1.20.2018

My Personal Guide to Skincare

Because skin is in.



A year ago from today, I would have never imagined myself to be obsessed with skincare, of all things. I would also never imagine I'd be a rep for a skincare/beauty brand, a topic I would have then considered foreign waters. Then, I was severely dwindling my makeup usage, using the bare minimum to only cover my slight acne and make myself look presentable. A pressed powder by Laura Mercier (which apparently isn't sold anymore), a brow pencil by Benefit, Glossier's Haloscope in quartz, Covergirl Clump Crusher for my lashes which I've been using since it first came out when I was 14. And that was it. As for skincare, it was even more minimal—I used a face wash that I don't even remember the name of and that probably had those now illegal micro-beads in it, "day and night," but I usually only used it once a day, if I was lucky. And that was enough for me. If I was doing minimal makeup, why should I have to spend time and money on skincare?

Although my skin is nowhere near perfect, I had been turned off from skincare since the age of 16, when traumatizing appointments to the dermatologist to fix my acne, starting from age ten (yes, I was in fifth grade) would load me with expensive products that I would be too overwhelmed to use. I would rather live with a nose constantly covered in blackheads and a forehead that would always be red and bumpy than use those products. A bit too dramatic, no? By the age of 15, I had accepted my fate and realized I may live with acne for the rest of my life. So I gave up completely and instead of fixing the problem, I just covered it by wearing makeup almost equivalent to how much one should wear for stage makeup. And magically, my skin didn't cure itself, but, as I grew out of my hormonal, adolescent self, my acne began to clear. No products necessary! Unfortunately, this turned off from skincare even more—if I didn't use any products to clear my skin, why should I start now? But fortunately, I did begin to reduce ten steps of makeup to eight, then six, then to four (which is where I was one year ago). Which only led me to the beauty that is skincare. However, it wasn't immediate—wearing less makeup meant I somehow felt I didn't have to wash my face, my clearer skin made me worried that adding any products would just bring back my acne (moisturizer, for example), and wearing less makeup ultimately made me more lazy in the mornings. No time for makeup, so also no time for skincare. Then, not to be dramatic, but I discovered Glossier and my entire life changed. It started with the purchase of their best-selling highlighter, then the rest is history. I was obsessed. I continued to buy every single makeup product they carried, then the purchase of my first skincare product from them, aka their Milky Jelly Cleanser, was my first step in being enamored by all things skincare. Who knew skincare could be cute?! And not have all those scary acids that caused my skin to practically peel off! I continued to buy all of their skincare products as well, and now, one year later, my zero-to-one-step skincare routine has turned into an almost ten-step one. And my skin, that wasn't necessarily suffering before I started this craze but could definitely need some support, couldn't thank me any more. What exactly is my routine, you ask?


My first step is always Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser—first thing in the morning, first thing when I start my nighttime routine, even first thing I do when I shower. Before this cleanser, I thought face washes had to be scrubs or at least have salicylic acid in them to work, but this gentle cleanser works even better for problem skin than those over-exfoliating ones. My face has never felt so soft and clear with this baby. Who knew you could have both at the same time?


Then come the face masks, a step I won't do everyday but probably three to four times a week. My discovery of face masks came later than other skincare products, only about three months ago when I bought (you guessed it) Glossier's mask duo. The first one is a detoxifying clay mask that "balances and conditions pores while helping to calm skin," which are qualities that are found in so many Glossier products, and the second is a moisturizing mask that does exactly what it says—hydrates. After falling in love with these after my first try, I immediately bought more face masks from Origins—their charcoal mask to clear pores (so good for acne prone skin, like mine) and their rose mask to retexturize skin.


