We spoke with moms-turned-influencers Arushi Garg (@thesnazzymom), Tina Meeks (@herlifesparkles), and Alisha Williams (@thealishawilliams) about how they approach conscious beauty, introducing their children to self care and the best advice they’ve ever received.
What inspired you to start sharing your stories and opening up online?
Arushi: As an immigrant who moved to the US almost twelve years back, I needed a support system. I started blogging and writing as a creative outlet where I could share about motherhood and parenting as a working mom.
I'm just glad that the blog took off and it struck a chord with several moms who have literally no support system, not just immigrants or South Asian moms, but everyone who has that village missing.
Alisha: It's my way of encouraging myself, but also encouraging other women. Whenever you're going through something, you don't realize how many people are going through the same thing. The minute that I started sharing my story, so many women were like, "I'm going through the same thing, you're not alone.”
Tina: With my Instagram platform, my most important message is that, although I'm a mom, becoming a mom didn't stop my life. If anything, it propelled me to work harder, to reach new heights, to challenge glass ceilings, so that I could continue to be the best version of myself for my kids.
Has your idea of beauty changed since becoming a mom?
Tina: When I had my first child, I was only 22, so I was still growing up as I became a mom. But once I had my daughter, it was just an eye-opening experience. You see standards of beauty placed on women differently when you think about issues that your own daughter might face as she grows up.
She's one of the reasons why I don't color or relax my hair. I wear it in its natural state or I wear braids, because I want her to be able to appreciate the way her hair grows out of her scalp and to learn to love that.
L-R: Tina and her kids; Arushi
Arushi: I want to raise our kids to be resilient, happy and confident in their own bodies. That's one of the reasons why I've been on my Instagram and my blog sharing culture so much—I don't want my son to be noticed as his skin color is different or his hair color is different, so he does not belong to a group. I hope that discussions on colorism continue, so that our kids, as they grow up, are not pointed out because of the color of their skin.
Did motherhood affect what you were putting on your skin?
Alisha: Becoming a mom, it makes you rethink a lot of things to live a healthier life. As my daughter’s almost four, she's really watching me and everything that I do. She's always mimicking me.
"I want my daughter to see her mom choosing products that are really good for our health, our life, and for our skin."
I want her to grow up and realize this is important. Of course, she's still in that baby skin phase so I can keep it real simple with her, but we also do have a little spa time. I love using Truly Glowing Gel Cleanser for my skin.
Tina: My daughter has sensitive skin and asthma, and I have eczema, so those are things that we have to consider. We try to use as many natural products as possible, products that haven't been animal tested and things that come in recyclable bottles.
How do you approach self care as a mother?
Arushi: You cannot pour from an empty cup. I am a sports person by heart, so hiking is very natural for me. It started as a form of self care. After having a son and managing a full-time job and my family, it was just something I wanted to do for myself.
I started doing these solo trips. I went hiking to Machu Picchu and it was a five-day trip that I did all by myself. It was very empowering, because I was able to go into a new country all by myself, explore it, hike, make new friends and get a new experience.
It does not necessarily have to be a hike or training for a half marathon. It could be very simple things like coloring or painting, just doing something that brings that inner happiness and makes you a better mom.
Alisha: I'm a huge advocate for self care. It's super important to take care of yourself and choose yourself first, because once you take care of yourself, that trickles down to the rest of your life.
I want to make self care a thing. I want to make it a big deal. Because if I can take a warm shower and really relax and do my skin care routine, that is a huge win for me. I do it every single night, then I get in bed and it's the best feeling ever.
Any tips for getting a glow?
Alisha: When I started focus on using products that are clean, that are simple, that don't have chemicals in them, I feel like I started to see a change in my skin. It's like, "Oh, okay. You can have glowy skin. You can have skin that really just thrives on its own without makeup."
Tina: When I’m about to leave the house or if I'm about to take a photo and I just want to have that extra glow on my skin, I'll drop a few drops of the Truly Glowing Glow Booster on.
What’s one of your favorite self-care rituals?
Arushi: On a Sunday, I relax, have my son play with my husband and I go up and feel like I'm in a spa in my bedroom. I put on some nice music, get a white or a sparkling wine and put a mask on and talk to my cousin who's also in her mask. This is our self care.
Tina: I find that making my mornings about me helps it to be easier when everybody starts calling my name and pulling me in 500 directions when they're finally awake. I get up at 5 AM and journal, have some coffee, get a little bit of movement with quick body weight exercises and then just sit and enjoy the quiet.
I learned very quickly that I can't take the best care of my family without truly taking care of myself.
photo captions: L-R: Alisha; Arushi and her son
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Arushi: I was raised by a single mom. I lost my dad when I was 14, so she's the person I've always looked up to. She recently told me that you don't control a lot of things in your life, but what you control is your present, your happiness and your mood.
"I think that's what even the pandemic has taught us: just stay present, be with your family, enjoy what you have and enjoy these moments."
This matters most. I think overworking or working too hard has been glamorized too much, and we need to enjoy what we have and do our best.
Alisha: The number one advice that always sticks is to take care of yourself first. Especially as women, we wear so many hats in our life, career, as moms, as wives. It's so easy for us to lose focus and to simply forget about taking care of ourselves. And every time, it always works. Whenever I focus on myself, everything starts to fall into place.
I know that whenever I take care of myself, my daughter is better off because I am the best version of myself.
What gets you excited lately?
Arushi: I am very passionate about building a community of women who are strong, independent and are open to empowering others. Apart from using my blog, I have built a small club on Clubhouse called "South Asian Hustlers" to connect this community globally. The idea is to help likeminded people come together, learn, network and share their experiences.
Tina: I have heart for helping others. I started a COVID relief fund and rallied my Instagram community to donate to it. We helped families buy groceries and pay bills.
It was great to see, because there so many people in my community who said that they wanted to help, but they couldn't help on a large capacity. Knowing that their $2 or $5 here and there was able to help another family gave us a sense of togetherness. Everyone's situation is different, but none of us are going through this alone.
What does conscious beauty mean to you?
Tina: Conscious beauty is being mindful or intentional about using products that not only have your personal best interests, but the interests of the environment in mind. Conscious beauty is what’s good for you, but also good for the world around you, whether that’s plants, animals or the community that it was made in.
Arushi: Conscious beauty is all about minimalist and socially responsible ways of living and consuming. I am looking at using personal care brands that are not only transparent but ethical and natural. I want to use high-quality products that work, but I also want to feel good about my looks as well as about the choices I make.
Alisha: I think that whenever we are conscious, we choose products that have great ingredients that are benefiting us, that are not there just to be there, but really do serve a purpose. I go for products that have natural, minimal ingredients that are fairly sourced.