weekends).

On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you love your sleep?

Definitely 10, but since becoming a parent, I’ve learnt to survive on less, so it’s become more about quality over quantity.

What time would you ideally like to go to bed, as opposed to what time you really end up in bed?

Ideally, 10pm. Realistically, 11pm.

What’s your usual reason for going to bed late? Work… scrolling through Instagram?

I’m useless at working in the evenings. My brain checks out after 6pm. It’s always Instagram or some rubbish on TV.

What side of the bed do you sleep on?

Right at home, either when we are away.

What kind of sleeping position do you normally find yourself in? Do you sleep on your back, or are you more of a fetal position kind of person?

I generally go to bed before my husband, so I start out starfish and end up fetal on the edge of the mattress by morning.

What is your bed setup? Silk/bamboo sheets or something more simple?

Cotton sheets and always Studio Pia’s cruelty-free and organic silk pillowcases – there’s nothing better for your skin and hair!

Light sleeper or heavy sleeper?

My ears are tuned to hear my toddler if he wakes in the night. But otherwise, I’m a heavy sleeper.

Are you a morning bird or night owl?

Can you be neither? I hate getting up in the morning and can’t stay awake late!

How do you unwind before bed? Can you walk me through your routine…

After I’ve put my son to bed, tidied up a million toys, and cooked dinner, there is usually a precious hour or two to sit and eat and watch TV or listen to a podcast. Then, after I’ve done my teeth and skincare, I’ll climb into bed, tie my hair up with a Studio Pia silk scrunchie, and take off my jewellery, followed by a spot of doom-scrolling until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer!

Do you read before bed? If so, what can’t you get enough of at the moment?

It takes me forever to read in bed because I’m nodding off a couple of pages in and have to go back and reread so many times! I’m currently reading Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts.

What products/items are on your bedside table?

Essential oil diffuser, a Neom massage candle, moisturiser for my hands, my everyday jewellery, my Natural Cycles thermometer, phone and watch chargers, and water.

What’s the weirdest thing next to your bed?

Often a Hot Wheels toy car or two.

Do you sleep with your phone next to you?

Always, but on sleep focus.

What can’t you go to sleep without doing?

Checking in on my son.

Do you always take off your makeup before sleeping?

Not 100% of the time, but I’m a lot better now (probably because I don’t go out as much).

What is your favourite way to remove your makeup?

Tropic Smoothing Cleanser and a bamboo cloth.

How does your nighttime routine change when, say, you’ve been out late on Friday night?

Depending on how many drinks I’ve had, I’m sorry to say it could be that I run upstairs and dive straight into bed!

Can you walk me through your nighttime skincare routine? (The more detail, the better!)

I first tie my hair up with a Studio Pia silk scrunchie. Then, after cleansing, I’ll often use UpCircle Face Serum with my jade gua sha. I love a facial massage. I hold so much tension in my forehead and brow throughout the day, and it’s the best feeling to work that away. I finish up with Tropic Skin Dream and Tropic Eye Dream.

Favourite products to use before bed?

Colder weather makes my hands dry, so I like to use a really thick cream on them at night. Right now, I’m using The Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui Cream, which is really lovely and rich.

What do you do if you can’t sleep?

I do tend to go off to sleep quite easily, but if I’m particularly stressed, I might need some help. If so, I pop my diffuser on with a few drops of Neom Scent to Sleep essential oil blend for 30 minutes, slip on a Studio Pia silk sleep mask to block out any stray light and do some box-breathing to get me out of my thoughts and calm my mind.