“I’m Canadian—I was born in Ottawa and then we moved to Quebec. Growing up, there was always a lot of change happening. Lots of moving parts. But that sort of planted the seed for why I started my business. We weren’t religious, but when I was really young I had a lot of routines that would help me feel safe and grounded. Those routines and tools have always been important. My mother passed away when I was young, so it started out as a way to cope, and now it’s a way of cultivating a better life.
Moving from Canada to New York was a huge reset button. In New York, the stakes are a lot higher, there’s a lot of competition. The bar is just raised. I didn’t have a job lined up and I didn’t know anyone in the city. In hindsight, that was one of the crazier, riskier things I’ve ever done. But I felt like there wasn’t another job I could have imagined for myself in Toronto, and I had climbed to the top of this little ladder. I had ended a relationship that was pretty tumultuous. All of that was the perfect storm for a reset. Looking back, I’m hyper-aware of the fact that you can move and your problems will follow you [Laughs]. It’s not always a magic fix. But it was exactly what I needed-the kick in the ass. I didn’t know anyone, I was in debt. I moved with two suitcases and rented an Airbnb for two weeks. In that time, I was working for a tech startup called Behance and teaching yoga and meditation in the morning or at night. It felt like I was living a dual life, because I was advancing in both and I didn’t know what it would look like to be fully committed in one or the other. When my contract was near its end, I decided to take a huge leap of faith and quit my job without anything lined up. It wasn’t my plan to start a business, but I did a certification in aromatherapy and starting leading workshops. All of this would later become 3rd Ritual.
I spend a lot more time getting ready for bed than I do getting ready to go out [Laughs]. I like to feel really clean right before my face hits the pillow. In the evening, I wash my face with Cetaphil. I’ve always loved it because it’s so gentle. Like a lot of people, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to balance my skin after I moved to New York. I was on a waitlist for three months to see Dr. Pratima, the Ayurvedic doctor. I heard about her, and I was really drawn to her for skin because Ayurveda, like traditional Chinese medicine, is all about this philosophy of healing from the inside out. The idea that you can’t possibly treat something as superficial as skin without looking at the health of your vital organs. Finally got in to see her, and in our initial appointment, she barely looked at my skin. It was like one part therapy session, one part skin consultation, and one part nutrition and sleep. And that makes so much sense for skin as an organ. It’s like trying to tell you something. But I liked her so much, and all of her products are made with natural ingredients ethically sourced from India. She gave me a prescription in the form of foods I should avoid, like peanuts and tomatoes. And meditating every day and practicing yoga. I started getting facials from this woman named Helena who has worked for her for 20 years. I go and see her five times a year.
After I wash my face with Cetaphil, I have the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum. I really love their stuff, too. I like that they put all their ingredients at the forefront. And I pair it with Dr. Pratima’s cream and eye cream. I also put a lot of oil on my skin. I used to be afraid of that, but now it’s more oil all the time. I’m also experimenting with anti-aging stuff for the first time. That’s what this Drunk Elephant one does. It feels tightening in a good way. I layer it with the Pratima cream, but I don’t use much of anything—I think that’s the trick to layering. I never want to feel like I have anything on my face. I do all this stuff first, and then I brush my teeth, and by the time I’m done, I can put my face on the pillow and it’s not going to be sticky.
A big part of my night routine is oral hygiene. I think that’s huge. I have this really cool dental floss I feel like I should plug—it’s called Coco Floss. Oil pulling was a huge trend. It’s not the most convenient thing to do. This is a beautiful, easy solution. I also have a nice mouthwash. It’s all natural, which was tough to find. I found it on Credo. Then I use Tom’s toothpaste. I have this whole natural routine. I love feeling like I have a clean mouth. I even have a Waterpik. And I wear a mouth guard, which is the least sexy thing. Because I grind my teeth at night, like most New Yorkers do. It’s also a way to tell your mind it’s time to go to bed.
