2K19 is here bitches, it’s time to set some GOALS. Today I want to talk how, as performers, we can keep ourselves happy and healthy on a bit of a superficial (but not entirely superficial) level. Why? Because clear skin and a nice pamper routine make all the difference to feeling on top of our unpredictable freelance lives, and remaining body confident so we can slay on stage.
1. Set yourself a wellness budget
Setting a budget and sticking to it doesn’t take a lot of time. Apps like Monzo and Starling Bank basically keep track of your spending for you – each time you spend on your contactless card the payment is automatically allocated and taken out of your grocery, bills, travel or (in this case) wellness budget.
It might seem a bit of a luxury to account for wellness in your budget as, unlike food or rent, it isn’t strictly a necessity. However, having a well-functioning body (however you define this) is an essential part of being a good performer, and to executing your job. When I talk about well-functioning I’m talking loosely about both mental and physical health, and the overlaps between the two. I also want to point out that I understand everyone has different priorities – it’s important to work out what things make you happy. I personally have set myself the resolution to stop shopping and move towards a more minimalist lifestyle this year, which means I now can put a little more money towards my health instead.
Depending on how much you use your body physically on stage, pumping iron may not be your main priority – a nice meal out with friends might be more beneficial to you than getting your back clicked into place by a sexy Italian man.
Nevertheless, it’s still helpful to track your spending for a month – gym, skincare and other amenities – to get an idea what you do spend, if you can cut that expenditure in any way, and which things are ‘essentials’ that you want to be a regular part of your routine. You can then start setting a wellness budget grounded in being realistic about what you want to and can afford to spend on your health per month.
For reference, I have a couple of budgets that come under the umbrella term of ‘wellness’, because I’m now used to the amount I normally spend. I have a fitness budget, an entertainment budget (so I can spend much needed quality time with friends), and a personal care budget (that covers things such as vitamins and should I need them – performers massages).
2. Cheap can be good
Psychologically I find myself drawn to more expensive skincare products. I tell myself that they’re better, that they’re more of a treat – that they’ll be more of a joy to use and I’ll be investing in myself. But the affordable luxury market is growing, and now some of the best cult beauty products on the market come in at around or under a tenner – keep your eyes peeled for my beauty posts, which will be coming soon!
Plus, there’s always a sale on somewhere, and the skincare section on offer at Tk Maxx is God.
3. Free is better
I’ll talk a lot more about this in the coming year, but if you know where to look, there is SO MUCH FREE STUFF ON IN LONDON.
Aside from keeping your skin face soft (did you know that Lush give you a free pot of fresh face mask if you bring in five empty Lush pots?) staying in tune with your body and keeping it well-stretched is so important as a performer.
Aside from £5-£6 pilates and yoga classes at The Actor’s Centre, there are some great free yoga and fitness classes on offer at the adidas Studio ldn, London Buddhist Centre and Lululemon and Sweaty Betty stores.
4. Find more affordable, natural alternatives
Basically: I’m a sucker for anything Planet Organic or Wholefoods stocks. I’m also a sucker for pretty branding and packaging, and I’ve now learnt to differentiate when I’m paying for the product and paying for the brand.
Turmeric capsules or turmeric latte powders (which are great for anti-aging) or oil-based make-up cleansers (which remove every ounce of yuck from your face) can easily set you back £10-£30. Opt for making your own turmeric tea and make-up cleansers by buying turmeric from the corner shop and jajoba oil in the infamous Holland & Barrett penny sales.
5. Less is more
Do your research, read reviews; spend with the environment (and your pockets!) in mind. Don’t buy beauty products on a whim, because you might end up throwing it away after a few uses.
Part of my resolution to move further towards minimalism in 2019 saw me unsubscribe to a lot of mailing lists – especially the ones encouraging me to buy new things in the sales.
For beauty, find products that double-up their uses. For example, I love the PawPaw ointment in its travel-friendly tube, which multitasks to soothe cracked lips, dry hands and cuticles, little wounds and cuts, and any rough patches of skin.
6. But consider buying bigger versions of your favourites
If you find something you like, stick to it. A lot of companies now offer 1L sizes of deodorant liquid or hair conditioner which you can buy and decanter into travel bottles, which ultimately can save a lot of money. (I use Salt of the Earth Deodrant Spray, and Flying Tiger do some great travel bottles for £1-£3).
Taking my own travel products with me at all times has been my skin saviour when travelling to gigs, going to the gym or staying overnight at friend’s houses. I never need to pop out and spend extra on disposable, chemical laden make-up wipes or deodorant because I’ve forgotten some.
And that’s all, folks!
Thanks so much for reading if you managed to get this far. I hope the above is useful and if you enjoyed it do comment your own tips, 2019 goals and share. I’ll be going into more depth about my health, skincare and fitness recommendations this year so if you’re interested to hear more do subscribe to the mailing list on my website or follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.