In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on a daily. Here they break down their beauty routines on the inside and out, as well as the highly coveted products that grace their shelves and their skin.
If you ask Micaéla Verrelien the secret to good skin that just won't quit, the creative would tell you that there is truth in less being more. After years of thinking that keeping up with a 10-step skincare routine was the move, the on-air camera host and content creator learned that her skin thrived on simplicity, derived from beauty lessons rooted in her motherland of Haiti. The roots of this were nurtured by seeing her own mother's approach to beauty and skincare at a young age. In particular, during her childhood, one of the most important beauty lessons she uncovered from her mother was the importance of a skincare-first approach to beauty.
"Growing up as a Caribbean woman, the biggest thing is kind of like how you look, and it's not a superficial thing where it's like you have to be your prettiest self and wear makeup because a lot of natural, my mom, specifically doesn't even wear makeup," she explains to xoNecole during our chat. "But skincare was always like so pivotal. So I would grow up seeing her take care of her skin every morning, every night. Like it was a religion, you know, making sure you wash your face. And it's funny because people say don't go to sleep with makeup on. You know, but even if you don't have makeup on, don't go to sleep with your day on."
Based on the inspiration she found in her roots, Micaéla's beauty evolution involved cultivating a routine that focused on the basics of a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer in that order. Whereas before, her skincare routine consisted of numerous steps and products she received from different brands that didn't necessarily cater to her oily skin type, nowadays, the recipe behind her glow is no more than four steps, and there is a hyperfocus on technique and application. When asked about the simplicity of her beauty routine, she responded, "I guess it's always been simple because before it was non-existent, and now it's existent. You want to be able to have a skincare routine that doesn't feel like a job or like work."
Courtesy of Micaéla Verrelien
"It's a part of the relaxation, just taking care of yourself. And if you have like a 10-step process, either you're forgetting things, you run out of one thing, or it just feels like an assignment. And I think skincare should feel like luxury. Like you're allowing yourself to be immersed in that luxury for that moment of time. It shouldn't feel like a task. And I think that's how I feel about it. And the simpler, the better, especially if it works," Micaéla added.
"I think skincare should feel like luxury. Like you're allowing yourself to be immersed in that luxury for that moment of time. It shouldn't feel like a task."
Feeling like luxury is a prevalent throughline in Micaéla's approach to her self-care. She ritualizes activities like taking herself to the movies and on solo dates, prioritizing routine massages, crossword puzzles, and meditation. This chapter of her life is about intentional indulging which is why she no longer deprives her oily skin of the moisture it craves. Having learned better, she does better.
"You need the moisturizers, you need the serums, and you need to drink more water, which is why the first thing I always do in the morning is drink more water. And I'll notice that my skin is less oily." She added, "Listen, I am looking like a glazed donut, like a whole brown glazed donut, when I go to sleep, I don't care. I'm like, my skin's going to glow in the morning. And you know what, it does, it glows."
Keep reading to learn more about some of the holy grail skincare products the creative keeps in rotation.
Micaéla Verrelien's A.M. Skincare Routine Must-Haves
Credit: Patrizia Messineo
Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Lifting Face Mask
"It's like a rolling ball of ice. But imagine that, but on your face, just a flat ice mask on your face, and you can actually attach it so your face lifts up like that. And it also has acupuncture technology. It's a really cool thing. You look kind of crazy when you're wearing it. I definitely start off the morning routine with that."
Clinique Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
"Then I'll go into my skincare, and one of my favorite moisturizers right now, which I love, and I think I need it because I am someone that deals with oily skin, is the Clinique Moisture Surge. And I recommend the 100-hour one because that means, you know, when you add this 100-hour Moisture Surge, it's working and kicking off all the time. So when I wash my face, and then I add it again, it's just kind of like ongoing, always moisturized."
TULA Protect + Glow - Daily Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
"I love sunscreen. My favorite sunscreen is TULA. TULA has probably one of the best sunscreens. It's called Protect + Glow Sunscreen. And it's great, you know, if you're going on trips and you want to look very glowy, it kind of gives you a little bit of sparkle too. But that's my preferred sunscreen.
"And then after the sunscreen, I'll add like a dime size of moisturizer. I add more sunscreen than moisturizer. And I don't necessarily add serums on my day-to-day because I have oily skin. I'm looking for moisture in my skin, which is why I use a moisturizer."
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Peter Thomas Roth
"I love these under-eye masks. So I never used to use under-eye masks, but now I'm like obsessed with them. I don't know if you heard of the brand Peter Thomas Roth. They're such a great brand. So, if I'm doing makeup or if I'm not doing makeup, I always add that in the morning. I've been doing that a lot lately."
Micaéla Verrelien's P.M. Skincare Routine Must-Haves
Credit: Patrizia Messineo
Clinique Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator
"There's so many different moisturizers, but my preferred one is the 100-Hours. So I'm adding a dime size in the morning, and I'm adding a little bit more [at night]. I would say within two fingers of that Moisture Surge for my skin."
OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum
"I love serums right now. And one of my favorite ones is from a brand called OSEA. I love them a lot."
OSEA Undaria Algae Body Oil
"I also love adding their body oil to my body. So that's something that I use at night as well. During the day, it's not that I don't hydrate my full body, but at night, because while we're sleeping, that's the best time for your body to kind of 'reboot' itself. So I'm adding the same brand OSEA. I add their body oil, like everywhere."
For more of Micaéla, follow her Instagram @micaelaverrelien.
Featured illustration by Qori B.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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