The Economics Grad With The High-Low Makeup Routine

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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 Michelle (@_bigmeesh_ and I live in New York City. When I’m not at work, I’m either getting a bagel, singing karaoke, out dancing, or binge watching something on my Apple TV. I help manage revenue and operations for AOL.com, which means I am shockingly putting my Economics degree to good use—and actually get to be creative along the way. No two days are ever the same.

I've always been inspired by beauty. To me, it's so much more than the way I look. My mom passed away when I was 18, and my Sephora Beauty Insider card is still under her email and birthday. Every year, I buy a product that reminds me of her to claim her birthday gift. This year, it was the Pink Gel Coat by Perfect Formula, which my mom would paint on my sister’s nails when she wouldn’t stop biting. When I put it on today, I feel a small yet significant connection to my mom. It’s the little wonderful moments like those that make my exploration with beauty so meaningful.

My happy place is at my vanity, either in the sunny morning cranking out my daily routine, or before a night out with a glass of wine experimenting with different makeup looks. I get a lot from Youtube tutorials, but mostly, my makeup is all about glow. I swipe Maybelline’s Better Skin Concealer in Ivory under my eyes, on my chin, and on any blemishes or red spots. To blend it out, I use my Beautyblender, but I dampen it with the Mario Badescu Facial Spray. I hate how soaking it in water can make it smell like mildew, you know? Then it's Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam on my cheeks, and Haloscope in Quartz on my cheekbones, nose, brow bone, and Cupid's bow. I lock everything in afterwards with Becca Multi-Tasking Perfecting Powder in Fair. If I'm going out, I contour with Smashbox's Contour Sticks, which are pretty much foolproof. I like the idea I can give myself a nose job with a makeup product.

For daytime eyes, I just stick with mascara—my favorites are L’Oréal Million Voluminous Curved Brush when I’m on a budget, and Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara when I feel like balling out. Either way, I always go for a mascara with a curved brush. It’s all about application. I’m always switching it up for the lips... Sometimes I wear Milani Color Statement Lipliner in Nude by itself topped with Aquaphor, but I also love the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien for every day.

Before I hop in the shower, I take off my makeup with Garnier Micellar Water and cleanse with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. Both of these products are super gentle on sensitive skin, and I like that they can be used all over my eyes, face, lips, neck, chest, wherever. Every few days, or if my skin is acting out, I use the Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment in the shower on my face and chest—never forget about your chest. When I get out of the shower, I’ll put on First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum followed by the Lumene Valo Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream or Indie Lee’s Squalane Facial Oil for deep moisture.

One of my favorite beauty routines is my self-tanning ritual. I’ve tried it all, in terms of technique. After several mishaps and soaking streaks in lemon juice, I finally have my routine down pat—and it all comes down to St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse. I do not use this phrase lightly, but it is life-changing. Where do I begin? First off, the formula has a green undertone instead of orange, so it eliminates any redness. The mousse is easily blendable using the Tanning Mitt, so streaks are never an issue. I exfoliate in the shower using a loofah, and moisturize my body and face immediately after I get out. Once all of that moisturizer dries, I diligently blend the mousse with the tanning mitt all over, using the mini mitt for my face. I go to bed and sleep as the tan develops. There a few better feelings than waking up with a fresh, sunless tan."

—as told to ITG

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