And I’m back! It has been way too long since I have blogged last, my life got a little hectic for awhile. And I have to share something personal: my life has been stressful. I have had a lot of changes and challenges the past year and a half. I quit my job to get a PhD, have had ongoing back issues which has caused a lot of physical pain, have had major changes in my personal life, and been in not one but two car accidents. But this isn’t a pity party, I promise. I have also learned that stressful times pass, and ultimately – they leave you stronger than before with a greater understanding of who you are and what is important. I’m thankful for all of these challenges, as odd as that sounds. But that doesn’t mean it has been easy! I’ve leaned on my friends and family more than ever in my life. I’ve also learned some great stress management techniques to keep me afloat during crazy times. So while I have lots of fun beauty products to share, I felt my first post back should be about wellness. I called this blog “Well Beauty” for a reason. Makeup is fun, but more important than anything superficial is wellness – physically and emotionally. So this post is about what is most important to me – and that’s staying well. And I’m happy to say I am doing very well! I’m thankful to have free time again so I can blog and have so many great products and fun makeup to share with you all! But first, I wanted to share what I have been using lately which have kept me sane, relaxed, and looking good during these stressful times.
Fragrance has a way of uplifting a mood that’s almost magical. I have written about my love for lavender before and shared some of my favorite lavender products. This past school year I have also been reaching for Vitruvi’s Focus Aromatherapy Oil.
I was introduced to Vitruvi by Petal & Post – an online shop based in Toronto. The aromatherapy oil is in rollerball form, making it super easy to keep in your purse or backpack and apply to wrists when needed. The scent is truly lovely. It’s both energizing and calming at the same time. The peppermint oil provides a pep, but is grounded by frankincense and clove. Lemongrass and citrus petitgrain keep the oil light and fresh. Sometimes petitgrain can bring a bitter woodsiness to fragrances, but I don’t smell that at all. It’s a bright yet deep scent that I really love.
I’m also a big fan of candles. I’ve talked about Blissoma candles here and there, but really – I can’t get enough! She makes some of the best all-natural candles I have ever used. The scent is strong without being overbearing, and all of her candles use a blend of scents that support and enhance each other. I have tried a few of the candles, but keep reaching for Peace – a blend of frankincense and palmarosa. It has an earthy, grounded scent that is truly calming. I love to burn it while I work at my desk at home. It keeps me focused and relaxed.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Last year I wrote a post about sleep hygiene. I have been fortunate that for most of my life, I have not had sleep issues. Unfortunately the past 6 months or so I’ve had difficulties sleeping. Not sure if it’s life stress or just getting older, but I have definitely come to realize the importance of a good night’s sleep!
As well as the products mentioned in my sleep hygiene post (all of which I still highly suggest to help you sleep!), I’ve also been using a memory foam pillow called My Face Pillow.
My Face Pillow was originally sent to me to try as a pillow that helps prevent wrinkles and breakouts. I have to say though, this pillow is so soft and comfortable I don’t even care anymore if it helps with my skin! That’s just an added bonus. Its shape takes a bit getting used to, but helps support your head upright when sleeping on your back. I also sometimes turn it over and use the back side to sleep on my side. The memory foam supports my neck and head very well.
Having used memory foam products in the past, I know they can give off noxious smells. This pillow did not at all. The owner of the company explained they allow the pillows to air out for 30 days prior to shipping. He also does not use any flame retardants or other chemicals found in other memory foam pillows, making them safer than traditional memory foam. Another added bonus!
If you are a back sleeper, or are trying to sleep on your back more, I really recommend this pillow. It is SO SO comfortable.
I love tea. I can’t even count the number of different teas I have. I’ve written in the past about all the reasons you should drink more tea. Chamomile tea is my go-to tea for stress. It has calming effects and is good for digestion as well. Some chamomile can taste a bit too floral or bitter for my personal preference, but I really like TAZO’s Chamomile tea.
TAZO’s Calm Chamomile also contains hibiscus, spearmint, lemongrass, blackberry and licorice. All of these balance the bitterness of the chamomile, providing a smooth and slightly sweet chamomile tea.
I also have recently been drinking Organic India’s Tulsi Honey Chamomile tea.
