Mirra Q&A: Rhian Hy from WifeLife talks transitioning off anti-depressants with self-care

We sat down with one of our favorite bloggers: Rhian, a 30 year old Brit living in northern Michigan to talk transitioning off anti-depressants with self-care, and her tips for living a cruelty-free lifestyle.

What inspired you to become a beauty blogger and to start sharing your tips with the community?

I would begin journaling as a way to decompress. As I started sharing random bits and pieces of my life across places like Tumblr, people began asking me more and more questions about my my preferences. I’d get asked which lip colors I used, or for home decor advice, etc. and it was all really very reader-driven, which I love.

YouTube has amplified everything, both the good and bad, but mostly the good! At first, I felt pressure to fit in and do things the same way others did, but as you start exploring YouTube more and more, you realize there are so many possibilities and different forms of beauty out there. The viewers appreciating self-expression and the real “me,” I guess, has really made it a great experience, overall.

It’s such a personal way to interact with people. I love seeing snaps of people watching my videos on their TVs or sneaking peaks at school, and just knowing that you’re a little part of someone’s day. It’s also obviously a great career and a way for me to not only reach viewers, but brands too. There’s always a few negative commenters here and there, but truly, they’re such a minute part of whole experience, so it’s easy for me to ignore. I’m constantly inspired by my viewers to keep creating.

What is your skin type and what skincare challenges are dealing with now? How have you dealt with them?

My skin is oily/combination and I have dermatitis so I’m dealing with a little bit of everything when it comes to my skin! This has made it difficult to find balance over the years, but really assessing my skin and seeing what it needs at the moment has helped greatly because its ever changing. Some days it might be extremely oily and clear, and others, it might be flaky and breakout-prone.

One upside of having combo skin as a blogger, is that it gives me more opportunities to review products, so that I can help a wider range of people’s skin needs. Currently I’m experiencing some breakouts and dermatitis flare-ups, so I’ve been using the Uma Corrective Complex and One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm to ease both issues.

Which products are currently a part of your skincare routine?

The  Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil, Kani Petal Polish Mask, One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser, Kypris Moonlight Catalyst and Beauty Elixir 1.

You talk a lot about using vegan and cruelty-free beauty products on your blog. Why do you think it is so important to share the value of choosing cruelty-free, vegan, and ethically-made products?

I think the obvious changes, like diet, come more naturally to people, but there are so many aspects of life, in which you can choose to make decisions that are a little less cruel. That’s why I started looking into it more and sharing bits and pieces online. It can be such a simple switch to make once you know that there are better cruelty-free alternatives out there - so, I made providing those alternatives for my followers my job.

What were some of the easiest beauty switches you made to adopt a more cruelty-free life?

Really, just utilizing LogicalHarmony.net‘s cruelty-free brand list as a guide made everything SO much easier because it makes it clear which brands are cruelty-free and not. I’m so thankful for that website because it made it all SO easy. The peace of mind you get in knowing no animals were harmed for the products you’re using makes it so worth it!

What are some big animal by-products used by the beauty industry that you always look out for?

Some obvious ones used in beauty are ingredients like beeswax, carmine (made from crushed beetles), lanolin (made from sheep's wool), squalene (from shark’s liver - but there are also vegan alternatives) and collagen are probably some of the bigger ones to look out for.

What are your all-time favorite cruelty-free and vegan products?

I love Cover FX, 100% Pure, and most recently, Alima Pure. Cover FX has amazing high-performance base products for a large range of skin tones, and 100% Pure is a natural line that has everything from makeup to bath products. Alima Pure is relatively new for me, but they have an amazing range of makeup that is more natural, but performs like a dream and their packaging is heavenly!  A great fully vegan and cruelty-free line is Pacifica; they’re so easy to find and their price point is great. They carry a huge range of things - candles, shampoo, lip gloss, wipes of all kinds, etc. and you can find them easily at Target and other large stores. I was also the Pacifica Muse last year, after winning their contest, so I may be a little biased.

Cover Fx’s Customizable Click-Stick System for travel-friendly products in chic, easy packaging. 100% Pure’s BB cream is amazing and offers great skincare benefits, but with a beautiful coverage and SPF, which is so so important. Their eyeshadow palettes and highlighters are beautiful, too! Alima Pure have great mineral foundations, as well as amazing eyeshadows you can buy just in the pan so you can create your own palettes! Pacifica’s body butters are SO luxurious and thick and their Dream Big Mascara is a must-try product because of its extendable wand that covers volume and length, it’s incredible!

What are your favorite beauty essentials at the moment? Why? Are there any beauty products that you absolutely cannot live without?

I’m loving the Anastasia stick foundations, whether it's to spot conceal, do a full face of foundation, highlight or bronze… they’re amazing! For brows, I’m obsessed with the Eye Of Horus Brow Fibre Extend to thicken and hold them in place. I also love the ELF Beautifully Bare Targeted Natural Glow Stick. It’s creamy, easy to use and gives the most perfect glow! Lastly, the Kopari Coconut Lip Love, which is the most incredible gloss and lip treatment in one. I enjoy wearing it alone or layering it with other lip products - it's SO yummy.

How do you view self-care in your own life?  

I absolutely agree with Mirra’s views on self-care and I try my hardest to prioritize a self-care routine. I’ve even made several YouTube videos on self-care and I try to  encourage my followers to prioritize it. It's so easy for people to see self-care as this vain, superfluous thing, but i find it so important to prioritize your self in order to be the best you can be - both for you and for those in your life.

I’ve seen the benefits of self-care ever since I was a kid and started seeing my mum transform into this very relaxed, robe-wearing angel after a bath. I think because I saw my mum engage in self-care acts regularly as a child, I appreciate how important it is, so even recently when coming off from a pharmaceutical anti-depressant I’ve been on for years, I’ve made it a priority to engage in self-care as much as possible. I think it’s really helped ease the transition.

What do you do to unwind? Do you have any beauty rituals that help you relax?

Do I ever! My favorite thing to do after a long day is a really thorough, nourishing skincare routine. I do a cleansing oil, mask, second cleanse, serums, moisturize… and that's just the face! I also love doing the same for my body after a long bath. I can walk into the bathroom feeling all crabby and walk out ultra-zen. Other than that, I’d say a glass of red wine!

What do you use for your baths?

I love using EO bath salts to relax my muscles and mind, then an exfoliator like the Kani Citrus Bloom Body Polish and a great body lotion afterwards. I’m currently obsessed with the Nubian Heritage Patchoulli & Buriti Lotion.

What are your swear-by beauty tips? Why?

Besides the obvious ones, like drinking water, wearing SPF, and eating healthy, I’d have to say incorporating a facial mist into my makeup routine to keep my skin moisturized and natural-looking. I also love using a nude eyeliner to brighten the eyes, highlight under the brow bone, down the center of the nose and even fixing any lipstick mistakes! My favorite is Pacifica’s Magical Multi-Pencil Prime & Line Lips Eyes & Face.

I’ve noticed that I breakout when my skin feels clogged and, generally, feels unhappy. So, now, when I get home and I’m a little tipsy and tired from a night out, I still make it a point to remove all my makeup, take my contacts out and tie my hair back. I think just committing to a routine for 28 days (which is how long it takes to make or break a habit) is a great way to approach it. Plus, seeing your skin super clean and glowing in the mornings is a great way to start your day.

I also advise that you do what works for you! Don’t feel you have to do all the things others do, but instead, try them out and adopt what beauty techniques and products work for you!