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Who I am and who I’ll be
We sat down with Chanelle and Mercedes and discussed comparative culture, the pressure to always look flawless, and the power of confidence.


19/99        Take us through your daily beauty routine; morning & night.

Mercedes Mimran        Morning I don’t wash my face…I’ve never wash my face. I’ve started using beauty wipes, but I still never wash my face. So just moisturizer all the time, morning and night. I have a very thick moisturizer, the Augustine Bader Rich Cream, which I am obsessed with. Especially right now in the winter when I need extra hydration. I just pat that on, and that is my routine. And then make up of course.

19/99         What is your makeup routine?

MM        I do a base of moisturizer and then concealer on any trouble areas and blend that in with my beauty blender; I put a little water on my beauty blender. Then I’ll do a little powder under my eyes, and mascara on my bottom lashes. And then I have a Tarte cheek stain that I use. And that is it. Going out, makeup is different. It is more concealer and a foundation, and a bit of an eye usually. Usually just one colour on my lid and a little darkness under my lash. I haven’t done a full smoky eye since college.

Chanelle Ramsubick         In the morning I use a facial cleanser, a really cheap Cetaphil one, because if I am going to putting it on my face and wash it off very quickly, I don’t want to put a lot of money into it. Next is a toner, and my toner always has acid in it cause I love to have very dewy looking skin, and I use the toner with acid as a chemical exfoliator. I love to use serums; I am obsessed with serums. I use 2 or 3 serums and put pat them on. Then I go in with a heavy cream, given the fact that it is winter, and it is very cold. I basically do the same thing at night, but I add Vitamin A cream; I’ve been using it for a very long time. Initially I was using it because I had acne, and now I use it because there is an anti-aging property to Vitamin A that I really like.

When it comes to makeup, everyday, I don’t wear that much make up during the week. I am really all about prepping my skin and making it beautiful. When it comes to the weekend that is when I like getting all glammed up. I use an under eye concealer and put makeup on to even my complexion. I will do a black cat eye; I’ve always thought is very sexy and will probably never stop doing a black cat eye. Then some mascara and that is it. I’ve never been very good at doing my makeup; there was a time when I was younger that I would really do my make up. I would do a purple or blue eye, and it looked really dope. But overtime I went away from trying to be flashy with my makeup and wanted to be a bit more conservative and sexy, a little more timeless with how I look. I don’t wear any lip colours, cause I think I look unwell when I put on lip colour. But I did try on a pink lip colour recently and that my girlfriends said looked amazing.

19/99        Oh! That was ours!!!

CR        I know!!! Can I have it yet?!

19/99        Soon!! We will get you one.

CR        I put on that lip colour and everyone said that is looked really, really good on me. It is hard for me to get a lip colour that is really good and pigmented because I have two coloured lips, so sometimes it will look like a different colour on the top lip than the bottom lip and that looks really wild. But I did really like that lipstick you got me to try.

19/99        Do you have specific brands that you are loyal to?

CR         Oh for sure. When I was growing up my mum used IMAN, which was a makeup line for darker skin. It had two colours for white people, and the rest were for black women, and like every other shade in between. It was pre-Fenty. IMAN is where black women would go for their high end, good concealers and foundations. So I used to wear that, cause it was my mum’s. And then I went to Bobbi Brown because she has a really good array of colours that fit my complexion. I really like NARS as well, because I find they have really highly pigmented stuff.


19/99         How has your beauty routine changed over the years?

MM         So much! I feel like I have kind of just gone with the trend, being in fashion & seeing it all the time, seeing what artists do. I’m more inclined to copy, so I am definitely wearing less makeup.

CR         I have always really wanted to have dewy, plump, beautiful, glowy skin, which is why I’ve always tried to exfoliate as much as I could. I started with that St. Ives Apricot Scrub that has like pieces of sand in it. That is what I used to use all the time. And I am pretty sure it almost destroyed my skin, because it was a physical exfoliator, which I’ve now learned aren’t good. They can really damage your skin. That being said, I had to use whatever my mum had, and that is what she was using. The Internet has taught me a lot about exfoliation with acids and I’ve gotten really into them. I love lactic acid, I love glycolic acid; I use them a lot to achieve dewy skin.

19/99         Do you feel pressure to look a certain way?

