ITG's Intern On Using Birth Control As Skincare


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 Ali Oshinsky [@alioshinsky] and I’m the Editorial Intern at Into The Gloss. I’m originally from Miami, and moved to New York to go to Barnard. Going to school in the city is weird, because you feel like you’re interacting with your surroundings in more adult ways than you would be on a college campus, and yet you still have class and exams. Interning was a big part of my college experience—after three years of school I was kind of ready to start working, so I graduated. I studied English, and wanting to write a book at a time when people aren’t really reading books is a bleak reality surely not lost on me. A very wise professor of mine once advised that to be a writer, you need to also have a real job. So, here I am at a real job! I literally get paid to write and play with makeup, which are two things I love more than broccoli but less than babies on the subway.

Pretty much all of my prose writing has to do with the experience of being a girl and growing up. I thought it would be a phase, but my teen years have come and gone and I still find myself fascinated by the vividness of those memories. In high school, makeup was so important to the way I expressed myself. I was definitely an art kid, and I sat for my SATs in lilac lipstick, a winged eye and light up platform sneakers, seriously. Now I’m not afraid to do a full look if I so desire, but I’ve also figured out the things that make me feel most like myself, which I think is why I was doing the most in the first place. The reason I was drawn to ITG was the way it acknowledged the specificity of beauty and how that plays into self-construction. Essentially, it’s character building—when I’m writing a character, I have to know what lipstick she has at the bottom of her bag, and when she bought it, and why it got thrown in there. It’s those details that make a character real, and in real life you decide them for yourself.

Truthfully, my biggest secret to good skin is birth control. I have PCOS, and I would get these horrible, painful cysts. The right birth control stopped that, and also made my period less severe. I got a prescription pain medicine for cramps, but the medicine makes me so nauseous and is really harsh on my liver. What’s kind of been changing my life are these CBD suppositories. When I use them I don’t have to take the pain medicine—it’s incredible to me that a plant so potently medicinal is still stigmatized at all. I'd also recommend laser hair removal for gals with PCOS who prefer their hair removed. I moisturize with Nuxe and the Idrasol cream from Santa Maria Novella which I bought in the dead of winter when I was convinced my skin was literally falling off of my body. It smells strangely like Play-Doh, but is magical and luxuriously thick. I haven’t really nailed down how to deal with winter yet, and also this strange thing happens where it gets warmer and I just forget winter even exists and therefore I don’t have to deal with it ever bye! Summer is better, for vain reasons—my skin is hydrated, my hair is just frizzy enough to have natural body, and my slight tan hides the fact that I am very much an indoor kid.

Blush is the thing I do every day. My all-time favorite is Cloud Paint in Storm. Usually I use a little Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder mixed with Wonder Glow, but I never cover my whole face because I have freckles that I love. I use Boy Brow in Brown, but I sometimes use a brown brow pencil to enhance my freckles if I’m doing a look that’s more makeup-y, like a red lip. My favorite red is Chanel Gabrielle, and I bought it on my 21st birthday to forcibly assert my adulthood onto passerby. It's not matte, and it's not too glossy, and it's the perfect red. Now that I’m used to it, it feels so much more effortless than an eye look. I stopped wearing eye makeup in college because I became less confident in my ability to wrangle up eye makeup remover on a cotton round at the end of every night. I was getting extensions for a while at JJ’s in Soho, but when you have lash extensions you wake up convinced you are the most beautiful person in existence, so in truth it’s better that I don’t have them anymore. Now I just use Lash Slick, which is feathery like extensions and easy to wash off. I curl my lashes because they are as stick straight as my head hairs, do a coat of mascara, and I’m done. I spray my face with Glossier Soothing Face Mist at the end for an is-she-sweating-or-is-this-highlighter glow. For fragrance, I’m loyal to Neroli Portofino. It's unisex, and I actually started using it because my grandpa had it. Now he always buys them in pairs: one for himself, and a second to send to me. I don’t mind sharing a signature scent—I think it makes it more special.

When I come home from work, I wash my face with Bioderma, set myself up with an episode of the show I’m binging (right now it’s The Office), and Ziip (verb). Melanie Simon sent it to me, and I feel like it’s made a huge difference in my skin, though I’ll also do pretty much anything she says ever. I start with Energize, then do Total Clearing, Pigment Treatment, and, per Melanie’s suggestion, the Men’s Treatment on my chin and nose for blackheads. By the time the episode is finished, I’m done. I try not to miss a day, because when I use it my skin is good, which seems simple enough for such a high-tech gadget. It’s also been helping to even out post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from hormonal breakouts past. I wash off the conductor gel with Milky Jelly, which is the best face wash ever, and every other day I follow that with Paula’s Choice 2% BHA. Before starting this, I thought my skin was just not cut out for a chemical exfoliant—with others, I would always break out in these tiny, irritated bumps. Turns out my perfect match existed after all. I use Susanne Kaufmann’s Nutrient Concentrate Serum on slightly wet skin, and then the Niacinamide and Zinc Serum from The Ordinary. That goes on a little tacky, but it works. I seal it all with Dr. Colbert’s Illumino Oil, which I dare say is better than Vintner’s Daughter. One good pump is usually enough for my whole face. I’m on my second bottle—when I use it, I wake up glowing."

—as told to ITG