Ema Rodriguez's Go-To Self-Care Routine - The Bend Magazine

Ema Rodriguez’s Go-To Self-Care Routine

The Skeleton Key Curios owner, WEIRD Corpus curator and community leader shares her signature lip color and how she steps into the day with mindfulness

Photography by Nora X. Brizuela

As a spiritual worker and public figure, it’s essential for me to nurture my mind, body and spirit every day. These principles were instilled in me at a young age, so it has now become second nature to me: I have to make time for myself.

My morning wellness rituals take a few hours. I start with a simple cup of coffee or tea, and take time to set my intentions for the day. Each morning, I speak out in gratitude at my boveda (an altar to honor ancestors) and immerse myself in prayer. As a card reader, I may pull a card to get some divine insight into the day. I do not skip this spiritual moment. 

My beauty time brings me joy, so I soak up every second! I rarely leave the house without a full face of makeup. I spent over a decade as a makeup artist, so I use this time to exercise my artistry. Winged liner and a nude lip is my signature look. As far as hair, I don’t do much. I have a “bespoke” haircut from local salon Fevered Moon Beauty Lab, so I just shake it out, but high-quality products make all the difference. 

In the evenings, I love unwinding with a cup of tea. I take time to let my partner (and my cat) know how grateful I am for them. I love to affirm how much I appreciate them for being my little family. I feel good when they know they’re deeply loved and appreciated. Right before I fall asleep, I take a moment to reflect on things I’m grateful for. Even on my worst days, I try to find the light to keep the vibes nice and positive. 

Outside of my habitual routines, there are a handful of products and tools I always go back to when it comes to keeping my outer and inner beauty in check:

Collection of Selected Prayers by Allen Kardec

This yellow book is a staple in so many Folk Catholic households! There are tons of prayers that help me connect, receive protection and open myself up for guidance from the forces that be. Spiritual connection is of the utmost importance.

Available at online retailers

Second Sight Tea by Petal to the Kettle 

With mugwort to open me up to divine messages, holy basil to uplift me and peppermint to soothe my sensitive stomach, it’s the perfect tea to sip before my card reading sessions. I drink it every day. (Try it on ice with some oat milk.)

Available at Skeleton Key Curios

Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-in Nourishing Treatment 

My hairdresser Mel recommended this miracle product, and I can’t live without it! This serum protects, strengthens and holds my look perfectly. My hair always looks shiny and smooth with all my waves defined.

Available at Fevered Moon Beauty Lab

Cult + King Tonik

I’ve learned that scalp care is just as important as strand care for looks that last. This product contains ingredients to stimulate hair growth, condition the scalp and keep roots looking perfect. 

Available at Fevered Moon Beauty Lab

Poppin Natural Complexion Serum

Local maker Alex Baskin has created one of my newest holy grail products; I’m currently on my second bottle. I mix three drops of this serum in with my moisturizer before makeup and my skin just glows. 

Available at poppinnatural.com or at local pop ups

E.L.F. Cosmetics Holy Hydration Face Cream 

Don’t sleep on this product. Using this rich face cream has brought so much bounce to my skin. It’s the perfect balance for my combination skin type and doesn’t flare up my acne. 

Available at H-E-B

Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Lipstick

Pillowtalk is the nude lipstick of my dreams. It has a satin finish and long wear, and looks great with a deep lip pencil. The company has recently expanded its shade line of Pillowtalk lipsticks to include colors for deeper complexions.

Available at Sephora

Makeup by Mario Master Pigment Pro Eyeliner Pencil

This eyeliner is a game-changer — I have pretty watery eyes and this is the only product I have used in years that doesn’t transfer or run. It also has a lovely matte finish.

Available at Sephora

Glossier You Perfume

This is my signature fragrance. I have gone through way too many bottles to count. I get so many compliments on it and people ask me on a daily basis what my perfume is. Trust me, it’s that good.

Available at glossier.com

Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti-Cream 

This cream makes my skin feel so smooth, bright and radiant. Key ingredients of cacay oil, vegan collagen and plant squalene help to deeply hydrate the skin. It also smells identical to Baccarat Rouge 540 for a significantly lower price point.

Available at Sephora  

Mildred Payne’s Pocket Oracle

This deck is small but mighty! I originally purchased it because I loved the fictional story behind its creation. The images speak loud and clear when I’m in need of insight, and the antique aesthetic pleases my inner Halloween queen. I always have it with me, and refer to it all the time. If you see me out (and ask politely) I may pull some cards for you! 

Available on Etsy