CR          am sure I do feel pressure to look a certain way. My friends have always been really supportive of the things that I experiment with; whether it is straightening my hair, wearing my hair curly or wearing bright clothing. So maybe there is a pressure that I constantly have to be stylish, or constantly have interesting hair, I don’t know…maybe there is a pressure there. But I definitely enjoy doing it; I like experimenting with my look all the time. If you saw my last week, I would have probably looked completely different; I think I had my hair in afro puffs, and wearing boots to my thigh. I have a lot of fun creating my look, and maybe there is a pressure I have to constantly be pushing the boundary of how I look because I have always done that…

MM         I think as women we all do. There is tons of pressure on us to look beautiful all the time. And sometimes you don’t feel 100%, you don’t feel gorgeous all the time and that’s okay. Feeling good on the inside is how I feel good on the outside. Taking care of my body, hydrating, a good sleep, it is always going to help make me feel good. But some days…you just don’t…

19/99         And has this changed over the years, how you feel beautiful?

MM         Going to an all girls high school I didn’t wear makeup ever to school. So the weekends were our chance to express ourselves. Now I wear make up everyday for work but it is kind of different, makeup was more for fun on the weekends. When you are working it is down to business and it is not about the way that you look, that has always resonated with me, and applies to the way I dress too. I dress in a totally differently for work than when I am going out. Those articles ‘Day to Night’ don’t apply to me, at all. There is no way I can ‘Cinderella’ a day look up into a night look.

19/99         Does the term ‘Age Appropriate’ mean anything to you?

MM         No, not yet at least. I am 31 and I am proud to be 31. My skirts are the same length as they were when I was younger. I mean maybe 40 is when the words ‘Age Appropriate’ mean something, but for now I am enjoying being young and not worrying about that yet. But I don’t think I could pull off Euphoria makeup…

CR         I don’t think so. At any age if you wear something and you are rocking it, and you have confidence, then you got it. It is so cool when someone has confidence with what they are doing. There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, so when somebody just does what they want to do, and they do it with confidence, I don’t care what age you are, you look dope. Especially living in New York, you see a lot of women who push the boundary and it inspires me. I can wear a crop top, even though I’m 31 and probably shouldn’t, I probably will. Cause I mean, who cares? If you feel good about yourself that shines through more than anything.

19/99         If you could share advice with your younger selves, what would it be?

CR         That is a good question. It would be to recognize that right now in your life there are some opportunities that may not come again, so take them and don’t be scared. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid, of being embarrassed because you may regret not taking that opportunity if you let this one go.

AND I used to wear white shirts and then makeup all the way down my neck, so it would get on my shirts. And I really could have done better with that, so I would tell myself to lay off the make up, I look beautiful, I don’t need all the makeup, I don’t need to try to look 25.

MM         I would say take the time to develop good habits, which is so hard to teach someone who is young, but now I am like ‘I wish I’d worn sunscreen more, I wish I drank more water’. When you are young developing these habits isn’t so bad, but now I have to force myself to do these things that don’t come naturally to me. And that things pass; when you're a teen it can feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, but this too shall pass….

CR         Thinking about some of the life events, the break ups we’ve gone through, they seemed so big at the time, and now like, a decade later…I don’t even remember what they were. So really, take that risk, because no one is going to remember tomorrow. No one is thinking about you as much as you think they are.

MM         Also be grateful for your family, and your parents. They are doing so much more than you see; I wish I’d said thank you more.

19/99          What makes you feel beautiful?

CR         Well I mean, there is the feeling of beauty of looking in the mirror, and then there is the feeling of beauty in what I am doing. If I am in a situation where I am being true to who I am, and I am able to be my full self, that feels really, really beautiful. In New York there are expectations that are put on you, and sometimes it can make you feel unnatural in what you are saying or what you are wearing; when I am wearing sweat pants, and a sweatshirt and I feel confident and comfortable, that is beautiful for me.

MM         I feel beautiful when I have taken care of myself, and I have gone that extra mile in planning to take care of myself; getting enough sleep, hydrating, getting things done. As I get things done and my anxiety goes down I feel better in my skin, so for me it is a planning thing, and being a Type A personality…

CR          You are very good at planning

19/99        Is there anything that scares you about aging?

CR          I am afraid of death and getting older; there is finite time we are on this earth for and I want to accomplish the things that really make me happy. There is so much pressure to be successful, but the more success I get, I question if it is really making me happy. I question if I am just putting more and more time into this idea of success because society tells me to, or is it really making me happy. In that same breath, I don’t have that much time here so I have to make sure I am happy. So I guess aging makes me more aware of the finite time we have here and to make sure that it is worth it.

