In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on the 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're in your 20s or early 30s, you might not be checking the beauty shelves for any anti-aging products quite yet. In fact, you're probably reading labels for products that target excess oils and breakouts. But Emmy-nominated host, style influencer and now-author Kéla Walker will tell you, it's never too late to combat the effects of aging. The glow-getter with flawless skin creates content for emerging influencers, media outlets and major brands online as well as outside on-air, so her skin is often exposed to the elements. Protecting it so that it remains glowing and dewy are her main concerns. Her biggest skincare tip? "Hydration is key," Kéla told xoNecole.
Another tip Kéla shared may be one you've heard throughout the years but might not take much heed to in the present (and if you're not, you absolutely should). It revolves around an area of the body you shouldn't neglect when it comes to your complete skincare regimen. "Make sure you rub up on your neck, not down," the Brooklyn-based producer advised, "because you want to work against gravity and wrinkles." Don't skip or skimp.
In this installment of xoNecole's About Face series, Kéla talked to us about her beauty and self-care routines and gave us a peek into the skincare regimen that keeps her skin tight, glistening and smooth.
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My earliest beauty memory…
"My earliest beauty memory is probably from when I was a little girl and you used to have these flavored lip glosses and wanted to collect all the flavors and all the colors."
For my skincare routine in the AM…
"Right now, for the last couple of years, I've been obsessed with Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Foaming Cleanser. It's really helped my skin come a long way. Afterwards, I always pat, not wipe, my face dry with a cold wet cloth. I make sure I do all the steps back-to-back to optimize the moisture of the products and everything in my skin. Because I'm in a dry climate right now, I've been using a toner from Decorte to help rebalance the pH of my skin.
"After toning, [I use] hyaluronic serum, also by Dr. Barbara Sturm, for hydration. After I hydrate, I lock in the moisture [with] Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Face Cream. But I like to add a little glow to it so I like to add Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator.
"What you can never, ever forget is your sunscreen. I've been using Unseen Sunscreen by Supergoop. [And another product] I use, because hydration is key, is the Renewed Hope Water in a Jar, which also has hyaluronic serum in it. I pat it into my skin so that it absorbs a little bit better."
"Hydration is key."
For my skincare routine in the PM…
"When it comes to my evening routine, I don't always wash my face at night. But I use a makeup wipe to remove any excess oil or dirt my face may have accumulated throughout the day. On the occasion I do wash my face at night, which is 2-3 times per week, I'll use Dr. Barbara Sturm's Enzyme Cleanser.
"I still have a little regimen that I do. I use a Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution from Kiehl's. I also use Midnight Recovery Concentration to keep my skin even-toned and bright. And I've been using the Intensive Brightening Treatment from PCA Skin."
My go-to makeup look consists of…
"I'm a girly girl so I definitely wear makeup. I do my brows, lashes, contour – because who doesn't want to look snatched – a great lip and a highlighter. But I find in the past couple of years, I've been minimizing the amount of product that I wear. I don't wear foundation because I really want my skin to shine through but I will spot-treat any dark spots I have."
How the seasons change my skin and routine…
"It's pretty consistent throughout the year. I make sure there's a cleanser, hydration and moisturizer. I will add or subtract some things because of the climate but it really all depends on what's happening with my skin."
What self-care looks like to me…
"Self-care is about daily practice and it comes in different forms whether it's talking to my girls on the phone, having a drink or just tapping into social and mindlessly scrolling. It's doing whatever I need to do in the moment to take care of me."
"Self-care is about daily practice. It's doing whatever I need to do in the moment to take care of me."
My approach to beauty from the inside-out…
"Sometimes it's just as simple as talking to yourself to make sure that your inside looks as good as the outside. Just pouring into yourself."
How I do skincare when I travel…
"When I travel, I still try and maintain my beauty regimen because it's all about consistency. I don't want to upset the routine. A lot of my products are travel-friendly and you'll also find that a lot of beauty items are under the 3.4 oz that are allowed in carry-on luggage. But I will add the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Glow Water [mist]."
