Around here, we definitely know what it means to burn the candle at both ends. Luckily, we also know what it takes to zen out when our inboxes won’t calm the hell down.
From wine to fancy candles, we use all kinds of methods to calm our nerves, but we also turn to one of our favorite things: Beauty.
Here, our staffers fill you in how they wind down with their very personal (and, sometimes, odd) beauty rituals, habits, and tricks.
"When I was in college, my friends would make fun of me because, after my last class of the day, I'd go back to my room, sit crossed-legged on the floor in front of my full-length mirror, and put on makeup. Nobody understood why I didn't just do that in the morning, as opposed to getting glammed up at 4 p.m.
Well, putting on makeup relaxes me—it always has. Whereas some people unwind with a massage, I chill out by experimenting with products that fill my house. I find it a great way to test out things I own but may not wear to work every day, and there's something super-zen about taking an hour to myself, putting on music, and just going nuts with color."
— Perrie Samotin, Site Director
"Lately, no cream or beauty treatment can even come close to standing up to my love (read: obsession) of the cold plunge—also known as cryotherapy. Here’s how it all goes down: I hit up the gym three to four times a week and after a really intense workout, I tip-toe apprehensively into a pool that’s roughly 50 degrees for 2 – 3 minutes—in all honesty, it’s really only as long as my body can handle it, so sometimes far less. The insanely cold temperature is reported to tighten your blood vessels and help drain the lactic acid from your muscles, so there’s less swelling and you can recover more quickly. All great stuff, but what I notice more than anything is how much it relaxes and sharpens my mind and helps clear my energy—and if we’re being honest, that's really the most powerful beauty treatment you could ask for. "
—Jess Teves, Editor-in-Chief
"Every night before bed (and some mornings when I’m not wearing makeup), I slather my face in jojoba oil. Then, I like to sit on the couch for an indulgent 15 minutes and rub the leftover oil into my cuticles while I listen to a podcast. It’s a weird ritual, but also surprisingly relaxing—and you should see how healthy and strong my nails are!"
— Jasmine Garnsworthy, Editor
(Foxbrim 100% Jojoba Oil, $16.95, Foxbrim.com)
"My relaxing beauty ritual is doing my nails. I used to be a chronic nail-biter, and one of the things that helped me quit was getting really into manicures. At the time, I figured that I'd be less likely to tear at my nails if I'd spent two hours painting them (and I was ultimately right; I no longer bite).
Now I consider the time that I spend every week soaking, filing and painting my nails as the ultimate in self-care. It's relaxing to the point of being meditative, and a nice way to take care of myself at the end of every week. The fact that the process keeps my rather flimsy nails feeling strong and looking flawless doesn't hurt, either. This week I'm rocking Marc Jacobs Nail polish in Fluorescent Beige, which on me is a gorgeous neutral mauve shade that I'm totally into."
— Alle Connell, Senior Beauty Editor of Daily Makeover
"I get really distracted by clutter, so while normally my place is pretty minimal and neat, the one thing that's always a work in progress are my beauty products— it's easy for them to get out of hand since I have SO MANY of them (hi, beauty editor).
One thing I really love doing, especially for weirdly-shaped or too-large containers, is to decant some of my skin and body care products into uniform vessels, like these ones from Muji (also guilty of making it rain at Specialtybottle.com) so they all fit in my medicine cabinet. It's a bit Glass Menagerie, but I just get a really thorough peace of mind out of organizing all my beauty products this way."
—Sable Yong, Associate Beauty Editor
"I consider my entire skin care routine pretty relaxing but when I really want to make it feel ritualistic, I like to light a fancy candle from the moment I hop in the shower to the final slather of face cream. Its soft glow creates a spa-like environment and makes routine tasks like shampooing my hair seem almost indulgent. I’m currently obsessed with the sophisticated, soft floral scent of NARS’ Oran candle ($50) but I’m also partial to votives from Tocca and Diptyque."
— Cristina Velocci, Managing Editor
"I'll go for a run, come back and down a glass filled with lemon water, pump up my air conditioning (because New York City in the summer) and meditate for about 10 minutes. Badger balm has this yoga and meditation product that I've rubbed on my temples during this, too. After that, I feel chill enough to start my showering, makeup, and hair routine.
I'll also take a super long shower with an exfoliating scrub. After I get out, I'll apply a deep conditioning hair mask—John Masters Organics is my favorite—and pin it in a bun. You don't have to wash this product out and it dries silky smooth, so I'll keep it there for a few hours while I'm pampering in different ways, whether that's doing my nails and watching a movie or wearing a sheet mask."
—Victoria Moorhouse, Associate Beauty Editor
"My favorite thing to do to unwind after a long day is to have shower wine — and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: drinking wine in the shower. There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a steaming hot shower while also enjoying a chilled glass of wine – within minutes, my mind begins to clear, my muscles relax, and I emerge a new woman. Plus it makes all my mundane shower rituals — you know, shampooing, conditioning, exfoliating, shaving, etc— that much more fun. Cheers!"
— Cady Lang, Social Media Editor
(Cady's fave wine pick? White Girl Rosé.)
"After a long day, I love to take a face mask out of the fridge, pop it on, and lay back with a mug of hot water and lemon. There is nothing better than some fabulous skin time with a great mask (on the couch of course, in front of the TV) and the added benefit of the cold cloth mask in the summertime makes it heavenly. Lately I'm loving Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment masks because they're oh-so-soothing but give you that extra moisture that my skin needs. Plus, when my sister comes home I terrify her, and that's just plain fun."
– Rachel Adler, Beauty Director