A few weeks ago, you were quite a lot to ask me what my "beauty routine" was and sent me a lot of questions: how did I find the line after my second pregnancy, how often am I working out, which beauty products do I use?
To answer all of your questions, I wanted to broaden the conversation, and especially to talk about the main theme of our Heimstone journal which is creativity.
We currently live in a society in which our way of understanding the world and our way of consuming has changed enormously.
For example, I have the feeling that our parents' generation had a different relationship to consumption than ours. Without social networks and the value given to others’ opinion, our parents’ personal development was mostly material. They had, perhaps even more than us (I was born in 1983), an attitude saying "I am what I buy". What I mean by that is that their well-being and their social existence were essentially driven by their consumption, who they were friends with or their professional success. In any case, I feel that if being rich for them was to have a nice car, for us today it would be to be healthy.
In my opinion, his is how our generation is different, because, although we consume as much as our parents, we act consciously and have learned that our external well-being depends - essentially - on our inner well-being. We have also become aware of what we eat, the environmental sustainability is now part of our daily lives, we are less bulimic and perhaps less compulsive and have learned to consume according to our needs.
Little by little, we try to live in harmony with our planet and that forces us to consume in conscience and to make a return to the earth. More than ever, it becomes coherent and necessary to speak of harmony between our body, our head and the world around us. At least, we try…
Even though we were raised by a generation that consumed differently, we grew up in a world facing an ecological crisis and we can not deny it. Witnessing this change, we are the generation that will have to reverse the trend and it is our duty to pass it on to our children.
What is the relationship between all this and this subject on the "beauty routine"?
In my opinion, well-being and therefore beauty in its largest meaning are intrinsically linked, and both are obtained by a return to simplicity and by an inner and personal harmony.
Regarding the routine itself, I do not think I'm a pro! I do not spend a lot of time in my bathroom and I use fairly simple products. Finally, I think especially that this famous "beauty routine" is a more global concept, which goes through our lifestyle, our personal fulfillment, our happiness, our daily routine in the end, more than by simple creams.
So, here is my beauty routine, which is obviously very personal and certainly not revolutionary. It is absolutely not a judgment on anyone’s routine or health practices. Again, my idea here is not to give you list of beauty products but rather to share with you my belief that a certain philosophy of life is beauty, and that it’s important to keep it in mind every day at a time when cosmetics are growing in all directions (sometimes wrongly!) …
For me, the essential thing before spreading creams hoping they produce miracles is to be fulfilled with oneself.
That does not mean trying to be perfect, far from it, but it means learning to accept the ups and downs of life with creativity, that is to say with humor and lightness, but also with a certain vulnerability.
For me, this is also what beauty is all about. And yes, this job takes a lifetime. But I believe more than anything that the balance of our mind has an indisputable impact on our physical health and therefore on our beauty.
Beautiful inside, beautiful outside
The primary thing with beauty is to be "aligned" with oneself. What I mean by this is that we must try to accept ourselves the way we are, physically but also morally. This aspect should not be neglected.
There is no scoop in what I am going to say but no one can change us. Except us.
To accept oneself, one must already know how to listen but also to look at oneself. It’s not a matter of judging oneself but only of looking carefully.
We are all annoyed by some of our features. Let's assume that they are not fixed and that it is up to us to change them.
As far as I’m concerned, I always try to get rid of anything that does not make me feel good.
This is not an easy task because it requires putting one's ego aside, trusting oneself, letting go and accepting one's vulnerability. It is a difficult exercise but it seems essential to me.
I’m quite an excessive person. When I love, I love wildly, when I go, I go for it, when I do not agree, I fiercely oppose myself. I like being in control, managing, making decisions, I like things when they go fast. It’s therefore a laborious task for me to undertake a long-term work on myself throughout the different stages of life.
We come back again to what I think as being our best ally in life: creativity.
Here, we are not necessarily talking about artistic creativity, but about the ability of our minds to find creative solutions to face various issues.
This creativity is for me the essential factor for personal growth, because it requires a questioning almost on a daily basis, but also a certain vulnerability, self-acceptance and a long and sometimes painful life learning process with its failures. Above all, it forces us to become actors of our lives, or if you prefer, to look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty.
Often, frustration, annoyance and bitterness freeze us in a situation, while creativity forces us to take some distance from ourselves, to step back.
