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.
"I'm Alexandra Pakzad (@alexpakzad) and I live in Los Angeles. I graduated with my JD from the UCLA School of Law and have just started working at a law firm in LA on intellectual property-related transactions and litigation—my father worked in fashion and luxury goods, so IP law seemed like a good fit. I also have the opportunity to work with people in creative industries on things like brand positioning, licensing, and copyright disputes. I absolutely love it.
Many of my beauty-related choices reflect the fact that I work in a very corporate and conservative industry. For someone who loves rock and has as many tattoos as I do, the professional look is something that I've really embraced...I actually prefer a more traditional look for work, but I still have a lot of fun getting ready in the morning. Most days, I start with a Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer in Medium and Deep— even though it's a primer, I use it as a standalone tinted moisturizer. I also use the YSL Touche Éclat in Luminous Sand and RMS Un Cover-Up for any blemishes or imperfections. I bought the RMS concealer after reading Erin Wasson’s Top Shelf, where she says it's like skin—she wasn't kidding. The only bummer is that I have to mix two shades, Tan and Dark, to get the right color match.
If I'm going to a meeting or to dinner and I need more coverage, I'll use Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation in Nude, which has a gel consistency, over Hourglass' Veil Mineral Primer.After foundation, I use Guerlain Météorites Illuminating Powder Pearls in Medium and Dore, mixed. The only thing I really do with my eyes is mascara, and Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara is definitely the best waterproof mascara out there. If I'm going to do a lip, I stick to something easy. My favorites are Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Bahama, Clinique's Chubby Stick in Bountiful Blush, and YSL's Glossy Stain in Naughty Mauve.
But if there were ever something to really splurge on, it'd be your skincare—it's your face. The only hard and fast rules I have are to always wash your face, use sunscreen, and keep your skin moisturized, even if you have very oily skin like me. I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, like Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slipor Sisley’s Cleansing Milk with Sage. After cleansing, I put on a serum—usually the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum or 3Lab's The Serum. I like those in the morning because they're water-based, so they absorb quickly and don't leave behind any residue. My favorite day cream is Sisleyouth by Sisley, in part because it's designed as an anti-aging product for women under 35, but mostly because its velvet-y and dries matte. Lastly, I apply a generous layer of Coola Unscented Moisturizer with SPF. If I'm going to be in the sun, I’ll reapply on the go with the Coola's SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray.
At night, I’ll use the Foreo Luna to wash my face with an oil-based or balm cleanser—I alternate between Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm and the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil—and always follow up with a gentle, powder-to-foam exfoliator like the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel or Tatcha’s Deep Rice Enzyme Powder. My go-to nighttime serum is Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, which completely transformed the texture of my skin from the first use. It's probably my favorite skincare product ever, but it's too intense for everyday use, so I try to keep it to three times a week so I don't overdo it. My all time favorite night cream is Chantecaille’s Rose de Mai Cream, which I pair with their Nano GoldEye Cream. The gold particles in the eye cream reflect light so beautifully, but it's just a little too heavy for daytime use for me personally.
I also use a face oil every single night, even though I have very oily skin. It took me years to figure out that trying to remove all that oil with harsh, drying products was causing my skin to freak out, and that adding the right oils to my skincare routine would help keep my skin balanced, happy, and healthy. In my experience, Sunday Riley’s face oils are the hands down winners. Laura Mercier’s Infusion de Rose Oil is another great one, for something a little more lightweight.
I am Persian and Japanese, so I have super thick, stick-straight hair and I have to be careful that whatever products I use don't weigh it down. I wash it every day, or else it looks greasy and feels gross. Right now my favorite shampoo and conditioner is Philip B Peppermint and Avocado Shampoo and Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Crème Rinse. I also use the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt once a week, which I know sounds weird, but honestly, my hair feels so clean after I use it. After washing, I let my hair air dry after brushing with the Mason Pearson Detangler and spraying with a Philip B Toning Mist that helps with tangles and returns my hair to its normal pH. When my hair is dry, I use the Mason Pearson Handy Mixture Brush, which helps to evenly distribute natural oil from my scalp through the lengths of my hair.
My wife Shannon and I recently got married on our seven-year anniversary at The Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood. It’s such a special, storied Los Angeles landmark, so I went for a very simple look. Our makeup artist Ann understood exactly what we wanted—something soft, romantic, and warm. For the face, she used a MAC Strobe Cream, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and just a little Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation. Then we kept the eyes neutral using a few MAC Eyeshadows— Mulch, Shroom, Espresso and Bronze. The lips were pinky-peach—it was a mixture of MAC Pro Longwear Lipstick in To The Future and Overtime, and topped with Chanel Constellation Gloss. It was a sunset ceremony, and the whole look really reflected that.”
—as told to ITG
Law students Sidrah Syed and Sarah Frank recommend Nars lipstick above all others, and attorney Lawren Briscoe found the perfect contouring bronzer at Duane Reade in the #ITGTopShelfie.