After I mask (or after I wash my face), I go straight to my serums. I discovered serums after my purchase of Glossier's Super Pure serum at the beginning of last summer, which is a niacinamide and zinc serum that is meant to "soothe redness and help calm blemishes," which was my biggest skin problem as an aftermath to almost ten years with acne. After one week using this, my skin looked so much better that I stopped using powder all together—I had nothing to cover up anymore! I then bought all three Supers (Super Bounce, which is a hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 serum that hydrates, and Super Glow, which is a magnesium and vitamin C serum that supposedly gives energy and glow to your skin). I used all three every day (Pure and Glow in the mornings, Bounce at night), realized I only loved Pure and Bounce, so I only continued to replen those two. I still love these two products, but my discovery of serums allowed me to find The Ordinary, a science-driven skincare company that sells similar serums (among others) for a super cheap price. We're talking under $10, and for double the amount you get from Glossier. Only a few weeks ago, I decided to try it out, and purchase the two serums that are identical to Pure and Bounce (niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% and hyaluronic acid 2% + B5), along with their 100% organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil, which hydrates, brightens, and reduces scarring/dark spots, and their caffeine solution 5% + EGCG, which reduces dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. This is a lot, I know, so here's what I do: in the mornings, I first use Super Pure (I still have half a bottle left), then the caffeine solution under my eyes only, then the hyaluronic acid + B5 all over my face. At night, I use the caffeine solution again, then the hyaluronic acid + B5 again, then the rose hip seed oil (note: I use some of The Ordinary products twice a day because they're not as concentrated as Glossier's serums). Order is important, because some solutions are water-based, and some are oil-based, and messing up the order will make the molecules not as effective. After discovering all of these molecules, I realized that this was my skincare peak, and I had no idea where else I could evolve to in the world of skincare. Maybe chemical exfoliators are next.



Finally, I moisturize! Only eight months ago, I was terrified of moisturizers—if I have oily skin, why would I add more moisture? Little did I know that moisturizing daily actually reduces the amount of oil your skin naturally produces. It's similar to how washing your hair too much makes your hair oilier, as it strips its natural oils, making it produce more oil. Not allowing your skin to hydrate does exactly this, but producing the bad kind that clogs pores and causes acne. If only I had known this when I was 14. In the morning, I use Glossier's Priming Moisturizer usually mixed with a bit of Fresh's Instant Glow Luminizer to both hydrate and prep my skin before makeup and to add a bit of glow, especially when my skin is feeling dull and tired. At night, I use Glossier's Priming Moisturizer in Rich, which is like their original PM but is heavier and has lavender oil in it, making it perfect for a nighttime cream.



The rest of my routine is easy—I wear Glossier's Stretch Concealer under my eyes and on my blemishes/red spots (which have ultimately reduced due to my skincare), Glossier's Boy Brow on my brows, Glossier's Haloscope in Quartz on my cheekbones and in Topaz on my lids, Glossier's Balm Dot Com (my favs right now are rose and cherry) on my lips, then my OG Clump Crusher mascara, the only thing that has stayed a constant in my evolution of skincare and makeup, which is comforting, knowing that everything is continuously changing.

Like what you see? Feel free to ask me any questions about Glossier's products in the comments (or DM me on Instagram). Buy Glossier products through my link, and get 20% off your first order and always free shipping on 2+ items or $30+.

1.11.2018

An '80s Summer Revival is Upon Us

All thanks to popular queer cinema.


Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Ever since November of 2016, I've been dreaming of summer. Yep. Almost 14 months of longing for a season that only lasts three months, meaning I've been thinking about summer for the span of almost five summers. Now that's depressing. But, according to popular media, the thousands of IG photos set in LA or Barcelona that praise summer, and the satisfaction most of us seem to get by wearing minimal clothing, it seems like I'm not the only one. My 16 and 17-year-old self would be laughing right now. I used to hate this season, but now, in the midst of winter, all I want is summer.

The appeal hit me in November of 2016, as I said above, when I watched "San Junipero" for the first time. If you haven't heard of it, where have you been? But I'll still explain: it's an episode of Black Mirror set in a beach town in the '80s filled with '80s music, a queer love story that doesn't end in tragedy, and summer looks that make me dream of the season for 14 months straight. First step: if you haven't already, watch this now. Go. Don't even finish reading this blog post; go watch it then return 61 minutes of cinematic genius later.

