When it comes to beauty, makeup artist Liv Swenson is a firm believer in the power of plants. By incorporating natural oils and honoring ancestral traditions, Swenson’s beauty ritual seamlessly interweaves the contemporary with the ancient. Her penchant for herbalism helps keep her hydrated, centered, and ready to brave each day.
“My daily beauty ritual starts with splashing cold water on my face, which cleans off sleep and helps to wake me up,” Swenson says. “If I don’t do this, I feel like I haven't really signified a start to a new day. Then, I moisturize with a face oil, usually organic chia oil as it is light on my skin. I also wear amber and sandalwood oil as perfume in the colder months, and lavender in the hotter months. The right scents create a strong emotional response and state of mind.”
Flower Power in NYC. It's very high in vitamin C and feels fantastic on my skin.”" data-reactid="65">Hydration isn’t just a key part of Swenson’s morning routine, but a year-round essential for keeping her skin healthy and happy. “I've always had dry skin, so moisturizer has always been important,” she says. “I've been using organic rose hip seed oil for my face and sometimes body for years now, after first learning about it at Flower Power in NYC. It's very high in vitamin C and feels fantastic on my skin.”
“So much of skin care is about harnessing the gifts from plant allies, [and] learning about plants and their benefits to us both inside and outside is witchcraft,” Swenson explains. “Humans have been discovering the ways plants affect us since the beginning of our species. Part of going back to more simple beauty products is revisiting how our ancestors looked to the earth for remedies, and how powerful they really are.”
Like many, Swenson’s embodied definition of being a witch is far from fixed. “My identity as a witch is always evolving,” she says. “As I discover how parts of my beauty ritual work or do not, I see [that dynamic] in other aspects of my life.” For Swenson, acknowledging the interconnectedness between beauty and ritual is an affirmation of her path as a practitioner, creative, and individual.