“It’s not just about writing a good poem. It’s about living a good life,” Aja Monet, a Surrealist-blues poet, tells the Cut. If you don’t know already, when Monet speaks, you’ll feel it in your soul. Especially on her newest album, When the Poems Do What They Do, which explores topics like Black joy and the power of love.
“I’ve always gravitated toward language and music,” the Sarah Lawrence and School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate shares. “Being from New York, I’ve also been inspired by people with vibrant energy who tell profound stories.” In addition to reciting poetry, Monet is also the host of Lush’s podcast, The Sound Bath, which features thought-provoking conversations with guests like Kehlani and Hannibal Buress on how to master personal, environmental, and social care.
And when she’s not awing audiences during her Why My Love Tour (which included an incredible Tiny Desk performance), using her platform to stand up against injustices, or reminding listeners of the importance of rest with her podcast, she’s ensuring to make time for her own wellness practices. “I’ve been really into pushing the conversation around using the term self-care,” she shares. “To me, care is care. It doesn’t need to live in the binary. If you’re taking care of yourself, you’re taking care of your community.”
Here, Monet’s a.m. routine:
6 — As I’ve gotten older, I’ve loved waking up earlier and earlier. It’s funny because, when I was younger, I used to look at old folks and wonder how they would be up so early. But now I see something so beautiful about watching the world wake up.
6:15 — I try to have a warm beverage when I wake up. I either have green tea or hot water with lime. I know people think of beauty routines as something to only do with the exterior, but I think it also matters what you do for the interior.
6:34 — I usually follow up with Ion* Skin Support spray to shield my skin from toxins.
Monet’s p.m. routine:
9 — I love to have tea at night. And then I usually wash my face with Cetaphil again.
9:05 — Then I put on the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. It cleanses pores, exfoliates, and hydrates skin with kaolin, peppermint, and honey. I sometimes also use the M-61 PowerGlow Peel and finish off with my moisturizer.
On the beauty industry as a whole:
I’m happy to see the direction the beauty industry has moved in in terms of being more about wellness. I think it should be about how we take care of ourselves and how well we take care of others.
On the types of products she gravitates toward:
Anything natural and good for your skin is what I gravitate toward. Homemade skin care is something I love to do, using items found in your kitchen, etc. They say, “Don’t put things you can’t eat on your skin,” so keep it as natural as possible.
On the beauty services she swears by:
I enjoy saunas and going for walks. Fresh air and deep breaths. Meditation and good music. Rest is crucial. Also, laughter. Lots of laughter. Inner beauty radiates. I enjoy therapy and good conversations with people I love. It’s also essential for me to spend time with my elders.
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