I’m from Columbus, Ohio, and I recently learned that if I say I’m from Columbus then I have to add Ohio too because no one knows where Columbus is. Which is propaganda if you ask me—people from Cleveland and Cincinnati don’t have this problem, yet Columbus is the capital! And I think it has a bigger population than Seattle! Somewhere along the way, we got scammed.
I’m a sophomore and a Religion and English double major. I came into Vassar knowing I wanted to major in English, but how I figured out I like religion is one of those poster child liberal arts school moments. I’m not really religious at all but during orientation, they had all those faculty lectures and I randomly picked one called something like “Sex, Art, and Religion.” I can't remember exactly but it definitely had the words “sex” and “religion” in it. I just thought it would be fun to go hear some old professor talk about sex, but when I got there, it was FASCINATING. I was just in this euphoric daze the whole time. So I dropped two classes to get into this professor’s class, called “Jews, Christians, and Muslims,” (highly recommend) and from there, the rest was history!
Around campus, I’m a member of VRDT, I’m on the executive board of UnFramed, I occasionally haul my ass to Outing Club hikes, and my friends and I are trying to start an ABBA cover band called VABBA.
I first got into skincare my junior year of high school. Before that, I didn’t even wash my face, but I began a new birth control and started breaking out. I’ve got combination skin, so it can be kind of hard to wrangle. At first, I just started with the grapefruit acne scrub that everyone has, but over the last couple years, I’ve honed my routine somewhat.
At night, I start by washing my face with the Origins Checks and Balances Foaming Cleanser. After that, I tone/exfoliate with Glossier Solution or Shea Moisture Soothing Toner & Hydrating Mist. Sometimes I’ll do a mask. I love the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask—it just sucks all the gunk out of your pores and you can actually see where your pores are! I also really like the Origins 10 Minute Out of Trouble Mask as well as their charcoal mask. For moisture, sometimes I’ll do a sheet mask from Garnier or I have the CosRx Honey Overnight Mask (which I’ll put on after the rest of my skincare). After I mask, I do serums. I really really love The Ordinary for serums because it’s relatively cheap (about $7 a serum). Right now I’m using the Niacinamide and Zinc serum, as well as the Marina Hyaluronics. I let my serums soak in before I put on my moisturizer because if I put on the moisturizer while the serums are still damp then they combine and pill. At night, I use either the CeraVE PM moisturizer (which is honestly better than a lot of high-end moisturizers I’ve tried) or the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. I’ve been breaking out a bit more lately, so my final step is a spot treatment. I’ve been using straight tea tree oil, but I’m also super susceptible to Glossier’s marketing team so I just bought the new Zit Stick, which I’m really excited about.
In the morning, if my face is feeling greasy I’ll wash it again with the Origins face wash, but if it’s not, I’ll just use micellar water—the Garnier one in the green bottle. I like to keep my skincare simpler in the morning, so usually after that I’ll just do a moisturizer. If I’m not oily I’ll use the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer, and if I am then I’ll use the Bioderma Sébium Mat Control moisturizer, which mattifies your skin. Then spot treatment again. After that is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF ALL—sunscreen. I didn’t use to use it every day, but since I’ve started (even when it’s cold and cloudy), I’ve noticed a huge difference. It just protects your skin and I think it’s helped some of my hyperpigmentation from old acne scars. Don’t pop your pimples. It’s not worth it. Just don’t.
As I said before, I’m a total sucker to Glossier’s marketing team. I have a legitimate addiction—it’s horrible. I usually start with my eyes. First, I’ll brush my eyebrows with Boy Brow. I cannot live without it. And then, take note, because this is my big secret. I get complimented on my eyelashes all the time, and it’s because I use a priming mascara first. It’s from Clinique, and it conditions and moisturizes and protects your eyelashes from the mascara you’re about to use. Then I put on real mascara. I use Glossier Lash Slick if I’m going for a more natural look, or the Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara. If I’m rushed, I stop after this step. If I’m not, I do a fair bit more.
When I’m really going for it, I’ll do eyeliner. I have the Estee Lauder DoubleWear Eyeliner in Coffee. It was discontinued years ago and I’m still sad about it. I have really bad undereye circles, so I use either the Glossier Stretch Concealer or the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Concealer, which is a really good dupe for the Glossier one. Then I do blush. Right now, I’m really into combining the Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk and Puff to make this really nice brown-pink color. After that, I do a little bit of bronzer. I don’t do a whole lot but I think it’s just nice to add a little bit of dimension to your face. I use some from Physician’s Formula, and I put it under my cheekbones and jaw, around the top of my forehead, and across my nose. Then, a little trick, I put it under my eyes. Last step! I use the Sephora Gel Lip Liner in a nude color and line my lips, and then sort of smudge the color over the rest of my lips with my finger and a little Glossier Balm Dot Com.
Honestly, I really haven’t figured out my hair. I use some Tresseme shampoo and conditioner. If it’s frizzy, I’ll use either the Ouai Rose Hair and Body Oil or a coconut spray from OGX. The one thing that does really work for me though—once a week I use a clarifying shampoo from Clairol and then follow that with a deep conditioning treatment from Nexxus. It just gets all the gunk and product buildup off your hair and makes it super soft and clean.
If I’m sad and trying to feel better about myself through self-care, I body brush. It makes your skin feel tingly! If I have an event coming up, I’ll do some self-tanner. I’m so pale and I feel like it makes me look kind of sickly. Right now, I have the Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil but I also love the Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant.
I have all these little perfume sample bottles, and I refuse to buy anything full size. Most days, I find myself using Glossier You (surprise!).
Honestly, I’m not sure how much all of this stuff makes a difference. Maybe it does, and that’s great! But even if it doesn’t, I love the routine of it. It’s a really grounding ritual to do every night, and it helps me destress from my day. I’ll probably still be doing all this when I’m 80.