All About Self-Care, Sis (plus, a giveaway!) | One To Nothin'

All About Self-Care, Sis (plus, a giveaway!)

Sup, fam? It’s been a minute. And by minute I mean months and months--the longest blog hiatus I’ve had since starting this thing seven years ago. Whoa. Anyway, I’m here to talk to you guys about personal aesthetic.

I’ve been struggling with some personal stuff, which I’ll hopefully be able to bring myself to write about eventually, but for today I’m keeping it light. I only mention it because I’ve weirdly found comfort in upkeep. My nails, hair, skincare routine--all the stuff I’ve always enjoyed but recently have been taking to the next level has been my form of self care, which presents itself in many different ways. In the past it’s been clean eating/cleanses, strenuous workout challenges/marathon training, blogging (ahem), baking/doing puzzles/rewatching The Office all the way through for the 65th time/etc.

These days it’s all about the aesthetic (and easing my way back into a fitness routine because my sanity depends on it). Maybe it’s all the work trips to LA, or the inspiring women I’m surrounded by every day at work, or the incredible Sephora products we’re gifted on a regular basis, but I’m more motivated than ever before to establish, maintain, and rock my own personal style. So without further ado, here are some of the ways I’ve been changing my lewk lately:

Get Your Nails Did

I used to think getting my nails done was the BIGGEST waste of time and money. I’d save it for special occasions, like a sister date or an upcoming wedding, but after getting one of the best gel manicures of my life a couple months ago, my attitude changed. I noticed that I felt more put together without any chips in my polish, and with a strong coat of gel I wasn’t able to pick at my nails (or skin for that matter)--a bad but very real anxious habit I have. Then as my nails got longer and longer, I realized I could actually shape them. Usually the default when you go to a nail salon is a square shape, and although I’ve never been fond of the square-shaped nail, I thought that was just part of it unless you got acrylics (which are not my cup of tea). I showed a lady a photo of the shape I wanted and she crushed it. Ever since I’ve been SO happy with the way they look. My fingers look longer and more elegant--I actually want to wear rings now! I know it doesn’t seem like nails are that big of a deal, but for whatever reason this small change has boosted my confidence and made me want to step it up in other areas as well.

I Do My Hair Toss

A few weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t had proper bangs since I was six years old. I’d been noticing them on trendy gals walking down the street and admiring them in trend reports for months, but I never considered that I could get them until I was in LA and mentioned the idea to some of my coworkers. They were into the idea, and I booked the appointment right away. Again, I brought photos (there’s incredible bang-spiration on this IG account) with me to the appointment, and told the stylist that I had natural waves, but they don’t come out unless I have layers or humidity to work with--neither of which were accessible to me at the time. She gave me the fringe and the layers knowing my goal was to be able to let it air dry while still looking interesting (instead of the limp mess it would’ve been), and no joke, I’ve never gotten so many compliments on a haircut in my entire life. Like, the past two weeks have been SO validating, and somewhat uncomfortable *shivers* #introvertproblems BUT I’m stoked, I’m grateful, and I’m so into the 70s vibe they’re giving me. Shout out to Marquee Salon in Oakland for giving me the exact look I wanted--I had never even been there before, but I will definitely be back (probably sooner than I’d like to be considering how fast my hair grows).

Skin So Fresh & So Clean, Clean

Ever since I started working at Sephora (and rapidly reaching the end of my 20s…) skincare has become my thing. I’ve also noticed that any time I post about skincare routines on Instagram I get a LOT of questions from my other late-twenties buddies, so I think I’ll do an in-depth post about it with all my favorite products later, but for now, here’s a quick rundown of my skincare routine, which is half signs-of-aging prevention and half meditation because the actual act of layering these luxurious-feeling, great-smelling products onto my face and neck is truly a massage moment (PSA: I have combination skin that’s not acne-prone, and my concerns are fine lines, dryness, texture, and visible pores).

Cleanser, vitamin-c serum, under-eye cream, moisturizer (I am OBSESSED with this exfoliating moisturizer right now, sunscreen with UV and pollution/blue light protection (this one is basically a primer--seriously, it feels like velvet, isn’t greasy, and makes my foundation go on smoothly), foundation and the rest of my makeup routine. I also have a powder sunscreen so I can reapply SPF without messing up my makeup later in the day.

Cleanser (double cleansing with a makeup-removing oil balm if I’m feeling extra), a retinol-containing serum (brightens and reduces fine lines), under-eye cream, and a thick, super-hydrating moisturizer.

Weekly extras:
Usually once or twice a week I’ll do a hydrating mask on my forehead and cheeks and a pore-clearing (usually containing charcoal) mask on my nose and chin. I’ve also been really into overnight masks lately (they dry down like a serum, so no worries about pillow transfer or any of that), so when I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just put on an overnight mask after cleansing and rinse it off in the morning (this one smells amazing) Aaaaand when i’m being good, I’ll do a peel once a week, whether it’s an AHA/BHA-packed mask like this one or peel pads like these guys . I know acids and “peels” can sound intimidating, but TRUST they won’t burn your skin off, they’ll just make your skin smoother and brighter by sloughing away dead skin cells (yum).

If My Body Had A Say

Finally, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m terrible at remembering to moisturize the rest of my body. I’ll spend 20 minutes on my face and let the rest of my skin dry out like a prune, but recently I’ve been trying to be better about it. This cream is definitely helping because it smells like lying topless on an isolated beach in Kauai drinking a pina colada feels and supposedly it helps get rid of cellulite (yes, please). The other moisturizer situation I’m into lately is gradual self-tanning lotion. Not even the fancy stuff, I’m talking Jergens . If I put it on as a moisturizer every time I get out of the shower, I don’t look like my skin is see-through, which is an actual concern for me.

Let Me See Your Grill

Finally, and most excitingly, I got an email from a representative from Smile Brilliant a few months ago, and they offered to send me a super legit teeth whitening kit. I enthusiastically agreed because I always want my teeth to be brighter (cough, daily coffee and tea stains, cough), and I’d never tried anything more professional than drugstore whitening strips. They sent me this kit that has everything you need to create a mold of your teeth--you combine these two playdough-like molds together and bite into it, let it harden, and send them back to the lab in prepaid packaging to have the retainer-type trays made. Within a few days they were sent back to me, and I’ve been using them ever since. They sent me syringes of tooth whitening gel and even threw in a bunch of desensitizing gel because I mentioned that was one of my concerns--my teeth are just as sensi as I am. They are super convenient and effective, especially the more consistently you use them. You can keep them on for 1-3 hours depending on how quickly you want results, so I generally put the tray in after dinner before working out, showering, reading, or binge-watching Netflix. Afterward you brush your teeth and fill the same trays with the desensitizing gel and wear for about 15 minutes. Check out the before and after photos:
These are a game-changer. At first I was concerned about the amount of time I’d have to dedicate to it, but it’s so easy and gratifying to know that while you’re washing the dishes or waiting to switch the laundry, you’re also getting whiter teeth. Thanks so much for sending over, Smile Brilliant!

If you're interested in getting your own kit, enter the giveaway here--it's for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit and open to the US, UK, Australia and Canada!

Plus, you can use the code onetonothin15 to get 15% off!

I honestly never imagined that taking care of such seemingly insignificant things could boost my confidence so much and help me keep it together. Sometimes when things are imploding, it’s nice to feel like you can control something, even if it’s just how nice your hands or teeth look. When I just want to crawl under my covers and have a good cry, it’s nice to go into the office and have someone notice and appreciate the effort, kind of like dressing up when you feel ill. Fake it ’til you make it, baby.

How have you been practicing self-care lately?

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