Kirsten Chilstrom, Digital Photo Editor, Allure

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'My name is Kirsten [@kirstenchilstrom], and I currently live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Day-to-day, I work as the Digital Photo Editor for Allure. I’m originally from Texas and take pride in that, but I’ve called Hawaii, Virginia, South Dakota, France, and Switzerland “home” at some point in my life over the years. Wherever I am, I try to absorb something from the beauty routines around me. In Texas, I learned a sense of occasion, whereas in New York it’s all about efficiency. France marked an era of skincare, for sure.

I take bits of inspiration from a thousand sources. Right now, I’m really into the artists and models of the ‘60s and ‘70s, like Marisa Berenson and Veruschka. They experimented with beauty and femininity at a time when it was being explored at an entirely new level. Also Diana Vreeland, Peter Beard, and Henry Miller have made huge impacts on how I view the world, femininity, sex, and fashion. Nature, too, has always been a big source of beauty inspiration for me. I love the idea of replicating the natural beauty of the world—things like sunrise, sunset, and flowers—on the skin, face, and texture of a person.

Instagram is great for photo research, and I love how it has flattened the world, in a way. I can explore the beauty trends and traditions of almost any given place, at any time. Somewhere in there I come up with my own unique look, and from that, I hope to be an inspiration to those around me. It really is a cycle of who’s doing the influencing and who's being influenced at any given time.

Most mornings I get ready for work at the gym, so I have two makeup bags—one with the daily essentials that I carry with me and another that stays home with all the extras...things like HD powders, brushes, extra lip colors, pencils, etc. Dipping into that 'extras bag' is always indicative of getting a chance to take my time with my makeup, and I relish that. I’m not too picky about what I use in the shower, but I do have some preferences. I like to moisturize in the shower with Spectrum Naturals Organic Coconut Oil, but for my face I use Mountain Ocean’s Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer, which was a good find from my local, organic super market. Once a week, I apply St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse. It’s the best self-tanner for a quick, easy, natural tint and is near impossible to mess up.

When it comes to makeup, the key is to know where to invest. I've learned to never skimp on fundamentals. For me that’s foundation, mascara, and perfume. Dior’s Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation in Light Beige 200 is great—not only is it the fastest and cleanest foundation application in the world, but it also makes skin look flawless. I’ve always been a big eye person—I carry at least two liquid eyeliners with me at all times. For lashes, Dior’s Diorshow Mascara or Estée Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascaraare equally good in my book and have both gotten me the occasional 'Are those falsies?' comment. I’ve learned that a quality eye shadow primer will make the cheapest eye shadow look top-shelf. I swear by Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It’s one of my all-time favorite products for keeping eye makeup looking fresh through anything. I finish everything off with a spritz of Chanel Chance. One Christmas when I was growing up, I had the good sense to ask my mom for a bottle of it, and I still wear it to this day.

Before I go out I always apply lip balm. A good tinted one solves multiple problems. I like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal or Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me or Pink Punch. Usually I top it off with one of my many Chanel lipsticks. On any given day you can find me in Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheen Lipshine in Étourdie, Boy, or Monte-Carlo— or one of the regular Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colourlipsticks in Le Baiser. Camelia was my fave, but it’s been discontinued.

Above all, two things are vital to remember every morning—brows and smiles. 'Smiles,' because I think beauty ignites all senses as well as vibes. It's not just about doing your hair and makeup. It’s how you look and speak to others—your eye contact, body language, and even the way you walk. Let your eyes smile and your teeth show. Being a beautiful person—not just a beautiful face—is something I try to keep in mind.”

—as told to ITG

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