The Student Who Mixes Makeup & Meditation


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.

"Hiya! My name is Courtney and I live in North Carolina. I’m currently a student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts. I study acting, so I’m always reading new plays and seeing shows with my friends—though Seinfeld on Hulu is good too. [Ed note: watch this.] I definitely relate to Elaine and Kramer on a spiritual level.

I love expressing myself with my hair—it’s incredibly liberating. During the winter, I usually put my natural hair in a wig to promote growth and protect it from dryness. With wigs, you can change your look instantly without sacrificing the health of your natural hair. If it doesn’t look good, you can just take it off—it’s amazing. I still love dyeing my hair crazy colors though—it’s most recently been forest green and a purple-y silver. I wash every two weeks with OGX Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner, and I also co-wash on some days.

In the mornings, I wake up and set my intentions for the day before I start my skincare. I had breakouts in late elementary and middle school, but my skin has cleared up tremendously since then—I’m so glad I finally have products that I know work for my skin. I go in with Clean and Clear to cleanse—the Morning Burst one in the morning when I’m taking my shower, and then the Night Relaxing one before I go to bed. At night, I take off all my makeup with whatever makeup wipe I have on deck, plus a splash of micellar water. I use the Target Apricot Scrub to clear pores on my chin, nose, and upper cheeks—it has small beads that gently exfoliate your face and leave it feeling smooth. And I always spray my face with Heritage Store Rosewater to lock in the moisture.

Every time I sit in front of my mirror, I approach beauty with a new perspective. I ask myself, ‘How are you feeling today? What’s motivating you?’ and I go from there. When I first started college, I would beat my face every. Single. Day. I used to love buying bright, sticky makeup from Claire’s with my friends, and still love a pop of Insta-worthy color. But now I wake up and have dance class at 9AM, so I’ve been re-learning to love my natural skin. I usually start with a clean canvas and a drop of vitamin E oil. I have very dry skin, so the oil helps keep it clear and dewy. I then use my Glossier Priming Moisturizer to seal it all in. After that, I use Boy Brow to fill my brows and my favorite mascara, MAC Extended Lash Play, to give my eyes a natural lift. When I use it on my bottom lashes, I always use a sticky note or old business card as a barrier between my lashes and my skin. That way it doesn’t make a mess under my eyes. I use foundation just on spots where I have discoloration, like my under eyes, around my mouth and nose, and on my chin. Then I finish it off with Cloud Paint in Haze. I love a dewy face, especially since I’m taking acting for film classes right now, so I want to be camera ready for most of the day. I usually save my extravagant or fun looks for the weekend when I go to shows downtown or to a party. I love doing a bold eye with a glossy lip. That’s definitely my go-to Friday night look.

My beauty philosophy is to always rock whatever you’re comfortable with. Some days I want to wear lashes, and some days I want to go bare faced, and that’s OK because it’s my choice. I feel that the less we try to follow beauty standards, the better. We’re individual humans, not one of us looks the same, so it’s important to recognize that and see that as a gift, instead of something to shy away from. I know it sounds cheesy, but I think it’s easy to take life for granted—that’s why meditation and mindfulness practices are so important to me. Before I go to bed each night, I thank the universe for sharing the experience of life with me. I reflect on my day—the good, the bad—and document how I feel in my journal. Writing my thoughts and feelings down helps me let go of pent-up emotions and get ready for the next day. When I’m done, I fall fast asleep to binaural beats—I highly recommend."

—as told to ITG