Pampering Myself Before & After My Proposal Defense | Klassy Kinks

Pampering Myself Before & After My Proposal Defense

I have had a whirlwind week leading up to and immediately after my dissertation proposal defense! If you don’t know, I have a complex love-hate relationship with my PhD program. I’ve been extremely anxious (sometimes to the point of paralysis) over things like final papers and exams in the past, so I wanted to make sure I was super calm yesterday for this academic hurdle. Here’s how I pampered myself to reduce stress before the big day, and how I treated myself afterwards!

Reducing Stress Before the Defense

L'Occitane en Provence Peony Collection

My face has a fun habit of breaking out before any big event (exam, public speaking engagement, wedding, ugh!). To try and combat this, I used face masks a few times a week before the defense. L’Occitane en Provence’s Purifying Minute Mask quickly tightened my pores without drying out my skin. The Overnight Perfecting Mask combined with a solid 8 hours of rest had me totally refreshed in the morning. I also bought flowers and placed them beside my bed for a light fragrance!

Pampering with L'Occitane en Provence Purifying Minute Mask | Klassy Kinks

Over the weekend, Jonathan and I visited SoJo Spa Club with my parents. SoJo Spa is a korean-inspired bath house with saunas, hydrotherapy pools, a foot massage path, and gardens of serenity. Spending the day there literally loosened up tons of tension and rejuvenated my body from the inside out.

SoJo Spa Club - Ankara headwrap

The day before my defense, I got a mani/pedi with Essie Truth or Bare and a massage. Jonathan even pitched in and made a yummy dinner while I went over my notes and practiced my opening speech (which I didn’t end up delivering, ha). Right before the exam, I went to a super local bakery and had an omelette and a beet juice to increase blood flow to my brain!

Treating Myself After the Defense

Immediately after the exam, I ate a rugelach pastry from Carrot Top. It’s common protocol to bring snacks to your defense to “sweeten” faculty, but I was glad there was some leftover for me! I then headed to the Gucci store to buy the bag I’ve been feening over for weeks! Just in time for fashion week – it’s the perfect accessory.

Black Gucci Marmont Bags

After Gucci, I went to Skinprologica. I was supposed to get a facial, but didn’t want to remove my makeup because I had dinner plans later. Instead, I got laser hair removal done on my legs. Unlike the experience under my arms, laser on my legs was totally painless and definitely a treat! They’re running a laser hair removal deal, so if you’re in NYC check them out and mention my name.

Post-spa visit, I did some more retail therapy, and stopped by Sephora, Century 21, Zara, and Victoria’s Secret. Even though I didn’t buy anything from some of the stores, window shopping made me happy. Then Jonathan and I went out to dinner at Injera, because it also happened to be our first date anniversary!

Today, I slept in and lazied about the house, and caught up on emails. Since I didn’t get the facial yesterday, I decided to use L’Occitane en Provence’s Flash Moisture Mask to nourish and quench my skin. Since the mask is no-rinse, I let it sit on my face while figuring out my looks for NYFW next week. I’m attending more shows than last year and I’m excited to try some of my favorite fall fashion trends!

L'Occitane Peony Collection


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  1. Congratulations girlie ! Such a big accomplishment!!!! I know its an amazing feeling, women of color with PhDs are nothing short of amazing : ) keep making power moves. Happy dissertation writing : ) !!!!

  2. How much I enjoyed reading this post, it was such a pleasure to hear of your treats before the dissertation and afterwards. I like how you prepare yourself physically,mentally and emotionally. I was truly down with you after the dissertation. Shopping is a girl best friend and especially a Gucci ??. I ain’t mad at you but so happy for you. All I can say God is good all the time and all the time God is good. You’re such an inspiration and I am learning to step out on water. ?