We’re approaching the time of year that for me feels the most stagnant and frustrating: February. The glow from the holidays, and your post-holiday detox, is likely to have worn off, and if you live on the east coast like me a seemingly permanent grey scrim covers the sky. Waking up the cold, dark morning is extra hard, which makes keeping up with an AM exercise routine even harder. This year February is feeling especially bleak as some of the most frightening political discourse of the century—ideas and policies that fundamentally disregard the integrity of human life—blare at us from headlines every hour of every day, on our computers, phones, radios, and print media. Even when you have the fires of anger and frustration stoking within you, it can be hard to immediately channel that emotion into a steady, clear flame of purpose that shows in your being and behavior.
After living most of my life with some form of acute anxiety disorder or another, I’ve established a pretty well-stocked toolbox that I pull out in times like these: behavioral tricks for my diet and overall lifestyle that are meant to encourage clarity in the mind and heart, overall calm, and centering. But sometimes a girl can be as hydrated, get as much sleep, flow through as many sun salutations, and drink as many green smoothies as she can and still look in the mirror to find a reflection of inner turmoil. A complexion that’s maybe duller than it should, or could, be, and a feeling deep within registers more like the extinguishing of a flame than its ignition. Stress is one of the worst silent offenders in our daily battle for wellness, and often times eradicating the source of stress can take a significant amount of time and energy (ahem, maybe like four years…).
This is when a little bit of external help goes a long way. My beauty routine is fairly minimal, and always clean, and since becoming vegan I’ve noticed a drastic change in my complexion from oily, scarred, and aggravated to a palette that’s much more balanced in tone and texture. Even when that base gets thrown off by worry, I’m able to achieve an effect of healthful glowiness with three amazing products: RMS Beauty’s Master Mixer, W3LL PEOPLE’s Bio Brightener Stick, and Modern Mineral’s Finishing Glow. The two sticks have a creamy, blendable texture that smooths effortlessly onto the skin. And most importantly, both contain organic ingredients like coconut and castor oils that will work with the skin to help restore its natural glow with each application, replenishing it with fatty acids, protein, and anti-aging antioxidants. With the Finishing Glow, just a light dusting of the iron-infused powder goes a long way to add subtle shimmer wherever it’s needed.
All three have slightly different shades—Master Mixer is rose gold, and can be mixed into any other makeup product to transform the hue; Bio Brightener is more of a pearly luminescent white; and my shade of Tea Rose in the Finishing Glow is also a pink (though there are other neutral shades available)—so I’ll choose based on how my skin is looking, or feeling, that day. Just a swipe on my eyelids, under the eyebrows, in the corners of each eye, along the upper cheek bone, and on the tip of the nose brings light to my whole face. A light that seems to come from within, and after a while starts to feel like that, too.
That old saying “fake it ’til you make it” has achieved cliché status for a reason. There’s an element of truth in putting forward a vision of yourself you want to be, and then embodying it as you go along. So while my passions and motivations begin to spark and fester this February, I’ll help them along with these visual reminders of the glow—physical and spiritual—I have the power to emit. I can be the face of change that, like the other cliché goes, I want to see in the world.