The Mixologist Who’s Going Alcohol-Free


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“Hi! I’m Earlecia Richelle (@earleciarichelle). I started my career in the fashion industry, working as a freelance stylist, editor, and on-camera host. However, after I went back to school to get my masters in fashion and film, I wasn’t really sure what my next move should be. I decided I’d bartend while figuring it out. My job search didn’t pan out like I’d hoped, but I actually didn’t mind because I found I really liked the creative aspect of bartending. A coworker recommended I enter a cocktail contest, and that experience was a real ‘aha’ moment for me. What I loved about working in fashion was the storytelling, and competitions became a place where I could express my love of storytelling through flavor and styling. Once I discovered that, I moved into the brand side of the business pretty quickly—I met a Bacardi representative who became my mentor and then I became a brand ambassador for Grey Goose. Eventually I was promoted to national ambassador for St-Germain, the artisanal French elderflower liqueur.

I do a lot of brand strategy alongside mixology. I get to choose the cultural touchpoints used in our content, and create experiential brand experiences to better connect with our audience. For example, I've created cocktail events around cinema movements. I’ve also created socially engaged cocktails like Strange Fruit, meant as a reflection on America’s gruesome relationship with the hanging tree. In addition, I lead St-Germain’s global education programming and represent the brand in national media.

Quality ingredients are everything for me, both in cocktails and in skincare. I loved the endless supply of beauty products when I was working at fashion magazines, but now I understand there are only so many things you need. The reality is, when I was young, my skin was probably going to look good regardless of what I put on it. I’m an advocate for what I call ‘mindful drinking’—when you sip slowly and savor, you end up enjoying drinks more and drinking less. But as we’ve all heard ad infinitum alcohol dries out the skin, and my job only exacerbates my skin’s natural dryness. I’m also not very good at drinking water throughout the day. I try to make up for all of that by eating foods that are exceptionally hydrating, and adding moisture back in with skincare.

I start my day with my Ritual vitamins and a golden smoothie to boost wellness and hydration. Evolution 18 Beauty Collagen has Bobbi Brown’s stamp of approval, which means it gets mine too. And I also put in half a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder that I make myself—I buy the root at my local farmer’s market, and blend it into a powder with my Vitamix. Brewing some fresh ginger root tea to drink throughout the day also helps me remember to drink water.

I wash my face with Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water. It doesn’t have any drying alcohol or harsh detergents, and I like that it’s gentle enough to not remove my natural facial oils. Three mornings a week I tone with the Ren Ready Steady Glow AHA, which uses a combination of azelaic and lactic acids. That makes my skin super supple and glowy. I get facials at Heyday once a month, and my facialist recommended Hyper’s vitamin C serum to help with my dark spots. I’m blown away by the results—I even used it on a scar I had on my shoulder, and it totally faded after two weeks. I also love that the brand is Black-owned, founded by a woman of color, and keeps different skin tones in mind. Next is four layers of hydration: Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist goes underneath the Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum, and then I use Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme and Biossance Squalane and Omega Repair Cream to lock in the moisture. Finally, I protect my skin with Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen—as I’m getting older, sunscreen is a huge priority.

I’m all about ‘90s model looks—I love how a full brow, a lip, a radiant face, and sleek hair gives me definition without looking too fussy. And I’m lucky to have my friend and makeup artist Ruthie Weems to teach me the techniques I need to get the look at home. For my base, I use the new Gucci Natural Finish Foundation in Medium Deep. Gucci has an amazing range of foundation colors, and I like that I don’t need to use powder on top, which tends to age me. Before I put on my Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Liquid Concealer I prep my undereyes with the Tula Glow Hour eye balm—it has a tingling effect that helps with puffiness. On my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and the inner corners of my eyes I usually layer MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul over their Strobe Cream in Pinklite for a J. Lo glow. Or I also like Tower 28’s brown tinted balm mixed with Nars Orgasm X. That one works beautifully on my skin tone in a way the original Orgasm never did. I brush up my brows with a little Make Up For Ever Brow Gel and then usually complete my ‘90s vibe with Bite’s Power Move Creamy Matte Lip Crayon in Brandy. I always finish with the MAC Prep and Prime Fix+ spray to set the work I’ve done.

I wash my hair using Briogeo because I love that they’re Black-owned and operated. I usually use the Curl Charisma Hydrating Shampoo and Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask in the shower, alongside Nécessaire’s Body Wash and Exfoliator on my body. When I get out I use my favorite body lotion, Biotherm L’Original Body Milk. I stock up at duty free whenever I’m not in America. Then I use a round brush to give myself a blow out—I have bangs right now, which can be high maintenance. A little Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade and Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray helps deal with frizz.

At night I go back to the micellar water again to take off my makeup, and follow that with the Tula Purifying Face Cleanser, which is sudsy but not stripping. I’ll either use the Biossance lactic acid serum, which has a higher concentration of lactic acid than my morning toner, or a retinoid, and hydrate my lips with the Laneige Sleeping Mask. That’s it! I know It seems like a lot, but I promise you that I don’t need more than 10 minutes in the morning or night.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author