Ahhh quarantine. Time for a 12 step skincare routine, yoga for 6 hours a day, learn an instrument and perhaps a new language. Eh. Not quite the reality. It was more like, get up after a restless nights sleep, feel anxious, make myself sit on my yoga mat for half an hour, feel vaguely better, watch the news, feel a lot worse, attempt to work from home with my mum in law in the living room and hubby also dealing with business meltdown, eat, eat some more, walk Polo, sleep, repeat…
It’s been a challenge to get into a new routine, to adapt our brains to try to cope with a new normals. Thankfully, things are easing somewhat as I write this but somehow, life feels like it never will be the same. If nothing else, we all realise just how manic life was, just how busy our heads are and just how much we need to slow down…
So, I thought, it might be useful to share the little things I have been doing (after weeks of trying to figure it out) to look after myself, to keep my head in a positive place, to keep myself fit while also not putting too much pressure on myself.
Hope it is helpful and if you like posts like this as I get into creating more content for you guys, you can drop me an email – email@example.com
My Love of Skincare
Skincare has always been an obsession of mine. A little morning and even ritual that starts and finishes my day in a lovely calm and loving way. Anyone, who has been to a class with me will know how passionate I am about understanding your skintone, which is the basis for so many other styling decisions. I see skincare like this. It is the starting point to feeling good about your make-up and hence your style.
Also, if you look after your skin, you hopefully need to wear less make-up because you feel good about what’s going on naturally. That’s my aim anyhow. I am a little obsessed with trying out new skincare products, much more than new makeup. Here is my simple morning and evening routine:
1. Cleanse with Alex Steiner Gel Cleanser 2. Pixi Glow Tonic which is an exfoliating tonic I use each morning to get rid of dead skin cells 3. Vitamin C Serum, I am currently using Garden of Wisdom Vitamin C which is cheap as chips and does the same job as some of the more expensive options. Vitamin C is an essential skin antioxident to protect the skin day to day, it also helps reduce pigmentation 4. Hylauronic Acid Serum, which I use to hydrate. My fav at the moment is by Irish brand Pestle & Mortar. 5. Neutrogena Moisturiser with an SPF 25.
1. Double Cleanse with an oil first which I wash off with a muslin cloth, followed by a cream cleanser washed off with a muslin cloth. At the moment I am using a Jojoba oil from my local health food shop followed by Superdrug Vitamin E Cream Cleanser. 2. The Ordinary 1% Retinol in Squalane, which I use maybe 3/4 times per week. The other evenings I will use The Ordinary Niacinamide followed by a light Environ moisturizer with Retinol followed by a facial oil like Clarins Blue Orchid Oil.
Listening to podcasts has become a new love of mine. As much as I promised myself I would read 5,418 books while on lockdown, I have yet to finish a book…and that’s ok. I have found it really hard to concentrate if I am honest. The heaviness of what’s going on has for me, just made that too difficult. So, I have been soaking up all sorts of podcasts – business related, beauty related, soul searching and lots more.
Here are some I have been enjoying: Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield for all things online marketing :-); I have been enjoying Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations so much for giving me some much needed life perspective and to help me remember there are amazing people out there sharing the beauty that is to be found in the world; The Good Glow by Irish girl Georgie Crawford who went through breast cancer and now speaks to all sorts of interesting people who share their own stories and give insight into how they look after themselves and get back balance in their lives; The Emma Guns Show I enjoy for discussion about all sorts of topics from hair loss to beauty to food habits.
I am a runner. I love running. It’s probably the one thing I normally use to keep my mind and body feeling healthy and good. Just before lockdown, my knee had other ideas! I have some weird pain going on at the back of my knee that just started at the start of lockdown, hence I have not been able to go to see anyone about it! So, I have tried (instead of just eating my way through the whole biscuit barrel, ok ok I did that for the first week) to just get into going for a brisk walk (which feels ok on my knee) for one hour every day with Polo. It has been my saviour. I have found some new country lane route, I pop on a podcast and have just lived for that hour, each day that just helps me to reconnect with hopeful and positive thoughts! I use the Nike App to track my route, to tell me how far I am going and what calories I am burning. Not necessary but I like doing this, it just keeps me motivated to go on those days I just want to curl up and Netflix binge!
I have always loved cooking but I guess I have just tried to enjoy having more time for it! Like many people, over the last 2 years I have been cooking much more just with veggies (having a vegan stepdaughter was one thing that also encouraged me more in this direction) but also just saving and trying out recipes I spot online. Like everyone, I have perfected banana bread with my 5 day old bananas that seem to never get eaten :-). In addition to the banana bread recipe, here are some of my favs at the moment.
The Hairy Bikers Veggie Tacos/ Romesco Sauce for fish/ chicken/ steak from Bon Appetit/ Crispy Baked Tofu from Cookie & Kate/ The Guardian Banana Bread/ BBC Good Food Parsnip Gnocchi (from scratch!)/ BBC Good Food Chickpea, Tomato & Spinach Curry.
I think one thing this period has made me feel is just how unnecessary more ‘stuff’ is in our lives. I have this growing sense for a long while now – which has been amplified x 10 during lockdown as we have all been living between our 4 walls, that what I and we need is not more stuff but to reduce our stuff, to clear out all the unnecessary clutter and to be ruthless with it. I have been doing this with my wardrobe. With more time, I have started with each ‘part’ of my wardrobe like tops first, trousers, skirts etc (as opposed to piling my whole wardrobe out at once) and asking myself one simple question:
‘Does this item make me feel happy?’ Genuinely, DOES IT MAKE ME FEEL GOOD? Be honest with yourself. If you truly answer this question, you will be amazed how those piles look at the end. When you look at that pile of items that came out as a ‘no’s’, simply put in a box, pop in your attic or another space and know that anything you have missed or thought of after 6 months or so, you can add it back in but otherwise, what I have been left with after this process is quite a bit less but I can’t tell you how much happier I feel about the items I have left
Hope you enjoyed this share and hope you get even a couple of little ideas from my little rituals.