If you scroll through Instagram today, you’ll see screenshots of tweets and memos urging Black women to implement luxury and self-care in their lives and it’s taken me aback. Luxury has always been something untouchable because the sheer cost of anything with the adjective sits above my tax bracket. But according to the dictionary, luxury is “a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort” and hearing it defined this way makes incorporating self-care moments a lot more practical. As part of my dedication to keeping up with my luxurious self-care, I’ve created this routine in collaboration with Black-owned businesses that specialize in relaxation. These steps will help you add luxury to your day from the comfort of your home.
It’s All About the Glow, Honey
Step 1: Cleanse and Moisturize
My self-care comes through most obviously in the money I invest in skincare and my family’s reaction to yet another package: “I can’t keep up with you.” I have the unfortunate disposition of dealing with dry skin, but I get creative with how I combat it.
In the morning, I cleanse my face with the Pure Tropix Tropical Facial Kit. If you’re into natural ingredients, this might be for you. Their products dawn an ingredient list of witch hazel, Jamaican black castor oil, and shea butter, and more. After using these products for a few weeks, my dry, flakey skin doesn’t feel tight after cleansing (a big sign that your cleanser is too drying). For me, a well-moisturized face makes me feel comfortable and confident, and just because quarantine has changed my routine, that doesn’t mean I care about my skin any less.
After washing my face, I use a little drop of toner from Kayaire’s CBD infused skincare line followed by Pure Tropix moisturizer and use my jade roller from Papa Rozier Farms here in Brooklyn. “How does a jade roller feel?” you might ask. Think of an ice cube that never melts, rubbing across your cheekbones, your T-zone, and your chin--sounds refreshing, right?
In the background, I’ll run through a medley of songs by artists that set a relaxing tone like Jill Scot, Musiq Soulchild, Summer Walker, and Stevie Wonder. In this summer heat, a shower after being outside is a necessity, and Moussou Beauty’s Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter knows how to seal in moisture and keep my skin soft and smooth. I’ve tried other whipped body butters and they’ve left my hands feeling sticky, but founder, Fatima Toure created a butter that melts into your skin without any film or residue. Using the Honey Suga Lip Scrub in the morning helps get the dead skin off my lips easily and following that with the lip balm is a perfect moisture sealing combo.
Skincare is not just for women. Let me say it again for those in the back: Skincare is for men too! Bevel and Scotch Porter are two staples for my boyfriend, especially Bevel’s Black Bergamot exfoliating body wash. Their products combine sleek packaging and appealing scents to deliver a routine of moisture and relaxation. The perfect excuse for your man to stop dipping into your products.
Step Two: What’s the Tea, Sis?
My Caribbean roots make themself known when I’m searching for a cup of tea in the midst of summer and while I love my black tea with sugar, switching it up with an herbal non-caffeinated option can be just as satisfying. I’m used to an old fashioned tea bag, but the loose tea array from Adjourn Teahouse is a new favorite of mine; the smell alone of these teas is enough to make me excited. From the neat black packaging and strong aroma from each tin to the inspirations behind each tea on the website, this brand knows how to create an experience for their customers. When I want a break from caffeine, I steep “LoveFreeze,” a blend of chamomile, rose hips, lavender, calendula, spearmint, peppermint, and rose petals. I’m a big fan of black tea and “Kinfolk” with its blend of Ceylon sonata black tea, peppermint, spearmint, ginger, sage is my new favorite. The detail LaTonia, Adjourn’s creator, puts into her products does not go unnoticed and comes through especially in the unique inspirations for each tea; LoveFreeze pays homage to LaTonia’s sister and artist, Lovenloops’ song, “Don’t Ever Forget It.”
Step Three: #TeamSeamoss
Taking care of myself is really important and my family already has a pretty healthful restrictive diet, so when a friend of mine told me about Empress Holistics (@millzon), I had to investigate. Sea moss is the new hype, just like avocado toast was a few years ago, and sea moss can really hold its own. With 92 of the 102 minerals in our body, Empress Holistics figured out how to make being healthy taste good. After almost drinking all of my mom’s Soursop Mossade and drizzling their Elderberry syrup on my pancakes one morning, I knew these products would be an easy addition to my self-care routine. They recently added sea moss icees to their menu, so check them out to stay hydrated in this summer heat!
At night before bed, I wash my face and use the sea moss gel as a face mask, washing my face after about 15 minutes to feel smooth and moisturized skin. Again, always do your research before trying new products and for new cosmetics, try a patch test to gauge how your skin will react.
Step Four: Kickback and Chill
I’ve been trying to get back into my childhood routine of spending hours reading and in my free time, I’ve been reading Emily Bernard’s Black is the Body: Stories from my Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine. In her collection of essays, she tells the stories of her life that have impacted her views on motherhood, marriage, and a dangerous chance encounter with a stranger without disregarding the heaviness that race can have in these experiences.
Something about lighting a candle makes a room feel clean and cozy. When the house is quiet, I light my Sunday in Brooklyn candle from Alexandra Winbush. For the cherry on top of a Self-Care Sunday and the scent of light soy blend of lemongrass and basil, cop a candle or two from the Black-owned business located right here in Brooklyn! She offers packages of candles, tea, and even a coordinated playlist to help you set the comforting mood. Three birds, one package.
Self-care Sundays don’t have to be limited to Sundays. Whenever you find time to give yourself some love, try adding some of these products to your routine or setting aside time to do the things that make you happy. Luxury is what you make of it, so get creative and treat yourself!