Rediscovering my identity after being stripped of monthly hair appointments, spa treatments & professional facials
True Story: My phone alarm used to be Fergie’s single “G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S”. The song would blast, reminding me that if I could just rouse myself long enough to throw clean clothes on, grab my always packed suitcase and stumble into the waiting uber black car, within the hour I’d be reclining in first class on my way to work.
I was, for almost 15 years, a beauty executive for some of the most luxurious cosmetic brands in the world. With that came weekly travel throughout the country (I literally traveled 48 weeks out of the year), millions of earned hotel points, frequent flyer miles and an expense account of delicious meals. At one point I was traveling so much I was offered a complimentary membership into a private plane club where I could hop on a private jet at no cost to me. It was DIVINE.
Yet, if you’ve read my story you know I was miserable underneath all of the glamour, so 36 months ago I walked away. You would think I would miss it by now, but I’ve honestly never been happier (private jets make me think of the time I kissed the ground when I landed because I was so sure my plane was going down that I was wondering if the company was going to name the next product launch in memorial to me…lol).
Does our Appearance Dictate our Identity ?
The TRUE glam that I find myself missing now? It’s all appearance related and makes me feels so shallow! I’ve been struggling for the past 8 months (during lockdown) to just not care. To become one of those cool, effortlessly chic, possibly French girls. The type that laughs at roots and makes you feel silly for even highlighting your hair in the first place. However I MISS shiny new highlights, pampering facials and spa days around the world! I had no idea how engrained in my identity these services have become. The undoing of these routines has been eye opening.
Here are 5 things I’ve learned over the past 8 months:
My highlights had become a crutch
- My blonde hair had become a security blanket
While this might seem silly to some I have found there has been a metamorphosis that has occurred with each inch of my dark (now greying) hair that has emerged and as my shiny blonde highlights have slid further and further down my hair. I was not prepared to lose my identity as a blonde and it knocked me back a little.
I realized I equated a lightness in my personality, a shiny and optimistic side with the “bubbly blonde” aesthetic. Seeing my dark auburn hair emerge against my pale skin sent me reeling back to my high school years when I was awkward , painfully shy and so self conscious. I realized that the image I had for myself as a secure, confident, powerful woman has always been blonde. Ive achieved the greatest successes of my life as a platinum highlighted blonde. In my favorite pictures my hair is glittering in the sunlight. The darkness emerging felt heavy and wrong to me. Yet, with salons closed there was nothing I could do except watch it grow.
At the same time, my daughter’s hair was starting fill in and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her adorable pigtails bouncy up and down. Her smile lights up my entire world and her giggles are infectious. She’s quite possibly the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen (I mean, I’m her mama so that comes with the territory). Two months ago I was flipping through pictures of her and it hit me, guess what color hair she has? It’s gorgeous , shiny and a beautiful rich dark brown. would I describe her as bubbly? Yes! Happy? Absolutely! Confident? 100 percent!!
I also noticed that people were commenting how much we look alike (which never had previously happened when I was blonde) What message would I be sending to her if I took away that identifying factor? So for now I’m embracing the darker look and realizing that my identity as a bubbly, positive, happy, confident , successful person is just that–MY identity. My hair color wasn’t some magical bullet that made me that way (well perhaps at first during my insecure 20’s), I’ve actually BECOME that woman and can shed that security blanket with ease.
Harnessing the Power of a Spa at Home
2. The right at home mask can really change your spa game!
Not exactly a newsflash there however I realized I’d become a little lazy about my at home face mask game and got caught up thinking I NEEDED those monthly microcurrent/oxygen/caviar/you name it spa facials to get my glow back! When stay at home orders first hit I was in the middle of my breast-feeding journey and it was taking such a toll on my skin. I had no rosiness left my cheeks, and had basically become the color of a pale wall. With my fancy (and wonderful) spa facials cancelled for the foreseeable future, I stepped up my at home mask game and was stunned with the results (read some of my favorite picks here). I actually love not having to leave my house to get the results and have become somewhat of a at home mask addict!
3. Brows look so much better when you leave them alone!
Women across the world are probably all realizing this now! While I wasn’t an over waxer by any stretch, I did have them shaped every 8 weeks or so, but was always longing for them to be thicker. 8 months of social distancing later, and my brows have never looked better! It’s so true that thicker brows lift your face and really do make you look younger! To keep a clean shape I use these stencils and just pluck anything that falls obviously out of line and voila!
4. My bath tub has become the ultimate therapy pool
In my previous life, I soaked in amethyst infused waters with special megahertz tuned music playing to release my chakras while warmed rocks released tension in my neck. It was magical, transformative bliss and I payed a pretty penny for it! Since traveling to that magical spa isn’t in the cards right now I’ve been experimenting with way to recreate that in my little bathroom and have found some wonderful therapies!
One of my favorite DIY baths is actually fantastic for detoxing your skin and draining any toxins as well: In warm water dissolve 2 TBSP of Epsom salt, 2 TBSP of aztec clay, 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (optional add 10-15 drop-off your favorite essential oil)–so so so good, I literally float out of that tub like I’m at the 4 seasons!
Step it up even further with this amazing body scrub and finish with this soothing CBD body lotion and you’ll drift off to sleep in pure bliss.
5. Gua Sha has changed my skin
In the absence of the talents hands of my favorite facialist I had to do SOMETHING about my expression lines. After a decade and a half of countless hours analyzing sales reports and scowling at spreadsheets, my forehead has decided to just STAY like that. I’m constantly asked if I’m upset. While fillers aren’t yet for me (no judgement on anyone else) I stumbled upon the effects of the centuries old Chinese facial massage technique called Gua Sha. This amazing massage, done with a shaped stone, release tension in your neck, jaw, forehead, etc while also stimulating blood flow, draining your lymphatic system and increasing collage production. Just 5 minutes a day and my skin looks better than PRE lock down! Read about my favorite Gua Sha stone here.
So while the glam might appear to be gone on the surface , know that behind closed doors some of us are diligently researching ways to bring it back, in the convenience of your own home , better than ever! Rest assured I’ll be sharing more of my favorite products to recreate the best spas experiences around the world !