Nikki Reed, most widely known for her acting work (Twilight, anyone?), has spent the last few years expanding her horizons. The mother to Bodhi, 3, and wife to actor Ian Somerhalder is also an entrepreneur; with her brand BaYou With Love, the multi-hyphenate Reed designs sustainable jewelry and sells ethically produced lifestyle, home, and beauty products, partnering with small artisans and even brands like Dell to turn recycled tech products into jewelry. In August, BaYou released its first line of loungewear, perhaps just when the world needed it most. The entire line—which includes silks, robes, and pajamas—is made from plant materials and colored only using fruit dyes.
Behind the scenes, Reed is plenty busy. In addition to acting as the founder of BaYou, Reed shoots all brand product photography herself. On the side she holds two other jobs, serving as a strategic advisor for Raised Real, a direct-to-consumer produce company that creates meal kits for children, and on the events planning team for 1 Hotels, where BaYou previously had a brick-and-mortar marketplace.
“I want to pretend like I take a bath every other night, and have incense blowing, and occasionally that happens,” Reed tells SELF. “But the running joke is, didn’t we all think that while we were home quarantining we would have time for self-care? And how come that doesn’t exist?” Here, Reed walks us through her bedtime routine, including neck-stretching, getting that last hour of work in, and a waste-conscious natural beauty routine.
By the time my daughter gets in bed, I usually need 10 minutes just to sit down.
As you get to the end of the day, and you’ve gone through cooking five different things and then cleaning up the kitchen, and then putting a baby down, and then story time books, I usually just need 10 minutes to sit down and do whatever that is that I want to do. If that’s catching up on a couple of texts, cool. Whatever it is, I have a little bit of me time.
Then I get a second wind, and I probably take an hour to do something that will help me get ahead for the next day.
I clean the kitchen, because, as we all know right now, there’s just, like, endless cleaning. Or I take an hour, if I’m really feeling spunky, to get some extra work done in the office. Setting boundaries at home has been a big one for this quarantine—and what I mean by that is setting boundaries between work time and mom time. I definitely don’t want [my daughter] to see me just typing on my iPhone or my computer. So any of the hours where I’m just staring down on my phone or computer, I try to do that in my little office space. I work heavily while she’s napping, or I set my alarm really early before she wakes up and then I work really late after she goes to bed. Those are like little tips and tricks, but the truth is I’m like every other mom out there. I don’t have the golden ticket or recipe to do it right.
I think one realization I’m having is that I work too much. My mantra is slow down, simplify, but yet I have three jobs and a lot on my plate, so I think that’s the big revelation for me right now is, is life sustainable working 14-16 hour days? Is that sustainable for your mind, body, spirit? I think we all know the answer to that, so I think it’s just about taking conscious steps towards balance.
Then usually, we’re hovering in the 9:30 range, and I get super, super tired.
If I’m having an “okay, I’m going to do my routine” feeling that night, then I’ll go to the bathroom, and do coconut oil pulling. I’ll try to make sure I wash my face. I use face wash from a company called Klei, and it’s just like magic. They make little glass jars of different clay formulas that you can use to nourish or scrub or mask. Prima is a great company that I love, founded by a dear friend of mine, Jessica. Prima serums and oils are all CBD-based, and use very simple ingredients. Plantfolk Apothecary makes a vetiver hair oil that’s so dreamy. You can put it all over your body if you want. Poppy & Someday makes some amazing mists and balms, things like that. If I’m lucky, I’ll take a shower for a second so I have maybe 30 minutes of self-care.
I don’t know why or what happened, but a year-and-a-half after [my daughter] was born, I started getting melasma, which usually comes during pregnancy, so it was a huge shocker for me.
They say that you can really only cure melasma with chemical treatments, and I’m a big holistic approach to skin care kind of gal. So I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of things, like vitamin C crystals, to solve that. I just can’t believe that a year-and-a-half later I got melasma. I was like, oh, okay, one thing after another.
My best-kept secret that I’m super vocal about, so it’s not really a secret, is putting things on your skin that you can put into your body.
