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Welcome to Take the Edge Off, a series that breaks down the beauty and self-care routines of influencers, CEOs, experts, and celebrities. Find out how they unwind and decompress, while taking a closer look at the holy grail essentials they're currently raving about.
Influencer and Saltair cofounder Iskra Lawrence is well known in the fashion industry for bringing the message of body positivity to the forefront. Her drive for change stems mainly from a personal battle with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder, which she developed early in her career after being deemed too big for straight-size campaigns and too thin for plus-size modeling. "I always say I was in a war with myself; I had body dysmorphia, because to me, my body was huge," Lawrence tells BAZAAR.com. "And so, for many years, I struggled with an eating disorder, because I didn't know how to healthily look after myself and my obsession with fitness."
After pursuing work with a number of fashion brands and marketing herself as a more niche, "in-between-sizes" model, Lawrence started sharing her experiences on Instagram, which ultimately led to a growing community of more than six million followers. "I started sharing my images and asking questions like, 'Isn't it effed up that someone in my size body just can't belong anywhere? Don't you feel like you can't belong sometimes?'"
Lawrence later took her advocacy work a step further, and in addition to being outspoken about the obstacles she and other models were facing, also stopped retouching her social media posts. "My agencies kept telling me, 'No one's going to book you, you're too vocal,'" she shares. "And I was like, 'No, no, I'll find a brand that wants that.' It's great to see that now brands actually care and would rather have someone who has a mission or a message or is vocal, and has something they stand up for rather than someone who doesn't." To further her message of transparency and inclusion, Lawrence has dedicated her career to the promotion of positive images of women within the media, including as one of the faces of Aerie's REAL campaign.
While she's proud of the work she's done so far to support body equality in fashion, Lawrence explains that her long-term goal was always to create her own brand. Though many assumed a clothing line would be on the horizon, Lawrence leaned into her connection with self-care instead, launching Saltair in January, inspired in part by her postpartum journey.
"One of the best ways that I knew how to connect with myself was through self-care. And a part of that was when I feel connected to my body, that's special to me," Lawrence says. "I found that the shower was the place where I discovered sanctuary, cried, had ideas, got rejuvenated and my energy back." That, she says, is her "hope" for Saltair. "For people to see [Saltair] as, like, a little reminder that we want you to love yourself, you deserve to love yourself. Let's get clean. Let's enjoy these moments. And, obviously, this is just the beginning."
Ahead, Lawrence breaks down some of the holy grail beauty and wellness essentials she loves using for mental grounding as a new mom and business owner. From candles to collagen water, here's everything the model and influencer uses to Take the Edge Off.
What are you reading these days?
[My partner and I] just finished Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur. It's a real-life story about a mom who has an affair with her best friend's husband and ends up confiding in her 14-year-old—it's a really good read. I'm also about to read Educated by Tara Westover; it was one of President Obama's top picks, and I'm really excited about that book.
What are some of your go-to bath and/or shower products?
I've been using the Bondi Sands Coconut and Sea Salt Body Scrub, because I self-tan a lot and have keratosis pilaris on my arms, so it helps keep it at bay. Shampoo-wise, I usually use Ouai's Fine Hair Shampoo, which is great for volume, and then once a week, I use Kérastase's Blond Absolu range, which I think is the best for canceling out yellow, brassy tones.
I also like washing my face while in the shower, and use the Ole Henriksen Truth Juice Daily Cleanser. I like its smell and texture—it doesn't irritate my skin and leaves me with a little glow. To shave my underarms, I swear by the Schick Intuition Razor, which I've used solidly now for probably 12 years—I can't live without that thing. And after showering or bathing, of course, I use my Saltair lotion.
What beauty or self-care products do you use on a regular basis to help combat Zoom fatigue?
On Zoom, I think having daylight is really important, and making sure where you're taking your meetings has a lot of it. Proper hydration also plays a key factor for sure, and being cognizant of the types of ingredients and nourishment that's going to sustain your energy rather than deplete it. Philip and I noticed that when we were having more sugary things for breakfast, we were definitely crashing more. I like to have a fresh smoothie or collagen water from Vital Proteins during the day, because I don't drink tea or coffee.
Do you have a favorite hand sanitizer, soap, and/or cream right now?
I use baby hand sanitizers—it's a good hack because they feel really gentle and non-drying. So just the Babyganics sanitizer; they have, like, a foam version and it's really, really nice. Otherwise, in all my other bathrooms it's Mrs. Meyer's, just the standard, good old stuff. But I do have the lotion to match; that's one thing, I need to have the matching lotion.
Do you ever light a candle or stick of incense to decompress? If so, what are some of your favorites?
I had a lot of the Christmassy Yankee Candle scents around the house for a while, but right now, I'm very excited about the Boy Smells x Kacey Musgraves Slow Burn candle.
What was the last beauty product you put on today?
Pink Matter Multi-Use Balm by MAKE Beauty—it reminds me of the Crème de la Mer one, it's just so nourishing. And it sits on your lips without feeling tacky.
Are you into bold makeup, no makeup, or no-makeup makeup right now, and why?
Definitely no-makeup makeup at the moment. I was a no-makeup person for quite a while during postpartum, and then I thought, "I really enjoy putting makeup on. It makes me feel put together." Mascara especially is really important to me, even if I have nothing else on. I think it's because I'm so fair, my eyelashes disappear. So adding just that bit of mascara is like, "Hello, I made an effort, I'm here!" I always go back to L'Oréal's Waterproof Telescopic Mascara. We go to the lake, and I can jump in the water, the dirt, and the mascara doesn't move.
What's the last fitness class you streamed or attended in person?
I started working with OxFit, so the last class-y type of thing I did was at their HQ. That was probably my last workout, but I'm probably going to take a yoga class soon. My friend keeps telling me to go with her and I need to.
What's one piece of self-care advice you'd recommend to our readers?
I want to say firstly that self-care is not selfish, no matter what anyone thinks. I think especially for new moms, there's so much guilt. I've tried not doing it, and it sucked. I felt worse about myself, had, like, less energy, and was less motivated to do things. So self-care is not selfish; I know it's such a used quote, but it's really true.
And I don't want people to ever feel guilty about investing time into themselves, whatever that looks like for them. We can also multitask and use those moments for a pep talk, to boost yourself up to say kind things to yourself. And if you feel like you can't do both, have some Post-it Notes or your journal next to you for affirmations or reminders. Just really enjoy and take time for you.
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