“I woke up, I showered, I did my hair, and I put on minimal makeup like I do every single day when I’m not in quarantine.”
Marissa Ingrasci describes the importance of maintaining a regular routine to support her schedule with the same kind of structure and focus that she’s used to. The day Ingrasci described was part of her new normal; she prepared to lead a live meditation for thousands of followers, where names like Jen Atkin and Desi Perkins popped up in the feed.
Ingrasci is a teacher at the Hoffman Process, a widely-acclaimed, celeb-loved self-help retreat in Napa County. In an effort to help graduates and non-graduates start their days with a clear head, The Hoffman Process has been leading free morning meditations on their Instagram. The program is part of the non-profit’s continued and developing efforts to help people maintain mental clarity during these uncertain times.
Ingrasci stressed that she didn’t approach the digital meeting any differently than she would an in-person one. “I always do my full skin care routine, whether we’re in quarantine or not. It’s an essential part of feeling put-together for me,” she explains. “Anxiety and fear of the unknown are patterns we’re obviously seeing right now. Good habits and structure help to reduce that spiral, as do centering exercises like the ones we’ve been leading on our Instagram every morning."
Anxiety and fear of the unknown are patterns we’re obviously seeing right now. Good habits and structure help to reduce that spiral.
Skincare and beauty routines have been proven to ease anxiety. Experts say that in addition to increasing focus, a daily routine can help keep you in control. Recent psychology essays have explained that the phenomenon of panic-buying during the current pandemic is fueled by a feeling of lost control. Psychologists say that these feelings of control can be regained through good habits and imposed systems, like making your bed, doing eye makeup, or maintaining your skincare steps morning and night.
Julia Arnhold knows a thing about Zoom calls; she’s been working digitally while on maternity leave for months. Arnhold is the director of women’s at Jack Erwin, an It-girl-favorite minimalist footwear line. “I’m religious about taking care of my skin and have been for many years,” Arnhold told me. “Having healthy skin makes me feel my best, so no matter what’s going on around me, keeping to my daily skincare regimen makes me feel put together. I’m a new mom to a 7-week-old, so routine is especially important right now.”
What tips does Arnhold hold sacred? “I use a mix of products from Biologique Recherche and Japanese skincare brand, Forlle'd,” she says. “I swear by their Hyalogy Platinum Lotion and Face Cream.” To maintain a healthy glow over video, Arnhold has a helpful makeup trick: adding a pop of blush on the cheeks to instantly wake up your complexion. “I'm finding that with all of my extra time indoors, Westman Atelier's Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal helps me look like my face has seen the light of day, even if it hasn't,” she says.
Lily Galef, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of natural supplement brand Hilma said she also approaches Zoom calls with her team with the same level of professionalism that she does as when they’re in a boardroom. “Even though all of our meetings are virtual now, it makes me feel like myself to show up as I would if I were in the office,” Galef noted, “It’s important to maintain that level of professionalism with my team.” Galef echoes the other individuals’ comments on skincare and stress relief. “It’s calming to go through the motions of something familiar, and feels good to take care of myself in that way," she explains.
While we’re all living in the age of communicating via video call, try one of these products and tips to help keep your WFH routine feeling closer to normal, and some of your anxieties at bay:
To Get in a Good Headspace for an Early Morning Zoom Call:
Self-care is more important than ever right now. Job stability is on the minds of many, and we could all use a little extra relaxation. Jen Atkin, celebrity hair-dress and founder of Ouai, recommends winding down from a long day with Chill Pills. These fizzy bath tablets not only make your skin softer (something my hands need right now), but they also smell amazing.
To Find Your Best Light:
If you apartment lacks natural light, consider a desk light or floor lamp with different settings to mimic outdoor light. This adaptable version from Dyson is incredible if you don’t have tons of natural light in your apartment. The brand’s chief engineer, Jake Dyson, describes the way the light transitions on its own: “We spend up to 90% of our time indoors. So our new light tracks daylight and transforms for different uses—providing the right amount of light throughout the day.” My personal favorite setting is candlelight, but they’re all so soothing to the eyes and the mind.
