Most people would take the spoils from three successful careers and use it to incorporate a cushy lifestyle of spa getaways, private charters, and palatial living—all in the name of self-care. And we’d be right there with ‘em. But not Josie Maran. The one-time model and actress—who built her namesake beauty empire by bringing Argan into the mainstream and formulating skincare products with natural ingredients before “clean” beauty became a thing —takes a much headier approach to wellness by stimulating and settling her mind as a first-line defense.
It’s something that has helped her achieve her biggest life dreams. But tapping into the brain to fuel self-growth isn’t her only trick. The entrepreneur and mom also nurtures her sensual side like a pro. We recently sat down with Maran in downtown LA to learn how she creatively unlocks her brain, makes hair masking sexy (who knew that was possible?) and treats herself to foods that bring on the comfort.
Stoking Intellectual Growth
What self-care means to me is being a person that likes to live and is learning, expanding and growing —because if you’re not growing you’re dying. So for me, the point of self-care is doing the things that can help you grow.
I think 50 percent of self-care is taking care of the mind and 50 percent is what you do after your head’s in shape and in the right place. For me, one of the most important things about your mind is tapping into your dreams. So thinking about what’s going to help you be in the quest of life, where you’re asking questions and exploring what you want for yourself, for your world and for everything around you. I think being in that state of mind and state of question is key to being in a growth state, which for me is self-care and aliveness.
Getting Her Head Right
Some of the things I do, in terms of keeping my state of mind healthy and caring, is writing. I do morning pages, which I learned from The Artist’s Way when I did it 22 years ago. I write for 15 minutes in the morning. It’s just three pages—that’s what they teach you in the book—and it literally changed my life in the best, easiest, most profound ways you can ever imagine.
I think 50 percent of self-care is taking care of the mind and 50 percent is what you do after your head’s in shape.
When I started doing morning pages, I was acting at the time and I literally wrote: my dream is to be in a Martin Scorsese film. The next day, I had an audition for The Aviator. The next few days later, I booked a part in a Martin Scorsese film. And I was like, damn, that was fast! The universe is just like, ‘tell me what you want and I can give it to you, you just have to tell me, girl! I don’t read minds, I read handwriting.’
So I try to do it as soon as I wake up and before I pick up my phone. I literally write and a lot of ugly things come out and that’s okay. Even just writing ‘fuck! fuck! fuck!’ 500 times helps bring clarity because then, all of a sudden after whatever crap comes out, there’s this beautiful morsel of your dreams that just start coming out. So get out the shit, whatever you’ve got to say and then all of a sudden dreams start to come and if you do that day after day, they literally begin to manifest so fast. It doesn’t have to be eloquent and your life will unfold.
This also helps make the other parts of self-care obvious because you know what’s going to feed you and you’re now very conscious of your dreams. Your dreams are going to help you grow and keep you going, so it’s not about thinking ‘I need to take a bath for self-care.’ I mean it totally could be part of it and it’s awesome to relax, but if your head isn’t in the right place in that bath, it could be a very dangerous bath.
Every day, I meditate, read, exercise and write for 15 minutes each. It’s just to build a muscle of consistency. For me, there’s a holistic approach where meditating and reading are like an in-breath and writing and exercise is like an out-breath. It’s enough to get my daily juice for all the parts of my being —mind body and spirit—and it’s realistic for everyday life.
Workouts In No Time
For exercise, sometimes I’ll go on a bike ride. I live on beautiful Lake Hollywood and ride my bike around the lake. I’m blessed to have a pilates friend come over and help me work my core. I’m really into the core right now, I’m 41 and had two babies it’s like bring it all back. Sometimes I do the 7 Minute Workout® App twice. It’s 30 second intervals and you do that twice, then you’re good to go. It’s so hard to remember to do these things that make you feel so good and if you just have 15 minutes a day, it’s so possible to do it.
Meditating and reading are like an in-breath and writing and exercise is like an out-breath.
Sprinkling Self-Care Into 18-Hour Days
On days where I’m filming at QVC, I can be indoors and on the clock for 18 or more hours. On those days’ its literally about just getting a little sun and fresh air, going outside and remembering nature because we’re in a box that’s so far away from reality — it’s like being in Vegas almost. So I literally just go outside and sit in the sun and breathe for a few minutes and that’s it. That one little spurt of fresh air and Vitamin D recharges me.
