Irina Aleksander, Writer - Into The Gloss

Irina Aleksander, Writer

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“I’ve always been into fashion, but beauty is something I completely don’t understand. Like, I don’t know how to do it and it’s not the same realm. I don’t like seeing makeup. If I knew how to do my makeup in a way that you wouldn’t see it, I would do it more often, but because I don’t know how, I just don’t do it. [Laughs] Unless I’m a professional makeup artist, I’m not sure can pull it off in the way I want it to look. So, I think, that’s why I like the bare look because you’re not advertising that you literally spent two hours in front of the mirror this morning. With fashion, you can look in a way where no one knows how much time you spent on it and you can look really good. With makeup, I feel like it is harder to pull off or you really have to know what you’re doing. During the day, I usually don’t wear any, but I’ll do mascara and lipstick if I’m going to meet someone or having lunch or something. For a while I was using the vibrating mascara, the Lancôme kind. It totally makes your lashes longer, but it turns them into these little icicles. And if you start picking at it, you can literally pick off the entire icicle. They’re little tubes because it spins really fast and it literally makes a new lash on top of your normal lash. I noticed myself having some sort of nervous tick where I’d start picking it off during the day and then I started having black things all over my face, so I don’t use that anymore. Now I have MAC Plush Lash which is perfect; it’s my favorite.

I’ll do makeup at night, if I’m going out. I used to have this amazing NARS coral lipstick but they don’t make it anymore, so I went to Sephora and got Sephora Rouge in Jealous which is what I’m wearing now. And NARS Red Square is the best lip color I use. It never comes off. I feel like they made if for me. I’m Russian—both my parents are and I was born there. So fully Russian, but now I live in Brooklyn. My favorite thing is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer—it’s literally like airbrushing your face. It’s so lightweight and you don’t really feel like it’s on, but it smoothes everything out. Then I do NARS concealer around the eyes, light 3 in Honey. I went to the store and they told me that the big misconception is that people get concealer to match their skin tone, but for under the eyes, you have to get one that counteracts the undertones under your eyes. So if you’re blue, you have to get one that is pinkish color. Oh, and this is so embarrassing—you know when you go into Duane Reade and you see those bronzers that have the sun and the moon on them and have those weird designs? I’ve been using this since I was thirteen—Physicians Formula, Solar Power Light Bronzer. It’s the best. I feel like it’s a totally teenage thing to do. It’s for people who are pale and want to look a little bit better. It’s amazing. I’ve tried every bronzer from more expensive companies and none of them work as well. Every time I wear it, people are like, ‘Oh, you look so tan, were you away?’ It’s perfect for you if you’re pale. Sometimes I do eye shadow, but I just have cheap Sephora shit. Another Duane Reade buy, I’ve been using this since I was a teenager, is Covergirl black eyeliner. There’s no eye pencil that I’ve ever used that smudges as well. I feel like with more high-end eyeliners, they’re more precise and you can actually see the line, but I don’t actually like seeing the line; I feel like it’s better if you just kind work it yourself.

I don’t wash my face, ever. By the time I realized that it was something that I was supposed to be doing or should be doing, my skin had never broken out, it was always perfect, I never had any problems with it, so if I start washing it now, what if it starts acting up because of the different products I’m using? I know, it’s totally gross, but it works. When I’m in the shower, my face will get wet, but I never put soap on it. I think it’s because my mom never wore makeup—not an ounce of makeup—she never needed to wash her face, and you know, you learn those things from your mom. I go to bed with my makeup on. Sometimes, if I feel adventurous, I’ll use eye-makeup remover, the Lancôme blue bottle, but that is such a rare thing. If I had a wedding or something and piled it on then I’ll use it. But you know how sometimes when you go to sleep with eyeliner you get that nice little smudge underneath? I actually like it the next day. There is actually no natural way to get your makeup to look that way unless you’re going to bed with it. I’ll put sun block on my face, which is a recent development. I think two years ago a friend yelled at me for not using sun block, so I got something called Coola, it’s an organic sun block. It’s perfect. It’s so light, you don’t even feel it.