MM         This idea of preserving ourselves as our most beautiful, and that kind of pressure…I look at my mum who is gorgeous and has taken such good care. She is the definition of self-care, constantly taking care of herself, in the midst of having a busy life and stressful job. She has been going for the same facial every two months to the same women for years, her skin is so soft, she has incredible discipline with taking off her make up, drinking water.

There are no rules; you have to listen to your genetics, to your body, and if it is working for my mum then it will probably work for me. So I can hopefully do as much as I can to follow her regiment. But like, it is really hard to book a facial that often.

CR          I mean I’ve seen your medicine cabinet, and it is really good….

MM         Yeah but I am not regimented, I’m just a sucker and buy everything.

19/99          If you could ask the older generation one question, what would it be?

MM         How can we make time slow down?!

CR          What was it like before Instagram, and the internet and all of that? Because we have crazy expectations on us and I feel like the older generation didn’t have that. Maybe they are more confident in their beauty, their unique beauty. Because now there is this melting pot of what is beautiful; everyone wants the same lips, everyone wants the same eyebrow lift…

MM         It is comparative culture. We are looking at our phones constantly and there are so many beautiful women out there, I mean naturally, but before we didn’t have as much access to comparing ourselves to so many women. There were just magazines and newspapers and the people you saw on the street. Now you have millions of women from all over the world to compare yourself to; ‘I’m not this skinny, my lips aren’t this big’. That access didn’t exist before. I guess there also weren’t lip fillers, at least when our parents were our age.

CR          No definitely not. I mean when I look at women in the street there is this automatic ‘Oh, her hair looks really good, I wonder what she uses’, there is this automatic comparison. I wonder if that happens to our mums… maybe…

19/99         Have the comparisons become more prevalent in your life as you’ve gotten older?

CR          Yeah, because we are constantly on our phones; the Internet is always there, if it’s not Instagram it’s a blog, or an online magazine, it is just always there. And I love beauty. I love nice skincare product, I love makeup so I am automatically drawn to those types of pages, and then automatically I think ‘hmmm, do I look older than this girl, can I get hair as thick as her’, you know, all those things. And then I have to shut it all down because I really do start to feel bad about myself if I spend too much time on social media.

MM         I had to stop watching the Kardashians for that reason actually. I would watch them, and I have similar colouring, so watching it was …like these girls are so so enhanced and gorgeous and I was constantly thinking ‘what if I, what if I’... so I’ve just stopped watching.

Instagram doesn’t get me that much because I’m so used to it from work. It is more watching the girls who are so altered that bugs me. When you read something, when you watch something constantly, that becomes the truth, right? So in your head, that is what beauty becomes.

CR         Yeah, it becomes the standard, so when you are constantly looking at that, and you make that your standard, even if it is an unattainable standard, because of the amount of money and the number of people that go behind making these characters, you still measure yourself against them. And they aren’t even real people, they are literally characters made for entertainment, but they are portrayed as ‘normal’ people.

MM         Well yeah, when you have two hours of glam every day, you are going to look ten out of ten…

CR          Exactly, you will. We are comparing their highlight reel to ourselves day-to-day running to work…  

Isn’t it weird sometimes when people compliment you, and you are like ‘no I’m not’? It is so hard to take the compliment because in your mind, you are like ‘this isn’t true, I’m not as beautiful as those women’. But we are all so uniquely beautiful and we are all so different, but we are all trying to look the same…

MM         Well I mean, some of us….

CR         I mean the standard of beauty; being skinny, having breasts, having a large bum, having perfect skin, having plumper lips…all that type of stuff is very specific.

MM         Yeah it is true…it isn’t like one friend wants big lips and the other friend wants small lips…

19/99          Do you think there is a point where we stop learning and growing?

MM         I hope not – I hope I will keep learning and growing in my personal life.

CR         Learning and growing is kind of inevitable in life, because each stage of requires different responsibilities; one stage you are going to be a mother, a grandmother, changing stages within your career, and you are going to have to learn and grow if you want to continue to make it. There are people that are naturally curious and open to that growth in life and there are other people who are more resistant. Those people who are naturally curious age gracefully, beautifully, and they may even inspire other people to be excited about getting older. The people who are resistant to aging, are the opposite of graceful, what is that? It just doesn’t look good. And those people give aging a bad rep. Growth and learning is revered in a lot of cultures, to honour your elders. We do that here but not in the same way as other cultures. So yeah, I think that inevitably you have to learn and grow and you can either do it well, or do it badly. I’m excited to grow...

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Who I am and who I’ll be