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Brittany Snow & Jaspre Guest on September Letters & Wellness Routines




In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their workout playlists to their most reliable self-care hacks. Here, Brittany Snow and Jaspre Guest, founders of the mental health platform September Letters, reveal their morning routines and favorite de-stressing rituals.

Between the two of them, there’s not a wellness trend actor Brittany Snow and entrepreneur/activist Jaspre Guest haven’t yet tried. Their combined passion for doing anything that improves your health in one way, shape, or form — no matter how offbeat — is mainly due to another shared passion of theirs: helping others feel less alone in their mental health journeys.

In early 2020, the two friends launched September Letters, a mental health platform that uses letter writing and storytelling to shed light on people’s experiences with everything from depression to racial and gender discrimination. “We wanted to show that although you think you’re alone in whatever singular problem you have, it’s actually something a lot of people can share in,” Snow, 35, tells Bustle. “I think that a lot of things that we struggle with connect us instead of divide us.”

Now, September Letters will be coming out in book form later in 2023, and will feature letters from notable people as well as serviceable intel about the power of letter-writing. It’s an accomplishment Guest and Snow celebrated in December with partners Post-it Brand and the Mental Health Coalition in New York City. “It’s really taken off in a beautiful way because people are finding a sort of feeling of unity with others,” says Snow.

As for how the two entrepreneurs take care of their own mental health? Here, Snow and Guest share their extensive morning routines, de-stressing rituals, and the best wellness advice they’ve ever received.

Walk me through your morning routines.

Guest: I start with 16 ounces of lemon water every morning, followed by 16 ounces of celery juice, which is the bane of my existence. I hate juicing celery because you have to buy a lot of it and it’s heavy and dirty. And I hate cleaning the juicer. But it’s really changed my life and how I feel — I’m a big believer that food and supplements can heal your body. So I take a lot of supplements and do 10 minutes of breathing followed by 20 minutes of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Then I do a rebounder workout, and then I’m ready to start my day.

Snow: I don’t do any of that [laughs]. My husband gets up so much earlier than me so luckily he always makes coffee for me. When I get up, I’ll have a cup, and then I’ll get into working out. We have a Peloton, so sometimes I’ll do spinning or a Pilates class. The minute the class is done, I’m like, ‘I need food now.’ Then I’ll usually put on a podcast when I’m brushing my teeth and getting ready. I’ve been known to do some writing in the morning too, which is hugely beneficial for me — even if it’s just a to-do list on a Post-it note. My husband always makes fun of me because I make a list to make a list.

What’s the most out-there wellness trend or treatment you’ve ever tried?

Snow: Energy work is something that I find really fascinating — it’s also unexpected that it works. I had thought it was going to be bogus the first time I went. But by the end, I actually felt my feet were on fire — and the practitioner never touched me. I asked her if they were, and she said, “No, that’s the energy leaving your body.”

Guest: I’ve really done a lot. I also find energy work really fascinating and really important because I think people don’t realize how much stagnant energy there is. I’ve done everything from chakra light balancing on beds to magnet therapy to love cupping. Do you remember the Katy Pery video for “Never Really Over”? There are heart-shaped cups on her back. It’s from this acupuncturist in Los Angeles who invented love cupping that helps unblock breakages, so I went after I broke up with my boyfriend [laughs].

What’s your favorite workout right now?

Guest: I do eccentrics, which is this Pilates stretching method. And then I love Bellicon, which is on a rebounder.

Snow: I used to be a runner, but it’s getting harder as I get older because — I sound 85 years old — everything hurts a little bit more. So I really love spinning. I probably spin too much. I just like to feel like I’m at a party. I also do Pilates. I wish I could say I do yoga but I get so bored.

What’s on your workout playlist?

Snow: It’s usually some rap EDM remix — I have to feel like I’m in a club. I get really angry when people put on classic yacht rock when they’re in a spinning class. I’m not gonna go hard to Journey.

How do you like to unwind after a hectic day?

Snow: Back in my early 20s it was very different because I would’ve wanted to see friends and get out of my head and just go somewhere and do something fun. Now the only thing I want to do is put on the oldest sweatpants I own and sit and watch something really bad for me, like The Bachelor, and eat takeout. It’s not exactly the most holistic answer but I think sometimes you need a little day where you feel like a kid again.

Guest: I like to sit in silence. There’s just so much talking throughout the day that I just love sitting in silence with my dog and just having a cocktail.

What’s your favorite way to decompress?

Guest: I was so anti-meditation before, but I have a very busy mind. So I do TM and hypnotherapy.

Snow: For me, it’s podcasts — specifically spirituality podcasts. I listen to one every morning that’s either about something spiritual or metaphysical or something I can learn from, and I feel like that just sets up my day where I’m thinking about something that maybe challenges me or puts my thoughts in a new direction. Usually, I’ll listen to Super Soul Sunday or Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us. But sometimes I love a true-crime podcast.

What do you need to get a good night of sleep?

