“I met Glossier when I was in business school. Before then, I’d been working in asset management at BlackRock for five years and decided I wanted to learn something new. People say a lot of things about business school—some said I wouldn’t learn anything and some people said I would learn everything. For me, it was really worthwhile and I gained so much perspective on why people do what they do in their careers. My second year, Henry [COO of Glossier] put up a posting looking for an MBA student to work on a strategic project—a lot of companies do things like that for recruiting and a little free labor. I was already an Into The Gloss reader, and I’d heard of the products when they launched, so I hopped on a call with him to talk through it. I remember really clearly that I was on this great call with him, pacing around the room—which is funny because that's how he is when he takes calls, too. It was a very good fit for both of us, so I actually started working on projects for Glossier back in January of 2015. It wasn’t until the following June that I came on full-time as the VP of Growth, working on getting Glossier in front of as many eyes as possible.
What I’ve always been interested in are the little things that make daily life better. Something like giving your friends unexpected cards, or finding the perfect toothbrush—I find a lot of joy in that. In business, that translates into consumer products, right? Beauty in particular is really intriguing because it’s a market that can have endless brands cycling through it all the time, some of which can be household names that will always be around. But beauty has been done the same way for so long. Ever since my mom took me to buy my first makeup, I’ve been going to the counter at Bloomingdale’s. So the whole experience revolved around finding a single brand and being told what to use by someone who ‘knew’ beauty better than you. I never felt like I was in control of the process. Now, it’s much more about how brands interact with their communities digitally, which is something we’re constantly talking about at Glossier. And it’s an idea I was fascinated by before I worked here and started drinking the Kool-aid. [Laughs]
My ideal day starts with a workout because I like to spend the time before work not working. And the fact that I try to sweat every day is probably the best thing for my body. So [my boyfriend and I] wake up at 5:35am, and work out at 6 a couple days a week. And then I go home and I shower right away. We actually have two shower heads so that we can get ready at the same time. When we wake up, it’s dark and we’re too tired to chat—but by the time we’re showering, we have time to actually talk. We don’t get to spend too much time together otherwise, so the mornings are nice.
I use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap, I’ve used it forever. I am not a loofa or brush person so I just put it in my hands. When I want to feel really luxurious, I use Tatcha Indigo Smoothing Black Sugar Body Gommage. I feel like I always have one body thing in my shower that makes me feel special. Like pampered. I really like the smell, and how it kind of dissolves as you use it. Then I wipe down my body, towel my hair, and put on a robe. I always wear a robe, since I can remember. And I put on my favorite, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps, on my body maybe three days a week. Depends on what I’m wearing. Definitely not if I’m wearing pants.
Every time I shower, I wash my hair—I wash my hair more than anyone I know. People say that’s bad, so a couple of years ago I did go through a phase where I tried to wash it less, but it didn’t work for me. So I went back to doing it every day and it feels great. And what I use isn’t chic! There’s a Costco-sized Head and Shoulders 2-in-1 in my shower. That’s what I’ve ended up using because one time, I got this really weird rash from the gym that looks like white splotches—you can get it from towels at gyms, so I don’t shower at gyms anymore. Anyway, it’s caused by the same thing that causes dandruff. So I used Head and Shoulders on my body and that made it go away. At that point it was already in my shower, so I used it on my hair and I loved it. Plus it takes one step out of my routine and smells amazing.
I only blowdry my hair if it’s freezing out, so usually I don’t put much product in it either. It’s naturally really straight so for the longest time, I was convinced no product could do anything for me. But my hairdresser at Whittemore House got me using this Sachajuan Ocean Mist for extra volume at my roots. Or sometimes I’ll put Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray in my hair while it’s wet, which is very weird. But it works.
In the shower, I use Milky Jelly Cleanser. Sometimes I use it with the Foreo—I’ve never used a Clarisonic or anything so it’s new to me, but I like how the Foreo makes me feel like I’ve had the time to go get a facial. It’s for when I need an extra boost in my routine. After that, I’m very straightforward. I’m a sucker for Super Bounce—I use a lot of it at once, like a whole dropper full because it feels so great. I’m also very excited about our Priming Moisturizer Rich, which isn’t out yet. I went through the sample Pauline gave me so quickly. If I had my choice, I would probably use a thick cream every day. I’m too lazy to find anything before that comes out, so to make up for it, I just sleep in a thin layer of the Moisturizing Moon Mask once a week.
