"I spend all my time working on three things–I'm the Brand Manager at Vox, I model, and I run my own political news project called The Short Version. Because I’ve been interested in politics for as long as I can remember, my friends always used to ask me for the 'short version' of major political debates. I started a newsletter and soon-to-be video series that breaks down what’s happening, why it’s important to know, and then summarizes each side in parallel. There’s no bullshit, it’s just very clear explanations. People will always disagree with one of the sides, but I’m trying really hard to faithfully describe what a smart person on each side would say–that’s difficult.
My dad used to tell me if you’ve done the work and have good, useful ideas, you don’t need to dress things up. I’m sure you can see how that applies to The Short Version…but I think it also applies to beauty. [Laughs] Really though–I do not have naturally great skin but I do try really hard to take care of it, as opposed to just covering it up. I use four things every day. First is this Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Toner, then a serum or an essence–Glossier Super Bounce or a rose essence. Then I use this snail repair cream moisturizer a friend of mine recommended, and it really changed how I deal with my skin. I get it at Peach and Lily, which I love. Then I use a super simple Neutrogena SPF that’s very lightweight and doesn’t make me break out. Finally, maybe once a month I’ll do the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack or a blackhead mask from Peach and Lily.
My entire makeup routine is from the drugstore. I like this Flawless Finish Foundation from Elf because it seems easier than concealer, and it covers any pimples. On my lips I’ll use Dream Matte Mousse with a little lip balm, and then I’ll put a little Cherry Balm Dotcom on my cheeks. Then Maybelline mascara. I also recently graduated from eyeliner to eyeshadow–I like the Urban Decay Naked Palette, because a friend of mine showed up to dinner looking fabulous, and I had her send me her a step-by-step guide via text. [Laughs] I just use a tiny bit on the outside of my eyelids.
When I started at Vox I decided to cut my hair–I go to Fox and Jane–and since then I’ve only been using the Ouai Texturizing Spray. I don’t know if shorter hair actual made me look more professional, but I felt different. I also starting working out with an actual routine, and I stopped drinking almost two years ago. Now, when I go out with my friends, they don’t notice and neither do I–it’s a non-issue. I used to get my nails done, but I notice I act different depending on what color my nails are–if they’re black I’ll be super sullen but with red I’m the opposite? [Laughs] So I never do them anymore."
—as told to ITG
Cleo Abram photographed by Tom Newton on May 18, 2017.