To keep up with Kéla, follow her on Instagram @kelawalker! And if you're an influencer looking to "revolutionize your social media game," you can purchase a copy of Kela's book here.
Featured image courtesy of Kéla Walker.
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After college, I successfully landed an entertainment news role. I was passionate about my work and grateful for obtaining a job in my desired field. But like most entry-level positions in the creative industry, the pay was left to be desired. I quickly realized that I needed a second job to pay my bills.
Multiple career fairs later, I started a position with an insurance company.
My new role felt like my first “big girl” job because it had full benefits, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Plus, I could work this job during the day and my other gig at night. I excelled in my new role – exceeded the required enterprise accuracy score, received several cash awards, and was consistently selected to train my team members on different learning variances.
Everything was great initially, but unfortunately, the job that guaranteed financial stability became a nightmare after a while.
The first red flag was that this insurance company had an extremely high turnover rate primarily due to the relentless workload; therefore, teams were forced to consolidate and change leadership constantly. I was quickly burning out but overlooked the deteriorating company culture because it allowed me to keep my journalism gig and offered endless overtime. Also, the manager I had at the time was great – he provided opportunities for growth and mentorship.
It wasn’t until I reached my fourth manager that I had my first experience with a hostile work environment.
After several months on her team, my manager started the process of “quietly firing” me despite excelling on the team.
Team Building refers to quiet firing as a “passive-aggressive approach to performance management.” Supervisors will create unpleasant work conditions, which can cause an employee to suffer mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically.
She stopped providing feedback, blocked promotional opportunities, and eventually denied my yearly raise. I felt hopeless. I couldn’t properly do my role some days because my manager spent most of her office hours avoiding her team. All issues on the team were ignored, and any work-related questions went unanswered.
Whenever I walked into the office, it felt like a dark cloud was cast over me because most of my day would consist of doing others’ jobs or explaining to other managers why I was reaching out to them instead of my own. It wasn’t until I worked myself nearly to death that I realized this job wasn’t worth it.
My health declined rapidly. I started to experience excruciating body aches and fatigue, and my hair was falling out. Clocking into a job where I was just a number, and work still had to be completed despite my failing health was exhausting. I ignored constant pleas from friends and family members to get help out of fear of being unable to pay my bills.
The last time I was admitted to the hospital, my manager called me, and instead of asking how I was, she asked when I was returning to work. The team’s numbers decreased drastically, and upper management wasn’t happy. My manager couldn't care less if I was okay as long as I made her look good. I’m not sure why it seemed like a shocking revelation at the time, but it did. The next time I went into the office, I resigned.
After a few years of forcing a working relationship that wasn’t meant to be, I finally left.
And in all my years of working, that job was the only one I ever walked away from. Although the toxic environment influenced my decision, something about quitting made me feel like a failure. Truthfully, I felt guilty for quitting at first. I believed it was irresponsible to quit without a backup plan. However, I later learned that my manager's hostile tactics, which I loathed, ended up being a blessing.
The entire experience made me realize that God had repeatedly shown me to leave that toxic job, but I was too afraid. It wasn’t until He made me sit still that I learned that this door was meant to close. Strangely, I’m happy my manager acted the way she did because I would’ve never had the courage to leave since that job equaled stability; I was complacent because I could pay my bills.
And that’s the life of so many currently – staying in an uncomfortable position because it offers stability.
That job also taught me the importance of pivoting. It doesn’t matter what your plan or backup plan is; you must be able to pivot at any time – be flexible and adaptable. The last lesson it taught me was never to settle for a job regardless of pay. I am no longer afraid to turn down a job if it’s not a good fit.
My physical and mental health is far more important than a job that can easily replace me at any moment.
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Feature image by FG Trade/ Getty Images