My Favorite Products for Winding Down After a Long Day

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup, Vichy


Hi, I’m Nicole, and I’m a workaholic.


I spend most of my days running my raw cat food shop in Oakland called RAWR and most of my nights designing product packaging, photographing shows, or photographing/writing here. I have a deep passion for everything on my plate and hold a high standard for work that goes out into the world with my name on it. While realistic perfection within my work is important to me, running on 3-4 hours of sleep night after night is not sustainable.

So I’ve been making a lot of adjustments.


It starts with my surroundings. I schedule my phone to go on Do Not Disturb everyday from 9pm-7am, and I generally stop working around 10pm, unless I have no other choice. After that, no screen time is allowed unless its media on the tv with the backlight lowered almost all the way. I switched the bulb out of my lamp to a blue one mainly because I thought it would look neat, but it turned out to be much more useful than a cool look.

I like winding down with media on Netflix, but I don’t like sitting in the dark while watching television, unless I’m in a theater. The contrast between the brightness of the TV and the darkness of the room hurts my eyes. Since switching the bulb to blue, I’ve found that being immersed in blue light totally relaxes me, which makes falling asleep happen 40% faster.

Even when I’m relaxing, I’m all about efficiency.

Bye Bye Makeup™ 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm, 2.82oz. for $38.00

My go-to makeup remover is the Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm from It Cosmetics. I like it because it gets all of my makeup off quickly, even glitter and waterproof mascara. It’s easy to wash off and leaves my skin feeling hydrated, but not oily. I like to follow up with a gentle cleansing milk like this one from Vichy or this one from Bioderma, just to make sure my skin is happy and clean.

My favorite skincare product to reach for ever is the Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Night Balm from Decléor. Scents relax me more than anything, and this balm really makes me stop and unwind. It sends a signal to my brain that’s like “now entering Low Power Mode”. Just like clockwork, my eyes get all droopy, and I smile a sleepy grin.

Decléor Aromessence Neroil Hydrating Night Balm, 0.5oz for $42

Decléor Aromessence Neroil Hydrating Night Balm, 0.5oz. for $42

I have such a hard time explaining what exactly it smells like, but it reminds me of the cult favorite Lait-Crème Concentré from Embryolisse, but much richer in texture and scent. It smells herbal and like the ingredients are clean (which they are). It reminds me of being at a spa and getting a massage. It hits all the right notes.

Ingredients: Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax , Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Neroli Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Dipteryx Odorata Se

Now that I’ve looked up the ingredients…that’s exactly what it smells like. It’s the kind of scent that makes you forget about where you are for a minute. It’s very, very lovely. While visiting my parents, I gave some to my mom, and when my dad asked for help in the kitchen she said, “I can’t right now. My hands smell delightful.”


It is a true balm, and you don’t need much product. I like to warm it up between my fingertips and massage it into my skin. It melts in and the scent lingers for a few minutes. Afterwards, I use the Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum that’s also by Decléor. Whenever I use this combination, the next morning my skin feels hydrated and supple.

Decléor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum

Decléor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum, 0.5oz. for $73

Decléor is a French aromatherapy skincare brand inspired by Chinese medicine, so all of their products have specific uses beyond anti-aging, moisturizing, etc. Total bonus points there, Decléor.

The last thing I do almost everyday is light some incense. My favorite scents for just before bed are Cypress Eucalyptus, or burning a stick of Patchouli and Amber together. I’m basically Pavlov’s dog. Whenever I smell those combinations I’m instantly like, is it bed time?

Well, is it?

Nicole Fraser-Herron

Nicole was born a red-headed fairy child and nothing has changed. Ditching the mountains tucked away in East L.A. for the mountains in Oakland, she became a photographer with a flair for too much glitter. You can check out her work and follow her adventures on her website and @elephantinfantry on Instagram.


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So far, 12 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. kwmechelle says:

    Love your un-wind routine. And the blue light. Screen light hurts my eyes, too, so maybe I should look into getting a blue bulb. Who am I kidding? I need to get myself an in-wind routine, period. 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    It’s interesting that switching to the blue light helped you out since blue light is supposed to inhibit production of melatonin….
    I guess that shows that everything is different for different people!

    • Maggie says:

      I was thinking the same about the blue light but I think the high contrast between a dark room and a bright display is the worst–hurts my eyes too! Perhaps experiment and switch things up with a red bulb?

      And thanks for posting about the un-wind routine.

  3. That is funny that the blue light helps, as it is said to inhibit sleep. I guess that shows that different things work for different people.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Corine de Farme Radiant and anti-tiredness eye care – Planning and dedication

  4. Becky says:

    Great idea popping the Do Not Disturb on. I need to do that more often! It’s amazing how disruptive technology can be, isn’t it!

    Beekeyper – Latest – Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector

  5. anusha says:

    I recently discovered the comfort in using scented skincare products. .
    I use a jasmine and mogra scented face lotion by forest essentials ( a luxury ayurveda line) .calms me down wen i’m stressed or tired.
    Body shop satsuma butter is my fav..

    I tried the embryolisse lait creme concentre just to see what all the hype was about..the scent is lovely but mild and inexplicably reminds me of my childhood. .hmmm..

  6. Oh yeah, there’s nothing better than just curling up on the couch and watch Netflix. And I light incense or a scented candle or another form of home fragrance every night as well.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Giveaway | Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara + Jumbo Gloss Balm Sheers x3 (open worldwide)

  7. Indya says:

    I love your photos, Nicole. Just looking at them makes me feel relaxed 🙂
    Indya recently posted … Why I Love Make Up Forever Mat Velvet+ Foundation, Plus Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon Glace

  8. Sounds like a lovely routine. Blue lights really help me fall asleep faster too.
    Lupe Hernandez recently posted … Bare Minerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo

  9. Shani says:

    Haha we have the same lamp…just not blue

  10. Rachel says:

    I wasn’t a huge believer in essential oils but then I found a diffuser at Walmart for about $20 that came with a “relaxation” blend and boy does it knock me out!

  11. Nivedita says:

    Even I have got my set of relaxation routine and it chiefly involves a lotus shaped dim yellow light, long foot massage with a fragrant foot cream and something smelling good for my body. It does calm me down like anything.
    Nivedita recently posted … Kérastase Fusio-dose Express Hair Treatment: What you’re in for?

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