“My mom had a braid book when I was a little girl so every morning before school or whenever, we got to look through the braid book and choose the braid that we wanted our mother to attempt to braid in our hair. So, of course my earliest beauty memory is me crying as she ripped at my hair as she’s trying to create some braid that I asked for, but in general my friends were very, very jealous of my amazing braids.
I generally think of doing my makeup and doing my hair as a means to look polished and put together.
Occasionally I will express some vision or idea, but for the most part my five-minute makeup routine and my ten-minute hair routine is meant for me to look as socially acceptable in the work place as possible.
I would say that my end look doesn’t necessarily up my confidence, but it can tweak my personality. So, if I’m going somewhere that’s out of the ordinary for me, like a certain concert or a show, or Halloween, things where a change in look is more appropriate, it helps to get me into that mindset. It’s almost like playing a character. I’m not a big concert goer, but when I go to a concert, if I put on torn jeans, boots, a cool T-shirt and cool makeup, I feel more into the experience.
My go-to look has a lot of steps even though it doesn’t look like it at the end. Before makeup in the morning, I’ll generally wash my face with something gentle, and then use an antioxidant serum like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and then I apply a sunscreen, always a mineral/physical never a chemical. Right now I’m using this really great one from Dr. Karen Grossman called KARYNG and it’s slightly tinted, slightly luminescent – it just leaves a really nice finish. Then, always a BB, almost never a foundation or something heavier. Today I put on one of the Dr. Jart+ ones. This is special makeup because I’m traveling, and I always travel with a separate mini bag. But, at home one of my favorites is by Amarte. It’s one of the few makeup products that I’ve gone through multiple bottles. Then today I used Urban Decay’s Concealer where needed. At home, my favorite thing, and the easiest thing, is the Charlotte Tilbury Five Minute palette. There’s something about having it all in one piece that makes it faster. You can do bronzer, contour, two shades of blush, and then you have three shades for eyes to choose from. It’s just everything.
And then if I’m going to do a little more of an eye, I do a baby cat-eye, which I’ve been doing for ten years. I own every felt tip liner in existence. Most of the time I just pick one from the jar and don’t even think about it. They dry out so fast, that most of the time I’ll start it and realize it’s dry and throw it in the trash and pick another. Today I used this Physicians Formula one that I really like and I’ve had for awhile and it has not dried out which is key. It’s called 2-in-1 Eye Booster. For mascara I use Benefit Roller Lash it’s my favorite mascara of the last year.
Brows are super important – brows are everything. The sad thing is I don’t really love my brows. I overplucked in the ‘90s and they will not grow back, they really need help. I’ve used all of the serums and things, and they have not helped. For travel, I love these little brow kits where you have the mini tweezer and the brush and the powder. At home I’ve been using the Too Faced Bulletproof Brows thing, where you have the brush and the gel. Oh, and then I always use a brow gel, because my brow hairs are weird and long and do unruly things. And Zoey Van Jones is this brow artist in California and she’s absolutely amazing and I use her brow gel.
So, for my hair, the goal is to always do it in ten minutes or less. It’s the very last thing I do before I walk out the door to catch the train, so normally I look at my phone and know that I have oh, exactly nine minutes today and then I divide that in half, and I know I have 4 ½ minutes to blow dry, and 4 ½ minutes to curl. I take my Dyson dryer, and I rough dry my hair like crazy and I’ll use a round brush and brush out just the front sections until it’s a frizzy, poofy mess. But the Dyson controls that frizzy, poofy mess and keeps it from getting too wild where I can’t tame it back with a curling iron. So, then I use my Harry Josh curling iron without the marcel clip, which is now like lost in the back of my drawer, and just use it as a wand. I divide my hair in half and take as big of a section as I can manage and wrap it very fast, my hair curls very quickly – especially because my hair has that great frizzy texture then that holds the curl. So, I take those big sections, hold it for about 3 seconds, drop it, and do maybe six sections on each side. And then run for the train.”