SELF-CARE TIPS BY MODEL & WRITER REBECCA PEARSON
My All-Time Health and Beauty Finds
Last week, I reviewed the Nouveau Lashes LVL treatment, and I have to say I’m still loving it daily! It got me thinking about how little I do in terms of beauty treatments, but that’s because I see maintaining my health, skin and hair as not just part of my job, but as a segment of time, twice daily, where I focus solely on myself.
Self-care is both a buzzword and derided by many out there as a selfish, self-obsessed Millenial trend. I really strongly disagree with this. I think that daily life is becoming exceedingly stressful for us. We’re in a time of great technological and medical advances and experience the sort of travel that most of our parents could never enjoy. There are a whole host of careers opening up: blogging, tech and altogether creative pockets that weren’t there before and a wealth of knowledge at the tap of a touchscreen.
But we’re also facing insanely intense environmental and political crises. Our work never stops: a 9-5 doesn’t really exist anymore. For me and many other models, I might be in the studio 9-5 but I’m fitting in writing, castings, worrying about my next paycheck and of course the scourge of modern times: social media. I love it! I do love Insta. I really enjoy connecting with people and sharing pictures from my work. But it’s a hamster wheel that you simply can’t jump out of because we need to build our audience and engagement daily in order to get work. When I’m having a hard time in my ‘real’ life and don’t fancy posting, the followers go down in their droves within days. I’m also more than a bit addicted.
I moved into my flat, living alone, flat three years ago after years of growing up in a big family and then sharing with housemates. People say, “Wow that’s intense, is that hard?” But the fact is: I don’t know! Because I’m never alone. When I eat dinner, it’s not to the echoey sound of a ticking clock but to Netflix on my iPad, Whatsapp on my phone and perhaps my laptop to the side of me, with a half-written blog post nagging at me. I can’t even brush my teeth without a podcast playing!
I really don’t think I’m alone in all this. We’re in a distraction society. We’re in a society where sitting still, staring into space or savouring a cup of tea alone is a bit weird. Hell, I just looked up to think of what to write next, saw my phone and had to stop the impulse to pick it up and see what’s happening on Instagram!
Basically, where my parents used to play vinyl and have a listen, or my Gran sat and knitted, we have Spotify on, three conversations happening on Whatsapp, we’re thinking about what next to post for our Instagram feed, most of us are working far more hours for far less money than we’re meant to and we’re taking in a box set in the background. It’s not good. Our brains need a little quiet time, and my little beauty rituals provide me with just that.
I realise that was quite an intense segue into my favourite facemasks, but these are important moments. You’re touching yourself, you’re massaging away the ever-present tension in the face, you’re checking in with how you feel and you’re doing this in relation to you, and only you (unless you’re instastorying it, in which case: stop. Put the phone down).
The beauty heros I’ve discovered over years of blogging are also hardworking and efficient, meaning minimal time. I don’t spend an hour countouring, I spend five minutes max doing my make up. I never blow dry, but I ensure my hair is healthy so it looks good anyway, and if I can fit in some aromatherapy, I will! Here we are: unashamed, self-care essentials for the modern-day stresses of everyday life.
I know what you’re probably thinking: what a con, because that’s what I thought too! But then I used it, and was hooked from my first time.
Personally, I’m not big on hair styling. I wash, comb and go with sopping wet hair, much to the dismay of my mother (“You’ll catch a cold!”). Aquis towels wick away moisture and treat your hair more kindly when it’s wet (which is also when it’s most vulnerable). They also speed up drying: in 15 minutes, my super-thick hair is three quarters of the way dry, whereas before it could take hours without a hairdryer.
I was aware that those with afro and curly hair often use Tshirts or specialist towels to protect their hair, but this is for everyone and my goodness what a difference it has made! My hair is stronger, thicker, healthier, glossier and I don’t turn up to castings looking like a drowned rat any more.
If you have long hair, I recommend their ‘Lisse Luxe’ turban. It has a little button fastening and ensures that the towel doesn’t immediately start unravelling, and you don’t have hair dangling out of the end.
Sonic Chic Toothbrush
Gone are the days of long trips, checked in baggage and fancy hotels. Us models often fly short haul for 2 nights max. We are often only permitted hand luggage, and my number one tip is to always keep sample sachets from purchases or magazines to pack as much as you can into those paltry little plastic pouches. Neals Yard Remedies and Aesop are great for this.
