Danni Washington has a cool job. She calls herself a Mermaid, which in business speak, translates to Ocean Advocate and Science Communicator.
I was interested in what that actually means, and so, for Refinery29, Washington diaries a recent week in her life. It starts with a work trip to a small fishing town in Mexico, weaving through travel, wash day (I mean, those curls!), and the logistics of planning for an upcoming documentary shoot. Also, there’s a quick lesson on freediving that will make you want to buy a pair of fins. The following was told to Megan Decker and edited for length and clarity.
This day is one of my favorites. I usually don’t set my alarm and let myself sleep in for a bit. Once I’m awake, I read and enjoy a book by Yung Pueblo called Clarity & Connection as I ease out of bed. After washing my face with cold water, I gently refresh with Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner. Wrapped in my robe, I go to the kitchen for some fresh herbal tea and room temperature water with lemon. Before leaving the house, I moisturize with One Ocean Beauty Replenishing Deep Sea Moisturizer, which I use daily. I put on my bathing suit, gather all of my beach gear, and make my way down to the ocean late morning to grab a great spot on the sand.
One of my favorite places to travel in Mexico is a small fishing town called Puerto Morelos. I hang out at the beachfront Ro Marley Beach House. Chill Reggae vibes in the sunshine is life. I jump into the warm sea and have a float session to calm my mind.
When I was a kid, Sunday was wash day with my mom, where I would wash my hair and she would braid it in preparation for school the following week. Even as an adult, I still love washing my hair on Sundays. After the beach, I wash and condition my hair with Bumble & Bumble BB Curl Products. I finish off my Sunday with relaxing plant-based dinner at home, Netflix and hot tea before bed, which makes me feel ready for the new week ahead.
Traveling home after filming can be exhausting, but I like to kick off my week with a hot-yoga session in the morning to help jumpstart my work day. Before moisturizing my skin, I cleanse my face with OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk and add a small dollop of Shea Moisture Brighter Days Ahead Moisturizer. After reading through emails and preparing a to-do list, I’ll usually make a Top 3 Big Goals list for the week to outline the three major things I’d like to accomplish by Friday.
Mondays are generally focused on making contact with my collaborators and planning logistics for upcoming documentary shoots. My work as a Science TV Host and Ocean Advocate has allowed me to travel all over the world for the past ten years, so when I have the opportunity to work from home, I tend to savor the time to recharge.
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire career and I’m accustomed to creating my own daily schedule. Sometimes it can feel lonely without the camaraderie of co-working spaces, but I prefer being solo because it allows me to focus and dive into my creative mind. It’s liberating to set my own work pace (especially on Mondays!) and work toward accomplishing my dreams.
Meetings on Tuesdays feel good because I’m in a good work groove after setting the pace yesterday. I wake up and go to my favorite Core Power Yoga Sculpt class that infuses yoga, weights, and cardio in a heated studio. My skin loves it when I work out in the heat and I sweat like crazy! Yoga is my exercise of choice because it grounds my mind and body after traveling.
I have a few back-to-back Zoom meetings and need to film some social content for my friends at EarthJustice, so I decide to create a makeup look for the day.
I use the Kosas Revealer 08W Super Creamy & Brightening Concealer under my eyes followed by Kosas Softly Cloud Set Powder. Kosas is certainly my top makeup brand because of their ingredients and the wide array of color options available. To add a pop of color, I wear The Lip Bar Vegan Matte Liquid Lipstick (color Boy Trouble) to complement my floral top and curly up-do. Since college, I’ve rocked a cat eye and Tarte Sex Kitten Liquid Eye Liner has been one of the best liquid liners I’ve ever used. I use an earthy eyeshadow from Beauty Counter’s classic eyeshadow palette and add MAC Stack Mascara.
I’m worn out by the end of the day and cleanse my face with Shea Moisture Even Radiant Raw Honey 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm (another great one is LOUM Beauty’s Be Calm Cleansing Balm) that does a wonderful job of removing any stubborn makeup. Before bed, I like to hydrate with One Ocean Beauty Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil, so my skin can absorb it while I’m sleeping.
