The act of people-watching is a wistful one. It allows your imagination to take hold and, even in a public place, create a relationship with a perfect stranger. Such intrigue inspired the concept behind Passerbuys—a recommendation site for women.
"I would notice myself thinking about interesting-looking passersby, wondering about their personalities, lifestyles, homes, jobs material possessions; just about anything," says Clémence Polès, the site's founder and creative director. "Where did she buy that bag? I wonder what books she's reading. What kind of music is she into? I wanted to create a website that put the focus back on real people providing inspiration rather than instruction," she explains.
In an era of hyper-curation, Passerbuys chooses to focus on the true lives and styles of women across the globe. "We want to build a community where women help one another—offering each other genuine advice, everyday tips and reliable recommendations," says Polès. "The spirit of the website is rooted in the participants whom we refer to as Passersby: striking, smart and captivating women."
It's that very same ethos at the core of stories on Byrdie, wherein we want to feel connected to the products we recommend and the women we feature—allowing for more than just a momentary snapshot of information. So we decided to team up with Passerbuys to highlight the most helpful health and wellness tips from the women they have profiled. Below, find their thoughtful words.
"Massage and acupuncture have become backbones of my self-care. As a writer who is almost always hunched over either a book or laptop, I've realised that I need to take steps to better care for myself. I come from hardworking people who don't believe in pleasure, so I feel guilty to announce such things. I feel like I don't have a right to want them when my mother, at 62, has only had a massage once in her life. I'm realising it's part of my healing practice. Other than that, good food as are regular mani-pedis, if my [salary] permits. Exercise is also important. I've been flailing because of travel, but I love running. I try and meditate every day. My partner, Shaka, bought me animal cards, which are tarot cards that Native Americans use in readings, so I'll use that after meditation to get guidance on how I'm feeling emotionally."
"Holistic health is very important to me. I've become extremely attuned to the foods that make me feel great and the ones that make me feel terrible. And now I’m learning to experiment with teas and things just for health. I bought a block of organic Reishi mushrooms at the Union Square farmers market, I'm going to brew it this winter as a health tonic. I just started a newsletter to document these adventures."
"To escape stress, I watch movies and TV, or I read. My go-to streaming services are Mubi and FilmStruck. My self-care ritual is going to therapy. My therapist specialises in EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing), a multimodal method of processing memories for self-improvement. I spend most of the session meditating on and navigating through memories. Not sure if therapy is for everyone, but I find it helpful. I'm lucky to have found a good therapist who takes my health insurance. I like to swim at my local YMCA. I'm a shit swimmer, but I do it for fun. It makes me feel like I'm not in the city. I'll shvitz in the sauna afterwards, which is so great if it’s working. Not always the case, YMCA! Acupuncture has helped me out of some seriously unpleasant pulled muscles. My favourite spot is on Baxter Street, Yaoshen Cai; he does cupping if you ask."
"Netflix and Postmates. I'm a homebody. I'm watching House at the moment. I love a procedural show, and Hugh Laurie is not just a babe. He's the babe. I did EMDR for a few months. It's a therapy for PTSD and anxiety that helped me. I am not a naturally confident person. I had a rough first 20 years that left a few creases on me that I'm still trying to iron out. I also find cleaning to rap music very cathartic. It's my form of meditation. Hoovering to Party Up is a mood."
"I release a lot of stress through ClassPass. I like to try different classes: tai chi, Pilates and yoga. I love massages when I can afford them at Raven in Silverlake. I could really use a massage right now! If I'm feeling sluggish, I'll take one tablespoon of diatomaceous earth supplement for 10 days; it clears out heavy metals, will kill any parasites and gives you natural energy. The supplement Myomin is also amazing—it's a special blend that literally 'balances your chi.' It's a hormone balancer, which is good for women. I buy most my supplements from Chi Health; the asparagus extract is good if you've been drinking during the holidays or event seasons."
"I'm a firm believer in aperitifs. There's Campari sodas or manzanilla sherry at 5 p.m. on the dot. And reading. When people ask how I read so much, the answer is always that I don't watch TV. I read a lot for work, but the reading at the end of the day is purely for pleasure."
"Drawing for myself has become a bit of a self-care ritual lately. For a while—for like at least a year—I barely touched my sketchbook. Every time I made the effort to draw something, it felt like such a chore. I would be like, 'Oh I spend all day doing this at work and now you want me to do this at home? FOH.' But seriously, once I made that disconnect between work and home and my own practice, it's been lovely and I try to incorporate that into my daily routine."