The Glossier Engineer With A Secret Makeup Artist Past


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“Hi there! I'm Breana Bekris. I’m currently Glossier’s Site Reliability Engineer, but before that I was in the beauty industry for over 10 years. I went to cosmetology school and interned at a salon for my senior year of high school, so my first introduction to beauty was through hair. After getting licensed I ended up touching various facets of the industry. I started as a hairdresser, moved on to wedding makeup, and then did special effects makeup, which is what I thought my passion would be. I moved to Vancouver to follow that path, though I ultimately discovered that it wasn’t for me. After moving back home to Seattle I continued exploring makeup while working at a studio doing hair removal. At the same time, my partner was going to school for computer science—I knew I needed a new challenge, so I quit my job and went for it too. While I applied to numerous programs for minorities and career changers, I started learning with free online courses. And after months of wondering if quitting my job maybe wasn't the best move, I got accepted into a six month bootcamp!

My first interview for a job in tech was with Microsoft, and I got lucky again—they offered me the position. I worked there for about a year before finding a job posting from Glossier. Talk about a dream job! My favorite part about being a makeup artist was helping people find the right shade or learn a new technique. I have always enjoyed helping others, and that didn’t change when I switched from beauty to tech. I feel incredibly lucky to work for a company that aligns with my passions. Plus, working in different beauty realms and making wonderful friends in every previously-held position means I always have super knowledgeable friends teaching me new things. (Sometimes I feel like a low-budget beauty guru.)

My skincare routine is pretty much set in stone, but I love trying new makeup products. I was stuck in a makeup rut for the past two years, but since starting at Glossier I'm back to trying new colors and techniques. I'm slowly buying all the lip products that The Lip Bar has to offer—I love their formulas, and the lip liners are so smooth and long-lasting. I use shades Straight Up and Straight Lovin most frequently. I also love a good lip gloss—the gold guy from Glossier is my favorite. My trick for applying lip gloss with a wand applicator, especially a light-colored gloss that you want to wear over lipstick, is to wipe the wand on your thumbnail and apply it from there. This will keep your wand and tube looking pristine.

I have super oily hooded eyelids, and eyeshadow has never been a friend—I usually feel most comfortable with just eyeliner and mascara. I haven’t found my holy grail for either yet, though. I had a fling with Lancôme’s Artliners for a while, and I’m using Nyx Epic Liner at the moment, which has great color payoff and stays put. But… I’m over pens now. I think I’m going to go back to using a brush. The best mascara I’ve ever used was from Clé de Peau. It's $55, and I'm not actually sure if I really loved it or if it felt very special because it was expensive. But I do remember that it actually kept my lashes curled, which is a huge deal for me. My lashes hate being curled. I also started using an eyelash comb from Glamnetic. That’s great, because I can put on a bunch of mascara really messily, and then comb it through to get any clumps out. But all of that being said, trying Glossier's Skywash in Echo changed my whole world. It’s so good for oily eyelids! Echo with Monochromes in Almond on top looks beautiful on my skin—and my second favorite to pair with Echo is Monochromes in Prairie.

My hair is pretty straight naturally and doesn't hold a curl, but I’ve figured out a really good routine. After washing it, I use Shimmer Shine and Blow Dry Ever Bounce, two sprays from Kevin Murphy. The salon I interned at in high school used Kevin Murphy products, and I have loved the brand ever since. Shimmer Shine looks gorgeous, which is probably why I bought it in the first place, but it also has great ingredients to keep hair healthy and strong. I’ll spray more during the week to add a boost of shine. The blow dry spray was recommended to me in-store while I was shopping—it’s heat activated, and it does a really good job at protecting my hair. And I also use EVO’s Liquid Rollers, which is basically the same idea. With Liquid Rollers alone, my curls don't last over two days. But using the products together has really worked! I like that I’m both spraying throughout my hair and then using the cream to make sure my ends got enough product. (Sidenote: I also love EVO’s dry shampoo for brunettes, but I can’t find it in Seattle at the moment, so I’m using the one from Moroccanoil.)

After the product is in, I blowdry my hair with a diffuser. I use a diffuser because I’m lazy—if I really want to blowdry it properly I need both hands, one for a round brush and one to dry, and my arm gets tired. When I diffuse, I just grab sections of hair and place the diffuser under it—I don't have to worry about the direction of the air, brush, or tension with the brush. I also think it gives me better volume. Then I make loose beach curls with a wand. I don’t want them to look too uniform, so except for the hair framing my face, the curls switch back and forth in direction all across my head.

There are four Seattle beauty places I frequent to get my self-care needs met: Golden Bubble, Cake Skincare, Varnish Seattle, and Lady Wolf Studio. Golden Bubble takes a scientific approach to skincare—they carry a line called DMK Skincare, and my favorite facial to get there is the DMK Enzyme Therapy. Please search for pictures of people who’ve done it! It looks crazy at first, but the results are amazing. Cake Skincare handles the other half of my facials and all of my hair removal sugaring. My friend Carney, who works there, can always figure out exactly what my skin needs. She recently introduced me to Fixzit from Sircuit Cosmeceuitcals, and it is by far the best acne spot treatment I have ever tried. Varnish Seattle’s owner Kim created a one-stop studio for brows, lashes, and nails, and I love to get nail art there. And finally, I get permanent freckles tattooed at Lady Wolf Studio. Before I got serious about SPF, I would get these lovely freckles in the summer! I missed them dearly, and considered getting them tattooed back on for years. I'm so grateful that I waited for the right permanent makeup artist—Ashley did an amazing job. I can not praise her enough! I actually didn't bring in any pictures. My mom's freckles look like something in between Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh’s, so I just explained that’s exactly what I wanted. Ashley drew them on and let me look before she made them permanent, and they were perfect on the first try. I also have a little heart-shaped freckle on my left cheek, which I requested. I have other tattoos, and in comparison these didn’t hurt much. And, oh my God, I have never felt so pretty. I am in love with my sun-safe freckles.

Because I’m spending money on services, I try to be strategic with my daily skincare. Paula's Choice 2% BHA is what started the skincare obsession for me. My blackheads were extinguished—I was so impressed. But now when I’m home I exfoliate with Glossier Solution, and when I’m traveling I use Moss Mornings' Sleep Peel. It’s basically an at-home mini peel that leaves my skin glowing. Bonus: I’m pretty sure the packaging is compostable. I can't go without The Ordinary's Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%, which is so soothing. I definitely saw a difference between this one and the original Buffet, without the peptides. My skin has been more smooth and plump since I started using it. And Hylamide SubQ spray is an inexpensive way to keep my skin moist. At night, I go to bed looking shiny and slimy—a true slug. I start with CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream, and finish it off with some face oil. I’m always buying new ones. Right now it’s the CBD Facial Oil from e.l.f., which has the perfect texture combo—it’s rich and moisturizing, but dries down in a reasonable amount of time. I'm still figuring out how to not touch my face so much while I'm working and how to get enough water and sleep every day, but all in all, I'm proud of my journey with beauty and where it took me. I get into bed, open up a good book, and try to stay off my phone for the rest of the night. Wish me luck.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author