The Ceramicist With A Dedication To Oil Cleansing


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"My name is Melissa Chin (@greyremedyco) and I’m a ceramicist and product designer based in Chicago. I own a pottery company called Grey Remedy, and I design simple, minimalist products that help us find beauty in our daily routines. In addition to having an excuse to make a mess every day, my favorite thing about my job is that I get to redesign common objects in a way that brings a new dynamic to self-care rituals, from drinking a morning cup of tea or coffee to sitting down for a homemade meal.

Making pottery has taught me a lot about the versatility of simplicity when it comes to beauty. When you spend all day in a ceramics studio, there is about a 95-percent chance that clay will end up on your face at some point. This reality has given me an incentive to keep my daily beauty routine pretty basic, but still thought-out enough to help me transition seamlessly into whatever evening activities I might have planned for after I leave the studio. Putting on a little bit of foundation and concealer, grooming my eyebrows, and throwing on some eyeliner and mascara is really all I need to carry me over into after-studio client meetings or nighttime events. If I’m in the mood to make my look a little more special, all I have to do is add a swipe of brown or dark red lipstick, and I’m good to go!

My beauty philosophy is that we should always celebrate the features that make us unique. Unfortunately, for black women and many other women of color, it can be difficult to find products that accentuate our favorite features rather than altering them or drowning them out. Attempting to find the perfect foundation and nude lipstick used to be a nightmare, but it’s so wonderful to see a rise in the number of brands that are driven by the desire to make the beauty industry more inclusive. It’s especially inspiring to see an influx of products that are created to specifically capture the radiance of dark skin tones.

Although my daily skin and makeup routine has changed a lot over the years, I think that I am finally catching my stride. I start with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash and then I tone with Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. Once my face dries, I add Neutrogena Hydro Boost. My skin does this weird thing in which it gets really dry, and then it gets really greasy all of a sudden because it over-produces oil to compensate for the dryness. Neutrogena Hydro Boost is one of the first moisturizers that I have used that gives my skin just the right amount of non-greasy hydration without making me feel as if I need to apply another layer of product. After this I prep my face with MAC Prep + Prime Skin. I didn’t really understand why primer was necessary until I started using this product. I had experimented with other primers before this one because I had heard that priming was essential, but most of them left my skin feeling stiff and dry, eventually causing my skin to do that oil over-production thing that I mentioned earlier. Prep + Prime makes me feel as if I’m covering my skin with a layer of velvet. It helps my foundation to glide on and blend so easily, and it keeps my makeup in place all day. The best part is that there is a bit of shimmer to it, which adds a really nice glow.

Recently I started to introduce oil cleansing into my nighttime routine, and I honestly don’t understand why more people aren’t doing it. It sounds extremely counterintuitive for someone with skin that tends to get oily, but oh my goodness. When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels amazing. I recently designed some mask bowls for a food-grade skincare company in Chicago called Scratch Goods, and while dropping the bowls off, I picked up a bottle of their Tea Tree Cleansing Oil. I use it by massaging it into my skin after washing my makeup off, and then I use a warm, damp paper towel to wipe off the excess oil. The oil helps to break down whatever impurities are left on my face after washing my makeup off, and it helps my skin to retain moisture after cleansing.

Before putting my makeup on, I apply Boy Brow in Black. I don’t even know who I was before Glossier Boy Brow. I heard an ad for it on the "Call Your Girlfriend" podcast a few years ago, and decided to give it a try. IT’S AMAZING. Then I apply Nars All-Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Benares, and I conceal with Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Cocoa. Next, I’ll add some black L’Oréal liquid liner to my top lash line, and finish up with some Lash Slick. I’ve recently also become obsessed with Cloud Paint in Dawn. Until Dawn, I never realized how much of a necessity orange blush was. It complements my skin tone beautifully while bringing a subtle glow and the perfect amount of warmth to my face.

Naked Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Sierra Nevada #5 is the one shadow that I always come back to. It’s a loose powder that comes in a cute little bucket, and it’s a shimmery bronze color that adds a nice, subtle sparkle. I love it because it’s great for both day and night. In the daytime I’ll wear it on my lids with black eyeliner, and at night I’ll use a flat brush to apply it to my lower lash line. It’s perfect for me because it adds just the right amount of highlight without creating too stark of a contrast against my skin. A little goes a really long way, so I’m convinced that this bucket is going to last me forever. Another product I love is Mented Cosmetics lipstick in Brown Bare and Dark Night! I’m one of those people who panics when their lips feel dry, so in the past, I’ve been guilty of thinning my lipstick out with a gloss in order to provide more moisture. With Mented, doing that is completely unnecessary. The formula is as smooth and creamy as your favorite lip balm, but it contains an amazing amount of pigment. They specialize in nude cosmetics for women of color, so their products are perfect for helping us to achieve that natural-glam look."

—as told to ITG