When my family was house-hunting over a decade ago, my mom had somehow taken up a fascination with feng shui (a newfound knowledge that can be attributed to HGTV, I presume), and was very diligent to make sure that our new home followed traditional feng shui principles: "The back door can't be directly across from the front door—that means money will come and go quickly," she assured us. God forbid our dream home followed a similar floorplan–we'd either have to pass on it or do some quick construction to replace the back door with a wall, stat. As you can imagine, once we moved in, our new home was laden with Chinese coins hanging on red ribbon, a red square piece of paper, and a bamboo plant, among many other strategically placed items throughout. Was the energy in our house more positive? Were our finances better off post–coin-hang? I wasn't sure, but my mom was so firm in her beliefs that I assumed her efforts must have been laced with some sort of success.
Because I come from a, erm, feng-shui'd childhood, I've carried these beliefs with me long after flying the nest. I might not have coins and ribbon hanging in my apartment, but I do have a bamboo plant and made sure that my small NYC space didn't have a window across from the door, "Because of money," I tried to explain to my skeptical boyfriend. In any event, continuing these beliefs has led me to think how else I can practice the ancient Chinese philosophies outside of the home—at work? In my car? During my beauty routine? The latter sparked such a consuming interest that I Googled "feng shui beauty regimen" and, much to my surprise, found a ton of results. Most sites suggested that the best way to incorporate feng shui into your beauty routine is by facing a certain direction when applying your makeup and other seemingly odd directional changes (though, they can't be much more odd than placing a red, square-shaped piece of paper in just the right spot in your home). To help shed a bit more (well-placed) light on the matter, I turned to veteran feng shui expert Pun-Yin (or Master Pun-Yin, as she's often called). Keep reading to find out what she had to say!
When I hopped on the phone with Pun-Yin, she made it very clear that her relationship with feng shui is incredibly important to her and one that she doesn't take lightly. When I brought up that I had seen ideas floating around the Internet that you need to face a certain direction while applying your products, Pun-Yin dismissed that notion almost immediately. She didn't want to include any such information in our discussion because she treats her practice as something that's rooted in tradition and leads to positive energy—no commercialization or gimmicks: "Beauty is skin deep, yet if we consciously create a grooming routine that aligns with the feng shui energy of our spirit and our environment, this daily regimen could be a mood-creator that keeps us focused on our goals," she explains. I was immediately impressed with her devotion to the practice and felt confident that by the end of our chat, I'd learn how to balance my beauty routine and (hopefully) my life. Follow Pun-Yin's tips below for a positive flow of energy during your routine!
"Instead of going straight to your morning and evening routine for your face and hair, add a powerful step through a scent from an essential oil that is associated with a certain emotion or objective. Whether it's a scent associated with awakening or motivating during the day or one associated with calming and balancing at night, the pleasant scent added to your grooming routine permeating the air could be beneficial to your mind," she explains. Peppermint is an invigorating scent to kick-start your morning, while lavender is a more soothing scent to try come nighttime. Pun-Yin recommends putting a few drops of essential oil on your wrists, rubbing them together in small, circular motions, and inhaling the scent deeply. "The meridian point stimulation [Ed. note: There are several meridian points throughout the body that are linked to your organs and channel energy] along with the scent could signal your mind to be on a specific path," she says.
"In accordance with the authentic feng shui principle that uses the yin-yang and the Five Elements to balance the energy of a space with a person, there are energy vibrations in objects that we can use to our advantage. These include tapping into the yang—or active—energy vibration during the day by having the packaging of a grooming supply contain a touch of red color. By representing the 'fire' element energy, doing so can stimulate the mind," she explains.
On the other hand, the yin energy represents relaxation, ideal for tapping into during your nighttime routine. Says Pun-Yin, "This could be achieved through packaging that uses soothing colors, graphics representing nature, or using a product with botanical ingredients or a fluid base. The right combination will balance your energy and help release fatigue."
We all have our makeup order of application down pat, but Pun-Yin suggests changing things up for the sake of setting a positive tone throughout: "When applying makeup, start with the part of your face you are most pleased with. A strong start is helpful for lifting your energy and increasing your confidence. As you start, shift into a gratitude mode, thinking, I am grateful for having such a beautiful pair of eyes... This positive energy will radiate outward," she explains.
Is your bathroom or vanity a little lack-luster? Dress it up! Says Pun-Yin, "According to feng shui principle, when the energy of a space is weak, add a plant, lighting, or a luminescent object that aligns with one of the Five Elements you most identify with to boost the energy."
Finally, Pin-Yun says your haircut is in direct correlation with your success and overall happiness. We know how poorly a bad haircut can make us feel, but that's not exactly what she means: "The right hairstyle and hair color could help boost or soften the energy composition of a person. For example, a hairstyle that falls along the jawline increases movement and flow to help expand your face's narrowness and increase your presence. One can also dye their hair in accordance with the Five Elements to add strength." Some salons even offer feng shui haircuts, styling, and color in case you're not sure where to begin—just be sure that they follow traditional feng shui values.
Do you pay attention to the small details of your beauty routine, or is it more of a quick regimen? Tell us all about it below!