Photo Courtesy of Beautiac.com
Self-care has evolved so much in the past few years that some consider a 12-step skincare routine the key to staying sane. However—and I don't think I'm alone in saying this—that actually sounds a little insane to me! Between being a new mom and a CEO, I'm lucky when I remember to put on lotion… Is that bad to say if I'm the founder of a beauty brand?
Taking the time to learn a new makeup technique or test out a new skincare line is unfortunately an indulgence of time I don't often have, thanks to a packed schedule with brand meetings, investor pitches and life as a mom. I know there are probably many founders, entrepreneurs and change-makers who love beauty routines, too, and wish they had more time for one. But we get bogged down by other priorities. That's why I've put together The Beauty Routine for Busy Women: a complete guide for glam on the go.
We hear it all the time, but I'll remind you again: take off your makeup before bed! Clean skin is a must, no matter how busy life gets. This mantra alone will speed up your routine by helping to avoid breakouts. I like to keep makeup wipes in my closet next to my pajamas, as a no-excuses, constant reminder.
When it comes to product, simple is better. If you have to stop for too long and try to figure out a technique or product, ditch it—it wasn't made for the everyday-busy women. Even if it's short, your skincare routine should be free of frustrations. That being said, when people ask me for advice I do encourage them to indulge in one great product that they feel truly makes a difference and enjoy using. You don't need ten, just focus on one. My "one" is Zo Skin Health Gentle Cleanser—the fragrance alone puts me right into a relaxing spa moment, and I know my skin is getting the clean it needs. Just because you're busy doesn't mean you need to rob yourself of the joy of a jade roller or the luxury of La Mer. Just don't go on a shopping spree or impulse buy every new trend, because your drawers will get cluttered with items you don't have time to use. Pick one, be done.
If you do feel yourself gravitating toward wanting to try every new trend, try a subscription service like Birchbox that will send you sample-sized or travel-sized items. These are practical because you can take them on the go, and you won't feel guilty if one or two go unused simply because you don't have the time to face mask for 30 minutes. Travel-sized items from the drugstore or Ulta can also be great for busy schedules since they are small and light enough to bring when you're out and about.
Lastly, I would be remiss not to say: clean brushes are so important. My company, Beautiac, is a subscription makeup brush company that was literally created for women like us. Founding this company is how I became an "every day" beauty expert! We send three handles, three brush heads and a sponge to start you off. Then, every month you get new brush heads and a new sponge, and you send the old ones back to us to get recycled. We know that washing brushes and waiting for them to dry takes time—time some of us don't really have to spare. A subscription is the easiest way to make sure your brushes and skin stay clean.
When I'm in a pinch, blush is my number one must-have. It's easy to carry, easy to apply and a little goes a long way. Find one great blush shade that goes with your complexion and buy two. Keep one at home and one in your purse, briefcase, backpack or diaper bag. You'll have access to a quick rosy refresh at any time of day. I call it "glow on the go." You can also get the look by walking nine city blocks on the way to a meeting, but (trust me) blush is easier.
I'm also a fan of compressed translucent powder. Emphasis on compressed, because if you've ever had loose powder spill in your bag… you get it. A total mess. Compressed powder is easier to manage and also helps with light touch-ups throughout the day. I often find that when I have no time for makeup, translucent powder at least helps my skin look fresh. I also recommend a translucent powder with SPF, because sun protection is so important for your health, too.
Similarly to skincare, my number one tip for makeup is to find your one "thing" and keep that with you. If mascara makes you feel the best, get a travel size for your purse. If late night meetings wreak havoc on your undereyes, a small tube of concealer might be your go-to. You're beautiful with or without makeup, but it's nice to know your holy grail is close at hand when you need an extra boost of confidence.
As cliché as it may sound, staying organized is truly the key to success, even in your beauty routine. Knowing that everything is in its place makes it easier to start the day without unneeded stress. Have you ever lost your makeup bag while taking it on the go or spent 20 minutes digging through your drawers to find your favorite mascara? For many of us, this can bring stress levels way up, and we aren't our best when we're feeling rushed and frantic. Personally, I'm a big fan of having a couple makeup bags ready for the day. When I'm traveling, I can grab a prepared makeup bag and get out the door quickly. (Makeup in the backseat of a rideshare, anyone?) With this system, I don't have to worry about losing one of my products, because I know I have a backup. Also, if one of the makeup bags runs out of a product, you can simply grab one from another bag. If you have doubles and they're ready to go, your stress levels won't go up. You're prepared.
Ultimately, you're going to need a beauty routine that works for you. We're always looking for ways to get a few extra minutes in our day, but every busy woman is different. Do what best fits your lifestyle and prioritize what's important in your beauty routine. For me, my Beautiac makeup brushes are a desert-island beauty tool, so I wouldn't be caught without them and my favorite moisturizer. When I'm traveling, I even pop the heads off the handles and just bring those to save space since a brush head can just about fit in your pocket. Getting ready shouldn't cause you any extra stress in the day, so plan ahead, and you'll be ready for whatever life throws at you. Now get out from behind that mirror and tackle the world!
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."