Over the course of a decade, Nikita Charuza has worked as an editor for various top media outlets and has tested out too many beauty products to count — so she knows a thing or two. As the founder of “headcare” brand Squigs, she fell in love with ingredients that really work and found herself becoming increasingly frustrated with ones that could potentially trigger irritation, like certain synthetic fragrances and dyes. Squigs, with its focus on haircare and skincare, takes inspiration from traditional Indian hair oiling and the DIY products that were a big part of Charuza’s childhood, leading to the creation of a brand that creates effective, over-the-counter formulations that are still fun to use.
The following diary was told to Amanda Mitchell and has been edited for length and clarity.
Sunday is my favorite day of the week because I get to enjoy time snuggling with my baby girl Selina, my husband Patrick, our dog Chunks, and have a moment to ourselves. I usually wake up around 7 a.m. every morning to feed Selly, and I typically apply Squigs’ award-winning Gooseberry Delight Hair Oil as an overnight treatment the night before. It’s free of synthetic fragrances and has a light citrus scent, thanks to orange peel and apricot kernel oil, which is great for scalp and hair health. The nice thing about our hair oil is that I don’t have to worry about it staining my pillowcase, and I can go about my day without it getting everywhere — especially when I’m taking care of my daughter.
Weekends are when I like to switch off entirely from work and give my family my undivided attention, since it gets so hectic with work on the weekdays. We decided to go to the park for a long walk since the weather was beautiful and I needed a little sun serotonin. Sunscreen is a major part of my everyday routine. If there’s one beauty takeaway that’s ingrained in my head from my role as an editor, it’s to apply sunscreen daily! I’m a fan of mineral formulations, so I used La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen.
This Monday, I woke up around 5 a.m., because I had to attend to some important emails before starting my day. I’ve learned that being your own boss means tons of late nights and early mornings, and I’ve been trying to find a healthy balance, especially being a new mom. I’ve recently loved using Nécessaire’s cult-favorite Body Wash in the shower. I’ve been trying Hatch Fresh Mama Deodorant, and I love it so far because it’s easy to apply and lasts a long time.
I always start my morning by washing my face with a lightweight, non-stripping face wash, like Fresh’s Soy Cleanser. Then, I follow up by lightly patting in a few drops of Squigs’ Double Shot Serum. The hyaluronic acid and niacinamide help plump and hydrate my skin, which is terrific, especially on an early morning like today. Sometimes my daughter loves to watch the naturally-occurring colors separate, like a magic trick. She gets a kick out of it every time!
Somehow, I had 15 minutes before hopping into the shower (a miracle!!), so I quickly applied some Squigs Gooseberry Delight Hair Oil, because my scalp was feeling a little dry. Since the oil is super lightweight and easy to wash off, I just had to shampoo once, and I used Drunk Elephant’s Cocomino Glossing Shampoo. I skip a conditioner because sometimes it can weigh my hair down and apply a few drops of Gooseberry Delight on my lengths instead and comb through. After applying Double Shot, I mist on Tower 28’s SOS spray for a bit of mid-day pick-me-up.
Since having a baby and starting my own business, my days have been extra long. Sometimes I like to unwind with my fancy products, which I like to use from time to time as a mid-week treat. I ended my day by applying Augustinus Bader’s The Cream and a small amount of La Mer eye cream. I usually unintentionally end up saving these products “for a later date,” because, like most people, I don’t want to pay the hefty price when it comes time for a repurchase, so I like to savor them for as long as possible.
Honestly, one of the main reasons I decided to keep Squigs affordable is because I wanted anyone and everyone to be able to use as much as their heart’s content, and not have to worry about the price too much.
This Thursday, I had the exciting opportunity to speak at a founder’s panel at FIT about what it was like launching Squigs, so I had to dress up and wear some makeup, which is something I enjoy but don’t do regularly. Since my hair is still growing back from postpartum hair loss, I’ve been dealing with many baby hairs sticking out from all angles. To combat this, I applied a few drops of Gooseberry Delight as a styling oil to tame the baby hairs and add a bit of shine to my lengths.
Amla, our key ingredient in our oil, is scientifically linked to potential hair growth, and I’ve been seeing significant progress with new hair growth seven months after giving birth. I also used any leftover oil on my cuticles and elbows for some hydration, which is a nice bonus!
Since I usually don’t do a full face of makeup daily — I’m more of a skincare/haircare gal — I wanted to keep things effortless with a few swipes of Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara and my go-to Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, which leaves you with a dewy glow. I also love About Face’s lip pencils because they feel hydrating, and I top it off with a little Glossier Balm Dot Com Lip Balm.
I had to wake up early to film something for Squigs, so I applied my go-to products for a “glazed donut” look. I started with washing my face, applying Double Shot, which works great as a primer, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling super sticky like some primers do. Then, I used Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, followed by KvD’s concealer around my eyes, because the new mom/entrepreneur struggle is real. I also applied just a touch of Rare Beauty’s Liquid Luminizer for some extra glow and finished with my favorite, Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Rose Pulpe. I’m the type of person who washes all her makeup off as soon as she comes home from an event, and in this case, I washed it all off after I finished filming.
Saturday is what my husband and I like to call “Spa-turday” — it was something we tried doing once a week since the start of the pandemic, where we unwind. We start with a Gooseberry Delight hair oil session, followed by a face mask. I love to use Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque once a week because it doesn’t dry out my skin too much, and the scrub isn’t rough [like] others I’ve tried. After washing the mask off, I gently pat in a few drops Double Shot Face Serum for a splash of hydration, and then we headed out to grab some bagels and coffee because it’s the weekend, and we made it!
At night, I felt a zit forming, so I love to pop on my Starface pimple patches, and it doesn’t hurt that they make me smile, especially the new Spongebob drop. My lips also felt a little chapped, so I used Fresh’s Sugar Lip Scrub and topped it off with Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, which is probably one of my favorite beauty products.
Then before I know it, it’s time to wake up and do it all over again — but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
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