21 Self-Care Essentials Violet Grey Founder Cassandra Grey Swears By

take the edge off cassandra grey
Violet Grey's Founder on Her Favorite ProductsCourtesy of Cassandra Grey/Violet Grey

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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.

Whether it comes to the artwork displayed in your home, or line-up of beauty favorites in your medicine cabinet, curation is essential to a well-rounded existence—just ask Violet Grey founder and creative director Cassandra Grey. "At Violet Grey, we curate by committee, and test everything good, and whatever is the best makes our cut and gets out seal of approval," she tells BAZAAR.com. Before developing one of the most elevated digital and LA-based beauty retailers, Grey says always wanted to launch her own company.

"Beauty as a category was exciting, because it's so broad. And I think, true to the feature you're writing, it's so much about self-care and self-esteem," she says. "I love the sort of theater of makeup artistry, the science behind skincare, and all these products, tools, and practices that really have the power to make us feel more comfortable and confident in our and our bodies and our skin."

While its virtual and physical shelves are stacked with top beauty and wellness brands, including Chanel, Augustinus Bader, Oribe, Therabody, and more, Grey acknowledges that her company is less focused on transactions, and more on shaping overall lifestyles. Within its content hub, The Violet Files, the brand shares a more in-depth look at the routines and go-tos of many of its collaborators, from model and beauty founder Lori Harvey, to celebrated tattoo artist Dr. Woo.

The Violet Files also serve as the home base of Violet Grey's in-house network, Violet TV, a series that showcases some of the best ways to use top-rated beauty products with the experts that created them. "I've always been most obsessed with art that influences behavior," Grey adds. "And I think that beauty is so emotional and so fun in the ways that it inspires people, and also has so much to offer in terms of adding value to people's lives." Regarding the next phase of her company, Violet Grey was recently acquired by Farfetch at the beginning of last year, which has only made it easier to expand its global reach.

For a closer look at how a beauty expert edits their personal rotation, along with some of the buzziest skincare, makeup, and tools worth adding to your own, read on for everything the founder uses to Take the Edge Off.

What are you reading these days?

I read a lot of self-help books that you don't have to read all the way through, so you can pick them up anytime. And so, I have The Power of Positive Thinking, which is a pretty powerful book to have around, as well as, The Power of the Subconscious Mind. And then for fun, I've just started reading—actually started listening to—Demi Moore's autobiography, Inside Out. Her story is pretty incredible.

What are some of your go-to bath and/or shower products?

I do have a few favorites right now: For bath, Āman recently launched beauty, and I think that would be characterized as self-care for all of their spas. They have just the most beautiful Ayurvedic bath salts and treatments that are really luxurious, so I've been really into those lately. And then, for the shower, I'm pretty loyal to Byredo's Gypsy Water Body Wash—it's so good. I'm such a design person, and I like when things look good and feel good in your environment. And so that one, the packaging and everything is so beautiful, so that's what I'm pretty loyal to.

I've also been dry brushing forever, and use Dr. Barbara Sturm's The Body Brush. Also, I'm not sure I'd think of it in connection to the bath or shower, but I've been using the NuFace Body Toning Device, which uses a microcurrent to tighten and rejuvenate—it seems to also be helping with my circulation.

Do you have a favorite hand sanitizer, soap, and/or cream right now?

I've been trying to lay off the sanitizer because I feel like I really overdid it, but I really like the Byredo Hand Wash that is super chic to have in your bag or pocket. I also love the packaging and scent of the Chanel La Crème Main—I carry it everywhere.

What beauty or self-care products do you use on a regular basis to help combat Zoom fatigue?

I tend to use the Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops throughout the day to refresh, and kind of hydrate my skin whether I have makeup on or not. I'm also loving The Scalp Treatment from Augustinus Bader—it's kind of instantaneous the way it makes my hair feel more vibrant and healthy.

Do you ever light a candle or stick of incense to decompress? If so, what are some of your favorites?

I love so many candles, and I love candles burning all the time. If I were to recommend one, it'd be the Costa Brazil Vela Jungle candle. I also use the oversized Le Labo Santal 26 candle.

What was the last beauty product you put on today?

A sunscreen that I'm currently testing that we may launch that's been developed by a surfer, but I can't talk about it yet. But, that's the last product I used, and I'm pretty obsessed with it.

Are you into bold makeup, no makeup, or no-makeup makeup right now, and why?

I think all of the above: I love makeup, so I love a heavy, smoky eye—I love makeup that looks like you've slept in it—sort of rock n' roll or whatever. I've been using Victoria Beckham Beauty's Satin Kajal Eyeliners and Smoky Eye Bricks since they came out when we launched them a few years ago at Violet Grey in the U.S. They're clean and non-toxic, but the pigment is so strong, and I use those pretty religiously.

For no makeup-makeup, I love the classic Chanel black mascara. I've also been using mostly Westman Atelier foundation and contour sticks that are highly blendable. I have a lot of them, and so I just wing it every time based on whether I have a little tan or not. They just create such great, glowing skin. I'm also addicted to the Jillian Dempsey Lip and Cheek Tint—I have them in every color and can't get enough of that product.

Are you the kind of person who applies makeup with their fingers? Or are you more brush or sponge only?

I'm a fingers person, but I always have a Beautyblender. Westman Atelier actually also makes a really great blending brush that I've just started using.

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What's the last fitness class you streamed or attended in person?

I started strength training last summer with a guy called Victor at a place called Aesthetic Lab in New York. I've been seeing him three times a week, and I've never done weight training in my life. It's just been the best experience of any fitness that I've ever done in terms of how my body has transformed, and I love it.

What's one piece of self-care advice you'd recommend to our readers?

I think the number one self-care tool that one could master that will change your life is sleep. In my experience, it's been so challenging in our sort of hustle culture, and "we don't sleep" kind of thing. And it's a time, especially for your brain, to rejuvenate. If you have two or three days of great sleep, it's just a world of difference. Also, in that same vein, I know it sounds cliché, but having a morning routine—it's the little things: They all make the big things happen. I have a seven year-old, so if I'm able to wake up before he wakes up, and have a little time to meditate, have coffee, and be calm before the storm, my day is just worlds better.

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