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 Shanika Hillocks (@shanikahillocks)—I’m thrilled to be sharing my #ITGTopShelfie. I’m the in house Influencer Marketing Manager at E. & J. Gallo Winery, and also a freelance writer and content creator. At Gallo, I provide strategic counsel to some of the largest wine brands in the US. I’m responsible for stewarding influencer marketing strategy, which means I ensure our campaigns are culturally-relevant, equitable, consumer-centric, and ladder back to the brands’ marketing objectives. Some days, that means holding creative brainstorms with my colleagues and agency partners. Other days it’s developing an integrated plan for a new innovation coming into the portfolio. Alcohol brands have to consider legal and compliance, so those things often take more time than standard. I also spend a fair amount of time in the NYC hospitality scene exploring concepts, cultivating relationships (with chefs, beverage directors, and sommeliers), and staying up on industry trends. All of that helps me come to the table with thought-provoking ideas unique to my experience. Being a sponge, sharpening my business acumen, and holding space for the good tension that happens with smart people in the room doesn't get old—I’ve been doing this for over seven years.
Video calls have always been a part of my work life because most of my colleagues are on the west coast. But I live in the historic Sugar Hill district of Harlem. Prominent African-Americans like Duke Ellington and W.E.B. DuBois lived here during the Harlem Renaissance, so it has a really rich history. Another thing I love about my neighborhood is that I know all my neighbors. It’s easy to get downtown via train, or out of the city when I’m craving bucolic vibes.
I was raised by my grandparents, and am constantly inspired by the power of intergenerational relationships and the wisdom from our elders. My grandma is 81 years old and has the most amazing skin. Her routine is simple and consistent: Noxzema, Pond’s Cold Cream, Vaseline. Even though she was proof that less is more, I used to feel so overwhelmed by the amount of skincare products on the market and tested new things constantly. I thought that brands marketed as natural were best because that’s what aligned with my lifestyle—not necessarily the case! Last year in quarantine, I became committed to enlisting a Black dermatologist to help me with my routine. And now, Dr. Rose Ingleton is the secret weapon in my beauty arsenal. I’m so grateful for her, and I follow her recommendations to a T. She helped me pare down my products and integrated prescriptions gentle enough for my sensitive skin. I also see her every six weeks or so for a gentle chemical peel to fade my hyperpigmentation. I’m in and out in 15 minutes, and can go right back to the office afterwards.
In the morning, I rinse my face with cool water and follow with Neostrata Oily Skin Solution. That’s my daytime exfoliant. After that, I add Skinceuticals Phloretin CF to help brighten any dark spots. My cheekbones are one of my favorite features, and to keep them looking sculpted I do at-home microcurrent treatments with my Nuface most mornings. They have a couple different ionized activators (Aqua and Silk) to use with the machine, and I’ll choose one depending on my skin’s needs and go to town with my Trinity device. Once I’m finished, I apply ‘my glow’: a few drops of Supernal’s Cosmic Oil sealed in with SPF, either Supergoop Everyday SPF 50 or Glossier’s Invisible Shield.
During the week, I keep my face video-ready: a groomed brow, a cream blush, and lip oil does the trick. Eyebrows are the most important thing to frame my face, so I start there with makeup. I use Merit’s Brow 1980 in Brown to keep my eyebrows in place and add a bit of volume—I honestly stan that entire line. I then pencil my brows in with my favorite drugstore product, Maybelline’s Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil in Deep Brown. I’ve been using this pencil for years. I love it because it has a spoolie at the end, and because it’s so small and adorable (!!). After eyebrows, I grab Merit’s Perfecting Complexion Stick in Amber and use it as a concealer to even out my skin. I apply a little bit under my eyes, around my mouth and on my cheeks. I then finish with Ami Colé’s Skin-Enhancing Tint in Deep 2. This is by far one of the most beautiful brands for Black skin I’ve ever used. It’s hydrating, my skin can breathe, and after application, my skin is the main character of my everyday look. Once that’s set, I apply Merit’s Flush Balm in Deep Berry to my cheeks. I recently started wearing mascara again, and my go-to is Ami Colé’s Lash-Amplifying formula. It’s a deep, inky black that adds length without flaking and looks freshly applied (with no weird cast or dryness) all day. To finish, I grab Merit’s Shade Slick lip oil in Taupe. It’s shiny without being sticky and the exact color of my natural lips, another favorite feature of mine.
I’m highly sensorial and aim to trigger each of my senses during unwind time. At 8:30PM on weeknights, my Echo Dot plays an evening meditation playlist that tells me it’s time to get off my laptop, make some tea, and put on pajamas. I reach for Bodha’s incense in Ground, which has notes of cedarwood and a bit of ash, to help me recenter and focus. Next, I cleanse with CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser and give myself a full facial massage. It just takes a few minutes, but as I wash the day away, it feels a bit like a metaphor—I zone out and really pay attention to myself. Once a week, I steam my face while cleansing. I purchased this steamer, which was recommended by my aesthetician Shani Hillian, and I appreciated that it’s compact enough to sit on a small vanity. After I steam, I might take it a step further with Drunk Elephant’s TLC Babyfacial or Skinfix’s Enzyme Exfoliating Pads. But more often, I’ll go straight to Dr. Ingleton’s Complexion Boosting Serum after cleansing. I treat my skin with a prescription retinoid called Akleif, then moisturize with a La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream. And after doing my whole routine, I take CBD sublingually before heading to bed.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author