I don’t wash my hair that often—twice a week usually. And I usually don’t put that much product in it, I just let it air dry. I use the higher priced L’Oréal—you know, instead of $4 it’s $8. [Laughs] It’s called Everstrong Reconstruct Conditioner. It’s Rosemary Mint or something. It works really well because I feel like what separates the expensive shampoos from the cheap ones is the sulfate, so if you get something sulfate-free then that’s pretty much all I’ll need. So, that shampoo, plus air drying so it gets kinky—because I feel like to get that natural kink, it has to be air-dried; otherwise, you could braid it or you could blow-dry it and then do things to it, but it’s too much work. And then I use the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray. And I don’t comb it, ever. When I get out of the shower, I comb it, but that’s it.”

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Guava Girl

    I wish I could do nothing to my face too and it still look amazing...

  • http://materialfixations.blogspot.com/ Material Fixations

    Wow, I love her! Her beauty and hair rituals are so hassle free and natural. I agree with her when she says looking like you just spent two hours in front of the mirror is not great, like at all. I guess I feel like a Kardashian sister as soon as a do anything more than put a little liner on.

  • Isla

    wow so she wears some makeup (she mentions mascara, bronzer, lipstick and eyeliner) but never washes her face...she has years of caked on makeup on her skin?? gross

    • LD

      EXACTLY!!! So she's just putting her makeup on dirty skin every day, never washing it off, and putting on more the next day?!? I actually don't believe people anymore when they say this--they're typically washing with soap but not considering it "washing" their face!

    • mimi

      well she did say her face gets wet in the shower, so she probably rinses her face with just water, no soap.

    • murt

      I can tell you seriously that it works even with a little makeup -- I only take off my makeup if it's a heavy strong look - smoky eye, tons of eyeliner or something like that. Otherwise, if I've got just a bit of concealer under my eyes I just rinse my face.

      This tip has drastically improved my skin.

  • Barbcmmns

    I think I hate her!! ; )

  • Guest

    The whole not washing your face thing is a new adventure I've embarked on after years of treatments that didn't help and the insistence of my boyfriend that it would work. Welllll, lo and behold, it has! I've also cut down on washing my hair to once or twice a week (supplementing with Klorane dry shampoo in between) and it's the best it has ever been, long, lush, voluminous with a slight wavy curl. One thing I found that helps is to give it a good brush before bed to distribute the oils so they aren't concentrated on my scalp.

    Wonderful blog! Love this interview and all of them :)

  • Helena

    That Everstrong stuff is great, it's true. I live in London and get my American husband to import it for me on his trips home!

  • LuckyD

    "With fashion, you can look in a way where no one knows how much time you spent on it and you can look really good. With makeup, I feel like it is harder to pull off or you really have to know what you’re doing."

    - I know exactly what she means, but for me, fashion is the challenging part and makeup is easy/fun.

  • http://into-mind.com/ Anuschka

    so basically she doesn't do anything... i guess if you've always had perfect skin, skincare and a huge part of makeup just doesn't seem worth it for the hassle. her skins does look amazing!

  • Elle

    I'm curious to know if she uses any moisturizer at all? I guess not washing your face would eliminate that, but does she?
    Brilliant, as usual.

  • bookgirl

    She has a Carolyn Bessette-type of beauty. I disagree with her comment about fashion and not being able to tell how much effort it took someone to assemble an outfit. With some people, it's crystal clear that there's a lot of "try" with their ensembles. It's more difficult to look effortless.

