The Fem-Lit Editor With The Highlighter Obsession


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 Kayi (@kakamarvin) and I live in Vancouver—the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. I work as a full-time multimedia assistant and in-house graphic designer, and I also do editorial work and social media for a Canadian feminist literary magazine on the weekend. Working with impassioned, talented, hardworking feminist folk—sometimes for free—is essential to my mental health, which is constantly being sabotaged by the rest of the world...but being in Vancouver and in the fem-lit circle means that I rarely meet people who get as much joy from beauty products as I do. I mean, I love my books, but sometimes I just want to analyze the various holographic highlighters available on the market.

As a teen, I read a lot of Cosmogirl and Allure—I loved talking about makeup, even though I wasn’t wearing any then. The first makeup item I bought was this Revlon Skinlights Illuminating Lotion, but I was using it erroneously as a foundation! I've come a long way. Now, my go-to makeup style is the 'golden beach goddess' look, which is usually targeted toward white, tan, blond, blue-eyed models in the magazine editorials of my teenage years. It might not 'work' for my skin tone, but IDGAF. Blushes and highlighters are my favourite products to play around with. I avoid pinks though, because I have a natural flush and pink cheeks infantalizes my face even more. I love Nars’ Madly and Luster, and Too Faced’s Baby Love—sometimes, I’ll layer more than one together.

Most days, I wear some Pixi Correction Concentrate in Peach under my eyes, a stingy amount of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 53 so my veins still show through, and Soap and Glory’s One Heck of a Blot. I even dust the powder between other makeup during the warmer months, and it never cakes. I’m getting a little overboard with highlighters and have bought three in the past 12 months. The Essence Pure Nude Highlighter honestly makes you look like you are glowing from within. When I want to feel like a lowkey unicorn, I go with Colourpop’s Monster. It’s holographic, but because it’s pink-toned, it’s somehow wearable. It also lasted through a sweaty hike I went on recently by accident, which is probably the most Pacific Northwest thing I've ever said. I've learned to apply powder highlight on top of my face when it's still wet from a few spritz of setting spray—that's a very practical tip from Youtube makeup tutorials.

I've been using the Missha First Treatment Essence for a month now, and I feel like my skin has gotten more 'translucent', if that makes sense. I think everyone's skin is prone to dehydration so I always use a hyaluronic acid serum, too—mine is either The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 or the Hyaluronic Acid from Indeed Labs. I love using the Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant in the evening, to save the heavier-duty stuff when I'm not exposed to the sun. When it comes to moisturizers, I’m still looking for 'The One.' SPF is a must, and I switch between Trader Joe's Refresh Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 for my face depending on the weather. I use the Maui Babe Sun Block Lotion SPF 30 on my body in the summer even if I'm only commuting. Maybe because I’m turning 30 soon, I’ve added camellia oil to my nighttime routine by tapping a small amount on wrinkle-prone areas. The oil works great on my eczema, too.

I have no attention span for my hair and nails. I don’t even use conditioner anymore. Nail polish is so unappealing to me because they smell like industrial waste and I actually like the look of bare nails. As for my body, I have atopic dermatitis, so any routine I have revolves around that. I keep an arsenal of products that each take turns working on my eczema-ridden left hand, and lately, Biafine has been working great in preventing any flare-ups, which is odd because anything with fragrance usually triggers it. I'm not questioning it, though. Lucas Pawpaw Ointment, my desert island item, also works great on chapped and cracking skin, which is sometimes all my eczema really is. For the same reason, I never stray from the Everyone 3-in-1 Soap For Men in Lavender, which works well on sensitive skin.

Honestly, I'm all about #treatingyourself and self-care, but I'm trying not to go overboard with the stuff I do. I wouldn't want to buy anything that's over a certain price point, and I also have no interest in undergoing any invasive treatment or taking supplements for no reason other than skincare. Perhaps I would feel differently if I had cystic acne or any chronic skin problems, but discovering Korean skin care and Paula's Choice has made it much more feasible to buy effective products that are within my budget. Reading ITG can really go both ways, but it reminds me that I'm not a venture capitalist or Martha Stewart and I really don't need to be using dragon's blood on my face. Having said all of that, I wouldn't mind trying the entire Biologyferrerorocher P50 line. I'm a hypocrite."

—as told to ITG