Investing in skincare is a necessary evil when it comes to preserving and leveling up your beauty.
You must cuddle up with it by way of eye creams, sunscreen, and vitamin C serums to keep the effects of oil, hormones, and time at bay. And though genetics is a factor, if you play nice with skincare, your skin is nice to you too.
The nature of great skin is that you have to give in order to get.
As someone who had problematic skin throughout middle school and high school, and my freshman and sophomore year of college – I prioritized skincare a lot. A toxic concoction of acne over the counter cleansers and dermatologist recommended chemical peels plus bleaching agents to help with my vast island of acne scars exacerbated by the sun. So of course, when the clouds parted in my early twenties and made way for clearer skin (thanks to my hormones leveling out – yay, aging), I put down a lot of my extra ways and beckoned in the new, stripped down, simplified approach to everyday skincare. And with the exception of a few hormonal breakouts once a month, I've been in the clear – literally and figuratively.
But, as I enter my late 20s, I find myself wanting to invest in my approach to beauty once again. Maybe not as intense as a 10-step K-beauty routine, but not quite as lax as my cleanse once a day, tone, moisturize, mask once a week and repeat. At 26 going on 27, I find myself looking to mentors who have gotten beauty down to a science. In this case, I look to former beauty editor and Teen Vogue EIC, Elaine Welteroth to help a sista out.
The hair goals and life goals creative extraordinaire is recently sat down and chatted with Coveteur where she shared some of her most important rules on beauty and aging. Let's take notes, shall we?
Rule No. 1: Age Is How You Carry Yourself
"Aging is totally about your attitude… I think that we can learn a lot from Gen Z. It's a progressive headspace. They have a very fluid identity, from gender to their career paths. There's much more freedom in how they see themselves moving through the world. I love that I've had the opportunity to study them up close and speak to them through 'Teen Vogue', through 'Grown-ish'."
Rule No. 2: Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
"Pushing myself to try new things, breaking out of boxes, all of that stuff has an effect on my spirit. I feel youthful in a way that I don't think I felt at 23, trying to conform to corporate culture, when that's not who I really am. I have a big personality. I like to have fun, and I like to get sh*t done. Working around 21-year-olds for six years helped me throw out all these boxes, all those old models, and embrace who I am."
Rule No. 3: Make Aging Gracefully & Joyfully The Priority
"I'm into the idea of embracing whatever aging looks like for you. It's about feeling good in your skin—no matter the age of that skin. We need to have conversations around what it's like when you start to notice the first signs of aging, and embracing it. But also, how do you maintain your skin so that you age gracefully and joyfully?"
Rule No. 4: Make Skincare & Caring For Your Skin A Staple
"My skincare regimen is pretty much the only constant in my crazy, ever-changing life on-the-go. I have been basically living on planes and doing a ton of hotel hopping lately for work—and that's the quickest way for all my routines to get thrown off. But I refuse to allow busyness to keep me from caring for my skin. No matter where I am, my favorite daily indulgence is taking an extra ten seconds between my face wash and sunscreen to blend a few drops of Dior Capture Youth Glow serum into my moisturizer. I close my eyes and pat it into my face like I'm my own DIY facialist. Even if it's the only time I stop in a day full of going, for those two seconds, I feel so spoiled! Then, of course, there's the aesthetic perks. It instantly lights up my skin and helps my makeup go on more smoothly. Without it, my jet-lagged, dehydrated skin would look dull and dry."
Rule No. 5: Explore Different Sides Of Yourself Through Beauty
"Explore different sides of yourself through beauty. I actually looked and felt ten years older than I was when I got into this industry. I was much more serious, I had much more conservative office lewks. I feel like once I got the job as the beauty director at 25, I started being much more experimental and almost aging in reverse. I call it the 'Teen Vogue' effect. It's like we all go through puberty again. I dyed my hair green. I cut my hair all off. I embraced this huge, Angela Davis-style afro that I never even knew I had."
Rule No. 6: Turning 30 Is The Ultimate Form Of Liberation
"Turning 30 was triumphant. It was like, 'I made it. Drop the mic on my 20s.' You couldn't pay me to go back and to live through some of those hard-earned lessons. But it was also a big year in my career. It felt like everything I had been working toward for this entire decade has been realized in [that] year.
"I was always the youngest person in the room or in a role. I was the youngest editor-in-chief in Condé [Nast] history. I've had experiences of being a young leader, feeling underestimated, and having to prove myself. I finally feel like age has caught up to me, and that's partly why it was liberating to turn 30. I've earned my damn authority!"
Head over to Coveteur to read Elaine's full feature.
Featured image via Elaine Welteroth/Instagram