    • Mrs Singh

      Yes. Snooki comes to mind. A LOT of effort goes into looking that "good." LOL (But I do love Snooki. And I watch Jersey Shore. Here. I said it!) LOL

  • Mrs Singh

    Not washing your face? Hmmmm. If I didn't wash mine, I would probably need to quit my job, stop socializing and never step outside the house, as it would be Zit City galore. I cannot imagine not cleansing properly, especially when wearing a foundation, tinted moisturizer or any sort of cream. Our skin produces sebum, then we have bacteria and all that crap from outside (dust, especially in the city) sticking to our faces all day. Oh, and when you touch your face, you deposit bacteria from your hands. And we all touch our face, let's..ummm..face it. :) I always do the cleansing milk or the micellar water (love Avene one) and then I do Erno Laszlo cleaninsg ritual at least 6 times a week. 70 splashes total, I look like a little raccoon with my tub of water washing my face every night. I believe it helped me clear out my cystic acne on my cheeks, which I never had - until I turned 30 :((
    And ..it's just that feeling of clean and fresh face...I look forward to the cleansing ritual all day.

    • emc

      I think you are taking her saying that she doesn't wash her face a little too literally...
      I don't wash my face in the traditional sense (cleanser and water), because i hate splashing water everywhere, the cleanser gets in my eyes, and my skin feels really tight after. So instead I wipe my face down with down with baby wipes twice a day. I don't have 'perfect' skin, but i can count the amount of spots I've had in the last 12 months on one hand. I guess everybody's skin works differently...

      • Emc

        (I had to reply too because i am an EMC as well!) But i agree that everybody as different skin types and her not washing her face, although it may not work for everybody, is a refreshing concept because of the fact she is responding to her own skin needs rather than what is expected to get healthy skin.

    • polka

      I only wash my face at night. To do so, I use the Burt's Bees Orange Essence cleanser, which contains no chemicals or alcohol. I follow with Decleor Iris Balm or Neroli Balm (depending on the season). Instead of washing my face in the am, I simply blot it with Boscia's blotting papers. My skin looks so much better now that I only cleanse it once, rather than twice, a day! I could not imagine not removing my make-up at night, though...

  • Anne-c

    When you are lucky enough to have a good skin, a beautiful bare face, long nice hair......you don't need anything.
    It's not a way of life.
    It's luck, also.

    And washing faces is also about removing city's dirt, pollution, carbon deposit.
    Doing it gently is easy and a gift for your skin for the present and old days...as well as moisturizing it with non chemical product such as Bio, hundred purcent natural thing.

    Simple, easy, fresh....

    • Ella

      Yeah there is a lot of dust, pollutants and rubbish that you need to wash off your face at night. Sometimes after using cleanser to wash at night, the muck on my face turns the water that I rinse with slightly grey in the bathroom sink. Grey is certainly NOT the colour of my foundation/bronzer. Eww..

  • PvdH

    The Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser is amazing, but I have found that for winter Armani Face Fabric foundation is much nicer (particularly in colder climates). Creates a sort of shield. Beautiful girl- admire her no nonsense approach to makeup.

    Paola

    http://www.ThePvdHJournal.com

  • Capitalist Pancake

    Damn these gals who never wash and look perfect! If I did that, everyone would say, when did you become homeless?! Seriously though, if I could get away with that little maintenence, I would!

    • Beatriz

      Fret not, Cakes: she won't be looking so purrfekt by the time she is forty should she choose to keep that regime.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VN2QVJH2Q6OR7TXPMHY4B37BH4 Free

        Eh you could be wrong. My mother never washed her face (still doesn't) and she literally has no wrinkles at 57. It's positively sickening.

  • Donnarino

    I hated that Loreal Everstrong/Everpure shit. It left a film on my hair and wasn't gentle in the least.

    • Helena

      I think it works for people with thick /coarse hair types? or maybe you need quite hard water too..... the water in London is SO hard and seems to work with the everstrong formulation.

    • Yas

      Try to clarify your hair, then use it. Sometimes the sulfate-free doesn't work too well due to product build-up. A vinegar rinse should help remove the build-up.

