This year is finally coming to a close, which means it’s time to “Marie Kondo” anything that doesn’t “spark joy” and make way for yourself to become a better person. Globally speaking, we are burnt out: working from home has blurred the boundaries of our work/non-work life; financial security has been called into question; anxieties over the physical and mental health of loved ones and general fears for the future have never been so rife.
Of course, world events are out of our hands, but there are some things we can control. In 2021, it’s time to look after yourself, look after each other, and help take care of our beloved planet.
You can do all of this by making a few simple changes to your beauty and wellness routine. Here are your nine beauty resolutions for 2021.
Support Black-owned beauty businesses
From coronavirus affecting Black people at a disproportionately high rate to the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more, it has been a harrowing year for Black people — which is why now more than ever it is crucial to support the Black community.
One way to do this is by purchasing products from Black-owned beauty brands. For makeup, there’s The Lip Bar, UOMA Beauty and Pat McGrath Labs. For hair, see Charlotte Mensah and Oye Green. And for nails, take a look at Pear Nova and Suite Eleven. For male grooming, see Bevel.
Opt for brands with eco-friendly packaging
Every year, the beauty industry produces more than 120bn units of packaging, while annually 8m metric tonnes of plastic enter our oceans with devastating consequences for marine environments. Help make a difference by choosing brands who use environmentally conscious packaging, whether that’s glass bottles or ocean-made plastic, including REN, Aveda, Dr Hauschka, Weleda, Medik8, and Bleach London.
Invest in a refillable lipstick
Finally: an alternative to single-use plastic that doesn’t cost the Earth — enter the refillable lipstick tube. Instead of consigning your empty lippies to landfill in 2021 and slowly contributing to the destruction of the planet and its inhabitants, why not invest in a refillable lipstick? Brands offering refillable lipsticks, as well as other cosmetics, include Charlotte Tilbury, Lush, Guerlain, Hourglass, and La Bouche Rouge.
Enjoy beauty without harming animals in the process. In 2013, cosmetic testing on animals was banned in the EU, and yet research shows that at least 115 million animals are still experimented on worldwide every year. In 2021, it’s time to shop responsibly and think of the animals. These brands are among those doing just that: Drunk Elephant, Glossier, Bare Minerals, CoverGirl, Illamasqua, and NYX Cosmetics.
Switch to solid shampoo
From the plastic bottles they’re in, to their high carbon footprint, liquid shampoos can do quite a bit of damage. Next year, why not try a shampoo bar? Incredibly eco-friendly, shampoo bars are usually vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harmful chemicals. They are also lightweight by nature, which means a low carbon footprint, they come without plastic packaging and are concentrated so they last longer. Try Unwrapped Life, KOHA Beauty, and Ethique.
Up your self-care
It has been a traumatic year for many. We’re worried about jobs, finances, health, mental health, friends, family, and of course the planet — all of which takes a toll. It’s time to step back and take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically.
Beyond lighting some incense and charging a couple of crystals, the act of self-care requires you to truly nourish yourself and be fully present. From meditation and breathwork, which encourage a sense of mental calm, to physical activity, which causes the body to release stress and tension, there are numerous ways to recharge and reboot both body and mind. For more wellness and self-care inspiration follow these accounts: @Indira, @LizzoBeeating, @KillerAndASweetThang, and @SadGirlsClub.
If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, you will know that social media is unequivocally bad for your mental health. If you haven’t seen it, do. It will make this next bit easier. If you want to commit to protecting your mental wellbeing, switch off all notifications on your phone, cut out social media before you go to bed, and introduce sporadic digital detoxes.
According to studies in nutritional psychiatry, there is a direct link between the food you eat and your mental wellbeing. Experts advise a varied diet including oily fish — which is rich in Omega-3 and is said to help reduce feelings of anxiety; whole grains, which are high in tryptophan — an amino acid that helps produce serotonin; yogurt, which contains probiotics that can lower levels of stress, and berries, which are high in antioxidants and can assist in improving symptoms associated with depression. Try eating seasonally — not only is it better for you, but it is also better for the planet as your food has less far to travel thereby reducing its carbon footprint.