In the morning I wash my face with Cetaphil. And then I always use sunscreen, I have one from Pratima. It’s SPF 30. I’m very religious about sunscreen, even in the winter. When I’m teaching, I barely wear makeup because it’s not practical and I don’t feel like myself. I want to be able to move and that’s just the last thing I want to think about. But I do equip myself with a lot of those Ursa Major wipes. If I’ve gotten sweaty, I like to be able to clean my face afterwards. I also have these hair wipes that help with frizz, from Ouai. Those I keep in my purse, and I keep Vaseline for my lips.
When I go out at night, I will put makeup on. I think a lot of people inherit a beauty routine from their mothers, and not having witnessed that growing up, I think that I’ve always been more timid and less likely to experiment. It’s been really nice now that I’m in my 30s to have the wisdom of talented friends, like makeup artist Emi Kaneko. I asked her for a recommendation for skin. She recommended me the Giorgio Armani Maestro. What I loved was that she said, ‘This is pretty foolproof.’ It’s impossible to mess up. You can put it on with your hands. It’s so lightweight and soft. Now that I’ve been turned on to this, I feel like I’m in on the secret. Everyone’s obsessed with it. I use Maybelline Full & Soft mascara, nothing fancy, super cheap. If it’s a really special occasion, I’ll use the Diorshow one. With lipstick, I like to go with heavy-hitters. I love Chanel lipstick, Rouge Allure in 89 Gracile (Ed. note: discontinued.). Another thing that Emi taught me is to have a really good brush. But I like to use brushes for the wrong thing. I use a lip brush to do my eyeliner. I use a blush brush to do my foundation. It’s just what I found works for the shape of my face. My brushes are MAC. Also really amazing is this Lancôme Waterproof Undereye Concealer.
This Luminous Bodifying Oil from Milbon is amazing. I get it from my hairdresser who specializes in Asian hair. My dad has red, curly hair, and my mom had black straight hair, so I’m left with this mess. [Laughs] This oil has been my savior. Also I feel like everyone asks me about natural deodorant because I’m a yoga teacher. I finally found the one that works—Crystal Ally. It comes sage, rose, natural, or whatever. You can get it on Amazon.
I wash my hair with Head & Shoulders. It gives so much volume. We’ll take the labels off everything. Because my husband’s a designer, he can’t deal with certain labels. Head & Shoulders and Cetaphil were disrupting the zen of his shower. So those labels had to be removed [Laughs].
In the winter, I like to do a Palermo scrub in the shower. It has coffee and lemon in it. It feels like taking a shot of caffeine, so I can’t do it at night. I’ll use a body brush to get rid of dead skin cells, and then I like to do almond oil. Afterward, I feel really soft and ten pounds lighter. I make my own bath salts too. I use Epsom salt, which is good for sore muscles and to help you relax. Sometimes I’ll add in coarser Himalayan pink sea salt. And I always do a little bit of vitamin E, almond oil as a carrier, and whatever oils I want to blend with based on the mood. If the intention is to ground down, I’ll use woodier, earthier notes, like patchouli or vetiver. If it’s to help with sleep, I’ll use chamomile. If I have a cold, I like to use citrus, bergamot, red mandarin. I always add dried flowers because it’s so beautiful floating around you. I add in calendula or black currant seeds. You can pick up all these things from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I try to take a bath once a week. I think that’s one of the easiest ways to separate yourself from the rest of your routine. It’s more of a special occasion thing for me.
BODY + FRAGRANCE
I’m a huge scent person. I’ve always been that way, hyper-sensitive to fragrance. At night I’ll wear Vetyverio by Diptyque, I like that it’s grassy and woody. Like a blend of forest floor. And I like the Loewe 001 Woman because it’s probably the most sophisticated scent I’ve ever had.
For massages, I’ve been going to this place in Chinatown that’s no frills at all. It’s called Grand Nature. They do reflexology and bodywork, but they really know what they’re doing. A lot of yoga teachers go there because it’s like an athletic massage. I prioritize it now. Going to get treatments like a massage or acupuncture because it’s an investment in the one body you’ll ever get. The most beautiful women and people I’ve ever met have cultivated a comfort in their own skin. Ultimately that comes from within. Now I’ve realized you need this to approach anything. It’s all connected, and if you don’t like the way you look, there’s more to look at than just the surface.”
—as told to ITG
Jenn Tardif photographed by Tom Newton on February 22, 2018.