“I use makeup to just feel like a little more polished version of myself.”

“I feel like my lifelong beauty challenge has been my hair. I have always had crazy, frizzy, curly hair and in my baby pictures it took up the entire frame, and it was out of the square in my school pictures when I was young. So, I think my earliest beauty memories are figuring out how to tame it. So, when I was 11 or 12 I would sit in the bathroom for hours figuring out how to blow dry my hair so it was straight and not kinky, and not curly in the back and I remember getting all just sweaty and hot and it was a nightmare. But, thank goodness my mom and dad got me a keratin treatment when they became available and that really changed my life. My hair has always been the biggest fuss I’ve always had to put up with.

I feel like it’s less that I identify as someone with long, brown hair and it’s more about the maintenance. That in-between period when I couldn’t straighten it, and I couldn’t get keratin treatments, I had for lack of a better word a little fro, and it was really hard to deal with. I think when it’s long and heavy it does its own thing and it just saves me a lot of time. I’m either going to have to be long or I’m going to have to be totally buzzed. Like I can’t do anything in between, and I know buzzed hair is having another moment right now and I would consider it if I hadn’t spent all of this time growing out my hair and hadn’t gotten it in a really good place.

But yea, I mean when I didn’t have hair it didn’t really affect me psychologically as much as I thought it would.

I think people were a little bit freaked out when they saw me, but I was a 22-year-old with cancer – I don’t know what I expected.

But, I think now that I’m older and more confident I think I would have rocked it better without being so ‘oh my God they think I shaved my head like Britney Spears.’ But at this point it’s less of an identifier of my look, and more of like okay, I only have finite amount of time to deal with myself every day, and it’s easier when my hair is either all gone, or really long, and I can just let Jesus take the wheel.

alyssa1
Photo: Ashley Kalinske

Personally, I use makeup to just feel like a little more polished version of myself. I have under eye circles and I really try to cover those up and try to look awake, and I always try to make my hair look sleek and not like bedhead – especially during Fashion Week when I have things where I need to go and be on display a little bit. But, you know I just kind of use it as a tool to make myself feel a little bit more sophisticated and grown up like an actual adult woman. If I had the choice, I think I would just throw on a little bit of moisturizer and a low bun and call it a day.

I always consider where I’m going and who is going to be there in terms of industry folk and when I’m representing myself as an editor and writer, and also my brand so I want to put on the best face that I can. Even something as simple as a red lip, I feel like it looks like ‘hey, she put in a little effort and looks really chic.’ It’s similar to putting on a really beautiful piece of jewelry or an accessory that makes your outfit pop, that’s what it is to me. In terms of a confidence booster, I do feel a little more like, aright I can take this on, when I have my lipstick or a great cat-eye.

The lip is my go-to, if I do an eye I won’t wear anything besides for a natural color on my lips. Right now I have on NARS Red Square Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – it looks good on everybody and this is probably my 7th or 8th stick. I’ve gone through so many and I sharpen them too, so I get as much as I can out of the ones I have. As for skin care, it’s kind of a funny thing, I’ll pile on whatever we get at the Fashionista office. But I live near Club Clio, that K-beauty store, and I’ll just kind of buy one of every mask they have and give myself every other night to just sit with one of those on. I also love face oil like Sunday Riley and La Mer. And right now I’m really into Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Mask too.”

@AlyssaVingan

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