Spell Book of Beauty

by Arabelle Sicardi


I’ve talked about makeup as magic before — -it bleeds through my work. Sometimes I take the message literally and make beauty a ritual to do in the dark. And you know, it’s always worked, even if not entirely in the ways you would expect it to. Here are a few of my favorite spells.

For Recovery & Purification
I do this in the dark times where I relapse into “It was my fault” territory, when I am preoccupied with what I could haves and should haves and what my demons are doing now. Take some clove and burn it in a stone bowl, put it on the ground and start walking in triangle around it. Point, point, point. Walk. I do this until my mind is clear, until things get smaller and quieter. You have to unfocus, dear one. Point, walk. Point, walk. Point, walk. Continue until calm, and the clove is halfway gone. Mix a drop of rosemary oil, myrrh, sandalwood and camelia into a base of your choice, olive oil works fine. Cleanse your face in a circular motion with lukewarm water, then in circular points with your oil, then downwards and out. For as long as necessary. Breathe in the following exercises while reciting the following words internally as affirmation and spellwork: It was not my fault. I am here, now. That’s all, just those words. You can think something else, if you need to. But observe how kind you can be to yourself, all alone. Your skin feels a bit warmer now, you know? Fuller, and quieter. Get familiar with your skin, the contours and bumps it might hold. Press the points of your bones and recognize how strong they are, to keep up all this turmoil. How strong. Hands pink with kindness flowing out through your palms. Keep going. Keep going. You’re fine. You have so much time. Stop when the clove burns out.

For Fearlessness
I like to light a candle of musk to invite power towards me — -a Diptyque candle, of course. I delight in luxury spellwork. It is a good point of intention, to literally light a spark. And now you summon your ghosts and gods. Isabella Cortese, an Italian alchemist and Renaissance writer, published a quite popular book on beauty in 1584 that I am fond of reading about, her name feels full of potency. Smooth on the tongue. She claimed to have a concoction that would give you the complexion of a 15 year old. She suggested using rosewater, rock salt, cinnamon, powdered lily bulbs, egg whites, and milk. Do not do that, even if a very nicely designed Pinterest graphic tells you to do so. But a mask? A mask is something you can do. For fearlessness in mask form, I channel my favorite final girls, the girls who have bathed in blood and conquered, if only for awhile. So: dragon’s blood mask to bathe in blood. Rodial makes a good one, and I assure you this is not me pulling poetry. They do! It’s quite lovely. It feeds me energy instantly. A candle and a face mask. Simple starts. If I am feeling particularly in need of help, I think of the color indigo. Indigo is the power of inertia. It will show you what it means to move. I swipe on indigo lipstick, or eyeliner and I feel daring, and darling (but the murderous, film noir darling, the one with the smoking gun), filled with the knowledge of the dark.

For Balance & Strength
Light a white candle, get a crystal. Sometimes I don’t use a crystal, but I use a small piece of Jade my grandmother gave me when I lived with her. Small round things with good vibrations. Something with sisterhood, something filled with kind ghosts who are cool at the touch to let you know to keep breathing. Pick up your ghost rock, jade queen in waiting. Press it to your lymph nodes at your throat, feel the pulse, learn it well. Rub carnation oil on your temples and wrists for strength. Cedar oil is good for this, too. But you know, maybe you don’t have a million oils around. Being a witch can get expensive and the witch shops are hard to find. A place that is not so hard to find but is equally witchy? Sephora. Beauty magick with your Beauty Insider Card, free potions every time you shop. Two drops of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia or Tom Ford Violet Blonde. Cedarwood in their most glamorous forms, wrapped in gold plaques and glamor-magic, for you to use. Spritz and continue.

“As above, so below.” Say it one time for both wrists, and neck, and earlobe. Four times a prayer to whoever you’d like. I pray to myself, for myself. At least I know I’ll answer.

Let it sink in and hold a piece of your crystal in your open palms for thirty seconds in silence. Smokey Quartz is good for unwanted habits and for grounding yourself in troubled waters. You will feel centered in yourself, you will grow roots in the ground you walk on.

Then go listen to Kanye and Nicki for motivation. You’re a strong and unyielding girl; go conquer. (You’re a motherfucking monster.)

Arabelle Sicardi is a fashion and beauty writer for the likes of Rookie, Teen Vogue, Refinery29 and The Style Con. She likes makeup, cyborgs, and bad fashion puns.