The Teach For America Alum With The Trick For Bouncy Curls


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 Alexandra Hayes (@afhayes) and I'm a Teach For America alumna and educator in Canarsie, Brooklyn. I live in the East Village and Canarsie is the last stop on the L train, so I wake up at the crack of dawn to get to work on time. So, I'm always looking for products that keep my skin looking youthful, hydrated, and refreshed. 

I'm not a morning person, but I've gotten my AM routine down to a science. I stumble out of bed, start the Keurig, then wash my face with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. It's super hydrating and makes my cheeks feel bouncy and jubilant—my cheeks definitely have feelings. Then, I spritz my face with Jurlique's Rosewater Mist. I got a free sample once at Great Jones Spa and had to purchase it when it ran out—it smells so fresh and keeps my skintone even. Next, I use the Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid + B5 followed by Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I apply it in upward motions, and I always do this little upwards flick on my cheeks afterward. I feel like this helps keep my cheeks plump? I finish with Glossier Invisible Shield because my skin is a long-term investment and I’m trying to take better care of it.

At night, I switch up my routine. Recently I've been loving Drunk Elephant’s Juju Bar. It’s made of mud and bamboo powder and heals my skin quickly if I have blemishes, which recently, has felt like every damn day. Then I moisturize with Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich and Kiehl's Creamy Under Eye Treatment with Avocado. My boyfriend loves those two products. He steals them from me regularly.

My favorite acids are The Ordinary's 7% Glycolic Toner and Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos. Starting in August, my skin began freaking out more than usual and the queen aesthetician at my facial spot told me I need to chill with the acids because my skin is super dehydrated right now. Her word is the holy grail so it has been an acid-less few weeks for me. And it seems to be working—my skin is smoother to the touch and noticeably less congested.

Oh my God, do I love masks. I love the Indian Aztec Healing Clay. It's a powder mixed with apple cider vinegar that really pulls all the grime out from beneath the top layer of your skin. I follow it up with Drunk Elephant's Marula Oil but use literally one drop because that shit is expensive! I use Manuka Honey for added nutrients and slather it all over my face. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and your skin will feel dewy and tight. I also love Skin Laundry’s Wrinkle Release sheet mask. It boosts collagen and comes in a gold wrapper, which is awesome.

My grandmother is a hairstylist so I started experimenting with beauty when I was super young, and hair was the first thing I became invested in. My head is full of curls and growing up, I hated it. I remember being so personally touched when the Dove Love Your Curls campaign came out. It cultivated this sense of pride in my curls, and I've finally committed to my natural hair. Curls need lots of moisture, so I only wash it once or twice a week. When I do, I use Davines Love Shampoo and Conditioner. It smells like a French baby and takes away the grease without stripping my scalp of its natural oils. If it's feeling greasy and needs a cleanse, I'll use Devacurl No-Poo and my curls come out real bouncy. Once a week, I deep condition using Trader Joe's Coconut Oil. I comb it through from my scalp to my ends and sleep with it tied in a silk scarf. 

My fashion sense is a little funky, a little more outspoken. Recently, I've made a commitment to stop shopping fast fashion and focus my spending on more eco/ethical labels. This is part of the reason I have such a deep and true love for vintage—my favorites are 9th Street Haberdashery in NYC and Dana Foley Vintage on the Lower East Side. I follow a bunch of vintage shops on Instagram, too, and I love brands like Reformation, Christy Dawn, and Maison Cleo.

With makeup, I kind of have two looks that I keep in rotation. The first is super natural-looking and begins with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in Beige. I rub that all over—it gives me a little coverage while still letting my skin shine through. I've been really into Chanel Blush lately too—I use Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 02 Rose Bronze. It's a dusty rose with a bit of sparkle. RMS Lip2Cheek is really nice, too. I use the shade Demure. It gives that perfect flushed look you get outside in cooler weather. I also apply a bit of Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone along the bridge of my nose, my cheek bones, and my cupid’s bow. On my lips, I'm in rotation between Fresh’s Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Honey and Lune + Aster in Changemaker. Both are super moisturizing which, to me, is imperative in a lip color. There is nothing worse than color caked onto chapped lips. Oh! And to finish off, it's always Glossier Boy Brow in Brown

My other go-to is if I'm going for more of a finished look, I'll use the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.25. It’s expensive so I don't use it every day, but it does this magical thing where you look airbrushed and natural. That's important to me because I never want to look like I’m wearing too much makeup—even if I am. I'll add an eyeliner and mascara too—I use Better Than Sex for lashes and Chanel Le Crayon Khol in Graphite. I apply it more heavily on the outer bottom rim, lighter towards the inner corner. My eyes change colors based on my mood I swear, and the direction of the sun, what I wear, etc. This eyeliner brings out the gray-green and creates this sultry look that I'm all about. I don't usually do eye shadow because I can’t seem to apply it without getting it literally everywhere. Probably should start investing in eye polish instead."

—as told to ITG