The Berliner Whose K-Beauty Routine Gets Her Through The Winters

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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 guys! I’m Vanessa Remoquillo. I live in Berlin, which has been my home for the last six years, where I work at a management consulting firm. I’m also a curator at VERA, an online platform that brings jewelery and accessories by Filipino designers to Europe. I grew up in the Philippines, where I didn’t really meet any of the pervasive 'feminine' beauty standards. But now that I'm in my 30s, I’m comfortable in my own skin. Confidence is the only standard of beauty I hold now.

[As a curator], I keep a close eye on trends, but I keep returning to classic pieces, too. This is the same philosophy I have with beauty—I’m always willing to try new products and methods, but there are some principles I’ll always hold to. For one thing, I really believe in putting skin first, but that's partly because I have no real talent in makeup. I’ve also learned that there are no overnight fixes. Skincare is a long game! For the last three years, I’ve been deep into Korean skincare, and I’ve gotten as much out of the multiple-step routine as I’ve given to it—my skin has never been healthier.

To me, sun protection is everything. I still believe it’s the most effective way to maintain skin’s youthful appearance—although, I dislike the term ‘anti-aging’ because aging is inevitable, and the alternative doesn’t seem all that great. I use La Roche-Posay Antihelios Dry-Touch Gel and Bioré UV Perfect Milk, both all the way turned up at SPF 50. If I’ll be outdoors for a long time, I make sure to also wear a hat and sunglasses. I also double cleanse religiously, starting with an oil cleanser from DM. After that I use CosRX Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser, which keeps my pores clear, or Caudalie's Instant Foaming Cleanser. I use a toner from the S-Energy line of Korean spa brand Shangpree, followed by Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. I’m always on the lookout for new essences, but I think serums really do the heavy lifting in skincare. I’m currently trying out a few from The Ordinary—Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA for pigmentation, ‘Buffet’ for the peptides, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F for brightening.

Once a week I exfoliate with acids. I like the AHA 5% toner and the AHA 10% cream from a small Korean label called VT Cosmetics because there’s a real glow the next day and almost no irritation. Every couple of weeks I exfoliate manually with Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling pads, but never do more than a few gentle swipes. Then I sheet-mask at least twice a week. All the Korean girls I met while I was living in Seoul said that Mediheal has the best masks, and it’s true! I also love the masks from Dr. Jart and Peach & Lily. For moisturizer, I use Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre because it’s an excellent primer.

My everday coverage a bit of the Shangpree Crystal BB cream to my moisturiser. Sometimes I use a cushion compact—my current favourite is from Jung Saem Mool, which is a good ‘your skin but better’ foundation. I fill in my brows slightly, but I like them to still look natural. When I feel like doing more, I dab one of the Urban Decay Naked eyeshadows on my lids to create depth and use Clio Waterproof Pen Liner in a brown to tightline and to draw a flick. If I want to amp it up, my go-to look is what I call ‘Child With a Fever.’ I like rosy cheeks, so I’ll layer any pink or peach blush with Guerlain Terracota Bronzing Powder. Or, I’ll keep my face bare and add a bold lip. I like to slightly overdraw my lips with a pale pink like MAC Subculture or Oh Honey, and then apply a red lip with a Q-Tip. My favourites are MAC in Viva Glam or Chili, and I never like it to look too perfect.

On weekends, I like to take a book or a New Yorker to my favorite coffee shops—Five Elephant in Mitte and Bonanza in Kreuzberg. Berlin's got world-class brew and a great coffee culture. The summers here are all about living that best life! But we pay for it during the winters. I survived the last one with candles, long baths, some wine and a very thorough, very consistent self care routine."

—as told to ITG

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