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For All You Negative Nancys Out There, Here’s What You Need to Channel Your ‘Inner Empress’ For 2021

For All You Negative Nancys Out There, Here’s What You Need to Channel Your ‘Inner Empress’ For 2021

Congrats! We made it through 2020 into the bright, new year of 2021. As you know (because you read my bio, right?), I read tarot. 2020 was a “4” year in numerology, which corresponds to the Emperor card, “Daddy” of the major arcana, asking you to get your shit in gear and unafraid to punish you if you don’t. The Emperor, and correspondingly, 2020, has that sink or swim mentality that hey, if you drown, you drown. But you’re here, you’re reading this, you swam and made it back to shore. So what can we count on moving into the new year? Renewed hope for the future, and your health, duh! 

And if you’re the “negative Nancy” who also has knowledge of numerology and the tarot, don’t be coming in here and raining on my parade that 2021 is a “5” year with the Hierophant putting pressure on us to conform, and the number five is about change: undesired, uncomfortable change that ultimately improves our lives but hurts to acknowledge in the first place. While that all rings true, so too, does the fact that I drew the Empress card this year as my starting point of Hope.

And who is the Empress? She’s the bad bitch who knows self-care is self-love, and all good seeds are planted within before we see the growth without. Finally, without further ado, here are my picks for spoiling yourself and renewing your healthy habits, so we both can start 2021 off right!

Ivory Paper Co. 

Photo Courtesy of Ivory Paper Co.

If we’re going to get serious about our new year and new opportunities, investing in a planner is the ideal place to start. As an admitted chaos junkie, coming to terms with the fact that the best way to hold myself accountable to my goals is to actually write them down was not a comfortable one. (Ah, there’s that “uncomfortable change” theme.)

I gifted one of Ivory Paper Co’s planners to my sister for Christmas recently, and recall saying to her “I wish I was a planner person, but I’ve never found one that I want to stick with.” I can finally say that is no longer the case. Ivory’s planners are well-crafted and customizable to YOUR planning type. Me? I’m a big picture kinda girl. I never liked being micromanaged by any past employer, so you can be damn sure I’m not gonna micromanage myself. As such, I decided to invest in the “Ultimate Weekly” planner layout.

I get to decide every day just how specifically I want to plan my daily habit-tracking and appointments, while still being able to engage in abstract thinking on what I want to achieve at the daily, weekly, and monthly levels. Bonus points to Ivory as well for having such freaking cute cover designs!


Photo Courtesy of CBDent

What is health and wellness without dental care? As a long-time fan of Ryan Reynolds and his phenomenal Christmas movie Just Friends, I like to remember Dusty Lee’s (Dinkleman!) advice to Chris regarding his retainer:

“And hey, before I forget, make sure that you rinse that thing at least twice a day, okay? Your mouth is a disgusting open cesspool with germs and bacteria. Now put that back!”

If Ryan Reynolds’s mouth is a disgusting cesspool (and HE looks like Ryan Reynolds!), yours probably is, too. No offense. But that’s where CBD toothpaste comes in! I phased fluoride toothpastes out of my routine long ago, but was never really happy with the brand selection available to me.

Tom’s worked well for a while, but the flavors left something to be desired. Even the peppermint didn’t pack enough of a punch for my liking. Jāsön’s was better given the exclusion of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, but it can start to feel a bit gritty if you don’t use the tube fast enough, and research shows that heavy abrasives in toothpaste aren’t the best for enamel care.

I dabbled in other brands that had fluoride-free options, but never stuck with them due to the price tag. Don’t get me wrong, CBDent is definitely on the pricey side, BUT I’m willing to shell out a bit extra knowing that the ingredients are soundly researched. The double-whammy of CBDent’s antibacterial broad spectrum cannabinoids and remineralizing agent hydroxyapatite is well worth the cost. It’s nice knowing that not only am I cleaning my teeth, but I’m strengthening them against future sugar cravings, too!

Mother Dirt

Photo Courtesy of Mother Dirt

I ADORE skincare. As a teenager who suffered from acne (and now-adult whose hormones work against me during my menstrual cycle), I fell in love with taking care of my skin in college and never looked back. I’m sure we all made the early 2000s mistake of drying out our skin with products oversaturated with alcohol, beta-hydroxy acids, and benzoyl peroxide JUST to get that school picture sans blemish.

