The Singer-Songwriter Baking Her Way Through Anxiety


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, my name is Gracie Abrams (@gracieabrams). I’m a singer-songwriter, and writing is my favorite thing. Connecting with people after writing about something super personal feels like such a relief. It’s a very nourishing job. The non-writing related parts of my job… those can feel challenging sometimes. I sing my own songs, and because I struggle with anxiety, the performative and public aspects of that can feel tricky. When I get anxious, I have to just remind myself that I’m so lucky to be able to do this for work. Crazy lucky. My new song ‘Feels Like’ is about living in New York with my best friend. Ordering in SomTum Der is up there on my list of favorite things, and after living in LA for a while, having actual conversations with strangers every day is like heaven. (Even if the conversations aren’t always pleasant.) In LA, strangers like to pretend like you literally do not exist when you pass them on the street.

As a writer, I’m very much compelled by the non-physical—the way relationships, books, and places make me feel. That’s really important for me to remember, because it’s easy to get into a habit of thinking the external is what’s most valuable and beautiful about ourselves. That could not be farther from the truth. I think people spend unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of time on social media looking at the external. The way I feel about the poetry behind my favorite songs is so much more intense than the way I feel after going down the shitty rabbit hole of comparing myself physically to others. Everyone I’ve really idolized in the beauty and fashion world has a bare face, and is just showing themselves. I like that most.

I went to Barnard for college, and when I got there I developed really bad cystic acne. It’s since gone away, and even though I still break out, now I just appreciate that it’s less of a big deal. Anything that’s not cystic acne is literally fine. Another thing that happened when I was in college is that the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes invited me over to her house for a makeup playdate. That was the most fun—she’s a genius, obviously. Katie turned me onto Augustinus Bader….though I’m not sure if she remembers that. She put their moisturizer on my face, and it made my skin so happy. It took me a while to actually incorporate it into my routine because the price tag is almost unthinkable, but here we are.

When I started being nicer to myself I began feeling a lot more beautiful. I’m sure it looks insane, but I do talk to myself out loud semi-often… That feels like a beauty secret to me. Now, I use a face wash from Christie Kidd that just says ‘clean’ on the bottle. That is exactly how it makes me feel. Next I use the Augustinus Bader Rich Cream, which is like butter for my skin. I know it’s ridiculous, but relying on that cream is massively helpful. After years of cystic acne, finding a product that really does what I need it to do makes me feel generally better. I use the Elta MD sunscreen for acne-prone skin. I fall into that category for sure. And at this point, Boy Brow basically feels like a part of my skincare routine, too. I want huge, messy brows all of the time.

I like feeling boyish with my makeup. Minimal. Most days I use Boy Brow and nothing else, but I’ve also been using Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder recently, because I’m on tour. I truly sweat so much during shows. The Westman Atelier foundation stick is my concealer above all else but also the best foundation if I need it to be. I use my fingers to apply it, and it ends up looking and feeling like skin. I love that the Tower 28 cream blush in Power Hour makes me look sunburnt in a good way and also sort of works as a bronzer. It’s pretty dark and I’m super fair, so a little blended into my cheekbones goes a long way. I truly hate lipstick. But I love lip balm. Ultralip in Trench is the first balm-lipstick hybrid—I actually carry it with me everywhere. It’s the perfect color and makes me feel less dead inside. I also use it on top of my blush as a kind of glossy highlighter situation, and even swipe some right under my brow bone sometimes. (Professionals would probably advise against this but I cannot lie to you, reader.) I also line my lips with Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude. Finally, my last product is Lash Slick. I don’t wear it every day, but the truth is that it improves my life and I probably should. Even though I have zero French heritage, I feel quite French whenever I wear it.

I keep a tiny rollerball version of Le Labo’s Santal 33 in my bag. It reminds me of LA, which… there’s absolutely nothing wrong with! But I’m much more into their Jasmin 17 scent, which reminds me of the east coast. I have an actual spray bottle of it at home. So far it’s my favorite perfume I’ve ever found. To unwind, I love stretching. It feels like doing therapy on my body, and has helped so massively with my anxiety the past year. The other thing that’s helped my anxiety is baking. I bake a lot. A lot. One of my favorite recipes is the New York Times one for Banana Everything Cookies. I make variations of these constantly—I don’t even look at the recipe anymore, that’s how many times I’ve made them. If you’re looking for cookies to eat for breakfast but also every other time of the day, start here.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author