February is a month of love, but how often do you nourish your relationship with yourself? We’ve spoken to our favorite self-care gurus about their favorite ways to boost their self-love: you deserve your own attention as much as anyone else.

Today we speak with Rachel Budde, founder of handcrafted herbal body care company Fat and The Moon, about how to step into our beauty, and use self-care to better love ourselves.

Splendid Spoon: Hi Rachel! How do you incorporate self-love and self-care into your business?

Rachel Budde: Cultivating a healthy connection to ourselves is at the center of Fat and the Moon’s ethos. Self-love and self-care embody this concept.

Our culture often tells us that we don’t measure up: we need to do something, be something, or have something to be worthy of love. That is especially true in women’s psyches.

Self-love and self-care are feminist issues. As a feminist business, Fat and the Moon supports these practices of empowerment. If we love ourselves, we’re less susceptible to insidious methods of control and manipulation, which play on our insecurities. We need to nourish ourselves so we can be our strongest, and therefore bring our true selves into the world.

SS: How do your products help people heal their body and their relationship with themselves?

RB: The body and mind are aspects of the same being: there’s a conversation, not a line, between them. How we cultivate one aspect of our being affects everything else. The body’s wisdom is often a few steps ahead of the mind: consider all your body’s doing to keep you alive right now, without you consciously controlling it.

When we become ill or injured, the body tells us what it needs; a wound is an opportunity to listen closely. When we work at healing ourselves, we cultivate a more intimate connection between body and mind. Wounds or illness often give us new perspectives, helping to prioritize what really matters to us.

SS: You call your beauty products “adornments.” Why?

RB: Adornment celebrates what already is. Adornment embodies the joy in decoration, costume, and self-expression. What we conceive as beautiful can be varied — it can be based on how closely something relates to a given standard, or it can be experienced from a spontaneous place of appreciating a particular composition. Beauty is a loaded word, yet the more definitions there are of it, and the more we explore what it means, the more expansive and inclusive the word becomes.

My intention with Fat and the Moon’s adornments is to make mediums of exploration and self-expression which support the idea that we can all be our own definition of beauty. The play of color, shape, and texture lets us investigate our identities and broadcast visual messages. I want to be part of a world where everybody plays with modes of self-expression, so it seems practical to make non-toxic potions for that purpose.

SS: What self-care rituals do you practice?

RB: My self-care rituals are about giving myself time (the most precious thing we have and can give). Taking the time to do a Tooth Polish treatment, or Mermaid Mask, or head-to-toe lotion application after a bath, is a valuable gift to myself.

Rituals help us direct our attention to the bigger picture. I’m someone who needs a jam-packed schedule to feel productive, but that fast pace often makes me feel rushed. Self-care practices exercise the opposite muscle, helping me slow down and stay present.

SS: What empowering ritual can people practice to increase their self-love?

RB: There are myriad ways we can bring the sacred into our daily lives to empower ourselves: it’s usually born from a mix of intention, creativity, and practicality.

I believe that maintaining an altar is a powerful way to focus your energy. An altar can be built of what inspires you, to a deity that gives you guidance and strength, or to a project you want to come into being. There’s a certain magic you can charge up on an altar space, so put a body care potion on your altar, and focus your best wishes for yourself towards it. When you feel the potion is sufficiently juiced, use it!

SS: Can you share a DIY skincare recipe that’s nourishing to make and use?

RB: Absolutely! You probably already have everything you need in your kitchen for this easy face mask which moisturizes, balances bacteria, and inhibits oxidation (i.e. cellular breakdown of your skin).

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp mashed avocado

1 tsp cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Apply to a freshly cleansed face. Leave the mask on for a minimum of 20 minutes, then rinse. If you have leftovers, you’ve got yourself a snack ;).