Happy new week, friends!
Time and time again, I have found that my personal rituals save me. My daily A.M. call with my mom. An early morning workout where I trade off a crazy-early wakeup for time alone making my coffee and then an intense-but-gratifying workout. My nighttime relaxation ritual (I’ll be getting into the specifics of that later this week!)
This theme will be so fun to dig into, because Rituals are all around us—from our health routines, to our personal relationships and how they weave into our days, to our supplement routines. And I’m covering all those topics this week!
So who better to help us kick off our week on Rituals than a woman who designed a whole skincare routine around the ritual of preparing ourselves for the greatest gift nature gives us—sleep!
Jessica Hoyer is the founder of Bynacht Skin Care, and if her name sounds familiar it’s because you’ve seen my reviews of her amazing products here on the blog for a while. They’re amazing. And I’ve also chatted with her on my podcast.
Not only do I adore their sleeping balm, but their Reverse Sun Radical Recovery Serum is absolutely genius. Admittedly it’s on the pricey side, but there are those products that just work, and this one is one of them. In fact, I just got back from a long beach day today where I wasn’t as diligent with the sunscreen as I should have been (oops!), and I used this on both my and the girls’ sunburned faces; it immediately felt better, taking the sting away.
Anyhow! This wasn’t meant to be a beauty post—ha!—so let’s chat with Jessica a bit. I know you’ll love her just as much as I do.
I asked you this on our podcast interview a while back, but I want to ask again for this version of our interview! European women are known for being chic to the max, all the time. Tell us, what is it about European women that elevates their look so much? And also, what’s a typical “mom uniform” for you?
We mostly want things to look effortless, but classy.
That goes from hairstyles to our wardrobe, so we tend to keep things simple and classic and choose timeless pieces that don’t scream for attention. We invest in high-quality staple pieces, so we skip on flimsy bags and invest in a high-end structured bag for an everyday elevated look for example.
Investing in classics would also be my top for anyone, that wants to look pulled together at all times. You rarely see women in Europe in Active-Wear for a school dropoff.
We’d much rather put on a pair of jeans and a simple t-Shirt, a cute sneaker and a trench coat to look ready to tackle the day. Hair is in a sleek ponytail rather than a messy bun. It’s those little things that make a big difference.
We also wear a lot of basic colors, like white, black, navy, beige and grey. These neutrals go with everything and we can elevate things easy with a scarf or a red heel and still look put together.
For a change we play with textures and fit, like pairing a slightly oversized, chunky sweater with a tight skirt or skinny jeans, or a silk top with a chunky cardigan.
My typical Mom uniform would be a pair of fitted jeans (preferably grey or black) with a white, crisp t-shirt and a neutral cashmere sweater over it and a pair of cool boots or heels for the office. That way I can change up my style really quick.
If I am warm, I can wrap the sweater around diagonally on my shoulders to make the look cool and modern. This also works over a blazer jacket.
If I am cold, I can just put a blazer on top and change shoes. And then for the playground I can just change into a jean jacket and sneakers. So the basics take you from office to playground in no time.
I keep a pair of sneakers and jean jackets or a chunky cardigan in my car- so I am prepared for whatever comes along. I also always wear earrings, but little ones like diamond studs or pearls and my favorite watch.
For hair I usually wear a sleek ponytail or soft waves; the key is not to use hairspray, but rather dry shampoo to give the hair texture and not look like you spent hours in the bathroom.
I think that’s what we really all try to avoid in Europe—don’t look as if you tried too hard, and rather keep things casual than overdone.
Why did you start Bynacht, and how is it different from what’s already out there?
Bynacht is different in so many aspects I think. When I started, almost everyone told me, it would be too “disruptive” and too different; but I really was hooked on everything I learned and all the studies that I read during my years of research.
I started Bynacht because I was worn out and burned out and looked and felt that way. At that time I was frequently flying all over the world and had more than 180 travel days. I was exhausted.
Even my skin was exhausted and I looked grey, my eyes puffy and I had hormonal breakouts paired with a dermatitis because I was desperate to find a cure to make my skin healthy and glowing again. I also desperately missed the feeling of waking up and feeling good and energized.