We all have our own experiences, wounds, hardships that built us and forged our personality. But I strongly believe that they must not be an end in themselves, or whether they are our identity, they have to be an engine rather than a threat.
How? Begin to give them less importance (try anyway).
It may not be a matter of ignoring them, but of turning these wounds and our weaknesses into strengths. Again, go from half empty glass to its half full version.
In other words, welcome, accept, and then digest.
I wanted to share with you these few lines discovered thanks to my friend Amélie @a-muse-yoga who regularly reads this text during our yoga practices. I like its symbolic and metaphorical nature. From my point of view it illustrates very well this concept of half empty and half full glass.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
How to digest? First, you have to accept things and make a big decision : you don’t want to be a spectator in your life.
Living with remorse and wounds creates bitterness, negativity, fear. All in all, these are a lot of uncomfortable things that also have a very strong impact on our look but especially on our health.
I always tell myself that an annoyance or frustration is a wrinkle for later. Think about it, it will help you to get rid of it!
This is very ambitious and cannot be done in one day. Some days are better than others, for everyone. The key is to believe in it and to want it. But once it's digested, the idea of being yourself is accepted, inner harmony is more easy to find. And if that was it, a real beauty routine?
We all have at one time of our life had "harmful" dating, "friends" who are part of our daily life but who, when we see them, bring us nothing except a feeling of uneasiness, make us doubt, or lower us, but that we continue to see for years without really knowing why.
My father has always told us that we are responsible for our lives, free but responsible for the friends we make. Nobody forces us, and this sentence really made sense the day I decided not to find myself in uncomfortable situations with people who did not want (only) my good.
This doesn’t mean you have to get angry and never say hello again, but you have to understand what led us one day to socialize with these people, why we do not feel well surrounded by these people, accept it, decide not to see them again, and once all of this is digested (here we go again!), it will not be a problem to see them by chance without having a heart attack.
In fact, once again, it's about knowing how to be creative, how to take distance from the issues, and to consider life as a big playground where everything is possible, where you can decide to go forward or backward, to jump over obstacles or not, to stay in the shadows or to walk in the big clearings.
To go forward is not an easy thing. It is all about learning to open up to something else than what is right under our nose, to be more conciliatory, to have more empathy with others but also with oneself, to learn to put less unnecessary pressure on oneself and especially to be satisfied with what we accomplished. Again, these are not rules to follow, but rather a personal conviction that I try to apply to myself on a daily basis and I wanted to share with you.
My advice ? Drop prejudices, detach from unnecessary rules that prevent you from moving forward, learn to let yourself be driven by life and by your intuition. By observing them closely, one realizes that rules are made to be diverted. So, listen to yourself!
A balancing act
I am convinced that harmony, inner peace, Love, happiness, beauty, physical form, finally ALL, everything is a matter of balance.
Excess, whatever it may be, is never good, and its opposite (restraint) is not good either.
I would like to rephrase what my father taught us and to say that we are responsible for our life but also for our body: we can not change the shape of our face, our nose or our eyes, but we can completely affect the shape of our body.
And in this we are so lucky because there are many ways to get there!
Of course, starting with a diet. For example, you can simply do a test over a week, and the results will probably be immediate:
- Remove from your diet all the quick-release sugars (sweets, cakes, chocolates ...), bread, sodas ... In short, finally a big part of the bad food of the supermarkets.
- Replace all this with a diet made of fresh products: vegetables, fruits, animal proteins or others. Why not even a generous vegetable pasta plate with good olive oil and fresh parmesan cheese.
- Make sure you drink at least 3 liters of water a day.
- Observe the difference.
On a daily basis, often active and overwhelmed, it is very difficult to be regular in one's diet. I also think that life is (much!) more joyful when it is spontaneous and instinctive, with a small square of chocolate in your mouth, an extra glass of wine and a piece of bread soaked in a delicious olive oil.
In my opinion, food is all about pleasure, because it is an ultra creative ground for our five senses, and that's why I'm 100% against diets. It's completely counterproductive for me. On the other hand, I am deeply convinced that one must learn to balance one's diet, because nothing is as bad as excesses.
Imagine: on the left you have access to all the delicious junk (cakes, bread, chocolate, butter, cold cuts, etc.) and on the right you have small steamed vegetables, a fish fillet, seeds and liters of water. In my opinion, a good diet must be the balance between the two.
