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.
“Hi! I’m Patia (@patia00000). I’m more well known over at @patiasfantasyworld, a meme account that I run with three friends. I’m working on transforming it into a non-profit—I created an anti-racism database, and we create and distribute anti-racism guides all over the world. Currently, the guides are carried in New York spots like Mission Chinese, Dimes, Short Stories, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and Sandy Liang. Recently, we got some made for Gabrielle Richardson’s Brown Girl Butterfly Project Wellness Kits. It felt amazing to be a part of that initiative, and exciting to utilize my community and work on creating a better world. I also work for Helen with the Gold Teeth—it’s kind of surreal to watch a Black woman bring the craziest grill designs to life. I do a lot of logistic work, marketing, and clienteling for her, as well as being a brand consultant. Who wouldn’t want to be paid for their opinion? On top of all that, I’m also in school brushing up on my software engineering skills. When I moved to New York I was so enamored with the art and fashion world—in my early 20s, I actually went to cosmetology school to become a nail technician and aesthetician. But cybersecurity excites me the most now. I work a lot so that I can afford to keep buying large bottles of Biologique Recherche P50… In all seriousness, I have bad insomnia so I’m always in beast mode.
I was basically born into the world of beauty. My mom was a chemist at Revlon for 27 years (She finally retired this year!) and she knows everything. I grew up doing my homework after school at her desk while she was in her laboratory. I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, but when she’d walk away I’d look at nail polish colors she formulated, and sometimes, she’d teach me about bacteria and let me look in her microscope once her supervisor left the building. The woman who ran the test salon at Revlon was Black, and taught my Filipino mother how to do my hair. My mom gave me the sleekest ponytails on my thick black hair that, to this day, I cannot do on my own! She always instilled in me that Black women are beautiful and that I should never be ashamed of my skin color. I was raised to always see color, so I’m heavily influenced by Black culture and rap videos—glowy skin, thin brows, sultry eye makeup, and a gloss to accentuate full lips. All of those women exuded confidence.
I started using cuticle oil in first grade because my mom made me—hangnails were her pet peeve. My mom also taught me how to do manicures at a very young age. When she was at Revlon, she introduced me to one of their companies called Creative Nail Design. I’ve been using the CND Solar Oil daily for at least 20 years now. I also know how to do my own acrylics and gel, so if I have time and I’m bored, I’ll do my own full set—always with a French tip. That’s my signature. If I don’t have time, I go to a salon and then just do the nail art and the fill myself. My toes are always white.
I shower twice a day—minimum. I use Nécessaire body gel in Sandalwood mixed with Dr. Bronner’s Almond because I like both equally, and sometimes I feel like the Dr. Bronner’s on its own makes my skin feel stripped. I also wash my face in the shower with Neutrogena’s Acne Proofing Scrub. It just works. My skin isn’t even acne-prone, but this cleanser keeps everything perfect and balanced. When I cleanse my face, I pretend I’m giving myself a facial. If you don’t know how to give yourself a facial massage, you can follow a tutorial—it seems so extra, but activating the lymph nodes is so crucial, and it’s also really fun. When I’m tired in the morning, this helps wake me up. Using the steam from the bathroom, I also get to work on extracting my blackheads once a week
When I’m done with my shower, I pat my face dry and apply P50. It’s the only skincare product worth paying over $100 for—I discovered it years ago through Into The Gloss, and I’ve been hooked since the moment I found a spa in New York that sold it. I apply P50 with my hands instead of a cotton pad so I don’t waste any product. After, I mix up a few drops of Biologique Recherche Serum Placenta with a thick glob of Egyptian Magic and one drop of Glossier Futuredew. Egyptian Magic is my favorite—it has like seven ingredients, doesn’t clog my pores, and my skin absorbs it so well. When I apply a lot in the morning, it’ll settle into a nice dewy glow by mid-day. To finish, I dab on Shiseido Waso Color-Smart Day Moisturizer because duhhhh SPF is important. I moisturize my body with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter on days when I’m not really going to be out and about, and when I am, I use Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil instead.
I’m all about accentuating my features, not covering them. I wax, tweeze, and trim my own brows thin because the hairs are sparse. Keeping them full would require way too much filling in, and anyway, if I let them grow out my BFF Laina will drag me. (We run Team Thin Brow.) I use the cult favorite Anastasia Brow Wiz to sculpt them, and then the brow gel to keep them in place. If my skin is a little red, I use Glossier Skin Tint to balance that out. Mascara and strip lashes are annoying, and I don’t have time for that. I get super long lash extensions in a cat eye shape, which is basically a cheap version of an eye lift. I see Tammy at Mint By Mai, who is so sweet, clean, and efficient. If I’m going out at night and want to be sexy, I apply Shiseido’s Kajal Ink Artist Shadow pen in Tea House. It’s a nice deep brown I can create an easy smoky eye with in like five seconds. For real. Then I apply Fenty lip gloss in Fu$$y and, last but most importantly, I apply a ton of Tom Ford Glow Stick highlighter in 04 Courchevel. It’s a must that my face is always as golden as my jewelry. I always make sure I have my brow pencil, cuticle oil, gloss, eyeshadow, rosewater spray, highlighter, and hand sanitizer in my bag before I leave the house. My friend Coco gave me the Chanel Le Lift La Crème Main hand cream for my birthday this year, and it’s been so good to have on hand because hand sanitizer dries me out. I always offer it to my friends after we clean our hands.
If you have full lips like I do, you understand the struggle of finding the right chapped lip product. I went to Plump in Soho this year to get my lips done and help combat that problem. Dr. Emmy Cassagnol and registered nurse Amber Campbell made my lips look so juicy—I haven’t had a chapped lip since. However, before getting them done, I managed to find the perfect lip balm that everyone should own. Like, if I was the president, I would allocate money for stimulus checks, create policies that protect Black trans lives, and mail Blue Lagoon Rejuvenating Lip Balm out to every single person in the country. It has Blue Lagoon algae in it and a faint minty smell that’s super refreshing! I have never used a lip balm that works the way this one does.
I have really thick hair and a dry scalp, and I finally figured out a solid routine for that, too. I had been going to this place called New Ocean on Mott Street for blowouts, and one time I was there I saw a girl get a retouch on her Japanese perm. The treatment was under $20, and because my hair doesn’t really have curl to it, I was like, fuck it, I want that. Now, I wash my scalp once a week with Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and use Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine on the rest of my hair. I don’t buy expensive shampoos because I always need to use much more than a dime size amount, and I like the Garnier because it smells flirty. Then I condition with Silicon Mix. I have a love-hate relationship with the smell, but it is the only product that will get my hair laid. This summer, Latisha Chong did my hair on set and used Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream on me. My hair was glistening—it was almost like she had applied glitter to it. Oribe is pricey and every Black girl knows that there are hundreds of moisturizing creams on the market, but I have never seen my hair shine like that. Even if it was $100, I would still buy it.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author