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Treatment Tuesday with Nickie Devolution
I've known Nickie through the alt online scene for a fair few years now (Facebook says 5 years, but I reckon longer with the age of Myspace!) she is the owner and founder of Devolution Magazine and The Alt Collective, a fashion and art charity event that started in 2009. She's a one-woman machine with a dedicated contributing team working on the only alternative independent print magazine out there covering fashion, music, art, tattoos, lifestyle culture and photography; Devolution recently released Issue 40 of the magazine signifying 10 years of actual print! A decade of independent publishing is an incredible feat.
In the last couple of years Nickie's been on an epic transformation both physically and mentally. I noticed something she was posting about regularly via her personal Facebook page that she called ‘Treatment Tuesday’ so I asked her more about it and got nosy about her tattooed eyeliner...
You've been running Devolution since your mid-20s and just recently you turned 35 – I don’t believe it at all though! What’s your skincare like these days?
I’m not going to lie – I have never been ‘that’ girl that had a daily cleansing treatment or moisturising routine. To this day I still get ID’d for most things so I guess I am lucky that I have my baby face still and often get mistaken for someone in their early or mid-twenties – maybe the copious amounts of gin kept me preserved? Haha! That said, my sister in law recently introduced me to a range of products by a brand called Nu Skin which are simply divine! I never really bought into the ‘spend a fortune and feel younger/healthier/fresher’ but these products are incredibly good and I am now regularly using marine mud masks, facial scrub and moisturising mist as part of a self-maintenance routine.
Over time, you've collected yourself a vast array of tattoos but I remember you saying you've had your eyeliner tattooed on. Wow! How did that go? Who did you go to?
Having my eyeliner tattooed on was the best decision of my life! It was done by Felicity Denham who owns Hook and Eye: a tattoo and piercing studio in Witney, Oxfordshire. She's an absolute goddess - her skillset, her customer care and ability when it comes to cosmetics, piercing, scarification and so much more is just incredible. I’m due a retouch on my eyes this year – I went for super cute Latino flicks but we didn’t go too dark and heavy at first to be on the safe side but having comfortably had them done for just over a year now I am ready to go back and get the lines done a little thicker both on the eyelids and underneath for an even more dramatic look. The procedure did not hurt as much as you think it might have! Having them tattooed on was also especially helpful at festivals; whether it’s too hot or raining – perfect liner throughout!
What's your favourite make-up product? Is there anything you couldn't live without? (Obviously discounting eyeliner as it's always on your face now that it's tattooed!)
Haha, that’s true! Anyone that knows me knows that I am a 35-year-old woman who still puts on her makeup like war paint from the 1995 riot girl days; I don’t think that will ever leave me! I’m no makeup artist – I envy anyone who can contour or generate smoky eyes but it’s my comfort zone and I am known as the girl with the almond shaped eyes which are always caked in her favourite black Rimmel pencil! If they happen to look about the same that’s great – anyway, who cares?! I couldn’t live without eyeliner; for regular every day liner I love Rimmel pencils. My sister in law has had me testing (and absolutely LOVING!) the Nu Skin range, and I adore their mascara too. Another personal favourite of mine is the entire Eye of Horus range; Egyptian style packaging, beautifully produced items, in vibrant colours and in metallic too – their eyeliner is waterproof and after one coat, that jet black isn’t shifting for at least 24 hours or until you use industrial style cleansing scrub it off. I believe you pay for what you get these days and I recommend these brands to anyone!
You've been on one hell of an amazing transformation with your health in the last few years. In brief, tell us what you've been up to.
Since 2011 I have physically lost 5 stone which has allowed room for confidence to grow rapidly, and to gain a feeling of self-worth which was severely lacking for years. I’m a very lucky lady who now gets some incredible compliments every single day via social media and in person by readers, supporters, friends and family. I am encouraged, applauded, motivated by these kind souls who seem to take it upon their wonderful selves to make sure I’m on track, keep challenged, kept sane and kept smiling! I hate talking about myself and if I’m honest I didn’t see the transformation immediately. It’s only when you really look at the past (digging out old photos or having them come up in Timehop) you notice. I have physically and mentally changed though; it’s mostly commonly my attitude and self-esteem that have seen the biggest changes.
