Why I Start and End My Day With a “Fake Commute”
Welcome to My Beauty Ritual, a series where editors, experts, and pros reveal the ways in which they use beauty — especially skin care — as a method of self-care. In this week’s installment, Marianna Hewitt talks about finding a work-life balance.
We all have our rituals. One of Marianna Hewitt's is to create a vision board at the beginning of every year, and though she couldn't have foreseen any of the curveballs that 2020 was about to bring, it was perhaps something of a blessing that she put creating a healthy work-life balance on hers. As the co-founder of skin-care brand Summer Fridays and a full-time influencer, cultivating a balance between her busy professional life and her personal life has been difficult for her in the past, but she tells Allure, “A silver lining of quarantine was that I finally got that work-life balance that I was always wanting. And now that I've gotten that, and it's really the best form of self-care for me, I want to hopefully maintain that going forward.”
Not only has spending more time at home during the pandemic helped her let go of what she calls “career FOMO,” but it's also helped her get grounded in daily morning and nighttime routines, spend more time on self-care, and, of course, give the heat tools a rest.
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ALLURE: How has self-care changed for you since the beginning of the pandemic?
MARIANNA HEWITT: I was always traveling, always on the go. It was almost like I had career FOMO — I felt like I had to go to every event or I was missing out on an opportunity that could be better for my career or networking. And the guilt of missing out on those things, I was really burning myself out and I was so exhausted, but it was just like this endless cycle that I was on, so I didn't even really realize that it was happening. I've really used this time to create a morning and nighttime routine, things that make me feel good and give more of a routine to my day.
ALLURE: Routine is so important. Are there parts of your routine you love in particular or recommend to others?
MH: A morning and nighttime routine have been so important to me because I really feel like it bookends your day. I actually asked for some suggestions on Instagram, and one of the really good ones that I hadn't thought of was to go for a walk when you wake up in the morning before you work, and at the end of the day, go for another one. That signifies what would have been your work commute. It's similar to the way you unwind a few minutes before starting work when you're listening to the radio or a podcast on the way to work, and then when you end your day, as well.
But don't try to force yourself to do something, because if someone says meditating in the morning is the best thing ever but it doesn't work for you and it just stresses you out more, I don't think you should force yourself to do something you're not comfortable with. What's worked really well for me is getting up in the morning, having some water, then having some coffee, doing one activity before I start work. Whether it's reading one chapter of a book, listening to a podcast, or doing a quick little workout, I do that and then shower and get ready for the day. In a dream world, that would happen every day, but some days I'm just rushing to the computer.
ALLURE: Speaking of routines, what are you loving these days when it comes to beauty and skin-care?
MH: I still do my hair maybe once or twice a week, because I'm still filming content and shooting and stuff, and I get ready for those days. When I'm not shooting content, I let my hair air dry, so I've been loving hair masks, like the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair hair mask and the Olaplex Hair Perfector treatment. My hair has gotten so long and so healthy without all of the heat damage. When I style my hair myself I usually use the Dyson Airwrap, which is amazing. I was getting my hair done so much for different shoots and events before, and I feel like the over-styling and so much heat on my hair was just damaging it.
And then, of course, I love face masks. I've been using the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask and then not wearing makeup on days when I'm out wearing [a cloth face covering], which has really helped prevent maskne. And then, if I do have a blemish or breakout where my mask is touching my face, where there's a little bit of friction, I'll use a little pimple patch. It almost acts like a barrier between the friction of the face mask and the blemish on my face, so it doesn't cause more irritation and make it worse.
ALLURE: I use those, too! OK, one more question. If someone comes into your DMs to ask for self-care advice, what might you say to that person?
MH: For me, self-care is non-negotiable. I can't be a good friend, I can't be a good daughter, I can't be a good boss or a good anything if I don't take care of myself first. And I think there's nothing wrong with figuring out whatever that is for you. For me, a big self-care lesson was learning how to say "no" to things and not feeling guilty about it. Spreading myself too thin was making me so worn out that I needed that moment of self-care to do all the other things better.
Really having that morning routine makes me better for my day, so I can show up at work and be the best that I can be. Having a nighttime routine keeps me well-rested, so then I'm taking care of myself so that I can perform the next day. And then really taking the weekends off from work, which I've tried to be really good about, is the best form of self-care for me also, because I really do feel like I'm getting a hang of this work-life balance.
And so, figuring out whatever it is that makes you happy, makes you feel good, and makes you prepared for everything else in your life is important. Maybe it's meditating, maybe it's journaling, maybe it's going for a walk to a podcast, maybe it's cooking a really good meal. Or maybe it's something like a beauty routine, and getting ready in the morning, doing your hair and makeup, which might make you feel really confident for your day. Just try a bunch of different things and see what works and doesn't work for you.
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