Taj Alwan, PR Director, The dFm

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'My name is Taj Alwan [@Sabotaj] and I'm the PR Director at the agency The dFm. We work with clients in talent, fashion, music and tech, and I'm thankful to say that there's never a dull moment. Part of my job is to stay on top of beauty and fashion trends—to say that doesn't influence me is just plain naïve. I like to adopt a few beauty looks from editorials and runways every now and then. I'm pretty careless when it comes to seasonal looks, though...if a look works, I'll rock it during any season.

The way I view beauty is totally influenced by what I do. I'm exposed to so many different typically beautiful, as well as unconventional, faces every day from working with our client, Ford Models, and their dynamic board. Currently, I live in Los Angeles, but I'm originally from Ethiopia and grew up between Vancouver, Canada, and LA. I've lived in five different countries—that's influenced my routine, too. One of the reasons I moved to LA is because I feel it's important to have a healthy work/life balance. On weekends, I try to avoid working: I'll either go to the beach or take a road trip and explore somewhere close, like Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree, Big Sur...there are so many beautiful places where you can go offline and do absolutely nothing in bliss.

My beauty motto for most days is to keep to the basics. I like to start off my routine with a dependable and effective face wash. I'm a big fan of Kate Somerville's Gentle Daily Wash—it's sulfate-free and helps keep my skin soft. Before I put on any makeup, I like to put on a protective layer of Kate Somerville's Goat Milk Cream Moisturizer. I like that it has aloe, jojoba and avocado—I can feel it keeping my skin moisturized. I'll either use Charlotte Tilbury's The Retoucher Concealer alone, or MAC's Studio Fix Fluid for ultimate coverage.

The best thing related to beauty that I've ever learned was from Naomi Campbell—indirectly, of course. She once told a magazine that the best makeup trick she's taken from the pros was using a bit of bronzer on the bridge of your nose and cheekbones. Simple, easy, and makes a world of difference—I do it with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Gold Deposit. Urban Decay Naked3 is also great for every day. I can use it everywhere from my lids to my brow bone to the bridge of my nose. There are a bunch of looks I've done recently—for fall I love an oxblood lip. I also tried a metallic lip, but I wasn't a fan of the final look. I get inspired by everything. My favorite Instagram account is Pat McGrath's...I mean, end of story.”

—as told to ITG

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