My mother, who has always lived a very sustainable, organic and healthy life and is a certified aromatherapist, mixed me a sleeping balm. And I slept like a baby for the first time in years, using it. I was hooked. And amazed. And I wanted to pair this finding with my passion for skincare so I look and feel my best. So my whole research about well-being, skin and sleep began.
I discovered that really, sleep is the key to almost everything. The way we feel, the way we look, the way we (re)-act and that its vital to find ingredients that work for you during that time.
My biggest discovery was that there needs to be different amounts and different ingredients in order to work for your skin, and not so much for marketing.
It was a long journey, because we produce products now that make a difference in quality and also in the quantity of ingredients used. Because too little of something does nothing for your skin—especially when rubbing half of it into your pillow overnight, [to say nothing of] trans-epidermal water loss on your skin.
When it comes to good ingredients in night cremes: more is more. Not meaning heavy, but more of the things that actually work on your skin.
It’s been a long day at work, and you just punched out for the night. What’s the first thing you do when you get home? (Or in the case of virtual work, what’s the first thing you do when you shut down the computer?)
Oh my… During lockdowns this is the first thing I do: I light our new candle (that I was able to try to its core during these times) and apply Jet Lag Balm.
Then I make myself an espresso and tap on my laptop or my door before entering home (or a new room if I am working from home). The tapping serves me as a reminder to leave all my worries there—in the laptop and outside home.
I try to come home leaving everything outside and be as present as can be and that means I leave my „work worries“ at the door or inside my computer. It also means stripping off my jeans and get right into leggings or joggers as soon as I am home.
This ritual combined with a good playlist helps me so much!
You are too kind!
Its the same basic principle than with my outfits: I stick to neutrals and only add a few highlights. If you stick to one palette in your home, it will look a lot more elegant and elevated (also white walls can be painted over and over if they are having crayons and scratches on them every year :). Also neutrals make decorating so easy, they go with every other colour.
Grey and white walls won’t be boring with bright pink or turquoise throws and pillows during summer and freshly picked flowers that make a bouquet for your counter tops and shells you just collected and out into a huge glass bowl.
The neutrals look perfect with with a rusty red during fall and traditionally cosy with a classic red and green during Christmas time.
When you go for lamps, picture frames and vases make sure you pair two of the same kind: pairing is key when it comes to elevate your home style. It’s used a lot in magazine homes.
My tip would be to look on Pinterest for inspiration and then try to restyle it with items you can afford and that are on your budget.
Invest in classics that you will use longer like a table and pair with Ikea chairs and s sheep rug and a cool vintage vase from the flee market. Things don’t have to be expensive to work, its the good mix.
Do you when decorating: Pair with pictures in frames, fresh flowers that you love and a couple of great candles that make you feel like home. Or paint old chairs and pair with a modern USM board you save up for. It’s always the combination for me.
I saved up for a lot of pieces like art and my dining table because I knew I will have them forever.
For kitchen chairs on the other hand, they just have to be very easy to clean, fit my style but also be sturdy enough so kids can build a fort with them or clim them 100 times a day – they can be Ikea until your kids go to college, so it won’t hurt you if they have crayons, food and scatches on them.
I think you have to just see what YOU like. I am someone that needs organizing and neutrals because my head is always spinning and I need the outside to be clean and calm to be productive.
But I have a friend who have the most colorful and vibrant homes with a lot to discover and so unseen, its beautiful. She mixes all kinds of patterns and its so her! I love it and its a place where you just love to spent time with…. She would never live happy in my place and I would never be able to be productive in hers but they fit us. I think that’s the secret. Don’t style your home for anybody but you and your family.
Showers for longer than 10 minutes (every Mom knows what I am talking about). [Also] Peleton, the Theragun Mini and my podcast list with Steven Furtick and Joel Osteen… Those things are my daily life savers!
A huge thank you to Jessica for taking the time to chat with us! I’m a huge fan of her brand. Check out some posts I’ve done on Bynacht and why I love them, below.