Or if you were me, and you couldn’t get the timing right, you packed on the heavy foundation and concealer and pretended no one noticed. I envy the kids that get to grow up in the “beauty gurus” phenomenon, because they at least learn the correct way to cover a zit without their foundation caking! Just like the makeup industry, though, the skincare industry has come A LONG WAY from the “Oil-Free Acne Wash” days. (Nothing but love for Neutrogena, I just wish my teenage self was able to recognize “oily” skin as really, really thirsty skin. I mean, come on, I was a COMPETITIVE SWIMMER, smh.)

The most recent development in acne-prone skincare? Probiotics! I have to be honest, when Mother Dirt’s skincare blipped on my radar, it seemed like a no-brainer. Acne is caused by bad bacteria on the skin, which is why antibiotics can help clear it up. (I definitely tried this in my early college days. It worked, but my digestive tract does NOT like antibiotics, long or short-term.)

We know that probiotics are the good bacteria that keep our guts, and lady bits healthy, why shouldn’t it also keep our skin healthy?! [Insert mindblown.gif here.] The best part of Mother Dirt’s skincare lines? Not a hint of alcohol or other drying agents anywhere. And the only place you’ll find salicylic acid is in the Daily Acne Treatment Lotion in a “very-doable-for-sensitive-skin” concentration of 0.5%.

As a personal point of gratitude, they don’t use coconut oil in their products, either. It’s not uncommon for the oil to cause cystic acne, and alas, my great failure in my skincare journey is that I am prone to said reaction. 

Eczema Honey

Photo Courtesy of Eczema Honey

Skincare wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the rest of our body. The skin is the largest organ, blah blah, take care of all of it! I don’t happen to suffer from eczema currently, but I have in the past (again, chlorine pool for hours a day, for YEARS). That doesn’t stop me from soaking up Eczema Honey’s luxurious products.

I received my order from them at the end of December, while I spent the holidays with my family in beautiful snowy Spokane, Washington. As someone who goes back and forth between Austin, TX and Tampa, FL, Spokane is DRY. Especially in the winter. And even though I know this, and every year I pack my heaviest creams with me to my parents’ house, my skin dehydrates within minutes off the plane and rebels against all moisturizer I try to give it.

So much so that it usually takes me a full week to finally get rid of the dry, cracked scaly skin on my wrists. This year, the very first package I opened upon getting back to Florida was my Eczema Honey order, and my hands immediately responded.

I applied the Gentle Face and Body Lotion Stick to the back of my hands a few times that first day, then slept with the Skin-Soothing Cream on and woke up with happy, healthy, smooth skin. I have a friend who swears by being as diligent in her hand/décolletage skincare routine as her face routine because “the face is only part of the problem. My boobs and hands aren’t gonna show my age either.”

Eczema Honey doesn’t have any specific anti-aging products, but any emollient moisturizer will keep your skin young, and this product line is exactly that.  

Stealth Fitness

Photo Courtesy of STEALTH Fitness

As much as the Taurus in me wants desperately to believe that skin and dental care encompasses all of health and wellness, it does not. Fitness is included under that umbrella, and while I’m not mad about it, physics dictates that an object at rest must stay at rest, and COVID has forced us all to be “at rest.”

Much of the United States is still currently unable to go to the gym to get their workout in, as well as being too damn cold to go for a run outdoors. So unless you’re as hardcore as my mom is, and running in the cold and snow doesn’t appeal to you, Stealth Fitness has you covered. A piece of indoor fitness equipment that is lightweight and easy to put away seems to be a novelty in the epoch of the Peloton, but Stealth’s Core Trainer covers those bases for you. If we’re being real with ourselves, it’s not too much of a stretch to say our core strength has suffered during quarantine.

Even if you didn’t gain any weight, sitting on Zoom calls all day, every day doesn’t really afford much time for posture support. If you’re ready to get back into your fitness routine, but really don’t know where to start, start with Stealth. Get your core back in shape and by the time the ground starts to thaw, you’ll be ready to hit the pavement quarantine-style. 

Belcorva Women’s Active Apparel

Photo Courtesy of Belcorva

I used to think I was the only one who would hop on Amazon every January and outfit her whole workout routine before ever setting foot in a gym. Turns out , the desire to buy unnecessary gadgets to succeed in a goal that really only requires your body, and moving it, is not that uncommon.

Shocking, I know. BUT, let’s say you’re like me and you did gain a few “ell-bees” in 2020 and your old workout leggings are more likely to be your “goal jeans” now… Well, no judgment here, stress is a motherf**ker. Let Belcorva come in HOT with their line of Pocket Pants – squat-proof, camel-toe-proof, high-waisted, buttery-smooth workout leggings. With two side-pockets big enough for whatever outrageously large phone you may have, a hidden key pocket in the front waistline, and a zippered pocket in the back, these babies is STACKED.