  • Keane Amk

    This whole not washing your face thing actually works... well for me anyway. I was sick with a bad flu a couple of months ago so I think I spent two days in my pyjamas and didn't wash my face... My skin afterwards was Amazing! So clear and even toned. I have very sensitive skin and products can really irritate it. I do still wash my face but not properly, like I will just dab it lightly with a wet face cloth at night and in the morning, most of the time, but sometimes I just leave it, and it works. I also don't wear much makeup often so it's not like i'm leaving on all this caked on makeup to clog everything up

    • http://cococollage.wordpress.com cococollage

      Yeah I agree.
      People find it hard to believe but leaving your skin alone especially when it's prone to breakouts does wonders..or so I learnt the hard way. For all you disbelievers, I'm this close to betting stone cold cash on it :0
      Irina's routine works because a)she hardly ever touches makeup, and b) her carefree/laidback attitude probably helps her skin to detox. Washing your face with warm/hot water and a muslin cloth does the same job a thousand so called miracle products do!

  • Eugeniya

    A really odd interview for me. I'm Russian and live in Moscow.
    For most Russian girls cleaning the face with water, some cleansers or a soap, at least, in the morning and in the evening is a daily ritual. And going to bed with make-up on is a mauvais ton nowadays (if it's not after a head-off, really fun, "too many shots" party or you go to bed not in your bed ;) and you don't have your cosmetics at hand). I'm happy for Irina that her skin looks great but I think she said some things to seem more original and remarkable. I think she did it not deliberately but her profession "writer" influensed her story))

  • Eugeniya

    A really odd interview for me. I'm Russian and live in Moscow.
    For most Russian girls cleaning the face with water, some cleansers or a soap, at least, in the morning and in the evening is a daily ritual. And going to bed with make-up on is a mauvais ton nowadays (if it's not after a head-off, really fun, "too many shots" party or you go to bed not in your bed ;) and you don't have your cosmetics at hand). I'm happy for Irina that her skin looks great but I think she said some things to seem more original and remarkable. I think she did it not deliberately but her profession "writer" influensed her story))

  • Eugeniya

    A really odd interview for me. I'm Russian and live in Moscow.
    For most Russian girls cleaning the face with water, some cleansers or a soap, at least, in the morning and in the evening is a daily ritual. And going to bed with make-up on is a mauvais ton nowadays (if it's not after a head-off, really fun, "too many shots" party or you go to bed not in your bed ;) and you don't have your cosmetics at hand). I'm happy for Irina that her skin looks great but I think she said some things to seem more original and remarkable. I think she did it not deliberately but her profession "writer" influensed her story))

  • Cali_gurl90210

    Wow, her skin is flawless, and absolutely gorgeous!!

  • Scheer

    Coola...isn't Miranda Kerr's product?

    • http://twitter.com/clean_beauty Clean Beauty Blog

      Nope, Miranda's is Kora! :)

  • Laysa

    Wow I love how her routine is so effortless!

  • Trishelle
  • Melanie

    Just put you both on pinterest ;-)

  • http://www.theblossomshed.blogspot.com/ Clare @ The Blossom Shed

    I've always wanted to try that Coola SPF, now I'll have to - her skin is perfect! Beautiful shots as always, wonderful light:)

    The Blossom Shed

  • murt

    I don't wash my face either - it was a tip I got from my brother... He always had perfect, poreless skin growing up, while I was the one who broke out. One day he told me his secret was that he just rinsed his face, but never washed it. Once I started doing that, no more breakouts or oily skin!

    The only time I use any kind of cleanser is once every few days with my clarisonic, but I don't use a cleanser with any type of soap, detergent, sufectant etc -- right now I'm using PSF Green Tea cleansing milk. Also, if I wear makeup, which I usually don't during the day, I might remove it with makeup remover like Bioderma depending on how much I'm wearing - ie., if it's a heavy smoky eye or something.

    I think everyone should try this tip - especially if you have oily skin or break out. I think it's a total myth that you have to wash your face twice a day.

