Every month, I feature one of my friends and her beauty routine, self-care rituals, and lifestyle tips. This month, I’m interviewing my friend Ragan Graves. She has known my husband’s family for her whole life as she grew up with my sister-in-law Liz. I especially love her because she is grounded, loyal, kind, and super stylish! Ragan is a true beauty!
Ragan is a native Nashvillian and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Nashville. She has a private practice and primarily sees young adult women going through life stage transitions and navigating the anxiety that women experience with those changes. www.RaganGravesCounseling.com
What’s your daily skincare routine? I wash my face morning and night. In the evening I use Acure Brilliantly Brightening Cleansing Gel followed by Cerave Hydrating Moisturizer. In the morning, I use the same cleanser and add Obaji Exfoliating Day Lotion to help with cell turnover and either Revision SPF or La Roche-Posay SPF after that.
Describe your makeup routine. My makeup routine is pretty simple- I stick to Jane Iredale Full Coverage BB cream, Bobbi Brown Under Eye Concealer, my NARS bronzer, and some powder blush. I also use my Urban Decay Naked eye shadow palette, eye liner, mascara and lip gloss and I am out the door. I did recently start using a brow pencil, which has made a positive difference for a more finished look.
Let’s talk about your lip colors. Most of my lipsticks/glosses are Bobbi Brown… For a simple every day look, I love the pale pink/nude color called Pale Mauve. A brighter pink I use is called Party Alice (it’s sold out now, but here are some similar peachy-rose shades) and for my bolder fall/winter color, I love using MAC’s Beet. I think consulting with an expert who can recommend what colors work best with your own coloring is so helpful when it comes to picking lip color. I have also always loved lip gloss, so I’m usually wearing that on a day to day basis.
How do you get ready for special events? For special events I actually take the time to do my hair instead of throwing it in a low bun like most days. I have thick/wavy hair that can take forever to blow-dry, but if I have an event to attend, I will blow dry my hair using a round brush and then sometimes use a curling wand to add additional wave/curl. In terms of makeup, I usually just emphasize eye shadow/liner, & add cheek highlighter and lipstick.
Vacation prep? I guess that depends where I am vacationing…but I try and just bring the basic essentials for makeup when I travel. When I am on vacation, I want to relax and worry less about makeup and products. If I tried to bring all the products I use for hair, makeup, lotions etc., my bag would be way too heavy to lift ☺
How about your nighttime routine? In the evenings I always remove makeup and wash my face, ending with moisturizer & eye cream. I like to use the Thistle Farms Lavender Body Butter before bed and will usually diffuse essential oils in my diffuser that I keep by my bed at night. I end my routine by using a hydrating lip balm and try and get a good night’s sleep. On Sunday nights, I treat myself to an “at home facial” by using these Neo Strata treatment pads recommended to me by my esthetician at Karee Hays. They are pricer than a drugstore peel, but really worth the investment in my opinion and for what my skin needs.
How about your morning routine? I am grateful that my career allows flexibility in my mornings! I wake up the same time each morning, wash my face and apply moisturizers/sunscreen & then have coffee & breakfast /time with my devotionals. Right now, I’m liking New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I will then usually try and either go for a walk or attend a barre class, and then shower and get ready for the day.
Describe your approach to hair care. My hair needs special attention; because I color treat it for unfortunate premature gray! However, I have a wonderful stylist, Abbie at Element Salon who takes great care of my hair with regular cuts, color and gloss. It really does make a difference to spend more money on quality hair products, so at home I use Shu Uemura shampoo/conditioner for color treated hair as well as a spray to quicken blow-dry time. I also use a Kerastase heat protectant product before blow-drying.
Since you are a therapist, I’d love for you to share your self-care rituals. Gosh, I love that self-care is something we are discussing because it’s such an important topic. It’s so essential to take care of yourself so that you have capacity to give to others. Often, I think we can confuse self- care with selfishness or self-indulgence-which it is not! Starting my day grounded in spiritual text is so helpful to me, as is getting daily movement & drinking lots of water. I recently have been doing Barre3 and have found that it’s great for my body, mind and spirit. I also get acupuncture, which has been amazing for clarity and peace, and sometimes self care for me looks like hot tea and dark chocolate (and by sometimes, I mean every night!) Most of all, talking to my best girl friends about joy, struggle and all the in-between is what really nourishes my soul.
Favorite scents/perfume? Scent/perfume has always been something I am drawn to. I always have Lanvin Eclat D’Arpege on hand because there is a special connection to my grandmother when I wear it. It has more of a light/fruity/floral scent to it. I also love Oscar de la Renta Live in Love perfume, and my husband always compliments me when I wear Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb scent, which is more warm and spicy in category.
How do you relax? I love reading, getting fresh air at Percy Warner park, snuggling my two Brittany pups, having a beer with my husband and occasionally treating myself to a massage at Escape Day Spa or a facial at Karee Hays.
Who are your beauty inspirations and why? Perhaps, like many recently, I am inspired by Meghan Markle after watching the Royal Wedding. I love that her makeup look was natural and relaxed and that she wore such a timeless wedding gown. As much as I loved her wedding day look, the real show stopper for me was the sleek white evening dress with aquamarine ring that was Princess Diana’s. Also, if I could have her blown out hair every day, I would be in heaven!
In general, I really just admire classic/elegant looks and am drawn to people who take care of themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. They radiate beauty from the inside out.
What beauty tips did you learn from your family? My family is pretty low maintenance when it comes to beauty, and I think that in itself is a great tip. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing to do rather than overdoing it with products.
What do you love most about your beauty behavior? I like that it is flexible…if something isn’t working for me anymore I can ditch it and try something else. My routine works for me in this season of life, but if that changes in the future, my beauty routine can adapt, too. There is no wrong or right way to take care of yourself– you have to do what is right for you in any given moment.
What is your favorite feature about yourself? I am laughing because your mother in law, Peggy, has always told me I should be a hand model, and has used my hands in some Thistle Farms photo shoots ☺ So, I have learned to appreciate my hands and take care of them with lotion, sunscreen and occasional manicures!
Beauty advice for your 20s and 30s? I don’t think ( hope!) people do this as much anymore, but in high school and college I frequented the tanning bed too often and I definitely regret it now. Spray tans and sunscreen all the way!!
Isn’t Ragan just lovely? She has timeless style and I love her self-care habits, especially since she is a Marriage and Family Therapist! If you are in the market for a Nashville area counselor, you can contact Ragan at www.RaganGravesCounseling.com. I hope y’all enjoyed this month’s installment of Her Beauty Behavior!
Now, I’m off to go order those facial treatment pads! Thank for the beauty tips, Raig!