'My name is Allyson Lupovich [@alupovich]. I'm 26, and I live in Brooklyn, New York. I am a freelance photographer and photo retoucher. Photography is all about beauty—the way we perceive things, especially other humans. When I look at an image that needs 'correction,' I'm quick to remember that it is solely based on the current cultural aesthetic expectations and never my own. If it paid the bills, I would shoot untouched raw film photographs all the time. When I have free time, I like looking at negatives in a light box. It's kind of like seeing somebody naked or without makeup on, in their natural state. If anything, photography has expanded my view on beauty and has helped me realize that there are all kinds of beauty that you witness throughout your lifetime.
When I look at all of the the products and things that I use on a daily basis to enhance my appearance, before anything else, there is my retainer. Growing up, my parents spent a lot of money to fix my teeth. I wore headgears, lip bumpers, palatal expanders , braces, and this weird spike thing to stop me from sucking my thumb...With that being said, my smile is worth a lot of moola, and I am eternally grateful for it. So yes, my retainer is very much number one in my beauty routine.
But I guess more conventionally, I start with skincare. I've always had really sensitive skin, so I stick to Cetaphil's Gentle Skin Cleanser for my face and Johnson's Baby Moisture Wash for my body. I used to use Cetaphil's Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 as primer, but I always found it to be too greasy. No matter how much I really massaged it into my skin, it didn't absorb. Then, I tried my friend's Glossier Priming Moisturizer, and it literally felt like satin to me. I love it so much. It smells like a baby's butt, which is also chill.
It's taken me forever to find skin makeup that feels right for me. It couldn't be drying, it still had to give me some coverage, but I wanted it to keep what I wanted to show, like my freckles. I found love in Perricone MD's No Foundation Foundation Serum.
And when it comes to eye makeup, I only wear it at night if I go out. I use Bobbi Brown's Caviar and Oyster Palette, which has a lot of charcoals, golds, and browns in case you can't find it because it's sadly discontinued. I actually use the pink and gold cheek highlighter during the day. It was the perfect palette—broad yet minimal.
So the reason why my eyebrow game is naturally not on point is because I burned them with a lighter when I was an out-of-control teenager. They never grew back properly, and now I have to fill them in. I use Benefit's High Brow to highlight and Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Wiz in Auburn to fill—it has just a little bit of red in it, which I prefer because it matches my hair.
I grew up with a lot of beauty-related anxiety, which caused me a lot of unnecessary stress even though it might seem silly to me now. I started self-tanning when I was young only because a classmate told me that I still looked like a ghost after I got back from a vacation in Florida. I remember then going out to buy my first bottle of Neutrogena Sun Fresh Sunless Foam and impatiently smothering it all over my bony, white body in hopes of emerging golden, but instead I looked like an orange freak. After years of trial and error with tanning, I've come to terms with my complexion. The most I'll do now is wear blush. My favorite is Bobbi Brown's Blush in Nectar. With that being said, I feel that when it comes to beauty products, it's all a matter of trial, error, and research. This blush works for me because I didn't like self-tanner, but I realized I still wanted color—just not the same kind of color. Everybody is different. What might work for your best friend may or may not work for you. It's all a matter of experimenting and figuring it out for yourself.
Sometime in high school, I also bought Bobbi Brown's book Teenage Beauty. It talks about enhancing your looks as a teen, but it's mostly about how you should just love yourself and treat yourself right. In the book she says 'Sleep, rest, and happiness are the backbones of beauty,' and I couldn't agree more. I know when I'm sad about a boy who hasn't texted me back, I'll probably get a pimple from it. Then I remind myself, 'Sleep, rest, and happiness.''
—as told to ITG
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