The Instructional Designer Who Lives By Vitamin C


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 Elizabeth (@menddetroit). I live in Detroit, Michigan, and I work as an instructional designer. Instructional designers do a lot of different things, but in my capacity I help the faculty at a university be better teachers. My beauty philosophy is pretty simple and comes from the Roald Dahl book, The Twits, which is an absolutely ridiculous book to co-opt a beauty philosophy from. It goes, 'A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.' My mental health comes before anything else because that’s what everything else in my life stands on. Part of that is shifting the way I look at myself, and striving to see the whole person.

My morning routine starts with a splash of water on my face. After I’m done with that, I wipe my face with Bioderma. Then I use The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% and B5 and cover that up with Su:m 37’s Water-Full Rebalancing Gel Lotion. It’s a great lightweight lotion that adds just enough moisture and makes sure that my makeup stays on. On top of that I put sunscreen—I use the Innisfree Perfect UV Protection because that sunscreen does not budge, even if you’re swimming or sweating. In the evening, I roll on Su:m37’s Skin Saver Cleansing Balm while counting to 20, emulsify it, and then gently wash it off with Su:m37’s Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. These two cleansers are the winning combo. After that, it’s another swipe of Bioderma and then a vitamin C serum. I switch up between Vitamin C serums since they oxidize so fast. I’m working my way through a bottle of Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop. I still have some hyperpigmentation issues from my 20s I’m working on so this is really helpful. After that I layer on The Ordinary’s Buffet, and seal it all in with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Conentre. I don’t break out much anymore, but I do occasionally react poorly to a product or get a little too enthusiastic with a tub of ice cream and will have to deal with the consequences. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is a targeted breakout corrector that will shrink a blemish overnight, and clear up a really bad cystic one in two.

Nothing relaxes me more than sitting with a book, so a few times a week I put on a sheet mask while I read—right now I am working my way through The Tsar of Love and Techno. For a mask, I love anything by Skinfood, especially the Black Sugar Wash-Off Mask and the Benton Snail Bee High Content Masks. I always was skeptical about products claiming to give you radiant skin but my skin actually looks luminous and glowing after the Benton masks so I keep buying them.

I am much more adventurous with makeup than with my clothes. On weekday mornings, I start with the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in 21. I love that it has really great coverage but still lets my natural skin show through—it basically just evens everything out without forcing me to rebuild the contours and brightness of my face from scratch. For more coverage, I like Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Sand. After that, I conceal any under-eye circles with the Dior Flash Luminizer Pen mixed with Bobbi Brown Concealer. With the Dior, you do have to be careful not to wear too much of it when you’re going to be photographed with a flash because it literally reflects light. I learned that one the hard way. After my base, I add eyeshadow. On truly lazy days I go with the A’Pieu Eye Blending Maker, which I bought this summer in Seoul. I totally regret not buying the whole line of them because they are the best—stay on all day, blend beautifully, and have just the right amount of shimmer. Otherwise I use two or three of the shadows from my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette and do a subtle smoky eye. I draw on liner with the Clio Kill Pen Liner in Brown and finish up by curling my eyelashes and swiping mascara on. I’ve never found a mascara I was truly happy with so I switch brands and types every few months. Right now I’m using Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara.

Then I finish up with a little shading and blush. The Nars Multiple in Luxor is my favorite, and I’ve been using a Dior Addict Lipstick in Rock n’ Roll as a cream blush for almost two years now. It gives a beautiful, natural redhead-friendly flush but also has some work-appropriate glitter going on. If I want a heavier contour, I’ll use Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder in Stonestreet, but that’s usually only if I’m going out. My MLBB [my lips but better] lipstick is Chanel’s Mademoiselle, but sometimes I use a bright pinky-red lip tint if I’m feeling more adventurous. I always do my eyebrows last. My eyebrow icon is Emma Watson—I’m always trying to get that perfect arch. I use a combination of The Face Shop’s Make Me Brow Pencil and Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde in combination with each other to get that shape.

I have to say my number one beauty secret is the way I touch the skin on my face, which I owe to a dermatologist I went to in Seoul. She taught me that when you cleanse your face, you should never feel the skin pulling—there should always be enough product between your hands and the product as it glides over your face. This applies to when I’m cleaning with a cotton or applying a product with fingers or a brush. Pulling on your eye to get straight eyeliner—I had to drop that bad habit, too. I had struggled with acne for a long time, and being gentle with the skin on my face cleared up what was left."

—as told to ITG