San Junipero (2016)

Did you watch it? Good. Now back to my point. You understand why all of it is so, in the simplest of words, enamoring? All I want to do is fall in love wearing breezy summer clothes, but only in the '80s. No other decade will suffice. Maybe this is why the runway is heavily pulling from this decade, bringing back the power suit and shoulder pads because nostalgia is just that powerful. Nostalgia sells! And maybe this is also why other cinematic pieces are also following this '80s summer trend—enter my other favorite queer love story, Call Me by Your Name, the film I've watched three times in the past three weeks and read twice in the past two weeks. Take everything from "San Junipero," switch genders, and amplify it all. "San Junipero" makes me want to fall in love in the summer in the '80s, but Call Me by Your Name makes me feel like I am falling in love in the summer in the '80s. Since this one's a bit longer (especially if you read the book), I'm not going to make you stop reading this post and watch it, but if you haven't yet, go buy tickets ASAP or spend the next day reading it before going out to see it.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

It not only portrays the feelings of endless desire and selfless love in the span of one summer oh-so-perfectly, but it also holds a few of my favorite things: the scenery of Northern Italy; a mix of '80s hits, entrancing piano pieces, and heart-wrenching Sufjan Stevens songs; and a style that can be summed up by the word billowy, a term used in the novel to describe one of Oliver's (Armie Hammer) shirts. "San Junipero" made me dream of summer, but Call Me by Your Name made me long for it as I felt what summer should feel like in the 2 hours and 12 minutes it takes to watch the movie. So ever since watching the two, I've constantly been re-watching them, desiring that same bubbly feeling that I get that could only be a product of an '80s summer love story. Gay, that is (sorry, straight storylines, we've had enough of you).

Because I can't go on for years just re-watching these two pieces, I might as well find a way to make the hazy '80s summer last in some way. Finding the love of my life in the span of a short summer isn't necessarily feasible, so what about only listening to '80s music? That's a bit too much. What about moving to Northern Italy? A bit too random, at least right now. Maybe simply pull inspiration from the styles of each piece? There we go. Instead of just following typical '80s trends, these pieces seem to find the best, most refreshing ones, and while I can't wear practically nothing in below freezing weather, I can at least dream of wearing them when temps rise in the spring.

San Junipero (2016)

Bermuda shorts have never looked so good! I think I'll ditch my DIY cut-offs that I cut three inches too short and opt for some khaki bermudas. Oversized striped tee recommended, shoes optional.

San Junipero (2016).

And when the beachy breezes of the night hit, slip on a denim jacket. Fake glasses also optional.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Speaking of denim jackets, make double denim an '80s summer dream by pairing light-wash Levi's with a breezy striped button-down and a cuffed jean jacket.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

And now that I mention stripes, why don't you just wear stripes 24/7? Maybe in the form of a Lacoste polo paired with denim, or instead in the form of a button-down shirt that's only buttoned twice with khakis. The key to flirting is to purposefully match with your crush but play it off like it was an accident, because stripes are so in right now.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Summer implies that almost-outfit-repeating is completely acceptable, making it possible to wear that same breezy button-down over and over again but this time, with even less buttons done and with a bathing suit that also acts as really short shorts. If you want a change, wear the same shorts you wore while swimming earlier that day and pair it with your favorite band tee (bonus points if your favorite band tee is a Talking Heads one, like Elio's (Timothée Chalamet)).

San Junipero (2016)

The bermudas are back! Instead of wearing a mostly undone button-down like Oliver, only leave the top button undone and tuck it into belted shorts. Pair it with a (you guessed it) denim jacket to lessen that business-professional vibe.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Here's billowy! Wear your best-dressed button-down with belted trousers on your first day of summer, but make sure to still leave most of the buttons undone to show off some skin or your jewelry. It's summer, remember? Also, make sure the shirt you wear when meeting your future soulmate is a good one, because...

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

...he'll ask to keep it when the summer comes to a close and decide to wear it everyday you're apart. Two birds with one stone: sustainable fashion and holding on to a lost love through their most personal possessions.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

And when summer's gone, exchange the bathing suit for wool trousers and the summer button-down for a winter one layered over a turtleneck, because summer doesn't last forever and it just got really fucking cold.

What I've come to realize is that the sunny season is a dream-like state, which is what makes it so enticing, and these two pieces of cinema somehow translate summer to literally and figuratively feel like a never-ending dream that's fueled by love. How romantic! If only we could live in summer forever, but instead, responsibilities and negative temperatures face us. I'll be counting down the days: 161 more days until I can live in a dream again.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)