Self-care doesn’t need to cost a lot.
There are many ways that are free or cheap such as a walk, hug, curling up with a good book or taking a long siesta. Indulgence has warped into something that sounds greedy or excessive. In actual fact, to indulge is synonymous with fulfilment and satisfying one’s needs. Treats are good for the soul!
I’ve long switched over to natural and organic skincare and make up and I’m discerning (aka extremely fussy) about the brands I use. There’s a shop that’s local to the clinic I work at that’s now my go-to place for brands like Twelve Beauty and Kjaer Weis and Dr Alkaitis. But lately I remembered that I used to have facials at Liberty. Since touch is one of my favourite ways to relax, a facial is both self-care and result rolled into one.
The One and Only Liberty
Liberty is one of my happy places. I’m averse to shopping centres and malls, but Liberty is housed within an iconic building and has mastered the art of heritage, beauty, quirkiness, and customer service. Liberty epitomises gifts, from its purple bags to its gift coins, all boxed up and wrapped in a bow. Often, when I take myself on an artist’s date, as recommended in the Artist’s Way, I find myself in the haberdashery upstairs or the the scarf room. There’s always something for the senses to explore and just being in that environment gets me my fix. I don’t even need to buy anything.
Liberty has a rolling calendar of facials and treatments for you to enjoy. Not all of the brands are natural and organic, but there is plenty of choice. The great thing is that the cost of the treatment is redeemable against purchase. So if you are someone who already buys products from the brands they carry, it’s a no-brainer. This year I’m approaching a big birthday, and since I don’t see myself opting for injectables, I’ve decided to invest in my skin with regular treatments. In my 20s I suffered with lumps and bumps on my cheeks and jawline that really messed with my self-confidence. For too many years I have worn foundation every day (searching for the right coverage and the right shade that didn’t leave my Indian skin looking ashy or too orange). I’ve done a 180. I now realise that wearing less makeup makes my skin look better. Keeping myself hydrated with layers of serums and oils feels more nourishing and offers better results. I’ve noticed that a number of the women I admire have that ‘lit from within’ quality of radiance. It’s something I want to emulate. A far cry away from the Youtube generation of make up artists who draw wild triangles of orange under the eyes and dark brown stripes across the face to colour correct and contour.
The Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Facial
I booked in for an Aurelia Probiotic Skincare facial at Liberty. It’s an award-winning British brand, created by Claire Vero, who hails from a background in pharmaceuticals. She was driven to create a brand that blended ethics and sustainability with science. Like most high-performing brands, it’s the combination of what Aurelia don’t put in (sulphates, parabens, mineral oils) and what they do (probiotics and botanicals) that drew me to trying it out.
The therapist was clearly very experienced and I wanted to chat and learn from her about application and skin routines. However as well as being skilled and gentle, she had incredibly healing hands. Soon after she started the rhythmic motion of double cleansing and exfoliating the skin, I found myself settling into deep rest (complete with a contented snore or two). It was a really thorough treatment. I just don’t think you can recreate the same routine as effectively at home. So even if you have a good skincare routine, it’s well worth putting yourself in an expert’s hands from time to time. I’ve had facials that have been painful. Extractions that have taken time to heal. Skin that’s looked more raw and aggravated afterwards instead of soothed. I see this as being similar to my work with the body. You could push hard to get a result and make the body give in. Or you could soften, and listen and allow the body to release on its own. It’s much kinder and feels more responsive.
I learnt a lot about how to actually apply serums. Using a pitter patter motion across the face and neck rather than rubbing them in. It’s both effective for distributing the product, but therapeutic for relaxing the muscles of the face.
At-home rituals to take care of the skin
After the session I redeemed my treatment with their ‘revitalise and glow’ serum and botanical essence. My theory is that buying quality products that feel good, smell good and work are a great way to boost everyday tasks such as putting on face cream, turning them into mini-rituals. As well as regular treatments and home care, I intend to smile more
- prioritise rest
- keep hydrated
- eat plenty of greens
- consume less sugar, dairy and wheat
- practice gratitude to love the skin I’m in and not trying to hide anymore
- exercise to get the blood pumping and the lymph draining