Sidrah Syed, Law Student

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replies

'I’m Sidrah [@sidvisiousz] and I’m a 23-year-old second year law student in New Jersey. I’m also working part-time at a law firm in Manhattan when I’m not in class, which keeps me pretty busy all told. However, I also like to wear black leather boots and binge-watch Buffy on Netflix while baking. It's important to make time for stuff like that.

I started experimenting with makeup in the fifth grade—my parents still haunt me with the pictures of myself wearing metallic lavender lip gloss and eyeshadow to match my purple-framed glasses. This was my daily routine until the moment I watched Cordelia Chase emerge long bronzed leg first from her car post-Xander breakup in a fitted, deep burgundy leather jacket and skirt with a slit up to her mid-thigh. The next day, I bought a $2 lipgloss in Bahama Bronze, which was the vampiest shade possible to compliment my non-existent deep burgundy leather outfit. I felt so cool.

I'm still a fan of a bold lip— Nars Lipstick in Red Lizard is my current color. But these days, I'm more into balms for day-to-day wear. I switch off between Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Coral, the Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm, Burt’s Bees, and Rosebud Salve. That's probably indicative of how my beauty routine has changed since I was a kid—now it's more about taking care of myself than than anything else. It's like keeping my shoes polished, my shirts ironed, and my living space clean—essential for proper presentation. Exceptional packaging doesn't hurt, but I try to stick to products I hear good things about first.

If I don’t do anything else in the morning, I never skip out on is generously applying Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 and spritzing myself with CK One—I just want to smell as cool as the bottle looks. I then use either the Chanel Base Lumière or Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer. Both keep makeup in place the whole day, so I stock up when I can. For foundation, I apply the Givenchy Photo’Perfexion Fluid Foundation in Perfect Gold with the Laura Mercier Finishing Brush. With this combination of brush and foundation, I only have to use a little more than half a pump of the foundation to get even and natural coverage. I use the Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights and The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder in Medium Matte, both of which are subtle but defining. I also love the effect I get from using the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Lotus Pink and the Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter together.

I haven’t used anything besides the Nars Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Veneto to do my daily winged liner since it came out a few years ago—it's that good. I also love mascara and my go-to has been Diorshow Blackout. But I recently got a faulty tube which clumped my eyelashes to the point that they looked like three spikes of hair, so that wasn't ideal. I also have Buxom Lash Mascara and Lancôme Définicils lying around in case.

At night, I double cleanse. First, I take off my makeup with Caudalíe Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water and use Boscia’s Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil for my eyes. Then I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and tone with their Calendula Herbal Extract Toner on a Shiseido Facial Cotton. The toner is amazing because it is alcohol-free and feels clean but not like it's stripping my skin. And then the facial cotton is just really gentle and distributes product evenly. After the toner, I massage about two or three drops of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate all over my face and neck because it just smells and feels like heaven.

I also started using Philosophy’s Help Me this past year since I wanted to get on the retinol train and it has done wonders. It’s a really good way to start using retinol without going overboard. Then I dab some Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Serum around my eyes and the Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream and finish my nighttime routine with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. I also exfoliate or mask about two or three times a week. My go-tos are the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish and the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Mask.

I have fine, wavy hair and about two years ago, I felt like it was getting finer. Not like Beyoncé fine, but uh-oh-where-did-it-go fine. I started using Phytokératine Repair Shampoo and Phytobaume Repair Conditioner, as well as Phytodéfrisant for heat protection and styling, all of which have made such a difference. Recently, I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with the Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray and swear I am never, ever going back to blow drying my hair without it. It's cut my drying time in half and smells amazing.

I want to say my beauty routine is largely inspired by Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions and the rest of the ’90s, but in reality I just try to achieve a professional, clean look with a little bit of spunk. A good example—I like to paint my nails a fluorescent, pearly color like Chanel’s Atmosphere and then top it off with a matte coat. Interesting, but still subtle and office-appropriate.”

—as told to ITG

The #ITGTopShelfie series puts the focus on the lives and beauty routines of Into The Gloss's lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Show us your own Top Shelfie on Instagram—tag us @intothegloss, and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie.

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