Snow: I’m the lightest sleeper on the planet. I cannot sleep with any noise. So I have two sound machines playing white noise, one on my left and one on my right. I wear earplugs, and then I have an eye mask. The only thing that I can go to sleep hearing is 1930s-era black-and-white movies. I don’t know why. But Jimmy Stewart being like, “Hi, how are you doing?” is really soothing.

Guest: I just listen to my hypnotherapist session and I fall asleep.

What’s the best wellness advice you’ve ever received?

Snow: Taking the time for self-care is wellness. Sometimes just sitting there and journaling or being with yourself in the moment — it sounds so trope-y, but I think sometimes that’s the best form of wellness.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Personal Care

Who Is Samuel Bottomley? ‘The Teacher’ Star Is a School-Based Drama Regular




Channel 5’s new thriller is going to be a challenging watch.In The Teacher, a Bradford high school teacher is accused of having a drunken encounter with a student. Starring Sheridan Smith as the troubled teacher Jenna Garvey, the four-part series will see the educator struggle to prove her innocence. But who is The Teacher star, Samuel Bottomley? The actor who plays 15-year-old Kyle, the student at the centre of the allegations.

The 20-year old actor may be someone you’re already pretty familiar with, appearing in a number of classic British school-based dramas. West Yorkshire-born, Bottomley notably starred as Jordan Wilson in Channel 4’s school drama Ackley Bridge from 2017, where he was challenged to portray his character’s abusive relationship with his father. He also played school bully, Dean Paxton, in the acclaimed musical comedy, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The burgeoning talent made his screen debut aged nine years old, featuring in the BAFTA-winning film Tyrannosaur in 2011, alongside celebrated actor Olivia Colman. In the years since, Bottomley has continued making waves in movies, starring in Amazon Original’s “anarchic comedy” Get Duked! in 2019, which saw four teens embark to the Scottish Highlands for a weekend on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Bottomley’s considerable acting CV also includes features in Ghost Stories (2017) and more recently, in the TV series Ladhood.

The Teacher is Bottomley’s latest acting pursuit alongside BAFTA-winner Sheridan Smith, and it seems despite the series’ difficult themes, the actor rather enjoyed his time on set.

“It’s the first time we’d worked together but as soon as I met her, she welcomed me into the cast with open arms,” the actor said, per The Sun. “We sat down and talked about the characters and the scripts and she never let me feel too nervous,” he added. “We were messing around all the time between takes. Everyone had a really good time filming the series and me and Sheridan were always laughing and joking.

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Personal Care

‘And Just Like That’ Episode 9 Looks to Shop




All the best looks from “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” reboot. They include overalls, cocktail dresses and more.

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Personal Care

16 Asian-Owned Beauty Brands That Will Become Your New Favorite




Lunar New Year — oftentimes called Chinese New Year — is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays across the Asian diaspora. Some of my favorite memories center around Lunar Near Year — eating sticky rice cake for breakfast, receiving a red envelope after kow-towing to my parents, and indulging in special Chinese dishes to usher in luck for the new year.

Historically, beauty brands have capitalized on Lunar New Year by offering special edition products (usually emblazoned in red and gold packaging). But Lunar New Year isn’t just a seasonal marketing opportunity. It’s a time for families to gather together, remember past generations’ sacrifices, celebrate how far we have come, and carry our traditions (both new and old) into a hopeful future.

This year, consider celebrating Lunar New Year by supporting these indie, Asian-owned brands and their founders who are paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable beauty space.

Skin Spark Blush Balm

Inspired by nature, founder Jason Lau makes the dreamiest blushes and glitter shadows with the intent of capturing the essence of a moment or an emotion to connect with a wider audience. The product textures are ultra lightweight with major payoff and lasting power, and flattering across a wide spectrum of complexions.

BYO Blush

Youthforia is all about making makeup more whimsical, skin-friendly, and, yes, euphoric. Fiona Chan was sick of coming back home late at night (or early in the morning) after staying out all night with her friends and falling asleep in her makeup, only to wake up with breakouts. She decided to make beauty products that she could sleep in — and thus, Youthforia was born. The BYO Blush and the new Pregame Primer were both personally sleep-tested by Chan — she swears they actually helped to improve her skin over time.

Loved for both its efficacy and affordable price point, Cocokind was created by Priscilla Tsai as a sustainable, transparent skincare brand that won’t break the bank. The brand is also dedicated working against anti-Asian hate, teaming up with Tower 28 to create an AAPI Advocacy bundle to celebrate the Lunar New Year and benefit The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).

Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation

Known for its milky lip glosses (also included in the Cocokind x Tower28 Lunar New Year bundle) and eczema-friendly face products, Tower28 has gained major buzz since launch. Founder Amy Liu has worked for some of the biggest brands in the skincare game (ever heard of Kate Somerville or Smashbox Cosmetics?), but struggled with finding makeup products that wouldn’t irritate her eczema-prone skin. So, she made her own. Boss move!

Super 8 Vibrant Silk Lipstick

As one of the earliest AAPI beauty brand trailblazers, Jennifer Yen of YenSa Beauty had an untraditional path to beauty. She started her career out as a villain on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and became frustrated at the limited roles being offered to her, as well as how stage makeup was wreaking havoc on her skin. She founded beauty brands Purlisse and YenSa Beauty, both of which are heavily inspired by her Chinese heritage and based on the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.

Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Matter Of Fact

If you’re sick of your vitamin C serums oxidizing, feeling sticky, and smelling pungent, you’re not alone. That’s how former K-pop star Paul Baek felt before founding skincare brand Matter of Fact. Baek wasoverwhelmed and confused upon entering the beauty space to address his own skin issues, and resolved that there must be a way for skincare to be straightforward and simple. His determination led to a vitamin c formulation that retains 94.25% of its initial 20% ascorbic acid concentration after 16 months, according to the brand’s clinical trials. The result is a clear, light serum that brightens the skin, with none of the downsides of other vitamin C serums.

Cosmic Glow Oil

In 2019, Melissa Medvedich launched her indie brand Supernal on the Lunar New Year. Her Chinese grandparents instilled in her the importance of taking care of her skin, and Medvedich spent two years researching how to perfect her now cult-acclaimed Cosmic Glow Oil and Illumine Restorative Oil Serum (every bottle is still handcrafted in small batches by Medvedich herself!). In honor of Lunar New Year and Supernal’s third birthday on February 8th, Supernal will be offering a mini Cosmic Glow Oil and Illumine Restorative Oil Serum with every purchase on the Supernal website.

Good Light We Come in Peace Probiotic Serum

After an incredible career as a reporter, writer, and editor-in-chief of website Very Good Light, David Yi felt that the beauty industry was still lacking something — and thus, his skin care brand Good Light was born. The highly-curated skin care line offers clean, high-performance products (its Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion is an editor-favorite) with a mission to make the beauty space a more welcoming space for all.

Circumference Green Clay Detox Face Mask
Infused with green clay, this face mask will draw impurities out of your skin, leaving it hydrated. It’s best used on combination to oily skin.

Jina Kim started Circumference with the intention of combining her love of skincare with sustainable solutions. But Circumference has always veered away from greenwashing and vague claims of “clean beauty” — the brand is rooted in science, and has always been transparent about its sustainability efforts. Circumference lessens its carbon footprint while also optimizing its products efficacy by sourcing ingredients from plants raised happily in their native, bio-diverse environments.

Nail Artist Polish in Emma
Emelie Heath

As a Korean-American adopted by white Jewish and Christian parents, Emily Rudd struggled with finding her own identity, while also noticing how scarce the Asian representation was in advertisements and pop culture. Her search led her to brightly-colored comics, art, and beauty — and her nail polish brand, Emilie Heathe. The line is an amalgamation of all the places in her journey to self-acceptance, using Asian ingredients like bamboo, rice, and sea buckthorn to help strengthen the nails.

Inner Balance Serum
Strange Bird Beauty

Strange Bird Beauty was born from Tina Chow Rudolph’s desire to prioritize her own emotional self-care, while contributing to a future with more Asian representation in the beauty space so her daughter could see herself. The ingredients of Strange Bird Beauty, like ginseng and licorice root, have been used for thousands of years in Asian culture, and all of the crystal-charged products come with an intention to say aloud as you apply.

Texturizing Cream
Black Bean Grocery

Black Bean Grocery’s food-themed packaging transports you to Chinatown, modeled after the jars of traditional Chinese preserves lining the shelves of Asian grocers. Founded by Brandon Ly and James Bui, Black Bean Grocery’s product lineup seem to be mostly be volumizing and texturizing hair products, like a pomade, root powder (named after Chow Yun Fat), and a “Dai Lo” Styling Powder.

Nail Polish in No.13 Chili Pepper Red

Sundays Nailcare takes the therapeutic process of getting your nails done to the next level. The NYC salon is a soothing space without any pressure to socialize or talk if you’re having a low-energy mental health day. Founder Amy Lin also spent a year working with a chemist to formulate the perfect non-toxic nail polish formula that won’t chip for days.

Sound Renewal Moisturizer

Superegg’s name and concept is based off of the centuries-old Asian skin practice of using raw egg face masks to boost skin elasticity and brightness. Founder Erica Choi, a licensed esthetician and fashion blogger, decided to start her own business after working 10 years in the luxury beauty, fashion, and hospitality industries and seeing a need for a sustainable, luxury skin care brand rooted in Asian practices. The brand’s packaging is a standout, too — the moisturizer comes in a curved, egg-like shape, and Choi has pledged to work towards refillable packaging options by 2025.

Strangers Parfumerie
Yuzu Soda

Strangers Parfumerie is an indie perfume brand based out in Thailand. The owner and founder, Prin Lomros, created the line to capture whatever inspires him (be that his own memories, his favorite movies, or the music he’s listening to) through experimental fragrances — his fragrance Oliver is actually inspired by Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. His Parfums Prissana line draws directly from Asian mythology, food, and history, spanning from Russia, to Nepal, to Japan.

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum

Glow Recipe, founded by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, is one of the most well-known Asian-owned brands on the market — and for good reason. The brand has developed a cult following for its fruit-focused skin care products that feature innovative textures, high-tech delivery systems, and fun packaging.

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