Last night as I was coating my face in a newly formulated clay mask and getting ready to hop into the bath, I was reflecting on the whole nature of self-care, and bath and beauty products serving as a tool for self-care.
During my soak I thought a lot about how my own personal self-care routine has evolved over the years. I was ridiculously insecure in my early teenage years, totally and completely body and image-conscious (as most adolescent girls are, god bless their souls).
Any time I had a bad day at school and was feeling especially uncomfortable in my own skin, my very first means of coping was to draw a hot bath and indulge in some serious self-care. Many of the beauty tips I practiced at the time were gleaned from the pages of Seventeen Magazine and involved scalding one’s face over a steaming pot of water or slathering one’s skin in a mealy blend of egg whites and oatmeal (thank all that is good and holy that I never ventured as far as the peanut butter hair mask).
At 13 and 14 years old, I quickly began to understand the lengths that showing oneself a little love go toward learning how to better care for and appreciate ourselves, particularly when we find it hard to do exactly that.
Of course, my self-care routine evolved the older I got. In later years I fought stubbornly to iron out the natural waves in my hair, over-plucked my eyebrows into non-existence and doused myself in a sinful amount of Calgon body spray (“take me away…”). I remember thinking how clever I was for devising how to “wax” my upper lip with masking tape (ha!) or using copious amounts of white pencil to “brighten” my eyes (but seriously, we all did this one at some point, right?).
In spite of all these misguided attempts, I feel a strong need to disclaim here that I am not by any stretch what one would call a high-maintenance person. I’ve never been one of those people with long-winded beauty routines overflowing with products and cosmetics and regularly-scheduled grooming appointments. All the make-up I own fits into one modest case, and as tempted as I’ve been to have my brows micro-bladed, I just can’t make that kind of commitment.
In fact, working for home (hullo, day job), I spend most of my week outfitted in jogging pants with my hair un-styled and my face free of make-up. And I actually don’t mind this fact because I like simplicity. I love simplicity. I downright cherish simplicity.
Beauty and self-care is a big industry. There are a lot of businesses out there competing to be the best, most inventive, most ground-breaking and transformative on the market. That’s just never been my bag.
I learned that lesson when, during my second year of college, at a time when money was tight and luxuries were few and far between, I splurged on an $18.00 can of gel that promised to erase the cellulite on my thighs. What an utter disappointment to discover that what I’d purchased was, in essence, an over-glorified bottle of mousse with a crackling additive not unlike the Pop Rocks of my youth. Snake oil, I tell ya.
I suppose what I’m trying to express here is that self-care doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
There are passing moments when I feel at odds with my identity as a co-creatress of a self-care business. How can someone who spends the majority of her day in sweatpants claim any right or knowledge to self-care? But this is, in fact, precisely what’s inspired me to continue channeling my energy into this little endeavour of ours. I want to be able to show that self-care is simple and available, and to be able to help create the tools to prove it.
I love that we’re able to use ingredients from nature to create something clean and simple and effective. Our aim is not to deceive you (CELLULITE GEL!) or lead you to believe that one single product can change your life. Rather, it’s to be able to highlight just how much can be done with simple, natural ingredients.
I tend not to think of self-care as a means to an end, but as a process. It’s about taking the time to tend to your own sense of worth, to love and appreciate yourself. Yes, I smell downright fantastic after I’ve covered myself post-shower in our Bees Knees Ultra-Hydrating Lotion Bar – but the joy isn’t solely in the fact I smell pretty (though that part’s nice, lemme tell you).
The joy comes from the time I take to show myself a simple act of self-care – to take those few minutes after my shower to mindfully massage my arms and legs, or that little bit of time in the evening to apply a face mask and pause for a brief meditation as I wait for it to dry or even that brief moment of rolling perfume on my wrists and stopping to inhale the floral goodness.
It’s sensory, it’s special, and it’s simple. And that’s what we love: self-care made simple.