'I’m Noor Elkhaldi [@noore], and I’m a counselor for victims of domestic violence and sex crimes in Orlando, Florida. It's kind of a high-stress job. I take care of others on a daily basis, and I firmly believe that in order to care for others you must care for yourself. For me, in my own time, that translates into my skincare. I'm the youngest of six with four older sisters, so growing up, I was always surrounded by beauty. I remember one of my sisters telling me when I was seven that if I didn't wash my face and moisturize everyday, I would regret it forever. That terrified me and also really stuck with me. I had a relatively late start with makeup—I didn't touch makeup until I was about 21. I still remember my first makeup purchase. One of my sisters took me to a MAC counter, and I decided I wanted to start wearing lipstick. I got Snob, and after that, my makeup collection just started to grow.
My skincare routine might seem a little intense, but it takes about me five minutes. I never skip it—no matter how late I'm running or tired I am, I have to do all the steps. I start with a pump of Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser with my Clarisonic, pat dry, and squirt a generous amount of Simple Cleansing Micellar Water on a Shisedio Facial Cotton. Then, depending on how my skin looks and feels, I might use a couple drops of L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Serum or half a pump of Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment followed by moisturizer. I'm constantly switching them up. Currently, I'm enjoying First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream, but keep Dr. Hauschka's Skin Care Rose Day Cream, Weleda's Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion, Embryolisse's Lait-Creme Concentre, and La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra as backup.
Because of my job, I like to keep my makeup quick and easy. The most crucial part is a good base. For my everyday look, I use a pump-and-a-half of Sunday Riley's Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer in Light. It has the slightest tint that evens out my skin tone, instantly plumps my skin, and has this beautiful, natural, glowy finish. For a night out, or when I know photos are going to be taken, my go-to is Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation in 3. It really does live up to the hype because it's completely flawless without the cake. Regardless of my base I always, always set it with Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder—it is so fine-milled that you can't even tell it's there.
Do not sleep on Sephora Collection products. Their Nano Lip Liner in Real Red is so pretty and creamy, and their Retractable Brow Pencil in 04 Midnight Brown is a great dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz, but it's half the price and waterproof, which is so necessary for the summer. But my favorite Sephora-brand find is the Cream Lip Stain, particularly the shade 01 Always Red. I've used a ton of cream lip products that have been great—I really like the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro—but Sephora just kills it. Their cream lip stains last forever...it's unreal, and they're affordable which is always a plus. I like to play with my lip color. Recently I've been very into flushed, rosy lips. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size & Re-Shape Lip Liner in Pillowtalk is my perfect stand-alone lip liner. I adore almost every shade in the Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour line, but my favorite at the moment is Elise. It's such a fun, almost doll-like pink that brightens your whole face.
I never put on a bold lip, or any lip color really, without exfoliating my lips first and applying some of Glossier's Balm Dotcom. I think it makes such a huge difference in the staying power of your lip product and overall look. Another great product is Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream. It's actually made for post-procedure skin and speeds skin's recovery process, which makes it great for blemishes that almost are ready to go away but need an extra kick. I also use it on the back of my ankles where shoes tend to cut into my skin. Also, drinking a cup of green tea has become a part of my nightly routine. I can actually see a difference in my skin when I do or don't drink green tea.
My Palestinian mother swears by olive oil for hair, skin, nails—everything! I'm really bad sometimes and pick at my cuticles, so I massage a tiny bit of olive oil into them and it really does help heal and soften them. I also mix a little olive oil into my body lotion and put that on right before bed so it has time to really sink in.
The most powerful part of my look is my hijab, which I've worn for over half of my life. I find it liberating, and not having to worry about doing my hair is pretty great.”
—as told to ITG
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