I’ve worn a lot of legging brands, across many price points, and I gotta say, these are my favorite. Without a doubt. The styles are super cute, the pockets are every woman’s dream pockets, and I cannot stress enough how well they fit and flatter. And there’s no LuluLemon wallet-damage here, Belcorva comes in at half the competitor’s cost. So buy two and do less laundry. 


Photo Courtesy of Handiguru


Now that you’re outfitted for working out at home and outside, let Handiguru ease your stress of getting back to the gym once it opens.

A smart little wearable, this silicone band holds 0.5oz of whatever liquid-ish thing you want to put in it. If you’re my dad, you’re dreaming of a nice dose of whiskey to warm up during those cold snowshoe adventures.

If you’re my sister, you can’t wait to use it for sunscreen on-the-go in the summer. It also works well for having hand sanitizer immediately available, so that every time you switch machines, or drop that barbell, you can be sure you won’t forget to kill COVID on your hands before you wipe the sweat from your eyes.

But perhaps the most heartwarming aspect of the company is the fact that its CEO took the time to write a hand-written letter to us, thanking us for our support. Great customer service!



Full disclosure, I probably wouldn’t have looked up Attitude if Trader Joe’s could keep their fruit and veggie wash in stock. But TJ’s is popular, and I guess I only go when they’re out of that precious gold. Thus the search for a better solution to grocery store produce ick. Google will lead you in the distilled white vinegar direction, which I have tried and decided it wasn’t worth it after that batch of raspberries put me off them for a bit.

Vinegar totally works with veggies and fruits that have obvious rinds and peels, but it’s not the best for berries. And I’m the idiot who always buys berries from Costco thinking she’ll eat them before one berry spoils the rest, and I’m always wrong. Between my BluApple ethylene gas absorbers, and Attitude’s Fruit and Vegetable wash, I can make those berries last!

Cheers to Attitude for making it easier to find that coveted Trader Joe’s magic in a bigger, more useful spray bottle, for when you don’t need to do a batch of veg, and just clean the one tomato. The best part? It’s dirt cheap, and Attitude sells a two-liter refill box, so you never run out before you can order more. 

Rush Charge

Photo Courtesy of Rush Charge

The Hinge charger from Rush Charge may seem like a stretch for health and wellness, but hear me out: Portable Phone Stand. Boom! 

Still not getting it? Let me paint yesterday’s “cooking dinner” picture for you: 

I sliced up the chicken into perfect little stir fry bites, put them in their little marinating bowl, but I didn’t think far enough ahead to already have the marinade ingredients in said bowl, and now I need to find my phone, unlock it with my gross, salmonella-covered hands, and figure out how much soy sauce the recipe calls for. 

Maybe you’ve solved this problem on your own already. Maybe you don’t mind washing your hands every two seconds when handling raw meat, maybe your Pop Socket holds your phone in portrait mode confidently, and maybe your battery doesn’t drain excessively just by leaving the screen on to refer back to the recipe as needed. Maybe, you’re just better than me, okay? No hard feelings, here, I’m never charging my phone enough as it is due to that aforementioned chaos addiction.

So for me? The Hinge charger is MUAH, sous chef’s kiss! It would get the head chef’s kiss if the charging connection (of which there is Lightning, Micro-USB, and USB-C options) wasn’t wobbly enough to be slightly annoying. 


Photo Courtesy of MiniManiMoo

Finally, you’ve done everything you can to set yourself up for health and wellness success in this new year, and you know what you’ve earned? A mani-pedi. The Empress demands some pampering, because that’s self-love too! But alas, it’s still COVID in the USA and who knows if it’s even safe to go to the salon and just let someone else take care of you for a bit. You can workout consistently, eat right and stay ‘drated, but you don’t think you can handle a little gel mani?

Well girl, I believe in you, and so does MiniManiMoo. And if you’re the trendy type, their MooLaLa Light Gray color is reminiscent of Pantone’s Color of the Year. So treat yo’self to two new colors, paint that gray on one nail, and give 2020 the middle-finger adiós.

No LED lamp for drying? No worries, MiniManiMoo has everything you need to start being your own salon, cuz honey, this year is about you and you don’t need anybody telling you what you can and can’t do. 

Use code LUXEBEAT10 for $10 off a first order from ATTITUDE Living!

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About The Author

Cassie Bilyeu

Cassie is a former forensic scientist turned tarot reader and astrologer. She keeps her chemistry background sharp through her never-ending quest to find the perfect skin and hair routines, and through her novice bartending skills. She will be the first to tell you, “alcohol IS a solution, so long as it’s not on my skin.”

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