Published on May 17, 2020

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Courtesy of Lindsay Peoples Wagner

We spend a third of our lives asleep—that means our bedroom is the most lived-in space in our homes. It’s the room where we start and end our days, and that’s why the rituals that happen there are extra important. In The Wind Down, we’ll be exploring the nighttime routines of people we admire and taking their advice to make the moments just before bed feel our best.

When schools across the country canceled proms and graduations, Lindsay Peoples Wagner sprang into action. The editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue worked with her team to make sure her young readers could still celebrate their hard-won accomplishments. On May 16, Teen Vogue hosted an online prom (with appearances by Kiernan Shipka and Storm Reid), and on May 31, the publication will do the same for commencement on YouTube Live.

Amid this mad dash of virtual event planning, Wagner has been doing what she can to make her at-home reality feel a little more festive. Over the past few weeks, she’s been picking up flowers to brighten up the Bushwick, Brooklyn, apartment she shares with her husband, photographer Andre Wagner; keeping candles lit; and challenging herself to make the Julia Child recipes she hasn’t already mastered (cooking is not at all a new hobby for her). Here, she lays out her evening hours. 

Sun and water: I have to physically get up and take a walk around 6:30 p.m.—I’ll still get Slacks and emails at this time, so I have to remove myself from the work environment. I’ll do another round of news to check if there’s anything I should flag for coverage the next day, and I answer a few final emails. I have a big gallon water bottle to help me stay hydrated throughout the day, so I’ll see how I did and chug some more if I’m a long way to go.

 

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Suppertime special: I’m from the Midwest, and I grew up in a household where we would always sit down, have dinner together, and talk about our days. It’s one of those things that you find annoying at the time but appreciate when you’re older. My husband and I keep that tradition—it’s a nice way to create a sense of normalcy. My whole family is into cooking—my dad and I have contests to see who can make better ribs. Over the weekend I’ll try more involved recipes that I’ve never made, but I’ve finally perfected a good weeknight version of Julia Child’s coq au vin.

Extra ambience: My husband and I buy flowers, and we always have candles lit—it makes the whole space calmer. I like linen and vanilla scents from Lulu Candles and Brooklyn Candle Studio. I’ll also switch between different playlists of R&B and oldies. When this all first started happening, we watched the news during dinner, but we’ve shifted away from that—we both read so much media during the day anyway.

Required reading: I’m trying to finish all the books I’ve been saying I’m going to read. I just finished one called The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul. I like books that challenge my thinking—this one gives really good, specific examples of finding your way in life according to how you want to feel, rather than a bucket list of specific achievements. My job requires me to consume media all the time, so for most of the books I read, I prefer they differ from those subjects that I cover at work. 

Stream team: Even when it comes to TV and movies, what I consume at home is for my own benefit and doesn’t turn on my work brain. I either love a show or quickly decide I don’t need to stick with it. I loved Normal People, based on the Sally Rooney book—I watched it overnight and into the next day and I was done. I also really enjoyed Unorthodox on Netflix—I thought the story was fascinating and the characters were incredible. If I’m watching something on the weekends, I’ll sit up on the couch and get comfy and cozy, but if it’s a show I always watch, I feel fine about doing it in bed.

Skin saviors: The skin-care game is very serious. I even got my husband into it—he’s been enjoying himself. I’ve always had struggles with acne. I used to be on medication for it, and a few years ago I redid my whole routine because I didn’t want to take it anymore. I always start with a simple wipe from Neutrogena to cleanse off any makeup residue from that day. Kiehl’s mud cleanser is also great for getting rid of excess oil. If it’s the weekend, I’ll really dive into it and use my face steamer from Dr. Dennis Gross, several face masks, and a sheet mask.

Roll it out: Depending on my mood, I’ll bust out a jade roller to give my face a good massage with different oils. I have a couple different tools I like to use—little blue ice balls that I keep in the freezer for under my eyes, and I have one that’s battery operated, too. It’s not something I do every night, but I find it really calming—last night I massaged my face while sitting in bed and watching Insecure. I’ve been trying lots of new things—some days I’ll sit with a leave-in conditioner in my hair because I have more time to do that. It’s a good distraction. 

Body language: My favorite body moisturizer is from Hanahana Beauty—it’s a mix of lavender, shea butter, and coconut oil. It’s super-affordable and the quality is incredible. I have eczema and psoriasis, so sometimes my legs look like leopards, but this has really helped with the marks. It’s even better than other prescription creams I’ve used. 

Best bed: I like having one soft pillow and one hard pillow—the ratio is very important. I can immediately tell when my husband has moved one. I usually keep the soft one on top, but if I’m sore from a workout, I’ll do the hard one. And I love white linen sheets. I’m cold a lot, but sometimes during the night I can overheat, so I find that material really helps balance me out temperature-wise. 

Perfect pj’s: I have a new pajama dress from Hill House Home. I don’t like wearing tight things—I want to feel comfortable when I’m going to bed. This one is lightweight and it’s not itchy, so I’ve been wearing it since I got it.

Bedside essentials: On my nightstand I have a candle, flowers, some beauty products, and some recent books I’ve been reading or just want to look at—all things that keep me serene, so if I have a really high-anxiety day, they help me come down a bit. 

Give thanks: I have an app called Grateful, which is a gratitude journal. I’ve been using it for months—it’s cool to look back on things that you forget about that were a big deal to you when you wrote them down. It reminds you how short term of a memory we have. It’s a really good reflection point—it makes you realize what’s actually important.

Easy does it: I apply a CBD perfume oil from Herb Essntls. I rub it on my neck and wrist—the scent isn’t overpowering and it doesn’t irritate my eczema and psoriasis, so I use it from time to time.

Disconnect: I keep my phone next to me, but I put on “Do Not Disturb” every night. 

Lights-out around 11 p.m.

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