5 Black beauty pros on how they're taking care of their mental health right now

Instagram, @ginaedwards_, @e_monimichelle, @mimijonline, @curlsbycandace

Being Black in the United States has never been easy, but the past few weeks have been especially hard and heavy. We’ve lost Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and so many other Black lives to police brutality and racism. Seeing these injustices continue to happen has left me feeling thoroughly saddened, angered, and exhausted. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way. 

While trying to simultaneously process our trauma and call for justice, it can seem almost impossible to find moments of peace. But earlier this month, I came across a tweet from singer Kaya Nova that reinforced the importance of self-care during these times. Her post read, “Self-care is a radical form of protest too. I can’t stress how important it is to be whole. Fill up your own cup and then pour. They don’t want us to be full humans and be well. We have to take care of ourselves.” After reflecting on her tender words, I’ve been putting a greater emphasis on caring for myself holistically. 

In doing this, I began to wonder how other Black people are nurturing themselves during this time. Ahead, I asked five Black beauty professionals to share what their self-care practices look like during these emotionally taxing times. From social media hiatuses to daily yoga sessions, I hope their habits help you prioritize yourself and find a bit of peace.

1Gina Edwards, celebrity nail artist

HelloGiggles: How are your practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health at this time?

Gina Edwards: Practicing self-care during these painful times has been difficult. I had to take a step back from social media and a hiatus from viewing and posting. I needed to mentally sign off because I noticed I was becoming more distressed and upset. The second step in self-care was to get into the bath and surround myself with crystals, which I rarely do, and meditate. This was truly therapeutic.

HG: Are there any beauty products you’ve been using lately that help calm you when you’re feeling stressed?

GE: I apply Battle Balm with CBD to my stress points on my body, like my temples, neck, and lower back. Beauty products are important to me as a daily routine, especially now. Two of my go-to products are the KISS foot and hand masks for deep hydration and supple skin. Then, I add the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil to my face and feet for extra hydration.

black beauty professionals self-care Gina Edwards
KISS

Shop it! $9.99, Amazon.com.

2Emoni Moses, esthetician and makeup artist

HG: How are your practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health at this time?

Emoni Moses: I prioritize listening to my body and give it what it needs, and sometimes the needs vary. I like to practice what I call “fully feeling,” where I focus on being present in whatever I may be feeling, good or bad. Taking necessary breaks has also been a priority on my self-care to-do list recently. Whether it’s a social media break, a break from back-to-back Zoom meeting calls, or just taking a walk to get a break from being confined in my apartment, mapping out time for myself is really important. Our bodies and mind need to rest to properly function. On a good night, 432-Hz sounds are one of the few solutions that helps me get a restful night of sleep.

HG: Are there any beauty products you’ve been using lately that help calm you when you’re feeling stressed?

EM: As an esthetician, I’m obviously in love with skin, so I’ve been loving anything that makes my body look, feel, and smell good. Aromatherapy blends play a big role in my self-care routine. Lavender, peppermint, germanium, and frankincense are some of my must-have calming scents. Eminence Organics Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub and Camille Rose Naturals Powdered Coconut Whipped Buttercream are top on my list of standout skincare products that incorporate some of my favorite scents and smells to help me unwind. 

black beauty pros self-care eminence gina edwards
Eminence Organics

Shop it! $48, Dermstore.com.

3Mimi J., celebrity makeup artist

 

HG: How are you practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health at this time?

Mimi J.: My self-care consists of stepping away from my work as an entrepreneur—because there’s always work to be done—and having a zen moment with a nice bath, candles, music, and watching a good show or movie. 

 HG: Are there any beauty products you’ve been using lately that help calm you when you’re feeling stressed?

MJ: I’m a candle lover and really like the Essence Noire and JLuxe Candles. I also love Jones & Rose Body products and Undefined Beauty’s CBD Glow Detox bath soak. 

black beauty undefined
Undefined Beauty

Shop it! $32, Undefined Beauty.

4Tiffany Barnes, natural hair expert


HG: 
How are your practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health at this time?

Tiffany Barnes: First and foremost, self-care is a must for me. Surrounding myself with [my] family has been a big part of my life since quarantine. I’ve also started stretching for 30 mins a day; it relaxes me and allows me to listen and tend to my body’s trouble areas.

 HG: Are there any beauty products you’ve been using lately that help calm you when you’re feeling stressed?

TF: I love scrubs! My go-to at the moment is Skin Buttr’s Gingr Lemon [Scrub]. Also, from time to time, I’ll shower with a eucalyptus bouquet over my showerhead. The steam from the shower combined with the plant helps me with my sinuses and provides relief. 

black beauty skin butter
Skin Buttr

Shop it! $25, Skin Buttr.

5Candace Witherspoon, natural hair expert and salon owner

HG: How are you practicing self-care and taking care of your mental health at this time?

Candace Witherspoon: Self-care is so important, especially during such a difficult time with all that is going on in the world. To try to keep my mind peaceful and practice calmness, I do yoga once a day, go for midday walks, and I listen to uplifting music, podcasts, and motivational speeches. 

HG: Are there any beauty products you’ve been using lately that help calm you when you’re feeling stressed?

CW: I look forward to my at-home facials once a week. I love applying manuka honey after cleansing my face for 15 minutes and sitting calmly while it moisturizes my face. 

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