“I grew up in Connecticut—it was really charming but when I was younger, all I wanted was to get out. I went to New York and then moved to LA. I thought, ‘I’m never moving back to Connecticut.' Until I got a job at ESPN. I grew up with sports, but I was definitely not good enough to become a professional athlete—I just loved the storytelling aspect of it. Once I interned at ESPN, I knew it was meant to be. I host a show called First Take and it’s a debate show with two guys—they’re brilliant. And what I love about the show is that we're basically touching on all the news events. Whether it’s race or politics or something else that touches sports to an extent, we’re trying to face that head on. When you do that type of moderating, you really need to listen and either play devil’s advocate, follow up, or try to move the conversation forward. Debating is obviously the point, so we don’t shy away from the heated debates. We’re very proud that our show is trying to reach all sides of those issues.
I’m doing the glam process five days a week so I’ve learned to take very good care of my skin. I do get a facial once a month as a standard thing—in Connecticut I go to Skincare On Sunner, but in New York I used to go to Mario Badescu. Mario’s Drying Lotion is incredible and I still use that. And when I lived in LA, I used to go to Dr. Lancer, so I use his exfoliator twice a week. Really good exfoliation is so important. You have to be careful if you have a blemish, but the Lancer one is so fine that it’s amazing for sensitive skin. Your face feels like a baby after.
The other thing once or twice a week depending on how dry I am, I’ll put some oil on my face. Either coconut or castor oil. I’m half Italian and on my mom’s side they’ve aged amazingly and all they’ve put on their faces is olive oil. Then the rest of the time, believe it or not, I use an Aveeno cream that has a little bit of salicylic acid. I think the little acid helps prevent breakouts.
For makeup at work, they usually skip primer and just start with Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, which is really good. They go a little darker than my natural shade—I’m 153 in real life, but they use 170. They do that so that the bright lights don’t wash me out. The camera also flattens my face, so I like to do a light contour. The Kevyn Aucoin palette is what I use on my own, but MAC just came out with contour sticks that are really easy to use—they have a bronzey contour on one side and an iridescent highlight on the other. And then I finish with La Mer Setting Powder. I have my makeup on starting early and I wear it all day. I keep it on point with that powder.
On the weekends if I’m just totally relaxing my routine would be the Bare Minerals Tinted Moisturizer. It’s so light, it almost doesn’t look like you have anything on. Then I use mascara and lip gloss. I love the Nars Creamy Concealer and they also use it on me on camera. For mascara, my favorite is Too Faced Better Than Sex. It’s like having fake eyelashes. On lips, we use primarily MAC in the Whirl or Spice liner and Velvet Teddy for my standard color. I have some of the Kylie things and they stay on so well, too.
I get my hair blown out every day for work, and I’ll schedule it so I never have to do anything myself if I can help it. I’m obsessed with dry shampoo, I have eight different ones. It’s a game changer! My favorite is Klorane. It lasts me till Saturday and Sunday is my chill day and then Monday I get it done again.
Three to four times a week I do boxing with a trainer. It’s great because you get to punch things and let out stress. I also have an elliptical at home and I’ll do that on my lazy days. To relax, I take baths with Epsom salt and light candles. Sometimes I’ll do massages. I went to this great spa in Connecticut called Mayflower Inn and I just completely disconnected. Or there’s retail therapy too. That definitely works.”
—as told to ITG
Molly Qerim photographed by Tom Newton in New York on March 10, 2017.