We had a conversation with the fabulous MelaninMichie about skincare and mindfulness, we also discussed our lives during the global pandemic and how she's maintained normalcy through it all. It was nice to hear that she has kept up with her skincare routine as she attributes it to helping her maintain some normalcy.
"My name is Michele aka Melanin Michie, I am a healthcare worker but I also have an interest in; skincare, haircare, make-up, fashion.. all of that good stuff. Particularly skincare... that's my baby! I was about 16/17 when I went to South Korea [I volunteered out there, I was teaching at a Christian summer camp] and was introduced to skincare at a young age [I have Korean friends... so before and after the camp I would tag along with them and they'd take me to all the cool spots in Seoul] when I saw how robust their skincare routines were and how much emphasis they had on skincare rather than makeup... it changed my perspective on what self-care is... skincare is my baby. You can follow me on Instagram @MelaninMichie and Youtube: MelaninMichie."
Did that trip to South Korea spark your interest in skincare and did knowing more about Korean Beauty change anything?
"It wasn't quite a 10 step routine back then but I was introduced to toners and essences. The quality of products there and the science behind the ingredients [inspired me]. It's so affordable which is what I loved so much [because] it makes skincare accessible to everyone. So naturally, when I went I would bring stuff back with me."
Let's talk about how you've been managing as a key worker, which routines have been essential for you once you get home – how do you unwind after a long day/week?
"I think that it is important to note that my mindfulness routine has had its ups and downs during the pandemic, naturally. I would say the thing that has pulled me through this testing time has been self-care. I think self-care is a great way to be mindful of yourself. Having a skincare routine... and doing my skincare each night and each morning is a time for me to have to myself and focus on myself, forget about the day and what is coming up because I'm so focused on what I'm doing at the time. Having a skincare routine is really undermined sometimes, people just think its putting products on your face but it's literally a ritual... and I've always found it to help in terms of centring my energy. Having a few steps to it is good"
How has your skincare routine changed, has it become longer through the pandemic, or is it still just a few concise steps?
"I'd say its become maybe one/two steps longer... honestly I think its because I want to look after myself more, for example, I've started using this oil by Sunday Riley. Adding an oil to my routine has been a good pampering step... I come back from work with nothing to do, allocating that time to skincare is the reason it's become longer."
"In terms of mindfulness as a key worker. My colleague introduced me to an app called unmind it focuses on cognitive behavioural therapy... which is something that I've been very interested in for a while [and it] has become even more crucial at this time to focus on your mindset. Why you think about things in a certain way and to transform [those thoughts positively]" "I'm working out now and then... and the weather [has] been really good recently which is a blessing."
You recently took a break from social media, why do you think it's important that we take these breaks?
"I think I've been off for a week, I haven't gone off completely because I still need to use it... but in an ideal world [I would]... there is nothing so urgent that I need to use social media every day [other than work]. I think everyone needs to take a break. [Having a break] makes you realise how dependent you are on social media and its insane. With this week I've had time to prepare YouTube videos... it's allowed me to finish my projects without procrastination. Taking a social media break will put into perspective what relationship you have with social media and I think that's an important thing to establish"
"social media can cause you to questions yourself and your love for yourself... this week I haven't had those feelings... I think I've just loved myself more this week"
Feeling better is a bonus of a social media break. Since you've mentioned Sunday Riley already have you been using or have you had your eye on anything else
"I've been using this antioxidant face oil. I have eczema and there are a lot of rules, but I like the oils in this I've used it in one of my videos: Sunset SunKISSED Vibe I mixed it in with my foundation and it came out so PENG! it was dewy but not oily. I also bought this toner, Rose Water Heritage Store I use that as my first step. With my skincare I do the LOC method, using the lightest to heaviest... and I use this [toner] before my essence."
Not to mention you've kept up the content, you posted a video on how to revitalise your hair – what do you do to revitalise your skin?
"I would say sheet masks are my go-to, it's like having a little spa treatment at home, and because you only do it once or twice a week it gives it that novelty of being something special that you do for an occasion. For me, I try to do a sheet mask the day before a video to make my skin look more glowy"
"I listen to what my skin needs, whether it feels dry or congested and I incorporate different things into my routine"
What changes on the days that you wear make-up?
"Because my skin tends to be dry I make sure that my base is moisturised... I use oils, mostly at night with my skincare routine but when I'm wearing makeup sometimes I will use the night oil. At the end of the day, I do a two-step cleansing routine which I wouldn't usually do. I use [an oil cleanser by LUSH] Ultrabland it helps to get rid of anything that's clogged in [my] system, and I find that I get a much easier clean the second I use that... and I don't use wipes I just think they give you wrinkles! because you're tugging on your skin and a lot of UK wipes are very astringent, the ingredients aren't good for your skin and most of them are non-biodegradable. I think it's so wasteful."
I last saw you in the middle of winter, things have changed since then, but you haven't lost your glow! What can you tell our subscribers who want to know the basics of skincare?
"Number 1. routine, do your skincare every day... if you're not consistent with your routine... it shows up on [your] face a day or two later. Yes, I might have a glow but I go through stages. Having a consistent routine takes you further than you would think. Number 2. always use your lighter products first, the ones with water, water should always be the first step of your routine anyways whether its in the form of a facial mist or if you've just come out of the shower, layer your products on depending on its consistency... and do a sheet mask, any mask!"
What thoughtful gems can you leave us with today?
"Something that I read a couple of years back that stays quite close to my heart, is... that everything starts with power... what you give power to, is what has power over you. Sometimes in life, it is very easy to [allow] your environment; the things that you come across in your day and the things that are happening on the news... to get the better of you and control your emotions. I think its important to reflect on the fact that everything that affects you, you have control over and you can decide whether you want to allow it to... define who you are. Once you have [the] realisation of the power you have as an individual [you can control] what you allow to affect you and you can [find] more peace"
"I take a step back and ask myself; do I need to focus on this?, is this something that I need to face now?... Focus your energy on the things that matter to you."