I first read about infrared saunas years ago in an article about Shape House in LA. I knew I had to try it so I waited patiently until it opened in NYC and booked my first session on the Upper East Side.
I went in knowing only what was on the Shape House website. In the dead of winter, laying in a heated bed and doing nothing for 55 minutes was appealing enough. I was hooked after one session. After my third, I became a member so I could go once a month.
The entire experience is extremely relaxing. Upon arrival, I change into the provided cotton clothes and am led to my curtained-off station. The attendant helps me climb into the sleeping bag-like infrared blanket on what looks like a massage bed, gives me alkaline water, headphones and a remote so I can watch a show. Afterward, I’m helped out of the blanket and led to another room for tea, orange slices and more alkaline water. I’m drenched in sweat and my skin glows.
The difference between a regular sauna and an infrared sauna is that an infrared sauna uses light rays to heat your skin while a regular sauna heats the air. Infrared saunas penetrate the skin deeper and heat at a lower temperature so the body can tolerate it for longer.
Infrared saunas offer a host of beauty-boosting benefits. Aside from a glowing complexion, they’ve been found to boost collagen production. This study even showed benefits on skin texture and wrinkles.
Additionally, it burns calories by heating up your core temperature which increases the heart rate, helps you relax by balancing cortisol levels, and relieves muscle aches by decreasing lactic acid buildup.
The feeling that I’ve had an entire body facial isn’t the only factor that keeps me coming back – it’s also the hour reprieve from the stressful, dirty, freezing city. So worth it.
Lately I’ve been amping up my evening skincare routine with beauty products specifically designed to work overnight. We spend one third of our lives sleeping so why not multi-task and use that time to treat skin? Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday and that extra hour is the perfect chance to begin a new regimen that maximizes beauty sleep. These are the skincare products I rely on to wake up with better skin.
Silk Pillowcase – Sleeping with a silk pillowcase should be your first swap for better beauty sleep. The gentle material won’t tug skin or hair, and won’t create sleep creases that eventually turn into fine lines.
Midnight Recovery Eye – This nighttime eye cream de-puffs, reduces dark circles, fights fine lines and soothes irritation. I picked it up after trying (and loving) Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask – When my skin is looking dull, I do a quick peel followed by this sleeping face mask from Glow Recipe. It’s made with soothing watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid and AHAs to smooth and brighten skin overnight.
Jetset & Protect Leave-On Mask – This Volition face mask is equally suited to use overnight or on an airplane. My skin drinks up the marine hyaluronic acid and watermelon and apple extracts and is noticeably more plump and bright by morning.
The Blue Cocoon – If my skin feels irritated, I automatically turn to this incredible balm from May Lindstrom. The blue tansy formula soothes my skin without fail and the smell is so relaxing that sometimes I’ll just open the jar and take a whiff before bed.
Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask – My dry skin is exacerbated in winter so I use this from Origins as my moisturizer on nights when I’m not using another sleeping mask. It’s satisfyingly rich, instantly quenches skin and builds a barrier to prevent hydration loss.
Hair Sleeping Mask – These sleeping masks are perfect for a nice, long deep conditioning treatment. They come in a little cap which creates heat to help the formula penetrate and keeps it from getting all over your pillow.
Little I see on my commute phases me after five years of living in New York City. As you can imagine, someone doing a full face of makeup on a crowded subway is one of the least offensive activities that comes to mind. Watching a woman drop her fluffy powder brush on the floor of the 6 train then pick it up and continue to use it, though, still makes me cringe.
Say it’s inevitable – you’re in the back of an Uber from a morning workout to the office or on the subway after hitting snooze too many times or you just like to make use of a long commute. No judgement here, just a few strategic product recommendations and application tips for doing makeup on-the-go.
Leave bulky brushes, dirty sponges and loose powders at home in favor of products that can be applied straight from the bullet or with fingertips – one less thing to carry and much easier to wield when in motion. First things first, though, start with hand sanitizer.
A cushion foundation does double duty to quickly even out skin tone with an included applicator and provide a sizable mirror for the whole process. Follow with a stick concealer tapped on with fingertips for extra coverage where needed.
For color, use a multi-stick like Wander Beauty On-The-Glow Bronzer and Illuminator. Blend the creamy bronzer shade onto cheeks and temples then tap the illuminator onto eyelids and the tops of cheekbones. If you prefer a blush stick to bronzer, the blush shade can also be used as a lip tint.
Get a mini tube of a mascara that doesn’t need many coats to make an impact – Monsieur Big is my pick. A smaller wand makes it easier to apply quickly between sudden stops.
Finally, swipe on a lipstick. Trust me, this makes it look like you spent way more time on your makeup than you actually have. A spritz of beauty elixir once you get where you’re going won’t hurt, either.
Photo, Kendra Spears by Lachlan Bailey, Vogue Paris