It's no secret that we love a good morning routine. We've come to learn, however, that the rituals we do to wind down before bed are just as important. Whether you take 10 minutes or a few hours, it's precious time that you have set aside at the end of the day to take care of yourself. Our new series Weekend Wind-Down highlights the nightly routines of the people we admire.
One scroll through Allison McNamara's Instagram and you'll understand why she's an expert at achieving enviable, glowy skin. When the beauty editor and digital influencer turned founder of Mara, a clean line of algae-infused skincare, takes us through her nighttime rituals, she cites her skincare regimen as being the most "sacred" part of the process.
Even though McNamara gets her best creative work done at night, she prioritizes her self-care routine along with it. Keep reading to see how the self-proclaimed night owl winds down.
I have always been a bit of a night owl. I do my best writing and thinking around 9 to 10 p.m., especially when I’m brainstorming a new product or project, which is often. I tend to hop back on my computer around this time, answer any outstanding emails, and spend some time conceptualizing, mood-boarding, or finishing up a story.
I like to start my nighttime routine process with a quick shower around 9:30 p.m., typically just a body shower because I don’t wash my hair that often. However, quarantine has my schedule all messed up, so I actually have been doing my daily workouts (Pilates by Amanda for the best at-home workout videos) around 6 or 7 p.m. instead of first thing in the morning, which is great because I’m now only showering once a day instead of twice.
A few times a week, I apply the Mara Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil to dry skin about five minutes before my shower. This product is a cleansing oil that also acts as a light peel thanks to the four fruit enzymes, so I apply pre-shower, let it soak, and then rinse off right before I hop out. I love how soft and smooth it makes my skin texture. For the body, I love Nécessaire's fragrance-free Body Wash.
My nighttime skincare routine is the most sacred part of my getting-ready process. Since my face is clean from the shower, I go right in with the Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil, which has totally transformed my skin texture, clarity, and tone. It has 1.2% clean retinol and four natural sources of vitamin A to supercharge cell turnover, and I use it about four to five nights a week, alternating with a lactic acid by either Biossance or Sunday Riley.
Then, I gua sha for about three to five minutes in upward, outward motions to help with lymphatic drainage, puffiness, and sculpting. I use the Mara Gua Sha tool, which is made from black obsidian and great for warding off negativity. I finish off my routine with Mara Universal Face Oil for moisture, sometimes mixing in Weleda Skin Food and Biossance eye cream!
Typically, I’ll brew some wind-down tea at this time or take a CBD gummy. I have been loving Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea with a little fresh lemon lately. I know this isn’t great, but sometimes I’ll get a burst of energy or an idea, so I’ll pop back on my computer for another hour. Or we will watch a little TV. Pre-quarantine, I tried to be in bed by 11 or 11:30 p.m., but it’s definitely shifted.
If I’m not already in bed, I try to force myself to go to bed. No computer or phone at this point, except for the purpose of this takeover! I spend the last 15 to 30 minutes writing in my gratitude journal and then sometimes my regular journal or reading whatever book I’m currently on. Right now, I’m re-reading Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things. I always love a re-read because I get way more out of it the second time—there are so many awesome business lessons here!