The Communications Director Who Always Finds Time To Charcoal Mask


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“Hi! I’m Paige Hill (@paigephill). I live in Nashville, Tennessee and I’m the Surrogate Communications Director at Biden for President. A surrogate is someone who campaigns on behalf of a candidate—President Obama, celebrities like John Legend, Kerry Washington, and Lizzo, and the Democratic primary candidates who have united behind our campaign are all working to get the word out for team Biden. Our surrogates are so eager to do everything in their power to make sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected, and my job is to make sure they have everything they need to amplify our message, persuade voters, and get them out to the polls! Seeing so many people willing to give us so much of their time is definitely the best part of my job. It’s great that our campaign’s positive and unifying message resonates with them, and the outpouring of support feels amazing.

Our campaign has been largely virtual since the beginning of the pandemic, but I try to keep up my regular routine when I’m working from home. I learned early on that I work better when I get up and put myself together a bit rather than lounge around in pajamas all day. (Though I’ve definitely done that… a lot.) My motivation used to be getting out the door as quickly as possible, but now it’s solely to take care of myself. My beauty routine is for myself, not anyone else, and is to make sure I feel good. I’m always inspired by my friends who are mothers and juggling so much, but still manage to find ways to take care of themselves. If they can find time to do a quick charcoal mask, so can I.

The biggest not-so-secret I share with everyone is to visit a dermatologist. I played the guessing game for a long time, and it worked until it didn’t! It is so helpful to go to a derm, have a conversation about what your issues are and what you’re looking for, and let them tailor a routine just for you. I’m very loyal to my local cosmetic dermatologists at SkinPharm here in Nashville, and now most of my skincare routine includes their products. In the morning, I usually use their Gentle Soothing Cleanser followed by a swipe of toner. The Clarifying Pads are amazing—I sell everyone on them. Next I use Neocutis eye cream, some serums (vitamin C and hyaluronic acid), and a Brightening Lotion to even out old acne scars. But the most important step is sunscreen! SkinPharm’s Sheer Defense finishes off my routine and makes my skin look like I used a BB cream.

My makeup bag has some cobwebs growing in it right now, but I grew up dancing competitively, which involves lots of stage makeup! Of course, I still wasn’t allowed to wear anything beyond some Lip Smackers and maybe some roll on body glitter to school—our competitions were always over the weekend, and I remember trying so hard to prolong the life of my makeup looks so I could show up on Monday with a little leftover mascara on. I’m positive I did not look as good as I thought I did with days-old eye makeup. Now, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll use a little bit of Jane Iredale’s mineral foundation and some Kevyn Aucoin concealer. Glossier’s liquid eyeliner is the best I’ve ever used to get the perfect wing, and Boy Brow is the only gel that controls my wild, curly brows. I finish with some Balm Dotcom in either Cherry or Mint.

I have the natural features of a Black woman—fuller lips, kinky natural hair, and thick eyebrows. I was ridiculed for those things in grade school and spent a lot of my life trying to minimize them. The best thing I’ve learned is to love them, and I would tell any beautiful little Black girl I see to do the same. When I’m working from home, my hair is usually in a protective style like knotless braids or tucked away in a very curly bun. But I don’t go a day without applying It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In conditioner and Kérastase’s Oléo-Relax oil to keep my natural hair moisturized. And I’ll add a little Reverie by Garrett Markenson Milk to smooth things over if I need to turn on my camera.

At night, I use the gentle cleanser and Neocutis eye cream again. A few times a week I work in a retinol serum and pair that with a good, thick moisturizer like SkinPharm’s Face Whip. When the campaign got stressful and the inevitable blemishes and dark circles popped up, I would spot-treat with a charcoal mask and stick on some KNC Beauty Retinol Eye masks. It’s always fun to scare my boyfriend with a picture of my mask face!

I like to paint my own nails as a stress reliever, because I can’t do much while they dry. It forces me to sit still for a minute and relax. I don’t stray too far from black, dark gray, and red, even in the summertime—the quality and color range of Smith & Cult polishes is the best, but using them alongside Essie’s Gel Setter is key! If I can, I love to take a nice, warm bath with some Dr. Teal’s Lavender Foaming Bath and an Equilibria CBD bath bomb—that solves everything. But on busier days a good rage walk around the block always helps me calm down. Of course, it’ll be easier to relax once our country has the leadership we need to get us through the crises we face—make sure you have a plan to vote, and visit the website I Will Vote to help you find your voting or ballot drop-off location.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author