I talk about that a lot. One of those is a manuka honey mixture. Sometimes I just mix it with whatever’s in your pantry, like spirulina or anything that you would put into a smoothie—cacao, things like that. I just make face masks [with it]. I realized that I have been neglecting my skin and hair and body more during this quarantine than I ever have. So if you’re a multitasker, and you’re already making something to eat and that thing can go on your skin, do it. So if it’s coconut oil, and you’re already cooking with it, rub some on your skin, put it in your hair. If it’s honey, great. If you’ve got avocado, smush that shit up and stick it in your hair.
My whole life, I’ve spent straightening or curling my already curly hair to change or perfect it, and it had never dawned on me that you can actually cut your hair for your hair texture.
My mom’s a hairdresser, so I’m sure at some point I heard that, but I clearly didn’t absorb it because I’ve been straightening or curling my hair literally since I was probably nine years old with an iron—with my clothing iron before I had any money for a flat iron. About six months ago, I watched a YouTube tutorial on razor cutting for fine curly hair from a woman named Jane. Her salon is Edo Salon. And I watched it and I was, like, you know what, I’m going to do this because I don’t have time anymore to do my hair. I have a daughter, I have a company, I’m working full-time. And so I started cutting my hair for my curl. I color my own hair a little bit, too. Hair for me is like an art. It’s super fun, and it’s also kind of a meditation. I cut Ian’s hair, I cut my daughter’s hair, I cut everybody’s hair.
I said this to Ian the other day, I was like, “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever gotten out of the shower and then just let my hair dry and actually felt comfortable with what I’m supposed to look like.” I think you’re more beautiful when you’re in whatever your natural state is. Like, I think we’re born with this thing that we’re supposed to have, that you just need to learn how to work with, and when you fight that, I actually think you take away from, or distract from, your own personal individualized beauty. I wasn’t born with straight hair, I wasn’t born with perfect curls. That’s not what I’m meant to look like. I’m meant to just embrace my crazy, wild hair.
I do still struggle internally with buying shampoo bottles that come in plastic. So I use a shampoo and conditioner bar, and then maybe twice a month I’ll use a Beautycounter shampoo. If you have the time and ability, making a salt spray on your own is super easy. Just mix up some warm water and put sea salt in it and literally put it in a spray bottle. It keeps your texture together. But honestly, my real tip and trick is that I don’t towel dry my hair anymore. I just get out of the shower and squeeze it out and let it dry with all the curls touching each other. It’s pretty crazy—it changed everything. I do comb it in the shower.
I think we’re all feeling really stressed and sleeping funky—grinding teeth, or cramping your neck. It’s a crazy time in the world, and we’re all really digesting that in our bodies.
I have this new neck brace, which is so cool. You can actually just get it on Amazon. When my neck is extra achy, I use either my gua sha, or I lay on my neck brace for a second. These are all things that I would do if it’s a “good night.”
There’s a tea called Rest Easy from Prima that I drink every single night, and it’s passion flower combined with CBD. I think it’s so delish, so I drink that around 10:30 or 11:00.
On not a good night, it’s literally like: baby’s down, I eat leftovers in my bed, and I watch TV and do emails and all the things you shouldn’t do.
One of the things that I try to remind myself at night—even though, by the way, I say this, but I’m not always practicing this—is not bringing my iPad to bed to finish up emails. We all know about blue light and how hard it is on our eyes and our minds. But for those of us who like to feel like we’re chipping away at tomorrow’s work load, it’s really tempting for me to go, okay, if I have an hour of extra energy, I’ll just bring my iPad in bed for the last hour and just plow through another 10 emails. I think setting a space that’s not bed to work in has been really a big deal. Not bringing devices to bed really helps with sleep and I try to read when I go to bed instead of watching television.
For a long time I would set my alarm for 5:30 so that I could have an hour or an hour-and-a-half of just total quiet in the morning.
If I wanted to get a head start on work, fine, but also if I wanted to just, like, sit outside for a quick second and close my eyes, that was my me time. And then I started embracing this rule of, maybe the luxury is actually setting my alarm at 7:00 and taking that extra hour-and-a-half of me time to actually sleep. So, whatever the thing is, I think you just have to honor your body, and your time, and your space.