  • Serdane-elie

    I have to confess that it is really difficult to be yourself in a hidden way in fashion. But she is quite good in it and her advices are really her like she is not a big beauty products consumer ... I think.

    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  • Sold!

    oh please! She says she doesn't do make up and then lists mascara, lipstick, tinted moisturizer, concealer, eye-liner, bronzer, etc... all in the same interview. that is just so conceited! I think 98% of girls that read ITG wear some form of make up whether visible or 'invisible' so tell this some guy you are dating or his grandma but don't kid us! well, now that we all know you don't wear make up or wash your face (sure, your everyday shower doesn't count!) we are all here waiting for your version of 'War and Peace'. Or it is 'Truth and Lies'?

    • Dee

      "I’ll do makeup at night, if I’m going out." That's what she said.

    • Kate

      A bit harsh, eh? I don't wear any makeup- zilch, zip, nada. Plain, untinted moisturizer and that is all, except for a couple of nights a month where I'll use eye and lip products. Doesn't make me or Irina hypocrites, Not everyone uses the same products all the time. Don't know why that's so upsetting!

  • http://katesouth.com/ KateSout

    What lucky genetics to not have to wash her face, yet still have perfect skin. There really is no universally perfect skin care regimen...

  • Mina

    This woman must have eye infections all the time.

  • http://kitchenafternoon.blogspot.com/ Kitchen afternoon

    Natural beauty is its own look - Slavic is a good look and she is happy with it.

  • Charlotte

    She's just effortlessly beautiful. My skin has never looked better after cutting down on the overzealous washing (just at night with the Eve Lom cleanser + muslin cloth), and switching to an oil based cleanser for my breakout prone skin. It's not perfect but it's better. So I believe her 'less is better' mantra.

  • Kurtka

    Nah, I tried not washing my face while working from home. I could go for a week not leaving the house, so did not put any makeup on, thus didnt feel like I needed to wash it either at night. I had problems and breakouts. When the work from home ended, I had to go into office and put some makeup on, my skin cleared up dramatically. It can only be that I was again cleansing my face every night before going to bed. I beleive it works for some very lucky people, but alas, I'm not one of them.

  • Summerpine

    Love how simple her routine is! Really reinforces, less is indeed more :)

    http://summerpine.wordpress.com/

  • http://fashionforteens.wordpress.com/ Liza

    I love Karlie! She's so all American, classically beautiful.

  • charlie

    I think maybe if you had dry skin you could get away with not washing it in the traditional cleanser sense. My skin is always oily by mid-morning, and I get acne very easily, but I'd be curious to see whether not washing it except with water would help the skin to correct and balance itself naturally, in the way that hair apparently does if you can manage to quit washing it altogether.

  • becky

    I'm in the same camp as this girl and it's refreshing to hear. Never wash my face. Minimal make up during the day: blush, mascara. Hardly take it off unless its a swipe or two at my eyes. My mother never wore makeup or fussed and I think thats the root. To top it off my sister had such nightmares with her skin growing up that I felt paranoid to add an outside element in the mix and maybe ruin it all; wake up with potholes because I used the wrong face wash. I love reading the different routines but it's nice to see a kindred spirit

  • LK

    The Sephora Rouge lipsticks are great... I find that they wear really evenly, which is one of the most important aspects for me. Hate the ring-around-the-lips look!

  • Eleanor

    I also have never washed my face in the traditional sense. I use cleanser to remove foundation etc but I mostly wear only eyeliner, mascara and occasionally lipstick. I very rarely have dry or oily skin or spots. The body does everything (producing oil etc) for a reason so I suppose we don't need to interfere by using various products. I have been thinking about this recently and as an experiment I used a pore strip on my nose last week. Since then I have had problems with spots on my nose so I think I will return to my lazy non-routine.

  • Celeste

    What a lovely, talented writer and young woman. It's sad that people can be so spiteful and jealous. Keep on, Irina :)

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