10 beauty founders share how they experience self care in their lives.
Spoiler alert: there’s plenty of beauty products involved.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that self care can be as small an act as leaving your video off during a Zoom meeting or that adopting sweats as the new business casual is not just ok, but celebrated. No matter how big or small your form of self care is, the ubiquity of the term and what defines it has become so personal and eclipsed with introspection that it may seem like self care is just about anything these days. On the contrary. After the year we have all experienced collectively but apart, self care is absolutely everything. It can range from being solitary and quiet to connecting with others in every way possible in order to feel immersed in a sense of community.
“Being present in each moment and not so attached to outcomes...I think we all could benefit from going a little easier on ourselves.”
– Essence Iman, founder of The Established
Sentrell Marsh Co-Founder/Creative Director of Sensual Candle Company
I’ve had to learn to make self-care a priority. I tend to work nonstop which eventually leads to burnout. I now take intentional time to do nothing. It has made a big difference. Daily I try to be the first person up in the morning. This allows me to have quiet time for meditation, journaling, or simply to drink hot tea. I also have a 5-step skincare routine I have to do every morning. At 10 pm every night, I turn my phone on Do Not Disturb. I’m actively working to put my phone away but I’m going to be honest I usually end up scrolling IG. I also have a bath ritual that I do often. It was during this ritual that I had the idea to start Sensual Candle Co. I run a bath, light a candle, and turn on a playlist. I turn off all the lights and relax in the bath for about an hour. It’s amazing.
Gemille Walker, Shaquille Walker, and Zarrius Walker, founders of AfroPick
Self-care is a bit different for each of us. For Gemille, that might mean sitting down to his guitar and writing out his thoughts. For Shaquille, self-care could mean enjoying an afternoon in the park with his wife and daughter. For Zarrius this could mean clearing his mind while working on his craft of boxing. However, we each make sure to provide our body with the rest and nutrients it needs to sustain and grow as well, as listening and responding to your body is important. At its base, our self-care philosophy comes down to "feed the body, feed the soul.”
Liha Okunniwa, co-founder of Liha Beauty
Honoring my pace, spending quality time with my daughter and being in nature and close to bodies of water every single day.
Essence Iman, founder of The Established
I just love elevating my everyday experiences. But a lot of what self care looks like for me is slowing down. I'm in love with leisure and living at a steady pace. I take a long bath with a glass of wine almost every night before starting my nightly skin routine. I also practice a lot of mindfulness--being present in each moment and not being so attached to outcomes, which has actually reduced my anxiety levels tremendously. I've learned how to just let go--I allow myself to do what feels good to me in the moment without punishing myself or feeling guilty for indulging. So yes, I might totally binge-watch Girlfriends well past my bed-time on a weeknight. So what! I think we all could benefit from going a little easier on ourselves.
Mia Chae Reddy, founder of Dehiya founder
It looks different every day. I try to listen to my body and what it needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as more water or fresh air. Other days it’s a massage or more meditation. Most of my attention to self care is less about my physical body and more about how I feel mentally and emotionally. For me, a perfect morning of self-care includes an early morning meditation, some sort of movement –– a run or The Class by Taryn Toomey, then a sauna session. I’m in a great headspace when I start my day like this.
Dorion Renaud, founder of Buttah
I learn new self care tips every day. The best thing is my morning walk for time to think and get my thoughts together. I take my mornings very seriously and plan them with intention. How you start the day is how you’re going to finish. Honoring yourself and honoring your glory is the best self care you can give yourself.
Lulu Cordero, founder of Bomba Curls
I work long hours so self-care is extremely important for me. I have to take care of myself so I can give my best self to my family and business. I take a moment every morning to meditate and focus my energy, so that I feel I can conquer the day ahead. Of course, wash day is also my day to treat myself kindly (and my curls) kindly by luxuriating in a little me time.
KéNisha Ruff, founder of Marie Hunter Beauty
As a mom of 3 and an entrepreneur it’s often hard to find time for self care. When I do have a moment to practice self-care I like to spend an hour or two doing things I enjoy. That can be doing a full skincare regimen with a cup of tea, having a glass of wine and binge watching the newest Netflix trend, or just taking a break from work and social media and indulging in the little things in life.
Charlotte Mensah, founder of Hair Stylist and founder of Charlotte Mensah Beauty
Having these long soaks on a Sunday. Lighting my candles and getting fresh eucalyptus to soak up the moisture during a steam and make it like a spa. And, reading a book or watching a documentary.
Toks Fahm Ajayi, founder Skot Beaute
Self Care to me means prioritizing me, taking time out daily to enjoy me. Accepting my flaws and loving my natural self. Staying positive, surrounding myself with calmness and positive vibes. Living well, eating well, enjoying my occasional red wine and exercising. Indulging in simple morning and evening beauty and wellness rituals. Sleeping well, slowing down the pace of life and enjoying the small things that bring the greatest joy like reading and cooking. Going to the spa or bringing the spa to me. And of course, traveling well.