“I was born in London, and I lived there until I was eight years old, when my family moved to Costa Rica. A lot of people have the image that you’re on the beach all the time with sloths, and there was that lifestyle, but our day-to-day wasn’t like that. Eventually, I moved to San Francisco for university to study fashion journalism. I was there for five years, and then I moved to New York.
I decided to move to New York because that’s what one does if they’re interested in fashion and media. [Laughs] I worked briefly in a social media role for a fashion brand and decided that it was not the direction that was going to make me happy, so I pivoted to editorial at Thrillist. I was an editorial assistant, worked my way up a bit, and eventually got laid off in the ‘pivot to video’ era.
From there, I did a year working the worst job of my life. I’m not going to name names; it was honestly a company that you never would have heard of. The whole time I kept thinking, ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ So I applied for a position at InStyle magazine. I was desperate to get it, and when I did, I was like, ‘You’ve saved me from this hellhole of a job that I’m not supposed to be in.’ I started out as a fashion and beauty ecommerce writer, and it was an incredible job because it was really at the beginning of ecommerce editorial and affiliate content becoming what it is now. It’s such an important revenue driver for publications in general, and I got in there on the ground floor.
I got really antsy during the pandemic. I’d been at InStyle for three years, and I was afraid to quit outright because I didn’t have a plan, but I really needed to do something else. So I left my full time role, and I was a contractor a couple of days a week until October of last year. During that time, I had space to figure out my next move. That’s when my fashion and beauty newsletter, Magasin came to me. It’s pronounced ‘magazine,’ but it’s spelled in the French way that you say ‘store.’
Magasin has two sends a week. The first one keeps you up-to-date on new launches and sales in the fashion space. In the second, I talk to extremely well-dressed people, and ask about what they are buying. It’s exciting to have people let you into their closets and shopping habits in a way that feels so personal and private. I mean, everyone wants to have great style, but you don’t really hear about how people are acquiring things, so I like to get into the granular with them.
My mother has always had beautiful beauty products. She collects tins of paprika, vintage combs… different things from her travels. Her collections are these almost talismanic-feeling items that come in sets, and so to me, that’s what beauty is supposed to look like, just beautiful objects. My mom let my sister and I be really independent with how we wanted to adopt beauty. In high school, I remember how the humidity made my hair do the most insane things—my hair was pretty curly, and I was so lost to be honest. Reddit eventually helped when I moved to New York. You know r/skincareaddiction? I was on it every day, and I had this moment of, ‘Oh, beauty isn’t a scam. There are ingredients that each do things.’
My routine is really simple. In the morning I’ll either splash my face with water or go straight to the shower. I was using the NuFace, but I just started getting into the Solawave—it vibrates, and it has a red light therapy element to it. I’ll put Public Goods aloe on my face instead of the goo that the device comes with. I use it for 15 minutes or so, but honestly, it’s just using aloe, like so much aloe, on my face that’s more beneficial than any device.
I sound like such a Reddit hoe, but after the Solawave, I use the Stratia Liquid Ceramide Moisturizer. It’s a holy grail in the r/skincareaddiction community. I’ve been using it for the last couple months. It’s supposed to be good for barrier repair because it has cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids. It’s been very helpful through the winter. Then I use the Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a sunscreen before, but this one’s great.
At night, I have two cleansers that I switch between depending on whether I’m doing a quick wash or a leisurely wash. The quick one is the Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser. Having worked in the ecommerce space, I have a lot of PR connections and test a lot of beauty products, so the things that I’m using right now are not necessarily things that I always use. I find some things are interchangeable and other things I will go out and re-buy. But right now, I’m using Beauty Pie, and I do like it but it’s not necessarily one of my from-now-until-forever products.
The cleanser that I like when I’m having a leisurely process is from Ayond—the Metamorph Cleansing Balm. It has a grainy oily texture, and it melts on your skin. It’s just so lovely. I have a niacinamide product—Alder New York Balancing Serum—that I’ll throw on sometimes, and I’m also using a serum that I quite like. It’s the Nature of Things Balancing Facial Essence. I love their little jars—the product is great, but when things look good, I’m a sucker for it. Then I will use A313; I’ve tried tretinoin before, and it makes the skin around my eyes very, very sensitive. After, I like the Stratia Liquid Gold or Biafine—another French pharmacy staple—as a moisturizer, and I’ll throw Aquaphor on as an occlusive.
I use the DermaFlash DermaPore Pore Extractor every couple of weeks in the shower when my skin’s really soft. I went to a facial ages ago and the facialist used a similar tool, and I knew just from the feeling that it really got into my pores. I’ll vibrate it over my nose and across my cheeks, and it feels like it loosens up those deep set blackheads. Or sometimes I’ll use the Moon Juice Acid Potion AHA + BHA Resurfacing Exfoliator. It’s like $42 for a bottle that lasts me around six months; I think it’s one of the best deals in skincare.
