The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss' lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.
"Hi! I’m Joelle (@joellehyman). I live on the Upper East Side, which is best read in Kristen Bell's Gossip Girl voice. I have a background in fashion and beauty writing, although I'm currently unemployed—hopefully not for much longer. My last job was extremely stressful, to the point where I would get physically ill and felt like I didn't have control over my life. By the last three months at my job, I didn’t want to be around my friends and I stopped pursuing the things I care about. I was really angry with myself, more than anything. I’m happy to be taking my time to pursue a career in beauty, which is something I’ve wanted for a very long time.
When you have a stressful work life, you have to actively make time to take care of yourself in any way you can. I would work out, wake up early on Sunday to get coffee and flowers, or do a face mask. Masks in particular are my favorite way to relax. Lately, I love the Glycolic Peel Mask from Caudalie. It gently eats away at any dead skin or build-up and detoxes without drying me out. For something more heavy duty, I use Glamglow's Supermud Clearing Treatment. It is like a vacuum for your pores, so I try to apply freshly out of the shower when my skin is a bit soft and pores are open. To bring down redness or dryness, I like the Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask. I'll usually double mask and follow this one with Glossier's Moisturizing Moon Mask. They’re both really gentle and hydrating.
I stick to a pretty acne-centric skincare routine since my teenage breakouts haven’t stopped completely. The most important thing in my routine is taking off makeup gently but effectively—Glossier Milky Jelly leaves my skin balanced, clean, and ready for the next (100) steps, and then I use Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, which is super gritty but still good on sensitive skin. One day a week, I’ll use an Ole Henriksen Grease Relief cleansing cloth instead. Technically they're a chemical and physical exfoliant, so it’s like a two-for-one step. I recently started an antibiotic called Bactrim that has been incredible. I’ve taken other pills and used topicals but they didn’t do the trick. I’m looking forward to my breakouts being less frequent so I can focus on getting rid of scarring I have from some spots.
Glossier's Soothing Face Mist is great to tone. I like to keep my skin a bit damp before I start applying any products. In the morning, I'll reach for hyaluronic acid. I’m currently using the Hyaluronic Acid + B5 from The Ordinary, which is not even good for the price, it’s just good in general. I let that sit for a little while I start getting dressed, then I go back to the bathroom to moisturize. My skin has been really balanced considering we’re in this weird season transition. For makeup prep during the day, I use Glossier Priming Moisturizer or Dr. Jart’s Water Drop. The latter feels like a little bubble bursting in a cute cartoon–super refreshing and light. It melts upon application.
From there, I move on to makeup. My first step is the green CoverFX Click Color Corrector Concealer. I like to apply it with my finger because I don’t like rubbing a stick on my face, especially when the product is going on any acne. I'm obsessed with It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair. The texture is wonderful, the color-matching is great (although their shade range is kind of limited), and it feels like I’m just applying another moisturizer but it has a natural skin-like finish. Anastasia Beverly Hills' pot concealer in .5 is just…if you’re fair, just buy it. Mix it with a sliver of Embryolisse for a little more slip. It’s a dead-on dupe for Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, as long as you only use it as a concealer and not a base, and more people need to know about it. Text me a selfie with the results. I also love Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I apply Vanilla on the sides of my upper lip, the sides of my bottom lip, and any spots on my cheeks. Then, I use Chantilly on my cupid’s bow, the center of my chin, and two or three dots under my eyes. Perfect Base 101.
Then RMS Un-Powder and blush and highlight, normally of the cream variety. Yes-you read that correctly. I apply creams after powder (!!!!!!!!!). My theory on this is if you have a good powder and a good cream, the two shouldn’t reject one another and cause any gross pilling or caking. I am obsessed with this range from Estée Lauder called Genuine Glow. Their lip and cheek stick in Sweet Cheeks is The Best Flush You Can Get Without Doing Anything That Normally Gives You A Flush. I actually find that instead of smiling, sucking in your cheeks gives the best definition, especially if you have a round face like I do. Smiling is meant to pronounce the apples of your cheeks, but when you stop smiling, the blush is usually lower down than you want it to be because your cheeks go back down to where they natural sit. This visually drags your cheeks down instead of lifting them up, therefore defeating the whole point of blush.
Lips, I'm obsessed with. When I was younger I got an allowance, and one weekend, I spent the whole thing on a Dior lip gloss at Sephora. My dad found out and told me I had to go to Sephora and return it. I cried and my mom let me keep it. She did not know it then, but that day, she created a monster. Today I wear either Glossier Generation G in Like or Dior Lip Glow in Pink daily. If I’m going on a date, I’ll go for one of those or Balm Dotcom in Rose or Cherry. If I’m just going out with my friends, I’ll reach for something bolder–also when I swap my blush for bronzer, too. My must-have red is Chanel Rouge Allure in Excessive. The name just does it for me, but it’s also a super smooth application. A lot of people think lipliner is scary, but I really like my lips to be defined if I’m wearing anything even a hair darker than my natural lip color. For red, I choose Milani Color Statement Lip Liner in Red or Kylie Cosmetics Liner in Mary Jo. If I want to do something really dark, I go for Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Black Truffle. It compliments my complexion really well because it has a hint of violet in it and gives me a 'look' even if I throw on Adidas track pants and a vintage t-shirt, which I do a lot.
I like to use a perfume until the bottle is finished and then try a new one—that way, each one represents a period of my life. The only scent I would never go back to is Wood Sage and Sea Salt by Jo Malone because I wore it my senior year of college and it smells a lot like Tears Over A Boy. Right now, I always have a bottle of Le Labo Santal 33 on my shelf. It is honestly the most intoxicating smell and it doesn’t bother me that a lot of people wear it. Otherwise, I like mixing and layering perfumes to make them feel more personal. I layer Byredo Bal D’Afrique with Kiehl’s Musk... if I’m going out at night, I’ll also use the matching body wash just to enhance the scent a bit. I love, love, love Byredo and think everything they do from start to finish is perfection. If you can, go to their store in Soho–ask questions, smell everything, touch everything, and just soak in the attention to detail. The manager Carissa is probably one of the nicest and most inspiring people I’ve ever met and has incredible stories. Go there.
I certainly do not know everything about beauty, but everything I do know is from trying and trading experiences with friends. If only one thing becomes of value to you here, I hope it’s this—grab a friend, a lot of coffee, spill out your makeup bag, and start talking. You are 100% more likely to walk away knowing more about each other than you would discussing pretty much anything else. And if you’re really lucky, she won’t know the real value of that limited edition Nars palette she 'never uses' and will let you have it. See, friendship is rewarding."
—as told to ITG