In the meditation stage of the Rediscovery: Skin session, there's an element of self-massage. It's a unique method which I believe is an essential way to truly connect and know your skin. While the other work in Intuitive Beauty can be feel like it's based on the mental and emotional aspects of healing that relationship, a physical connection is really important.
To shift negative body image and self-talk you need to start feeling more in-tune with yourself, stop ignoring it. You have to know every part of who you are to appreciate and love yourself. Self-massage is also a lovely self-care ritual to incorporate into your daily skincare routine, alongside the meditations.
During the in-person sessions you will bring along your favourite face oil to use while I do the skin meditation and you'll also receive an audio to use at home. The beauty is that if the mirror is a trigger for you, you can do this self-massage and skin meditation out of the bathroom and in a comfortable space that you choose. Create a ritual around it, make it a sacred space.
After studying visual culture on an MA program in New York, I have a great passion for cosmetics history. I've worked in museums, archives and I'm the co-researcher of Painted Women (a global study of beauty culture) and I have a collection of vintage beauty products. There's many things that fascinate me in this field, but one of them is the time that women in the past dedicated to their beauty routines. They put so much time and effort into applying their skincare products, setting their hair and massaging in creams. It was an art-form, a ritual with ornate tools, in its own way it was also a sacred space, which I often talk about.
There have been so many discussions on self-care and beauty, the idea that face masks and bubble baths don't count. In my eyes, they can be a part of a self-care routine for sure. In the same way that staying hydrated, meditating, moving your body and being grateful can be self-care. The key is that you're caring for yourself, no one else gets to tell you that certain things don't count. .
My approach to self-care is focused on caring for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. A beauty routine can absolutely be included in that. If applying products lights you up and it's the only time that you have for yourself, then go for it and make it even more special.
The benefits of the self-massage go beyond the purpose of adding a sense of physical connection and harmony to aid in greater self-love. Beauty can be an act of self-care when you slow it down, when you're mindfully working the products in to work on both your skin and your mind. The massage and meditation usually takes around 10-15 minutes and you need to be unapologetic about giving yourself the permission to take that time.
Alongside the meditation benefits, facial massage can help with promoting lymphatic drainage and reduce fluid retention and sinus pressure. It can also work on the areas that hold any tightness or stress. Massaging also aids in promoting cell turnover and improving circulation plus it also makes your skincare products work harder, as the ingredients are able to penetrate deeper. The facial structure and overall tone of the face can also be improved, think of it like contouring minus the make-up. For body self-massages, I'm a big fan of the Ayurvedic practice of Abhyanga (oil massage) which also improves circulation, helps the body to flush out toxins, eases tension, keeps your body in balance and just makes your body look and feel absolutely glorious.
When combined with meditation, self-massage can be such a powerful way to give yourself love and kindness. Most importantly, when you're actually feeling the skin under your fingertips you can shift your focus to one of gratitude. Really feeling grateful for every single part of your face and body.