This past April was emotionally taxing. After many wonderful years in our tiny, outdated Upper West Side apartment, my boyfriend and I would be making the pilgrimage to Brooklyn, like the rest of the tristate 20-somethings we knew. Our new building is shiny and new and much more enticing than our old haunt, but we'd made so many incredible memories within those thin walls and parquet floors that packing up and shipping out felt like we were leaving so much behind, even though we had so much to look forward to.
We've also been planning a wedding, balancing crazy work schedules, and had just experienced a death in the family, so to say my stress levels were in overdrive would be the understatement of the year. And talk about bad timing—I'd planned a trip to Mexico with three of my best friends right in the middle of all of this a few months prior. It was a completely inopportune time to be leaving the country, but I'd soon learn it was just the release I needed.
After two planes and an impossibly long airport shuttle ride packed with ornery travelers, I finally arrived at The Resort at Pedregal, the most picturesque vacation destination I've ever stayed in. The rooms are stacked within the cliffs of Cabo overlooking a pristine beach and turquoise water with a personal pool built into your balcony, so it's virtually impossible to have a "bad" view. But no amount of in-room relaxation could compare to my visit to the on-site Luna y Mar spa.
Considering the tension back home that had permeated my entire back, a massage treatment was a requirement. I took a quick glance at the spa menu and essentially closed my eyes and pointed at the signature moon massage. I figured maybe some moon stones would be involved and I'd somehow be aligned with the lunar cycle, but mostly I was looking forward to being rubbed down in a five-star spa for 90 minutes.
Stepping into the dome-shaped building, I'd soon learn this was going to be much more than your average massage. After changing into the world's coziest robe and slippers, I was brought into a dimly lit room lined with cozy couches to have my feet washed. My masseuse let me know that we were currently in the new moon cycle (when the sun and the moon are aligned, with the sun and Earth on opposite sides of the moon), which is a time of change and new beginnings—a rather apt reflection of my life at that point in time.
As she knelt down and began carefully rinsing off my feet with sea salt water, eucalyptus, and seaweed, I could've cried. The act of cleansing was as metaphorical as it was physical—as she knelt down and carefully rinsed my feet, she was also washing away the fear and stress that had bubbled up like a volcano leading up to that point. During this time, I was also sipping on a digestive tea she'd brewed me made with fennel, rosemary, juniper, and lavender. The plane bloat was especially real that morning, so I was further convinced the masseuse had telepathic powers.
Following the divine foot scrub, we made our way to the massage room, which overlooked a waterfall and the ocean. As I laid my face in the massage pillow, she placed an awakening blend of essential oils underneath my nose for me to inhale through slow, deep breaths, an act I found my mind needed whether I was getting a massage or not. Ninety minutes of sheer relaxation, warming stones, and a scalp rub later, I was completely renewed. Before leaving the room, the masseuse opened up the doors and told me to lie still while I took in the sound of the ocean for the remainder of the appointment.
My limbs sunk into the table, body perfectly still, while each wave crash lulled me into a further state of euphoria. I reflected on what's changed, what's passed, and what's yet to be, and as the tide turned, so did my outlook. It's said a day at the spa is good for the soul, but these 90 minutes were good for my entire well-being.
I realize a trip to Cabo for a moon cycle massage isn't within reach for everyone, so below, we've included some lunar-inspired beauty buys.
Celestial shades like Luna, Spectra, and Eclipse evoke an iridescent glow that can be applied to the cheeks, lids, and body. Don't knock blue and purple highlighter before you try it—they may just replace your trusty golds and pinks.
Made to use on and around the New Moon, this soaking blend of calendula, chamomile, and lemon balm puts your mind at ease to prepare you for the changes that coincide with the new cycle.
Blue tanzy gives this cleansing balm-to-milk its aquamarine tint while softening and soothing the skin. Wash away makeup and dirt (even stubborn mascara) with this sugar-based cleanser that deeply hydrates and smooths while it does the heavy-lifting.
In a new cycle of change, consider swapping out your eyeshadow brushes with this cushion-y formula you can swipe right on with your fingers. Shade New Moon is the perfect tawny-gold wash of color for summer lids.
A moisturizer that deeply hydrates, brightens, and evens out skin tone? Check, check, and check. Glossier hit the ball out of the park with this pillowy blend of honey, aloe, sweet almond oil, squalene, licorice root, and hyaluronic acid to restore and rebalance your skin both morning and night.
Imagine a galaxy in hair product form. That's the essence of IGK's holographic foam—a glitzy color-changing styling product that shifts shades as the light hits. Comb it throughout wet or dry hair, hit the streets, and make heads turn.
Hydration should always follow exfoliation, which is why this AHA moisturizer is the perfect two-in-one: fortified with powerful fruit and berry enzymes, it lifts dead skin while infiltrating deep hydrating ingredients like kokum and shea butter and locking them in.
New Moon or not, we could all use a spiritual cleanse once in a while. This digestive chai-flavored powder blend of supermushrooms, adaptogens, and superherbs can be mixed into warm milk or water to promote relaxation and a wash of calm.
Maybe you have an area in desperate need of smudging, like your office desk or your car, that can't quite accomodate smoke. Consider this spray your travel purifier of bad vibes. (You can even smudge a particularly toxic person discretely—it'll be our little secret.)
The moon never makes us feel regretful, per se, unless it comes too soon and the day moves too fast. But somehow Smith & Cult has made a negative name translate into a stunning opalescent opaque shade that'll carry you well into the latest lunar phase.
Speaking of massage, check out Meghan Markle's favorite jaw-defining massage treatments.
This treatment was paid for by the resort. Editor's opinions are her own.
Opening Image: Stocksy