I will admit that I cannot find an SPF that I love. I keep trying, but nothing suits me every single day. La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX SPF 45 is probably the closet I’ve come. More recently, I tried the Dr. Jart Everyday Sun SPF 50, but it’s really thick so I’ll probably use it more in the winter. Even with those two though, I’m still looking.
This year I turned 30, so I’ve become obsessed with eye stuff because I’m paranoid about getting wrinkles. The Sea Radiance Rapid Eye Lift is incredible—it makes me look instantly more awake. All the little tiny creases that you get underneath just poof away. I also love this Kiehl’s Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream and the Avocado Eye Cream, which I don’t have in my cabinet because I ran out.
At night, I take my eye makeup off with Clinique Take The Day Off, followed by Milky Jelly on dry skin to get anything else off. For toner, I like the Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion. It makes me feel really fresh, like a squeaky clean car. It’s definitely drying though, I can tell. And then I’ve been using this Luna Sleeping Night Oil from Sunday Riley, which has worked really well. I recommend that one to a lot of people. I like the feeling of oil on my face, but only at night and this one has retinol in it. I feel like it helps clear my skin of anything I don’t want.
When I have zits, I use tea tree oil from Whole Foods. I put it on a Q-tip and then I put it on my zits like a spot treatment. My mask routine is once a week—again, I like things that make me feel like I’ve had a facial. I just got this Odacité Synergie Immediate Skin Perfecting Beauty Masque and I’m in love with it. It really hardens and then exfoliates both physically and chemically. Other than that, the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is incredible because of all the minerals in it. And then I have Alchimie Forever's Kantic Brightening Mask, which is very mild and doesn’t harden. It’s a nude color so it looks really funny when you put it on, but it smells good and it makes me feel refreshed.
I wouldn’t call myself a beauty junkie, but there are products that I feel like I’ve always purchased and I’ll always be loyal to. Like, I can’t remember a time before I bought Diorshow Mascara. Of course it didn’t exist at some point, so I must have had something else, but I couldn't tell you what. It’s such a multi-purpose mascara for me—I can put on a light coat and have it look very natural, or I can build it up a lot. And I have to buy the waterproof version. I have straight everything—straight hair, straight lashes, straight eyebrows, so they all need product help. If I had to pick two things that I couldn’t live without, it’d be my Trish McEvoy eyelash curler and waterproof mascara. Nothing else.
Day to day, I maybe put on some Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark and then Benefit Hoola Bronzer on my cheekbones. I like that one the most because it doesn’t have any sparkle. On days that I need more coverage because I’m tired or I have a zit, I use the Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer in Ginger. Then I like to put the Stretch Concealer over the Nars one because it makes it a little bit dewier. For eyebrows, I’ve been letting them grow recently and get really spiky. I’ll use Boy Brow in Black on them to fill in and then I need Anastasia Clear Brow Gel to hold them up. And then sometimes on top of that I’ll use a brow brush to break up the gel chunks that look kind of gross.
My red lip is always Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. If I want to do a neutral lipstick, I have two that I really like—Bare Pink by Bobbi Brown and Generation G in Cake. Usually I either go red or nude, but I wore this Tom Ford one in Michael the other day and everyone was asking about it. It’s bright pink, so maybe that’s why. And lip gloss! I know the ‘90s are over but I’m still a lip gloss girl. The Chanel Levres Scintillantes in Glaze is my all-time favorite. I also have Nars Easy Lover in one of my bags.
When I really do my makeup for an event, I usually do a smoky eye and some blush. Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink is actually super poppy and bright so I love it. For my eyes, I have this Lancôme Sensational Effects Eyeshadow Quad that’s discontinued, but it has browns and mauves and a highlighter shade. Daylight is the brown shade, and I always use that in my crease. Then I use Chanel Intensites D’Ombre Basic Eye Color to put shimmer on top. I also love these two Chanel neutrals—Sand and Island. I was never a big eyeshadow person until now, but I’ve started to go to a lot of weddings recently, so I’ve had to figure something out.”
—as told to ITG
Ali Weiss photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on September 25, 2016.