I’m an electric toothbrush convert. Without them, I don’t feel clean, especially as the 2-minute timer feels like an ETERNITY. It makes me wonder how long I brush my teeth for when it’s not timed…
However, they’re a bit bulky to pack and then you have the charger, adapter, adapter plug situation. I discovered Sonic Chic toothbrushes and I really, really like them. Not just because they’re very pretty but because you get the electric toothbrush feel but they’re small, light and last for ages (mine has been going for well over a year, and came with a second brush head).
Stress, travel and eating irregularly can wreak havoc on our bodies. Some models are uber-disciplined, showing up to shoots with a green juice in their Nutribullet takeaway cup, Tupperware with homecooked food and will have meditated for 20 minutes before exercising.
I am not one of these people.
I will sleep in for as long as I can.
I’ll eat breakfast at home (to be fair, porridge or a smoothie) but I’ll also eat pastries if they’re there at the shoot.
I’ll either eat everything on offer on the shoot, whether it’s quinoa or Dominoes, and I often buy sandwiches on the go. Dinner is generally homecooked and vegetable-rich…But I’m not gonna deny it, there’s the odd pasta pesto at 10 pm. Add early trains, flights and time zone differences to the mix and our lifestyles can really mess up digestion, sleep and a feeling of wellness.
I discovered Renew Life last year and have since religiously taken their ‘Ultimate Flora Women’s Formula’ probiotic. Probiotics help support healthy digestion and come in a casing that can bypass the stomach’s acidic environment. It’s not just bloating that can result from all this flying and pain-au-chocolat gobbling but lady problems like thrush. I’ve really suffered in the past and I’ve found that my lifestyle, as well as proclivity towards sweet carby things, can aggravate it.
Touch wood but I’ve had none of those issues since I’ve taken this probiotic. In terms of travelling it’s best to keep these things chilled, but there isn’t always a fridge in the hotel room/villa. In these cases, I tend to store them in a cupboard in the bathroom.
Pukka’s Cleanse Tea
Following on from those issues, I find Pukka’s Cleanse Tea brilliant for travel. I will often drink it in the morning rather than the evening as it makes me pee furiously: the nettle is a diuretic. But this is fantastic for water retention, which can be exacerbated by flying. It’s not as delicious as a hot chocolate, but you get used to the fennel taste and it’s now what I go for to feel refreshed and lighter.
Pixi Illuminating Tint & Conceal
I’m familiar with every foundation out there, but nothing comes close to this little magician for me. The formula is incredibly light (though it has SPF, I use it sparingly so I tend to use a sunblock such as La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 underneath).
People have different approaches with application, but I like to squeeze out a 1p size amount onto the back of my hand, to warm it up. Then I dab it on my nose, cheeks then chin, forehead and neck. This is because head make-up artist at Pixi, Amanda Bell, told me that these are the most prominent points of the face and need the most coverage. It also means you can work it out the outer corners of the face more.
I have really bad pigmentation ☹ above my lips and on my cheeks. It’s age, sun damage and hormones from the pill. This little beauty comes with a concealer on the lid that’s perfectly matched to the tinted moisturiser, meaning your make up kit is reduced and you need to buy less.
Basically, this gives surprisingly good coverage for a product that people don’t even realise I’m wearing. They think it’s my actual skin! It never clogs my pores, evens out the tone of my complexion and has tiny glints of sparkle that subtly catch the light. I’ve used it for the best part of ten years and never cheat on it.
Neals Yard Essential Oils
I’m an olfactory person. Scent can lift my spirits, energise me or relax me. I had a humidifier (it’s called YOLEO and I definitely recommend one for your bedroom as you sleep) as well as an oil burner. It improves my sleep and my concentration when writing, and is also a lovely thing to bring out in a hotel room to feel at home (put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow, wherever you are, to aid sleep and put your own stamp on a faceless hotel room).
I just love Neals Yard as a brand and trust the quality of their products.
I hope these little tips for creating space and self-care in your day come in handy. Life is busy, but loving yourself isn’t indulgence: it’s a modern-life survival essential.