Welcome to My Beauty Ritual, a series where editors, experts, and pros reveal the ways in which they use beauty as a method of self-care. In this month's installment, Ally Love explains why sustainability is such an important part of her self-care.
There are a few places you may know Ally Love from. She's a Peloton instructor, the CEO and founder of the Love Squad, and the in-arena host of the Brooklyn Nets, in addition to being the new brand ambassador for REN Clean Skincare. And though she's plenty busy, wearing all these hats, self-care is non-negotiable for her.
So is bright, radiant skin; after all, Love hails from Miami, and she's drawn to anything and everything that promises a glowy complexion. Whatever she's doing is clearly working. When I interviewed her over a video call in late December, she lit up the screen. (The plants in her space are also clearly thriving, and it's hard for me not to ask to see each and every one of them up close.) Soon, we get to talking about her skin- and self-care routines, what sustainability means to her, and more.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
ALLURE: I'm really interested to hear a little bit about Love Squad, which seems to be all about community — a key theme of this year. I'm curious about the role of community in your own self-care routine.
ALLY LOVE: Love Squad is a company that I founded about five to six years ago now out of a lack of resources and sheer frustration as a young woman in New York City. I'm sure you probably can identify with this, but basically, I moved to New York, went to college, and trying to figure out what was next in my life was really challenging. I didn't have the resources to go to all of these events.
In order to get in the rooms where decisions were being made or I could network, it was nearly impossible, and I got frustrated quickly. So I created Love Squad as a way to offer reconciliation for any of those folks out there — women, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people — that I could potentially help with my small network of friends at that time.
Being able to connect and support one another virtually is really important.
This concept of questioning and trying to get more information creates community. Being able to provide answers, resources, and insight in a safe space is what cultivates community. And so that's what Love Squad does. What's really important to me, is that I'm able to break down that wall of, if you don't have the resources or the access, therefore, you don't get to move as fast or in the same tempo as those that do. And the only way is through information. And the only way information is shared is through connection and through community, which has always really played a role in my form of self-care.
We've had to shift, pivot, and scale to see what community looks like in a virtual world. Being able to connect and support one another virtually is really important. When I look at it as my own personal self-care routine, I connect through conversation. Expressing what's going on. Often, we don't know that we need the support that is being offered to us, and we have to take it.
ALLURE: And now, REN Clean Skincare is part of your community, as you're a brand ambassador for the brand. How did you decide to take this partnership?
AL: It was one of those things where our small team got together and said, "We can't talk about everything. As a women empowerment community, we can't be like, we're going to just talk about everything under the sun." We had to narrow in on what were those topics. And what ended up showing up was this concept of sustainability. How are we giving back more than we take?
Specifically to our earth and to our oceans, to the land and to the water. And so, as a company, we made a decision to say, we're going to do a campaign every year. We're going to do some beach cleanups. We're going to do some initiatives around, how can we navigate single-use plastic? How can we recycle? How can we offer insight into what recyclables look like? How can we talk about upcycling and reusing plastic?
Then all of a sudden, the REN team reached out about working with me. Once I did the research and I started talking to the team, I realized that our missions align. I already knew the product. I knew it works. I knew clean skin care is really important. REN Clean Skincare, that's what they prioritize. But this concept of recycling, this concept of reusables, this concept of recyclables, in general, is what really grounded me in saying, this is the perfect marriage for me.
ALLURE: It sounds like it! What are your go-to products? Give me the breakdown of your routine.
AL: I'm from Miami, so I'm always trying to have bright skin from the sun. I think the Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Toner from REN is probably my number one favorite product — it's that hero, desert island product for me. The Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream Moisturizer is probably another one of my favorites, and I use it after cleansing. I also love a good face mask, like the chlorophyll one from Cocokind, and Supergoop sunscreen is a must.
Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Toner, $38 (Shop Now)
Superscreen Daily Moisturizer, $38 (Shop Now)
The thing is, I'm on camera at Peloton, I'm on camera with the Brooklyn Nets. I have my virtual events with the Love Squad. I'm putting on makeup. And so it's important to have something that's not going to irritate, but will also clean.
ALLURE: Speaking of makeup, if you have a virtual event or Zoom meeting coming up in a few minutes, do you have a quick beauty routine?
AL: Eyebrows are really important to me. I think when you have a bold brow, your face is showing up. So if I have five minutes, I probably would just do eyebrows, a light brush of mascara — I also love Lashify — and a bold lip. I have two minutes, because that's been the case before, I'd probably do the AHA Toner, mascara, and I'd give you a nude lip. Just because, little fun fact, I'm not good at lining up my lips properly. We all have our weaknesses and that's mine.
ALLURE: While we're on the subject of weaknesses, everything is different now. We've never dealt with something like this before, and taking time for self-care is hard. I'm curious what advice you would give someone if they're struggling to take some time for themselves.
AL: I've come to realize during this time that we tend to only lean into one aspect of self-care. And that is that element that you can see, that physical self-care. The reality is, what I'm realizing during this pandemic is that we're forgetting about two essential aspects of ourselves. We are multidimensional, and we're dynamic people. And we often talk about living in our intersectionality. We talked about clean skin care and how conservation of marine life and saving the planet and recycling intersect. And with that, self-care is important, physical self-care. But then you have your mental and your spiritual self-care.
I lean into prayer. I lean into meditation. I propagate plants.
You find out what works for you physically. Like what do you put on your skin? How do you do your hair? What're the go-to makeup tips? You know these things. But what I'm realizing during this time is that many of us don't pay that same attention or have that same breakdown when it comes to our mental and spiritual selves. And so it's been about just identifying for myself when I am mentally unwell. And in those moments, I lean into prayer. I lean into meditation. I propagate plants, I have a ton of them in the window sill here. They give me energy.
Again, self-care is living in your intersectionality. It's understanding your whole self. Understanding what works for you physically, understanding what works for you mentally and spiritually, or taking the time to figure out what does so. And we do that when it comes to our skincare routines, you test things out and you're like, "I'm going to do this and see if that works." And you're like, "OK, that worked, therefore I will do it."
The same thing has to happen for our mental and our spiritual selves. If it helps, reframe how you think about it. It's about progress and not perfection; every little bit counts. And that's truly what self-care means.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Source: Read Full Article