As I get older it takes a lot more to maintain my good mood, healthy glow, and physical well-being. I’ve stopped doing my Forever 21 splurges and drugstore makeup binges in favor of thoughtful investments for myself. Here are a couple that have paid off, along with a few fails.
1. A gym membership
This is nothing new, but I think a lot of women discount going to the gym in favor of taking classes. I used to be one of these women, but now do a nice mixture of both. For me, the upside has been being able to go to the gym and do cardio, weight-lifting, whatever I want, at my own speed. I recently tore a muscle and had to do some PT. Since I couldn’t take any dance or barre classes, I’m glad I had an (albeit lame) elliptical option to aid my recovery.
And then there are times when I just don’t want to do an hour’s long class. That’s when I just do a quick weight lifting and cardio circuit before peacing out after half an hour.
2. A monthly spa membership
I used to have a Massage Envy membership, but it pales in comparison to Denver’s Ella Bliss Beauty Spa. For $50 a month, you can get a signature service such as a mani/pedi, facial, massage, brazilian, or a mix and match of cheaper services like a blowout with a manicure. This has been a lifesaver. On days I feel frumpy or get back from a shoot feeling gross, it is such a luxury to walk up to my “salon” and feel like a pampered princess for an hour. Plus, every signature service comes with a free drink. Be it a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a Perrier, it is guaranteed to be a little treat for your otherwise stressful day.
3. A Spotify Pro Account
Oh god, I think my brain would just wither and die if I didn’t have a Spotify pro account. Sure, the commercials aren’t bad, but I need my playlists when I’m running, driving long distances, or writing. With my Spotify pro account comes the mobile version that my life so revolves around, and it’s been such a staple that I almost forgot to include it on this list. Every month I make a new playlist, and then I use that playlist’s radio to help me discover new jams. Plus, Spotify’s “Discover” app and “New Music Friday” playlist get me so good that it’s like having my own snobby DJ instructing me which artists are “tired” and which are fire.
AND NOW, THE FLOPS
Korean Beauty Products
Man oh man, I wanted these to work for me so badly. After seeing Korea’s beauty obsession first hand in Seoul, it was so fun researching new brands to try and what works and doesn’t. Reddit’s /r/skincareaddiction is my #1 resource for all my skincare questions, and they couldn’t stop gushing about the Korean 10-step beauty process.
Lo, I went to my nearest Face Shop and splurged on about $80 worth of products. To be fair, they give you so many free products with every purchase that it was probably around $100 worth of goods, total. But LAWD, I broke out like crazy, despite patch testing and being vigilant. It was definitely a failed investment. But maybe my little sister will want them when I go home, because I can’t stand to throw away practically-full bottles of product!
I honestly thought that by having a monthly ritual of trimming my bangs, I’d feel more…put together. I usually get them every winter and it makes me feel good to go in for a trim every month or so while the rest of my body feels like it’s in hibernation mode.
But, at 28, this was the first year I felt too old for them. Even as I sat down to get my bangs, I remember thinking “Why am I doing this? I already like my hair.” But snip snip went the scissors, and now I’m stuck pinning them back or hiding them in hairstyles until they grow out again. Lesson learned.
SOME FUTURE INVESTMENTS
A Curology Prescription
After my failed K-beauty adventure, I decided to step it up and do a trial of Curology, a service where a dermatologist looks at photos of your skin online and subsequently creates a tailored topical prescription to help reach your skin goals. I had my first message from Dr. Kanamoto, and I’m excited to try the concoction she’s whipped up full of azealic acid, niamicide, and other goodies. Fingers crossed this doesn’t make me look like a burn victim again.
Ah, time to bite the bullet and shell out for some fancy personal training. After my injury it’s been hard for me to get back in shape. I’m “pumped” (oh, Olivia) to try some personal training sessions with our gym’s resident bro– a dude who skateboards into the gym every day and whose biceps would rip my iphone armband to shreds. If I tell him I want to “get swole” I think he will know exactly what I mean.
AG got me one of these for Valentine’s day and I’m so excited for it to ship! I’ve been using my iPhone’s fitness tracker, but there are missed steps and times I can’t bring my iPhone around with me. I’m definitely not moving around as much since working from home, so I’m hoping the FitBit will help me get more active.
A lot of times, investing in yourself means spending cold hard cash. As I get older, I think I feel more comfortable spending money that I now have on luxury goods and services. But, that being said, there’s nothing like taking a long walk, meditating, or just wearing your favorite pajamas in bed and having a Netflix night with yourself.
Photos from the incredible Ojo Caliente Spa and Resort in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.