Water Wednesday! I’m always excited about getting in the ocean whenever my schedule allows. Freediving is my latest adventure underwater. I’ve been a scuba diver since I was seventeen years old and it’s definitely my favorite hobby. Freediving is different because you don’t wear equipment. I’ve slowly been practicing and each dive becomes easier and more exciting as I learn to hold my breath longer.
This dive was excellent. The water was chilly but refreshing. I don’t wear much when I get in the water besides my bathing suit, fins, mask, and tinted reef-safe sunscreen from Raw Elements. I’ve been using the sunscreen for over five years and it blends into my skin complexion beautifully without making me look purple. Any activities underwater are exhausting, but I always get the best sleep afterwards. Before bed I use Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Facial Wash and Scrub with Tamarind Extract & Tea Tree Oil to help remove any remnants of sunscreen followed by a quick rinse with Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap.
Today I had a fun photoshoot with my photographer friend Judyth Floresca showcasing a beautiful limited edition tie-dye Danni YA x WEA Hoodie by my friends at YesAnd and Women’s Earth Alliance. It is such an honor to be included and the statement printed on the back of the hoodie really captures the essence of my work. It says, ‘When Women Thrive, The Earth Thrives’ — which I believe to be true.
I wore Le Labo The Noir 29 during the photoshoot because the warm scent reminds me to stand in my power. The hints of light of bergamot, fig, and bay leaves, and the depth of cedar wood, vetiver, and musk sit well on my skin and people always compliment me on it.
Creating content takes time and this photoshoot was no different. After a light coffee on the road with Judyth, I went home to wind down. After my usual routine, I decided to put on my Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum before bed for an extra boost of vitamin C on my skin.
FriYAY! It’s been a long and very active week. My energy is best when I channel it toward activities outside and this Friday is no different. Before knocking out emails online, I spritzed a bit of One Ocean Beauty Blue Light Protection + Hydration Mist on my face to protect myself from the blue light. It’s lightweight and gives my skin a cute, dewy look.
I work through lunch and close my laptop to head on a hike. Backpacks are my bag of choice when I’m hiking and life in general. My friends have always known me as the backpack queen. My mustard yellow and black Gaston Luga SPLÄSH 13″ pack is great for trekking through the woods or city streets. The color is super unique and the material is durable.
Hiking is a great pastime because it allows me to gather my thoughts in nature and clear my mind of any unnecessary clutter. I head to dinner with my friend Ashley at a local Japanese Barbecue restaurant. Even though I’m vegetarian, I still enjoy this type of cuisine because you cook your own food on the grill at the table (grilled veggies and mushrooms with their spicy garlic oil are the truth!). I wrap up dinner with some sake and go home.
There is a stubborn dark spot under my chin that I’ve been trying to get rid of for a while so I decided to grab Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and see if it’ll work. After being in the sunshine during the day, I like to use Brown Girl Jane Glow Luminous Facial Serum to soothe my skin before bed.
Now I’m ready to chill (once I finish grocery shopping for next week). My eyes are a little puffy after a late night on Thursday, so I put on One Ocean Beauty Eye Revival Marine Cream while shopping. It feels soothing and the puffiness slowly goes away as the morning progresses.
Hanging poolside on Saturdays made me really happy. Lately I’ve been loving rooftop pools with friends. I make sure to use some boob butter from Truly Acai Your Boobies to make sure the girls sit pretty in my bathing suit. It blends beautifully into the skin and in the jar, the bright-purple shea butter looks like cake frosting.
I’ve learned that living a purpose-driven lifestyle is tiring sometimes. I have to recharge my mind, body, and spirit multiple times a week. I’m grateful to be in a position where I can carve out time to relax and unwind. With all of the turmoil and challenges we’re living through these days, I recognize that it’s a privilege to be able to rest and I will never take it for granted.
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