Born and raised in the South of France, Nastassia has been living and working as a photographer in California for the last five years. For two of those years, she has been leading a self-titled "semi-nomadic lifestyle," sharing time between Los Angeles and various other corners of the world. For this Routine, Nastassia captures her homecoming in a self-portrait series entitled "Rose Water" shot in her native Provence.
My creative process is nonlinear, I rely primarily on instinct, and I try to confront with contrasts. I am mainly interested in capturing moments that are infused with life, raw, and unpolished yet sophisticated. Lately, animals and non-industrial landscapes have made an apparition inside my frame. I find it very soothing to bring these elements back into the conversation whenever possible. I cherish the energy of cities but need a lot of quiet time so that I can keep absorbing information.
I hope to revisit the complexity of the female body and mind endlessly. I am fascinated by how many layers there are to peel back. I also appreciate how colorful and graceful we all are inside and out. When I photograph another woman, whether I know her or we have just met, I sincerely try to find what she is made of. I consider the social, environmental and cultural background she brings with her physical presence. Admittedly I am less interested in being on the other side of the camera, but I am warming up to documenting my dimensions.
I always feel like I am floating, so I combat that spatial disorientation by walking barefoot or soaking in salt water. I practice oil pulling every day, and I can’t get enough vitamin E on my skin and hair. I am insulin resistant, so I burn fuel fast and supplement by eating coconut oil by the spoonful. I guess I must have been pretty dry to start with - as a child my favorite foods were raw cheeses, olives, and avocado. My body was already telling me something!
Growing up, my girlfriends and I would spend the day at the river and rub our entire bodies with olive oil. This was our very own Monoï, and we intended it to help us tan faster! My skin complexion is very pale from my British mother and German grandmother so I would put sunscreen on before the oil which, now, I am not sure made a lot of sense, but my skin was actually very healthy from this summer ritual. I also grew up putting artisanal rose water on my face, vinegar, honey, and chamomile in my hair (to clarify and lighten) and collecting old French perfumes for their bottles and stories.
I need the nourishment of self-care to stay balanced. I have a deep love for intoxicating fluids and a tendency to worry, so one way to fight this addictive and anxious personality is to turn to the healing world of plants and look internally for some relief. In Ayurvedic traditions, I am The Deer. It’s a very sensitive, yet perceiving creature, but it’s also prayed upon. Thankfully, it can feel the smallest leaf moving with the wind, so I am learning how to protect this gift by taking care of my body and spirit so she can show me the way.
Morning skin care routine:
I love mornings because you can always start fresh and rewrite your own story from the beginning, so I usually start with a smile!
After some light stretching, I spray some Neroli Water on my face that I found in Wellington on a recent trip to New Zealand. If I haven’t showered or taken a bath in the evening, I cleanse with Sans [Ceuticals] Goji Body + Face Oil
followed by Sans [Ceuticals] Bio Active Body Exfoliant
to wake and hydrate - it contains adaptogen herbs such as Reishi and Ginseng, two ingredients I consume internally as well. For the face, I sometimes apply Manuka honey, but most of the time I just go with this handmade coffee serum found in Joshua Tree, it's made with coffee-infused sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, vitamin E and vanilla bean. I think it’s called Simply By Nature. It works on cellulite too! Otherwise, in my effort to simplify the equation, Everyday Oil is aligning with this new mantra.
Midday self-care (if any):
If I can swimming - otherwise sex or a sunbath.
Evening skincare routine:
If I go out, I apply some Poppy and Someday lip tint on my lips and cheeks. I end the day with a breast massage using Rupam's Herbals Lady Nada's and a leg rub with By Nieves Legs N' All to alleviate the aches caused by standing all day.
Last thing before sleep:
I get anxious once the sun starts to go down, so I am experimenting with brightening my nights with calming salves and medicinal mushrooms at the moment. If I am somewhere in the wild, I stare at the milky way.
What your top three favorite products from the Pamela Love Apothecary?
On my top TOP list would probably be Sans [Ceuticals] Nourishing Hair Hydrant
. You get an instant gratification when using this creamy hair conditioner. Lucy, the owner of the brand, is so clever. I am actually out of the product right now, and it feels like a hole in my heart. I have trouble sleeping and currently battling with an adrenal burnout, so Anima Mundi Dream Elixir
has been a key player to replenish my nervous system. Lastly, I am just starting using the Hamadi Texture Power Dry Shampoo
, and I am pretty hooked…
Do you have any homemade skin care recipes or a favorite culinary recipe you'd like to share?
I have been making this face mask using charcoal, coconut oil, frankincense essential oil, ghee, and turmeric. I deep massage with sesame oil before applying and leave it on my skin for an hour.
2 activated charcoal capsules, open and emptied out
½ tbsp organic coconut oil slow infused with 3 drops of doTERRA Frankincense essential oil
½ tbsp ghee
½ tsp ground turmeric powder