These days it’s nearly impossible to know what women are spending on the way they look. Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might have honed her craft using the finest from the drugstore aisles, and the utterly makeup-free type might be spending thousands on laser treatments and serums. Enter our series What It Costs to Be Me, in which we’re asking interesting women for radical transparency.
Next up? Jessamyn Stanley, 32, yoga instructor, body-positivity activist, and author of Every Body Yoga, from Durham, North Carolina. Her grand total? $3,001.
“We live in a society that’s made us think self-care is self-indulgent, and that you should be constantly giving of yourself instead,” says Jessamyn Stanley. “I believe the reason we’re all here is to give of ourselves, but you can’t give from an empty cup.” She would know. The yoga instructor flies across the country teaching sold-out classes and giving inspiring talks on body positivity, inclusivity, and empowerment. But even in the midst of her hectic schedule, Stanley prioritizes taking care of herself—which can take the form of anything from “not being around people who are energy-draining” to luxuriating in a lengthy bubble bath.
Lately, she’s found solace in her skin-care routine. “I’ve finally gotten to a place with my skin where I’m like, ‘Okay, we’ve gotten to know each other.’ It’s taken a few decades, and it’s been up and down journey, but we’re here now.” Here, Stanley’s full regimen—along with the other beauty and wellness essentials she can’t live without.
My shower and bath routine: $125
I’m a staunch bath person, but I live in a world that requires I be more of a shower person. That said, I still like to have at least one to two baths every week. It’s a pretty big thing for me. When I’m traveling, I’ll specifically look for an Airbnb that has a bathtub, if I can. I can get really wired, and the best way for me to come back to reality is to find water as quickly as possible.
My favorite bubble bath is Dr. Teal’s Pink Himalayan Foaming Bath ($5). I like it because it creates really big bubbles. Bubble baths with not-so big bubbles look kind of sad, you know? Sometimes I’ll add a bath bomb from Lush (~$8). When I can, I’ll buy a haul of them so one is always at the ready. Then I’ll get my computer going with whatever Netflix show I’m binging and set myself up with tea and water. I get really dehydrated sometimes, because I’ll sit in the tub for two hours.
Showers are more in the interest of time, but I still have a process. Exfoliation is really important to me, so I use scrubber mitts ($10) in the shower before I wash my body with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Bar Soap ($5). My goal is just to get as clean as possible without my skin getting excessively dry. I wash my face with Osmia Black Clay Facial Soap ($24). I love that it’s so gentle, but for extra exfoliation, I’ll put a little dry oatmeal in my hands—I keep a tub of it in the shower (~$5)—and get a lather going, then massage the combo all over my face before letting the water rinse it off.
When I wash my hair, I like to do an apple cider vinegar rinse. For a long time I used a spray bottle that was just a mix of water and ACV, but then I got a pre-mixed, more hydrating version—dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse ($35)—and I haven’t gone back. Or if I have more time, I’ll do a co-wash using SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner ($6). And if my hair is really dirty, I’ll use Lush Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo ($27) even before that.
My post-shower body and hair routine: $64
As soon as the water is turned off—while I’m still standing there dripping wet—I coat my whole body with sweet almond oil (~$8). Applying it while my skin is wet really helps lock in moisture. After that’s soaked into my skin—usually while I get into my face- and hair-care—I add a layer of Osmia Rosemary Body Mousse ($42) on top. It’s amazing—like a pillow-y blessing. They give you a little wooden spoon to scoop it into your hands, and because of the oil layer, I don’t have to use that much. On a day-to-day basis, I don’t use a lot of hair styling products because my curls get really heavy. I have a lot of issues with leave-in conditioners, but Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries Soothing Herbal Leave-in Hair Tonic ($14) feels the lightest and works best.
My day-and-night skin-care routine: $213
After I wash my face in the shower, I use Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner ($3). I take two exfoliating pads ($3), soak them in the witch hazel toner, and add three drops of tea tree oil (~$7) to each of them. Then I go over my face, neck, and chest with those. That combination has been really beneficial to me because my skin can get so clogged. I guess a lot of people know about it, but I really got on it watching Kourtney Kardashian do it on TV. Ha!
Once I’ve toned, I’ll spritz Heritage Store Rosewater ($10) for a little hydration before I apply a serum. I use serums for different reasons on different days, but one I’m loving right now is FRÉ I Am Love Deep Illuminating Facial Oil ($45). It’s a collaboration with a friend of mine, [fellow yoga teacher] Talia Sutra, so it got sent to me, but I’ve put it through a three-week trial and I’m really, really into it.
Around my eyes, I’ve been using Versed The Fix Emergency Eye Mask ($18). I have this darkening underneath my eyes that’s coming in with a vengeance as I get older, and this really helps.
I follow the same routine in the evenings—but I might add Indie Lee Superfruit Facial Cream ($105). It’s so light, but super hydrating. And if I’m on my period, I sometimes have a break out, so I’ll throw on Osmia Spotless Blemish Oil ($22) and it’s gone the next day.
My makeup routine: $57
I spend a lot of time sweating, so I don’t wear makeup a lot for that reason. When I’m shooting for The Underbelly, my yoga app, I’m really intentional about not wearing makeup because I feel like it’s important to show what I really look like. So if I’m sweating, I want to be sweating.
On a day-to-day basis if I wear makeup, I usually just apply a little Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer ($26), Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo ($23), and L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Mascara ($8), and then I’ll call it a day.
My oral-care routine: $7
I like a charcoal toothpaste. Before I had one, I was just dipping my toothbrush directly into powdered charcoal. I think it does amazing things both inside the body and outside body—plus it brightens your mouth in a very specific way. Right now I’m using Schmidt’s Activated Charcoal with Wondermint Toothpaste ($7). The paste is black, so it does get a little messy—but I just don’t wear white. No big deal!
My spa treatments: $1,995
I get a customized facial about once a month ($65). Especially because of the amount of air travel I do, I feel like my face gets so congested. Regular facials really help keep my skin in check. I get my nails done at least once or twice a month (~$50 total), depending on where I am. I’m a really bad nail biter, but keeping regular appointments has helped me not do that as much.
As a yoga teacher, I feel like massage is one of the most important things I do for my body. I’ll teach 10 classes in a row and after that, my body is warped. So it’s a good idea to hit a foam roller, it’s a good idea to do self-massage, but I need somebody to really get in there and talk to the hamstrings. I have a membership at a local spa (~$60 per month), and I just started getting massages at Chillhouse ($95) when I’m in New York.
My supplement routine: $240
My favorite way to take vitamins is through Care/of (~$20 per month). I used to take vitamins for two or three weeks and then forget but Care/of sends them all together. My packs have fish oil, a probiotic, and turmeric and charcoal capsules.
My fitness essentials: $300
When I’m practicing yoga at home, I like to use Spotify ($10 per month) so I can tune into music I enjoy. My favorite mats of all time are by Jade Fusion. A lot of yoga mats are kind of slick, even if they’re meant to have traction. But this is made out of a very specific type of rubber that gives it the perfect texture. I’m using the XW Fusion ($180), which is a larger yoga mat. As a fat body practitioner that’s something I’m always thinking about: Not just fat but even tall people can find it difficult to have enough space on the mat. And this one is remarkably longer and wider than any other.