The Digital Strategist With A Super Smart Shaving Technique

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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.

"My name is Maria Al-Sadek, @mariaalia on Instagram. I live in New York City. My main form of work is as a freelance content creator, fancy for 'influencer.' Outside of this facet of my work, I am a digital strategist and project manager for the communications agency, BPCM. My side-side hustle is handling marketing for the female empowerment non-profit, MALIKAH. My three areas of work are all very different yet intersect all of the time. At the office and with MALIKAH, I really like to focus on accentuating my natural beauty and not get too fussy with makeup, just the basics because there is a lot of important work to be done. When it comes to shooting photo and videos for my platforms or sponsored projects I'm working on, I'm really into playing around and getting creative with beauty. I'll throw on a bright orange lipstick, a glossy lid or experiment with brightly colored eyeliners. It becomes more about creative expression than anything else.

I first started experimenting with beauty at the age of 13. I was abroad in Abu Dhabi staying with my older, cooler, teenage cousins. They lined my eyes with a traditional black Middle Eastern kohl eyeliner. I just remember being so excited and feeling so grown up because up until this point I had never worn makeup aside from playing around in my mother's. After that, I continued lining my waterline with black eyeliner, like all millennials during the mid-2000s, and tying the look together with clear lipgloss. At this point in my life i'm really into embracing my natural beauty. This starts with treating my skin right- using sunscreen, moisturizing, exfoliating and all of that skincare good stuff. When it comes to my everyday makeup, I'm really into looking as naturally glowy as possible. I'm a sucker for a good highlight or dewy face mist.

When I'm cleansing my face, I'm always into more delicate formulas that don't completely strip my skin of its natural oils. My favorites are the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Tatcha's The Deep Cleanse. I'm really into serums. For nighttime, my current favorite is Drunk Elephant's TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. I love this serum for so many reasons, but mainly because it visibly makes a difference in my skin's texture and evenness. I apply it almost every night after cleansing. It has seriously changed my skin. For day time, I love a brightening serum so naturally I'm obsessed with Sunday Riley's CEO Rapid Flash serum. On the topic of Sunday Riley, I have to shoutout my #1—their Good Genes Treatment which is kind of the OG get-my-skin-looking-snatched product for me. It's described as a clarifying, line-smoothing lactic acid treatment and it does not lie. I started using this almost three years ago and I really think it plays a huge role in the state of my skin today.

Next, let's talk about La Mer's The Eye Concentrate—this stuff is good. Like really really good. I've been skeptical on the effectiveness of under eye creams for a while, but this stuff changed that for me. It fills out my under eyes and makes that delicate skin appear plush and hydrated. I love using this before bed.

I almost always opt for a face oil—Sunday Riley Luna Night Oil and Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. Letting a facial oil soak into my skin through the night is not only luxurious but so so good for it. During the day, I opt for regular cream moisturizers. My top three would have to be the Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream, the Glossier Priming Moisturizer and the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide cream. I reach for my Saturday Skin for most everyday purposes because it's light and just works really well with my skin.

For foundation, my all-time favorite is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. If you haven't tried this, you're seriously missing out on some perfect luminous coverage. For concealer, I love my Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear. I find that it not only offers impeccable coverage, it also mimics your skin and doesn't appear cake-y, at all. I've been loving the Chantecaille Cheek Shade in the color Grace to get that subtle flush of color to my cheeks. For brows, I love L'Oreal's Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara in Dark Brunette. I can use it without a brow pencil and my brows look effortlessly full and shaped. As far as mascaras go, anyone who knows me knows my obsession with Le Volume De Chanel... It's hard to explain, but basically this mascara does EVERYTHING. Lengthens, darkens, separates, and thickens, all while not clumping or looking heavy. My favorite highlighters at the moment are the L'Oréal Lumi Glotion in Light for a very sheer and natural glow but for more intense highlighting purposes, Lancome's Dual Finish Multi-tasking Illuminating Highlighter in Sparkling Peche is stunning. I prefer to apply this powder highlighter with a damp beauty blender to get a super seamless, non-powdery finish. I've been setting my face with Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Skin Finish for years now because it kind of helps mesh whatever make-up I'm wearing into my skin and make it look like just that—my skin! For lips, I'm obsessed with balm-like lipsticks. You know, the ones that just make your lips look like themselves but better? Glossier Generation G in Leo and Giorgio Armani's Ecstasy Shine in Nuda are perfect my lips but better shades and formulas.

Although I cover my hair while in public, I still love taking great care of it. I like to splurge on my shampoo and conditioner. My current shower line-up includes Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Conditioner and Drybar's Sake Bomb Shampoo. I usually brush my hair in the shower and then apply some Ouai Rose Hair Oil directly after my shower and let my hair air dry, always. For my skin, I use an exfoliating mitt in the shower. I also like to shave with Glossier Body Hero because I find the oil really helps my dry skin retain moisture. I promptly moisturize with a body cream once I'm out of the shower because I'm addicted to moisturizing. I always opt for non-scented and natural body creams."

—as told to ITG