I’m not a nine-to-fiver and I don’t want my people to feel like they have to be.
Creating a Wellness-Friendly Work Culture
I’m not a nine-to-fiver and I don’t want my people to feel like they have to be. I just want to be around a bunch of creative, open-minded dreamers who help make the world a better place. So we always ask: what else do we want here to enjoy the day and have fun?
For me, one big thing is having beautiful, real flowers in the office. My mom is CAO, Chief Aesthetic Officer and brings fruit and cheese and crackers on Mondays, which makes our surroundings feel yummy, juicy, alive and fresh, and like home in a way.
We’ll take an hour and do meditation and yoga. We have beer pong sessions on Friday afternoon. What I’ve found personally is if people are inspired and their endorphins are going, and if they feel good about where they are and what they’re creating, then they’re so much more invested in their work and more creative in their work.
Travel as a Time Out
I go once a year on a week-long hiking trip with my family. I’m a little stubborn, so sometimes, I’m like, ‘really? 15 miles a day?’ But we pick a really beautiful spot in the world, like the Dolomites or the Swiss Alps and we’ll hike, talk and be outside together. It takes a lot of strength and courage to turn off for a week and commit to that and I think part of self-care is building the muscle of saying no or stopping and slowing down.
I think part of self-care is building the muscle of saying no or stopping and slowing down.
Making Skin and Hair Care Sexy
A longer self-care session at home starts with a good pair of cashmere socks. My mom brings me cashmere socks at least a few times a year. Lately, I’ve been wearing Naadam Signature Cashmere Socks. I woke up the other day with itchy feet because they were just dry and not taken care of and I was like, ‘what’s wrong with me? I have a whole line of body butter!’ So I’ll apply some of my Josie Maran Whipped Argan Body Butter on my feet, then put on the cashmere socks. When your feet are feeling good, it really does make a difference.
Then throw on the silk robe. This is me luxuriating, but I have a really beautiful Kiki de Montparnasse Silk Robe that I love to wear. I like to be naked and it’s kind of like [wearing] a delicious blanket.
Next, of course, I moisturize and treat the skin. I start with my Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk because it’s going help to whatever else I put on my face next sink deeper into the skin. Then, I’ll apply Josie Maran Argan-Beta Retinoid Pink Algae Serum. There’s a pink algae lagoon in Australia and it’s extremely high in beta carotene, which is very high in vitamin A. For this serum, we married that pink algae with argan oil, which is full of essential fatty acids and is hydrating, so it’s not hard on your skin like a lot of retinoids. You can use it as your serum step and you don’t have to worry about any pain, burning, tingling, redness, adding photosensitivity or the usual retinol uglies. Then I’ll finish with Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter and Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil to lock it all in for super hydrated, glowy juicy skin.
I like to do is a nice argan oil hair treatment, but I make it a beautiful pulled-back, super slick style that’s put together and sexy.
The other thing I like to do is a nice argan oil hair treatment, but I make it a beautiful pulled-back, super slick style that’s put together and sexy. I just drench my hair and it ends up looking almost like I did a hairstyle like a wet, sleek red carpet hairstyle with mousse. So I massage a whole dropper’s worth of argan oil into the roots, then add two more droppers worth into the rest of the hair down to the tips. Then put it back in a mid-high ponytail and pull a section of hair out at the crown a bit, so it’s tight on the sides and higher in the center. If you have someone you’re trying to impress, you don’t look like a greaseball, but a hot sexy momma. You can drip some oil down the shoulders or the chest or add some around your neck to lubricate any later action.
The Fuel That Gets Her Going
I just love to eat and I’m so lucky because my husband is the most amazing cook. My husband is really good at pasta. Right now, I really enjoy canned tuna, capers, chopped tomatoes and fettuccine with olive oil — that’s it. It’s so nice it gives you that yummy, salty sea protein kick, which is really comforting to me. It’s so good and so easy and good for you, a bit. My favorite food is sea urchin (uni). I’m a very sensual person so that one is almost like comfort food but one that wakes up the inner life of everything so it’s almost like my good sexy fire activator.
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