#ForteFemales At Home - Dervla Louli

Introducing our second #ForteFemale, the wanderlust and founder of Compare Retreats, Dervla Louli. Compare Retreats is a luxury wellness travel company described by Forbes as, ‘a bible of the best fitness and wellness retreats all over the world.’ Dervla is also a lifestyle journalist based in Hong Kong, who regularly contributes to Vogue and was previously an editor for Tatler.

Which place would you travel to now, if you could?

Europe is where I was planning to spend the latter half of April and early May. My trip was starting in London for a friend’s wedding, then onto Dublin to see my parents, followed by Finca Cortesin for an Ironman half triathlon with my husband. After that, I was planning to visit Compare Retreats luxury wellness retreat partners in Italy, France and Germany. The trip has been postponed and I cannot wait for it to happen in the future.

What's the first restaurant you're going to go to after the quarantine?

Wilde at The Westbury in Dublin with my parents and close friends from school in Ireland.

What is the first outfit you’re going to wear post lockdown?

I have a pale-blue Cult Gaia fringed dress that I bought for a wedding which I can’t wait to wear to celebrate the happy couple on their new date.

What are your favourite beauty places or spa treatments?

Royal Mansour for traditional hammam treatments in Marrakech and Asaya at Rosewood Hong Kong for regular facials with my wonderful therapist Grace. At home, I’m loving Dr. Lara Davgan for clinical-grade skincare, Teresa Tarmey facial tools and the Irene Forte Skincare line for home spa sessions for the face and body.

What are you doing/ using to stay physically active and mentally well at the moment?

I’ve been getting my daily dose of nature and exercise through outdoor walks and hikes; I’ve also been doing cardio and resistance training online via Kenzai. I have a nutrition coach called Dali and I've just finished a 5-day bone-broth fast under his guidance. Intermittent fasting and prolonged fasts help me gain mental clarity and also reduce inflammation. My husband bought me a Kindle and it’s a much nicer way to wind down in the evening instead of watching Netflix.

What helps you get to sleep if you are wired but tired?

This has been a problem of late; to combat it, I only have one cup of coffee before 1pm, take a melatonin before bed, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds until I fall asleep. This breathing exercise calms my whole nervous system and relaxes my brain. My friend Aifric is a psychotherapist and gave me a game-changing book on breathing for my 30th birthday, it works!

What is your skincare regime during the lock-down (morning and evening)?

I had a 6-month bout of adult acne so I'm very loyal to products that have helped me combat it. I use a gel cleanser, a ferulic and B5 gel and then a day and night cream. I also add in a face scrub, lash serum and SPF50 sun drops as needed. I body brush whenever I remember to and then apply the Irene Forte Rose Body Oil.

Do you have one evening or more a week where you spend time masking/ pampering? What do you do?

I’m a sheet-mask and pore-minising mask lover. A foil mask that’s been cooled in the fridge is my personal favourite and I use pore strips when I can get a decongesting facial in my diary.

What is the best beauty/ skin advice you've ever been given?

My dermatologist tried to treat my problem skin phase unsuccessfully with topical ointment and prescription tablets before looking into my diet. As soon as I removed food that increased sebum production my skin cleared up. Basically, you are what you eat and good skin often starts from the inside out. Living in Asia also makes you hyperaware of sun damage and I don’t expose my face to the sun

What's your favourite:


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, a heartbreaking and devastatingly beautiful read.


The Blind Side, based on the true story of Michael Oher, and anything by David Attenborough of course.


Skincare product:

Irene Forte Rose Body Oil

Follow Dervla Louli

@dervlamusgrave and @compareretreats