I am - very - greedy, I love to eat. Besides, with my husband, it is one of our favorite occupations. Quite regularly, breakfast is not finished yet that we are already preparing lunch…
But I learned to make choices in my diet: although I have no forbidden food, that is to say that I eat chocolate whenever I feel like it, I drink a glass of wine as soon as I want to, I try to find a happy in-between.
Here are some tips that seem essential to me:
- Drink 3 liters of water a day.
- We can eat everything, all day, but avoid on the evening to eat bread and quick-release sugars (chocolate, cakes, dairy products).
- Dine early.
- Vary your diet, indulge yourself, but also restrain yourself, I'm not against skipping a dinner one night if you're not hungry.
- Avoid unnecessary calories (pizza crusts, bread, sugary drinks, etc.).
- Avoid buying industrial products as much as possible, full of sugars and saturated fatty acids.
- Buy fresh products, that's all.
The other way to transform one's body is of course through sport.
Sport is a very good ally in life thanks to its many virtues: it oxygenates the brain, renews our cells, facilitates digestion problems, it is a very good anti-stress and in addition, it boosts our ego more than everything thanks to its almost immediate satisfaction. In short, sport is very empowering.
I had the chance to have very athletic parents. I grew up in a family in which sport was ubiquitous, on weekends and holidays, all the time.
We spent during all our summers in tennis camps in the United States. In Paris, we played tennis tournaments, my father took us to running sessions in the Bois de Boulogne. I met a large part of my childhood friends in my sports environment.
I have to admit that from 18 to 22, I probably spent more time dancing in clubs than on a tennis court! There is a time for everything, it quickly went away and then sport came back at the center of my concerns. You can read our article on pregnancy to learn more.
What I love about sport is the more you do, the more you want / need to do it and the more you want to have a healthy lifestyle.
I know that in the beginning, sport may seem like a real chore, but I assure you that the more you do, the more you want to do it.
And please do not find yourself excuses! There is no age to begin and no one needs to have a particular gift to practice.
For example, jogging is very good because it is complete for the whole body. You can start with a 5-6 minute jog, then 10-12 minutes, stay at this point for a few weeks and you will see that you will naturally go through stages and you will want to go further.
After a few months, it may not be surprising that a 45-minute jog meets your standards, and who knows, your needs?
The most important thing is to try and especially to listen to yourself. Start practicing little, but regularly.
Today sport is an integral part of my daily life, and to be honest with you, my personal agenda is based on my yoga or boxing schedules.
As I said, the more we do, the more we need to do.
I was born stiff, but two years ago I wanted to change that, and I decided to go to yoga.
The most incredible thing is the transformation of my body. I was used to do only cardio: boxing, a lot of jogging, swimming, tennis, my body was strong. But yoga has transformed it: I feel it longer, finer, more open, I feel that I managed to create space.
All this goes back to what I said at the beginning: our body is constantly changing and it is up to us to maintain and give it the shape we want.
Here are some tips:
- To begin: practice little to not discourage you but regularly.
- Remember that 5 minutes of jogging is better than 0 and that walking up the stairs is better than taking the elevator.
- If you want to lose belly, no secret, make abs and if you want to build your butt, no secret, do squats!
- If you want to fine the line after pregnancy, remove the bad foods, replace them with green vegetables and start to work out. Miracles don’t exist!
Finally, before talking about my favorite products, I wanted to conclude this article by telling you that in truth, the true beauty for me is the blossoming. If we are fulfilled, everything slides on us, even the creams!
The flourishing is everywhere around us: it goes through our sports and food routine but also by the decoration of our interior, by all the small and great pleasures that life gives us, from the bed sheets that smell good or the birth of a child, the love of our family, positivity is everywhere, just see it! So, all (or almost all) cosmetics will work!
Here are some beauty reflexes:
- Drink a cup of hot water every morning with parsley and lemon juice in it, which detoxifies the liver and therefore the skin.
- Drink a ginger tea every night.
- Get a body massage once a month. I often go to the Bahn Thai Spa, a bit expensive but the massages are delicious.
- I also advise the Moroccan Hammam (19th arrondissement in Paris), for a scrub with black soap, steam room and relaxing massage.
- Feel free to use science to relax heavy legs once a week with Cellu M6 LPG massage (draining massage). The results are incredible if you practice a physical activity next door.