February 13, 2019 at 07:00AM by CWC
I’ve been single for exactly one year, four months, and 26 days (who’s counting?). My last breakup was a traumatic one for a myriad of complicated reasons, which left me swearing off relationships for good (okay fine—at least for now). So instead, I’ve decided to replace the men in my life with a deep, committed love affair with beauty products.
Allow me to explain: In the wake of that breakup, I felt like complete and total garbage. Physically, mentally, emotionally…the whole nine. And at first, I didn’t know how to fill all those sad, endless hours alone other than listening to Britney Spears’ “Everytime” on repeat, refreshing my ex’s Instagram, and crying. Like, really crying.
Eventually, after a lot longer than I would like to admit (it was a dark few months, lemme tell ya), I decided I needed to do something—anything, really—to pull myself out the horrible, painful funk I’d fallen into. So I turned to my beauty cabinet. My Sunday afternoons, which had previously been occupied by me snuggling up on the couch with my boyfriend (yeah, we were those people), became a full-on self-care day.
I spent hours lounging in the bath with some combination of bath bombs, salts, and essential oils swirling around me, and some type of clay mask slathered on my face or hair mask slicked through my strands. And every night, instead of engaging in the pillow talk or, erm, other “evening activities” that relationship me had become so accustomed to, I became dedicated to taking care of my skin. This meant applying at least 10-steps worth of skin care, and luxuriating in every layer. It became a sort of ritual for me to savor these moments of beauty-induced kindness to myself, and slowly but surely I managed to shift my heartache toward self-love.
I’ve always known that self-care is important (thanks, therapy), but I don’t think I realized just how important until it helped pull me out of one of the most depressing periods of my entire life. And while my heart has more or less mended, my love affair with my products has stayed the same. I spend my late nights and early mornings with them, and instead of playing the field the way I used to, I’ve found a select few that I’ve learned to stay loyal to. In my experience, the difference between a good relationship and a bad one is that one builds you up while the other brings you down. And that, in a nut-shell, is why I love my beauty products so much. Reserving whatever energy I would have otherwise spent on someone else for myself is empowering, especially when it also happens to result in glowing skin or super-shiny hair.
Being on my own—especially when it feels like everyone I know is so deeply in love with their significant others that they practically have cartoon hearts popping out of their eyeballs—isn’t always easy. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, it can often be lonely as all hell. But it’s in those moments that I can turn to the most important relationship in my life: The one I have with myself. The beauty products, really, are just there to make that one feel more special.