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, my name is Tamira, but I go by TJ (@tamirajarrel). I was born in the Bronx, New York, but my dad was in the military, so we moved around a lot. Now, I live in a small town called Alburtis—it’s two hours away from New York City. I have two children, so living in a place where they can grow up around other children is important. I will always be city girl though!
My official job title is Registered Medical Assistant. I work at one of the main hospitals in my area. When I had my first daughter, I took some time off from work and decided to start a blog for pure fun—three years later, it’s become a place where people can connect and discuss beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. My personal style is pretty natural and easy, but with a fun, androgynous twist. I grew up a major tomboy, but beauty always intrigued me. In my head, I get the best of both worlds.
Beauty, to me, really starts from within, so making sure I’m taking care of my insides really reflects on the outside. Eating well, making sure I’m getting the proper nutrients, and taking care of my skin really ties in with how I look and feel. I’m definitely one of those people who believes in making the most out of what you are born with instead of covering up the things you don’t like. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin has helped my own approach. I also pay close attention to how my skin reacts to certain products—that’s been really useful.
My skin behaves for the most part. I get the odd spot here and there, but smooth skin and a good texture is what I am most concerned with. I use the Pixi Glow Tonic as a gentle everyday exfoliating toner. If I’m masking, the Joanna Vargas Dawn Face Masks are so good. They contain mandelic acid, which immediately brightens your skin. I like facial mists too—they’re like the cherry on top. I also always have at least two bottles of the Palermo Hydrating Facial Toner in my cabinet at all times. Then, if I am dealing with a bit of acne, the Sunday Riley UFO Clarifying Face Oil seems to take care of it. I make sure to really press it into the skin until it has fully absorbed.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is one of my most repurchased products. I’ve gone through nine bottles at least. It does everything you need a cleanser to do. I also use SPF religiously—Glossier Invisible Shield is the one for me. I have not felt or tried anything like it. The gel texture isn’t your traditional heavy sunscreen, and it’s a great base for makeup. I also like to apply it on the back of my hands to keep that skin protected as well.
With makeup, I spend the most time on my base and just strive for that skin-like finish! The Glossier Skin Tint in Dark is perfect for every day. If I want a bit more coverage, I really enjoy the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. That one is great for a dry or dull skin type. I don’t own many brushes—I like to warm up products with my fingers. This way I feel like I can control the product a bit better. Blush is another big must-have for me, and Noto Botanicals does a great tinted multipurpose balm stick. Ono Ono is this dark peach shade that gives you kind of a sun burned-look. I have eyelash extensions—life changing!—and naturally have a shadow to my eyelids, so I don’t wear much eye makeup otherwise. That said, I do like Burberry Eye Colour in Pale Barley. It’s my go-to. I brush my brows both morning and night with a spoolie, and if I need to pluck any random strays, I will use my Tweezerman tweezers. But I try to keep the natural shape. To fill in patchiness, Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown usually does the job. For everyday, Charlotte Tilbury does really great lip liners—Iconic Nude works best with my skin tone. I top it with Drunk Elephant’s Lippe.
Since I work in the medical field, my hands and nails are constantly being washed, so I have a weekly nail routine I stick to. I use Kiko’s Intense Hand & Foot Scrub and a really thick balm like the La Mer Hand Treatment. I carry the Tenoverten Rose Cuticle Oil and apply it on-the-go. There is just something about bare nails and clean cuticles that screams ‘chic.’ If I do paint them, I stick to a black or a nude polish. Burberry does a great formula—the brush is nice and wide…Stone is my go-to shade.
I have thick, coarse, frizzy hair. Because it’s a lot to tame, I usually straighten it to make it a bit more manageable day-to-day. Once a week, I do a deep scalp cleanse with the Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scrub. It helps clear out whatever has built up during the week. To wash, I love the Ouai Curl Shampoo & Conditioner because it really helps with my frizziness. A middle-parted, low messy bun is my signature look—partly because hair is the most difficult thing for me to do. Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray is the only thing I would ever need to style my hair. It’s like a dry shampoo and hairspray in one.
Whenever I go somewhere new, I like to have a new scent to bring along. I just came back from London where I wore Derek Lam 10 Crosby Solid Stick Parfum in Silent St. For me, certain fragrances help strengthen nostalgic moments. I remember I wore Lucky Brand’s Lucky You scent throughout high school and when I met my boyfriend—now it’s my after-shower scent!
Because I have kids, relaxing time is a set schedule. I’m a night owl and tend to work through the wee hours of the morning. Not practical, but it works for now! I take that time to edit my content for my blog, YouTube videos and social media. While I’m doing that, I love an at-home facial—that’s my jam. I have no shame if I need to do a quick supermarket run with blemish patches on!"
—as told to ITG