Every week, Vogue will be spotlighting tastemakers across industries to hear how they’ve been approaching self-care during the coronavirus pandemic. We asked fashion and beauty entrepreneur, Camila Coelho about how she has been staying sane at home. Here, Coelho shares how she’s been reading, meditating and using this time to give back.1. I’m learning.
I am dedicated to educating myself about systemic racism and injustices in our world. I’ve taken the last few weeks to closely listen to and learn from activists and leaders in the Black community, colleagues, and friends. My husband and I watched a handful of films and TV series together to understand the long history of systemic racism. I also got these two books, to better help continue the conversation on the importance of anti-racism. The first two films listed were directed by the incredible Ava DuVernay; I think she said it best: “We’ve gotta understand where we’ve been to strategize where we’re going.”
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
(Watch it on Amazon)When They See Us
(Watch it on Netflix)Hidden Figures
(Watch it on Amazon)2. I’m standing in solidarity.
We must apply what we’ve learned to our actions – each and every day. This is a lifelong commitment. I’m motivated to stand together, care, reflect, educate, and learn about the ways in which I can make a positive impact for current and future generations to come. Peaceful protesting in Los Angeles for the Black Lives Matter movement reminded me how many people want change. I know that this generation will make a change! In standing with this fight against inequality and historic oppression, I aim to use my platform and brand to amplify Black voices and Black creators now and forever. I also made donations to both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black Lives Matter. Donations are just another way that I can get involved, but I encourage everyone to take a stand and create change however they best can.3. I’m getting sleep.
Sleeping well has been a priority for me since I was 9 years old, when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. I quickly learned that I needed more rest than my friends to maintain a healthy wellbeing. I’m so grateful for my busy lifestyle, but traveling from country to country and sleeping in planes often (sometimes more than in my own bed) has made me long for a good night’s sleep. So especially now, I am taking full advantage of this time at home to really rest.
I love to use the Cowshed Sleepy Calming Pillow Mist on my pillow every night to help calm me down before bed. It not only helps me get to bed faster, but it also gives me a deeper sleep. I also like to use a silk pillow cover because it’s good for my skin, and always white sheets – always!
Sleepy Cow calming pillow mist spray
Shop Now4. I’m meditating.
I’ve never been able to meditate by myself until I found an app called Headspace that talked me through it. Learning meditation has really changed my life! I always listen to an episode to fall asleep at night, but now during quarantine I’ve been listening to it in the morning as well, especially on days that I’m feeling down or just not motivated. It completely changes my mood and my approach to the day.5. I’m cooking.
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, which unfortunately I got to do so little of in the past few years. I can say that cooking a meal has been the one thing that’s bringing me the most joy during quarantine. It relaxes me, it disconnects me from the outside world and it makes me smile each time seeing my husband dig in. Instead of buying the frozen dough for our favorite snack, Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo), I’m making a fresh batch of dough from scratch every week. It makes all the difference. The favorite meal I’ve been making is the traditional Brazilian dish picadinho.6. I’m connecting with loved ones.
Spending time with my family and friends has always been a priority to me. It not only brings me happiness, but it allows me to go back to my roots – reminding me of the small town where I come from and that the simplest things in life are all you need to be truly happy. Before, I would talk to my four siblings and mom over short phone calls every two weeks. Now, we make sure that we do Zoom video calls with my siblings and mom every week, and we chat every day on WhatsApp. It’s important now more than ever that we are having conversations about what’s going on in the world, particularly with the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe that often, when you connect with loved ones, you just want to talk about the good things. However, right now, it’s crucial that we are having challenging and difficult conversations with our family and friends because so much of our education and behavior begins within the home.7. I’m practicing self-care.
I do so many things that help my days at home feel a bit brighter. I love to take long baths, try new skincare products, hair products and tools, and do IG live workouts. When you stop to do a little something for yourself, it feels so good and it has a positive impact on your mental health. I recently discovered the Chill Pills from Ouai to relax your body when you take a bath – you throw one in, and it puts your whole bath experience into such a zen mode. I’ve also been addicted to the Kérastase Genesis Hair Mask, which has been helping me strengthen and nourish some of my damaged ends while I take time off from frequently using hot hair tools.
Kérastase Genesis strengthening hair mask
Shop Now8. I’m having date nights with my husband.
After being quarantined together for weeks, my husband Icaro and I decided to do our own date nights from home every Friday. This is a day when we get dressed up for each other, cook something together or order delicious food in, and of course listen to music (most times our favorite Brazilian or Spanish tunes). It is the best thing we do for ourselves during quarantine and it brings us so much joy, as if we were living in normal days. I have such an unconditional love for my husband, and these date nights add such a fun spark to our quarantine routine. Also, it allows me to not get crazy over small little arguments after being together for 15 years.
For date night outfits, my go-tos are often pieces from my brand like a silky mini skirt and a crop top, or a slip dress. I am usually barefoot, because I feel dressed up but at the same time not super over-the-top.
Camila Coelho Aaliyah midi dress
Shop Now9. I’m helping others and giving back.
I created my first fundraiser event back in 2013, where I sold my own clothes to raise money for institutions that needed help in my home town in Brazil. The feeling was something I still cannot explain today. I committed myself to do a fundraiser every two years and the last one we did in December of 2018 we raised more than $120,000 (which at the time was over $500,000 in Brazil) to keep the hospitals and nursing home running. During the pandemic, my husband and I have continued to look for ways to help others. I’ve been working on a national level to support organizations like Feeding America and Baby2Baby, and locally as well, through the LA Family Housing organization (LAFH). Last month, we donated and dedicated a day to assembling hygiene kits with the LAFH. Giving back in a meaningful way is what drives me and leads me to believe I have a greater purpose on this earth.