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is known for its adaptogenic properties. It helps the body respond to stress and is calming without being sedating. The holy basil has a slight earthy, herbal flavor. The sweetness from the honey helps balance this and any potential bitterness from the chamomile nicely. I have tried teas with honey in the past that ended up tasting artificially sweet. This does not at all. The honey flavor is subtle and provides a true honey taste. I really love this tea and it is staying as a staple in my tea collection.
Oh baths, how I love you. There is nothing as relaxing as a warm bath, glass of wine and good book! I’m sad that it is summer now and WAY too hot for a bath (it was 117 degrees today). I have been known to turn the a/c way down and take a bath anyway though in the past heehee
I always add some sort of salt to my baths. Whether it is basic epsom salts or luxurious bath salts like True Botanicals bath salts, I find adding salts really helps relax my muscles and soothe my skin.
I also will sometimes add a few drops of my own fragrance to the bath. I picked up NOW Naturally Loveable Essential Oil blend on a whim and am really loving it. It is a blend of lemon, orange, sandalwood, jasmine and ylang ylang – some of my most favorite scents! It is sweet (from the orange), bright (from the lemon) and floral (from the jasmine) but has a sensual earthiness from the sandalwood and ylang ylang.
After the bath, I like to massage in a body oil before sleeping. My skin has been pretty sensitive lately so I have been using organic jojoba oil.
My skin really loves jojoba oil, which is actually not a true oil but a liquid wax. It is very similar to our body’s own sebum. It helps calm any redness or irritations and moisturizes well without being greasy. As a side note, you can use it on your scalp too if you get dandruff or scalp irritation.
A Good Book
Along with the relaxing bath and glass of wine (OBVI), a good book is a must. Especially during stressful times, it’s important to take a mental break and focus on something other than whatever is causing the stress. My go-to book for times of stress has been Power of Now for years.
I honestly can’t even say how many times I have read this book over the past 10 years or so. While at times it can be a little new age-y, its message is amazing. When my mind drifts to the past or present, I can pick up this book, read a chapter or two and be reminded of the importance of living in the present. If you haven’t read this book before, I can’t recommend it enough. It really is life changing (and I don’t say that lightly).
And of course, what would be a beauty blog if I didn’t talk about skin care at least a little? ;o)
When I am stressed, my skin shows it unfortunately. It becomes red, irritated and flakey. Couple that with the abundance of sugar I love to eat when stressed and my skin is a hot mess. Thankfully I have a few skin care products that have become my go-to!
I don’t think I have ever done an official review of Pai Skincare’s Camellia & Rose Hydrating Cleansing Cream, which is crazy because it has been a staple for years now.
This cream cleanser is super gentle and removes makeup really really well (even super stubborn waterproof makeup). It also comes with a muslin washcloth which is probably the best facial washcloth I have ever used. I have about 5 of them now (shows you how many times I have bought this!). I’ll be honest that it’s a bit pricey, but one bottle lasts a few months and calms and hydrates my skin like nothing else.
True Botanicals launched their soothing line last year and I instantly fell in love with their Soothing Face Oil.
The Soothing Face Oil is a blend of calming and anti-inflammatory oils like calendula, hemp, evening primrose, pomegranate and cranberry. It also contains essential fatty acids which help repair the skin and chamomile and helichrysum which are soothing to irritated skin. This oil is nothing short of amazing (really). I had a friend with incredibly dry and flakey skin so I gave this to her to try and this healed her flakey skin overnight. She was sold. I’m very sad in that I’m getting pretty low on my bottle. I have been using it regularly since last fall so it has lasted a long time. When I first started using it, I used it daily and now I use it a few times a week (trying to make it last as long as I can!). While it is pricey for one bottle, since you only need a few drops, one bottle lasts a very long time.
And last but certainly not least is Blissoma’s Smooth A+ Correcting Serum.
I have mentioned this serum a few times throughout my time on the blog, and that’s because it is a staple for when my skin is breaking out. It helps keep my skin clear without drying it out. Here is my full review from a few years ago when I first discovered it.
And that’s it! These products have kept my body, mind and skin calm and happy. What do you use or do when stressed? Share in a comment below!
Disclosure: Some of these were provided to me to try. Opinions and the choice to review are 100% my own! I was not financially compensated for writing this blog post. This post contains affiliate links.