Maybe two years ago, I started Botox as more of a preventative thing. I started to see some lines on my forehead and it doesn’t really freak me out or anything, but if the service is available, why not? I think of it as another skincare opportunity, and it actually makes me feel like I need to be less high maintenance in my daily routine. I usually go to Ever/Body, and they’re very personable. I also recently went to Dr. Melissa Doft, and I got DAXXIFY. It’s supposed to last twice as long as Botox so I got it done on my forehead and my elevens. Maybe this is my new thing. Time will tell.
When it comes to makeup, I prefer a more minimal approach. I’ll do a little bit of the Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer in shade Burdock SC1.75 around the nose. I use the Clé Cosmetics CCC Cream in Light. It’s more of a tinted moisturizer really; I only really use foundation for a night out look, which is a different story altogether. I’ll just do that for skin and a little Balm Blush from Merit in the shade Terracotta. I was resistant to liking the brand because I didn’t love their packaging, but all of their products have been really good. I’ll finish it off with the clear brow gel from Espressoh, which is definitely the hardest holding brow gel I’ve ever tried.
If I’m really doing up my look, I’ll use the Il Makiage foundation in shade 020 Woke Up Like This. I started using it because of the ads, and I hate to say this because I’m so resistant to that kind of thing, but it is a really good foundation for me. I add a touch of Westman Atelier Lit Up highlighter because I feel like the foundation does need a little extra glow, and sometimes, I’ll throw on a swipe of Glossier Lash Slick.
I have a few tinted lip oils from Typology that I really like, but what I’ve been really enjoying is lip liner and a gloss over it—it gives me a look that I’ve been experimenting with lately. I put so much effort into fashion, and I realized I wasn’t a complete package. If I’m throwing money and attention into these crazy outfits and pieces that I love so much, I need to do them the justice of at least throwing something on my face. So I started collecting screenshots of things that I was into and it ended up being a folder of things that when you combine them—or when you throw them on my face at least—give me a ‘bimbo’ look. The lip liner is the anchor.
My hair is wavy in New York. I tried to do the ‘curly girl method’ to reclaim the curls, but it was so heavy on my hair—all the products made my hair look greasy all the time. So I started doing the opposite, which is using only shampoo; I just started using the OUAI Fine Hair shampoo every other day with the Jolie Filtered Showerhead, and my hair has been loving it. I really feel the difference when traveling.
I use the Dyson to blow dry my hair, and I spritz Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray on it so it doesn’t get too out of control. If I do want a little bit of shape, I’ll shampoo it, comb it out, hit it with the blow dryer at the roots, let the rest of it stay moist, and hand curl it.
I don’t know if this is a nightmare to say, but I have been using the same boar bristle brush from The Body Shop for 20 years. I do wash it obviously, but it’s the perfect, perfect brush. It’s so good for my scalp. I rarely cut my hair, but I just got bangs by Ann Causey. She’s kind of a low intervention hairstylist, which I really appreciate. Now I have these little flippies to play with when I do my ‘bimbo’ thing.
All of my fragrances are gender neutral. Even before I fell into my current perfume pattern, I was using Le Labo’s Bergamote 22. I have one fragrance that I absolutely love right now—Smudge by Heretic. I don’t have a great language for fragrance, but it’s a darker, smokier kind of scent—I get a comment on it every time I wear it. I also love this fragrance from Tel Aviv with notes of tobacco, pepper, and cedarwood. It’s from a perfumery called Zielinski and Rozen. They make soaps and fragrances. You can get custom things done, but I just got one of their pre-batched ones, and someone has commented on it every time I’ve worn it, too.
BODY AND WELLNESS
I’m a Jergens gradual tanner girl. Especially in the winter, I’m just like, ‘I need to look like I’m not dead for a second.’ I’ll use it every few days when I remember to—or have the patience to. I do love it because it’s everything at once—no mistakes, no smudges.
I love AmLactin for my feet. I’ll slap it on, put socks on, and when I wake up, it looks like I got a pedicure. It’s so much better than any of these new body lotions I’m seeing. I mean, no offense and good for them, but I don’t need anyone to millennialize bodycare for me. In the shower, I’ll rotate through my body wash, but right now, I’m using Maude Body Wash No. 1, which is nice because it’s pH-balanced and pretty gentle.
I’m taking a vanilla collagen supplement from Vital Proteins and Nutrafol, and I can’t say if it’s doing anything for my hair, but my nails just shot out. I’m also taking three different mushroom supplements from Real Mushrooms. One of them is tremella, which is a white jelly mushroom. It’s supposed to be really good for skin and inner hydration. It’s given me a lovely mood boost as well. I’m also taking lion’s mane for focus, and I just added cordyceps for energy.
I go to Modo for hot yoga a couple of times a week if I’m being really good, and I think that’s enough to get my lymphatic system moving. My favorite instructor is Lawrence Riley. I love him, and also, his name sounds just like my name. [Laughs]”
— As told to Daise Bedolla
Photographed by Alexandra Genova in Brooklyn on March 24, 2023