I have changed my lifestyle and certain habits; a healthy eating group was the gateway for this as well as then taking up circuit training classes (aided by the support of my boss!) and more recently, Clubbercise! Each class is around 4000-5000 steps and my god you sweat it out! The 90’s schoolgirl in me enjoys being able to dance and workout, aerobics style in a dark room with glow sticks and just lose yourself. Anything goes and if the Prodigy or House of Pain comes on, you can bet your ass I am there busting out my best moves and dancing like no one is watching! It’s truly liberating – go find a class near you!
You've been doing your Treatment Tuesday for a while now as a way to dedicate time to yourself, as you're so busy with Devolution, Alt Collective events AND have a full time job at an independent publishing house. What brought that about, and what do you do?
Treatment Tuesday is an idea that was forged by me for myself. Last year I took on an intense 10-month therapy treatment. I had issues that hadn’t been resolved and had created a negative hole in my headspace that prevented me from finding ‘my happy’ for want of a better phrase. It was a very private and personal journey, so I didn’t blog or publish anything about them nor did I talk about them with friends of family members. It was probably the most honest important, intense and freeing thing I have ever done and once it was over, I found myself at a bit of a loss. The therapy had happened every Tuesday. I would leave work at 3pm, get on a bus to Oxford with only a book and headphones. At the time, I would turn off social media so that I wasn’t tempted to work; the time was just me, music, literature and some calm. Once in Oxford I would stroll through the beautiful city, sometimes killing time if I was early by visiting a local café or park; these were major steps for me to help combat and overcome my crippling anxiety. My ‘Devolution’ persona is loud and confident, and passionate and bubbly; reality is I’m actually a very shy, anxious and an easily embarrassed person. People don’t often know or realise this about me.
So I started to miss that time on a Tuesday afternoon between 3pm and 8pm that was just mine; I had grown accustomed to it each week and felt the benefits, so it presented a problem when the therapy ended. I truly did miss that small space of time that I dedicated to myself; it had become a crutch and realised how much I actually needed it. So every Tuesday now it’s a time that I will usually come away from social media and emails. It’s the bath night where I use all the beauty products I own, or pick up a book and get snuggled up to read it, or watch a film and immerse myself in it whilst enjoying specifically picked tasty treats. My friends and family know it’s a time not to disturb me unless it’s really important; it’s my time to just go ‘screw you, world!’ I’m going to Netflix and chill and not feel guilty about it!
It’s really difficult to make sure that I dedicate that timeframe to myself. Do you have any idea how hard it is to switch off? (Moo: Oh yes, yes I do!) It’s really tough! But I try and do it as often as I can. I know that I have inspired a few people to do the same who also work a crazy number of hours a week and they have found it as rewarding as I do. Such a small amount of time to set aside but so very significant; and that is what I have learned! I encourage you all to join me in #treatmenttuesday on Facebook or Instagram and tell me how you get on!
So for those who’re now looking to embark on making Treatment Tuesday a weekly event in the diary, what are your tips?
I’ve been a little slack recently about sticking to it, but I really feel the benefits doing it and certainly feel so much more stressed and anxious when I don’t! I’m back on track now so my tips are entirely easy to follow; the first is plan for it! If you wing it, you’ll likely tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow. Choose what you want to do and decide how you want to spend those few hours in advance; get the food in, set aside the book and comfy pyjamas or treat yourself to new bath time products. Get it ready to go and generally set it up as if you were planning a date night with yourself!
The second tip is don’t for one second feel like your letting anyone down, or that you’re being selfish or unapproachable. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t do it. Quite frankly if everyone opted in for this for just a few hours a week, we would all find some sort of calm within; these few hours are vital for down time and to recharge, your body needs sleep to rest and your mind needs time out too. Our lives are so busy; so dominated by computers, phone and tablet screens; we’re a nation of rushing and impatient people and sometimes we need to just slow it all down and take stock of your physical and mental health.
Thank you so much Nickie! I’m planning my Tuesday night already; I’ve got gorgeous smellies from Christmas still so I’m gonna have a bath, do my toe nails, do a foot scrub and intensive moisturiser (with the little socks!) and drink some prosecco with a film. Start planning your Treatment Tuesday now and dedicate that time solely to you – you absolutely categorically deserve it!
(Nickie at the end of her email to me said this and it made me aww big time: “Thank you Sali for the questions and for giving me my own interview – writing this all down and reading it back aloud has only made me realise how far I have come and how vital my journey ahead still is so thank you for that.” You’re welcome beauty!)