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.
She may have seven Grand Slam singles titles, 14 doubles titles, and four Olympic gold medals to her name, but Venus Williams has also mastered the art of having a truly chill night, even when she’s on the go. Although she spends most of her days traveling and training, the tennis pro makes sure to carve out time in the evening that she can devote to her skin-care routine—or maybe even watching an ’80s flick.
After all, sometimes the thing that can best prepare you for whatever the next day holds is a couple hours of blissful relaxation, satin pajamas included. Here, Williams clues us in on her full bedtime routine.
Tidy up: It’s extremely important for me to not get sick—I’m literally stopped in my tracks when I get sick because then I can’t play competitive tennis. So when I get home, I always clean up with Clorox wipes.
Skin saviors: To kick off my routine, I wash my face and brush my teeth. I start with a benzoyl peroxide wash from Replenix, next a glycolic cleanser by Very Pretty Skin, and then I use wipes that I get from my dermatologist in Miami to even out my skin tone. I use a rose oil all the time on my face and sometimes my body if I need to. I love skin products. I could fill my house with them so that you couldn’t even walk in—like an episode of Hoarders, but just with skin care.
Just jams: While I’m doing my skin routine, I play music—it’s like my closing song of the day. It’s always changing. I’ve been listening to a lot of ’70s songs by Minnie Riperton. She sings that song “Loving You”—I heard it at the end of the movie Us, and I was like, “I love this song!” A closing song helps me end the day, and then I have different morning songs—I keep a speaker next to my bed.
Spritz away: I always travel with my lavender spray by Asutra. I also like to use its pain creams on my knees. I spray the lavender on my pillowcase, and at that point I feel very pampered and spoiled.
Netflix and chill: I like to watch movies before bedtime if I can. I try to make time for them, especially when I’m on the road, to clear my mind for my next match. I love comedies, particularly ones from the ’80s and ’90s. I recently watched Singles—there are all these alternative rock bands in it, and it stars Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon. I also liked Baby Boom with Diane Keaton. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, but they’re always relaxing. It’s never like, Oh, my God, are they going to find this person’s killer? right before you go to bed.
Comfort zone: I must have a down pillow—I should travel with one, but I always accidentally leave it at home.
Perfect pj’s: I live in Florida, and wherever we travel, it’s always warm. I’m very rarely cold, so I like short sets. I bought this nice satin set; it’s navy with a little bit of lace. It makes me feel very special—but only my dog sees it. He’s like, “Mom, you look good.”
Bedroom vibes: When I walk into my bedroom, I always want to feel comforted and calm. I just moved, so I haven’t had a chance to really decorate, but that’s the goal. My room has been white forever, so I’m going to keep it that way, but I like adding in some accent colors, such as turquoise or black. I once had a black velvet bed—it was amazing.
Lights-out between 11:30 p.m. and midnight!
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