“Hi! I’m Marjon Carlos (@marjon_carlos) and you might remember me from my Top Shelf. A lot has changed since then! I’ve spent the last three years freelancing, splitting my time between being a journalist, editor, brand consultant, and public speaker. Sometimes I’d be writing a cover story, producing my own talk series at Dumbo House, or developing content for fashion and beauty brands... You have to remain nimble, scrappy, and smart. Freelance is no-joke! It’s a constant hustle, but the ability to work at your own pace and explore every passion you’ve ever had is beautiful.
I created some of my best work as a freelancer because I was so focused. For the first time in a long fashion publishing career, I wasn’t dressing up to go to an office. I wouldn’t recommend sitting around in your PJs all day—you’ll start to get disgusted with yourself after a while. Instead, find a comfy ‘uniform’ that you can just slip on and get to work. I wore a gray Hanes sweatsuit with a pair of Nike Air Max every day when I was home. And instead of spending time on my outfits, I became more attuned to my skin, hair, and body.
When I wake up, I do my beauty routine—it helps jolt me into the day. We sacrifice a lot of things for our jobs, but clear skin shouldn’t be one of them. I saw a vast improvement in my skin once I started working from home, which had a lot to do with the fact that I was less stressed. I suddenly had the time to treat myself well. One of the many gigs I took as a freelancer was working with a Brooklyn-based oculofacial plastic surgeon, Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton. She has totally impacted my beauty routine. Now, I either cleanse with the True Calm Rosehip Cleanser from her brand, Epi.logic, or Dr. Sturm’s Darker Skin Tones Foam Wash. Both make wonderful lathers that wake up my skin. Then, I tone with the Epi.logic Even Balance toner or Thayers Witch Hazel, which Dr. Jeanniton would probably kill me for using. But I think both add moisture to my skin while getting it cleaner. After that is Epi.logic’s Daily Dose vitamin C serum, otherwise known as the goods. The combo of vitamins C, E, B5, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide makes my skin bounce and glow. Then I work their Master Plan serum in, which helps stimulate collagen and keeps my skin youthful. I add a few drops of Lesse Ritual Serum oil afterward for moisture (love the smell, love the consistency) and then finish off with Dr. Sturm’s Darker Skin Tones Face Cream. I exfoliate once a week with Dr. Sturms’s Enzyme Cleanser, and also do masks regularly—I love Joanna Vargas’ Glow-To-Go pack, which Mara Hoffman got me on to.
I’m not really a makeup girl, but I am a big-time hair chameleon. I experiment all the time—braids, wigs, clip-ins, natural hair, you name it. My bathroom looks like a beauty supply store! For a wash and go, which is usually how I wear it when I’m staying home, I start by co-washing with As I Am Co-Wash Cleanser or I shampoo with Devacurl’s No Poo Cleansing Conditioner. Then I condition with Shea Moisture’s 10-in-1 Superfruit Masque—conditioning with a hair mask changed the game. Pattern has a great detangling brush that really smooths out my curls. After brushing, and with my hair still soaking wet, I add Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave-In Conditioner and follow it up with Curls Goddess Hair Gel for definition. I get out of the shower, shake the curls into place, and sit under my Conair portable hair dryer for 20 minutes. Then I either let my hair dry naturally or finish it with my blow dryer. Once it’s dry, Jamaican castor oil goes on my edges and Pattern’s Jojoba oil on my strands.
Smell is so important, so I always, always, always wear Diana Vreeland’s Empress of Fashion perfume whether I’m going out or not. And when it's time to work, I try to find a good spot in my apartment that gets plenty of sunshine. You want that vitamin D! Make sure it’s clean and tidy, because working amongst your own filth gets depressing. And, I know it sounds obvious, but always remember to break for lunch. (You’d be surprised by how easy it is to forget!)
When you’re finished for the day, reward your hard work! Read an article, watch a TV show, take a quick nap... Before the quarantine, I would go meet a friend for dinner or a drink, but now, a good phone call with friends and family can be so enriching. It always helps to have a sounding board. Then I’ll probably spend the night catching up on Real Housewives of Atlanta, listening to a good podcast, making myself a nice dinner, and getting some good ass sleep.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author