To Distract Everyone With Your Glow:
For me, clear skin is closely linked to mental health. I never use face scrubs besides this one. It’s just the right of manual exfoliation to make your skin glow, without the risk of micro-tears or giving you a scary sashimi face. While the twist-top packaging could use some fine-tuning, the product inside is uniquely incredible. Oh, and it’s clean too. Seriously, what more can you ask for?
To Make Your Friends Wonder What You’ve Been Doing to Your Skin:
Wearing foundation may make your skin feel claustrophobic while you’re staying at home, but this new ILIA product is a treatment. I love wearing it; my skin always feels and looks clearer when I wash my face at night. It’s not a coincidence that I get compliments on my skin every time I wear it (yes, even via video screen). For more info on this product, read a detailed review here.
To Show Off Clear Skin Without Spending Anything:
Other than being, you know, a basic life necessity, drinking water has also bee proven to improve skin hydration and clarity. It also decreases the risk of depression and anxiety in adults, per this medical journal published last year. I avoid using single-use water bottles, especially while at home. Try this metal canteen from Corkcicle while you’re working, or getting fresh air (at a social distance of six feet or more).
To Give Off an "I've Been Outside" Flush
I like to tap this natural flush-colored blush onto the bridge of my nose and across my cheeks (borderline under-eyes) for a natural “I just got some sun” look. The highlighter shade in the duo can double as an eyeshadow to make your eyes pop.
To Protect Your Skin from Your Screen
This new multitasking product has all the editors at Byrdie talking. It has blue-light protection—yes, because your screens emit a light wave that can add to premature aging and dulling of the skin. Wear this pearlescent sunscreen before your next hours-long video call or Netflix binge (Tiger King!)—you’ll be very thankful.
To Eliminate Any Fuzziness (On-Screen and Off): Tinkle Razors
At-home and in-salon dermaplaning treatments have taken off over the last few years. Widely known as a deep exfoliation and skin smoothing therapy, the results are achieved by shaving off the top layer of dead skin and vellus hair (peach fuzz) with a single-blade eyebrow or facial razor. Contrary to popular fears, the hair does not grow back darker. Byrdie’s newsletter editor Karli Bendlin credits it as the reason her skin looks (and feels) smoother than ever. “I ordered the Tinkle Razors months ago and finally gave dermaplaning a try—and am so happy I did,” she says. “It took less than five minutes and made my skin instantly smoother. I’m not sure if the results are as noticeable on Zoom as they feel, but it 100% made me feel more confident in those early morning meetings when I can't motivate myself to put on makeup yet.”
To Look Wide Awake:
The good thing about feeling tired is that there are plenty of good ways to manipulate your eye makeup into helping you look otherwise. Byrdie’s senior social media manager Kelly Gallagher swears by the curling powers of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: “I look polished but not like I tried too hard,” she says. For another quick fix on-screen and off, she swears by Lumify Eye Drops. “They just make your eyes so white!” she promises. “Nikita Dragun taught me about this magic potion, and I’ve turned back. I can’t believe there was a time I wasn’t using these eye drops.”
When you’re on your last pair of clean pajamas, sometimes it just feels impossible to pull yourself together. Lucky for us all, Zoom has your back. The Touch Up My Appearance option retouches your display with a soft-focus feature; just click the arrow next to the video icon in a meeting, click Video Settings, then select Touch Up My Appearance. Like a real-time smoothing feature, Zoom’s filter gives you a more polished look when you’re wearing minimal or no makeup.
Byrdie GM/Editor-in-Chief Leah Wyar swears by this secret Zoom feature for looking more awake, as well as an essence-oil-cream, micro-concealing her skin, a swipe of mascara and some lip tint. “I wanted a glowing complexion like my colleagues were showing off during their WFH situations, but it in the barest, minimal way possible,” she explains. “I started wearing top knots or parting my hair differently. I checked the box on the ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ Zoom filter. Maybe it was the makeup, or perhaps it was just getting back into a routine. But I ended my second week with a bit more calmness and confidence."