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Author: Christine Cho
IG Handle: @christinechobeauty
Occupation: Makeup & Hair Artist / OnAir Beauty Expert / TV Personality
City/Country: Toronto, Canada
Favourite Design.ME Product:Puff.ME Dry Texturizing Spray - I love this product because it's so versatile. It adds volume, texture, and light hold without being sticky or gritty. My hair feels and smells lovely, with natural looking texture and perfect volume. I use this product all the time, both in my professional kit and at home on myself.
As someone who normally has a hectic schedule of running around for work appointments, events, travelling, socializing...things have changed drastically. Freelance makeup and hair work is non-existent for the time being; all my work trips have been cancelled; my dual-life between Canada and Barbados is stunted; and I am currently living alone, apart from my husband and fur babies - Lele and Soxy (due to travel restrictions).
On top of isolating alone, I recently moved, and have had to rapidly shift to online live streaming or taping of TV shows for my beauty segments. Oh, and I'm 21 weeks pregnant...
Last year, I married my favourite human - twice. We had an intimate ceremony in my parents' backyard in June, and then a dream destination party in Barbados in December, complete with custom wedding dress and sequin romper, breathtaking wild ocean view, spiked snow cone and fresh coconut carts, and a stress-free perfect celebration with our friends and family.
Being in love and drinking tequila led to an unexpected blessed accident, and all of a sudden - we were expecting our first child.
After two and a half months living my best island life, I returned to Toronto in mid-February 2020 to fulfill work obligations (taping TV shows; going on press trips and media tours; client appointments) as well as attend crucial medical appointments regarding my pregnancy. I was happy to see my family and friends, as well as get back to work; and I had a flight booked back to Barbados in May.
My husband and I both had flights booked back from Barbados together later that month as well. Exciting press trips to Banff, Lake Louise, New York...media tour across Canada - all flights booked. Shows and events lined up. Work was busy; pregnancy was going well; I was excited.
Then March came. Bam. The weight of the pandemic sent everything crashing down. All trips, work, events, plans... cancelled. All that loomed over my head was uncertainty. Was I unemployed? When could I see my husband? Should I leave Toronto and go back to Barbados? Should I stay here and wait to see what happens? How is this all going to affect my pregnancy? How do I move all my stuff to the new condo? None of my clothes fit anymore. I had no reason to brush my hair or paint my face.
Everything was overwhelming. I wanted to crawl into a ball in bed and lay there to cry for the foreseeable future. For the first few weeks of isolation, I slept until noon. I couldn't open my laptop to respond to any emails. I didn't want to answer phone calls or texts. I could barely get out of bed to eat.
Every time my husband and I video-chatted, my heart hurt. I couldn't bring myself to clean my brushes from the last client I had worked on because I burst into tears every time I touched my makeup and hair kit.
Then one day, I felt her kick. I grabbed my belly, jumped three feet off the sofa and laughed - really laughed, for the first time in a long time. I was reminded that I was no longer just living for myself.
I had to get it together, and fight to find a way back to happy and healthy. So I started cleaning. I reorganized all my beauty products; I cleaned my bathroom, my kitchen; I stocked up on groceries and cooked, and cooked, and cooked. I ate with joy. I danced in the kitchen. I did modified exercises in my living room. I ordered maternity pants. I started to write, and share, and post, and work again.
My work partners - amazing brands, public relations, studios, etc - started to figure out creative ways to work together in this new reality.
We embraced change, and focused on the positive. I let go of what was supposed to happen; I focused on what was happening and what I wanted to make happen. And any time I left the house for essentials like medicine and supplies - I did my makeup and hair.
I donated money and items; I bought people gifts from local businesses; and I started to take care of myself with respect and intention. I opened up all my favourite new products - body scrubs, hair masks, facial treatments, devices - and starting doing all the things I always complained I never had time for. I cleaned my makeup brushes; reorganized my professional kit; said "see you later" to it, and put it aside.
Times are chaotic and strange for everyone. For me, it has been a challenging journey from anxiety and sadness, frustration and helplessness, to a gradual acceptance, adjustment, and peace.
I have learned to adapt, and be patient with myself. I take time to cook for myself; I clean and organize with intention, so I can create a beautiful living space; I participate in online classes (dance, fitness, professionally-related), and I monitor and curate my social media feeds to include a balance of educational, fun, inspiring content.
I don't set up unrealistic expectations or put pressure on myself. I take it day by day. When I'm feeling down, I remind myself to shower, style my hair, put some makeup on, and order whatever takeout I might be craving. I text or call my family members regularly - more than I ever have. My husband and I video-chat for hours, multiple times a day, and we are learning to be patient and adaptable, focusing on our hopeful future together.
We want you to unleash your rebellious, creative and sassy side. The entire Design.ME Hair product line is 100% cruelty-free and contains none of the nasty stuff, like harmful sulfates, parabens or gluten – Design.ME is just pure hair happiness.
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