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Who I am and who I’ll be
Kim started her career in beauty with Estée Lauder on the sales floor at Macy's. Since then, she has worked with some of the best in beauty, from SVP of sales at NARS to Chief Revenue officer at STILA. We sat down to discuss her love for all things beauty.


19/99     Take us through your daily beauty routine, morning and night.

Kim Thomas     Super simple. The main staple I’ve always had is exfoliator. I remember someone telling me a long time ago that men don’t age because they shave everyday, and although it only covers the lower part of their face, it stuck with me. I make sure I wash my face everyday, and use moisturizer. I’m really liking the Too Faced Hangover Hydrating Serum.

19/99     What kind of exfoliator do you use? 

KT     I’ve used Clarisonic and many others. I go rough and will use body exfoliators. Anything that doesn’t just sit on my skin – and I do that every day, twice a day.

19/99     Are their any other products you use on a daily basis? 

KT     As I’ve gotten older, started to use eye cream, but more something for de-puffing than moisturizing. I guess it is a good thing now that I am still very oily, which was a curse when I was younger, but a blessing as I’ve gotten older. 

19/99     What about makeup?

KT     Oh makeup, that is a different story. I do a full face; concealer, foundation, powder, blush, I always have to have the eyebrows on. Because I am a triathlete I do lash extensions; it is easy & I don’t have to think about them. 

19/99     Are you loyal to certain products?

KT     Being in the industry, if I am working with a brand I try to be loyal, if not to the brand itself, then the parent company. But I really go with what brings me joy, if something looks good, if something looks like I may want to try it so I will to be able to speak to it - I just buy what feels and looks good on my skin. 

19/99     What about eyeshadow?

KT     I prefer long wear so I will use a liquid, something that will dry down.

19/99     And you like colour?

KT     Clearly, clearly I do. I have different categories. I will do black liner and a red lip, but usually I will do more natural on the eyes and natural on the lip, and a little bronzer and highlighter on the cheek.

19/99     What about nighttime routine?

KT     I make sure I wash my face everyday and apply a serum or moisturizer.  

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

KT     As far as the skincare routine goes I have now started layering in eye cream as I find I do get a little puffy. Being that my skin is still really oily, it hasn’t really changed a lot. I have the same routine as I had before. The products and devices may change though. Back in the day it was a hand held brush, and now it is a Clarisonic, but the basic program is about the same.

19/99     So you have always had fun with colour?

KT     Oh with colour always. I was in the army, so when I went out on war maneuvers, I made sure that for my camouflage I did a contour, a little red on the lips. So yes, I have always loved colour and makeup. I used to do my mum’s makeup when I was a little girl, and it still brings me so much joy to this day.

Image via @kimthomas721


19/99     How long were you in the army for?

KT     I was three years on active duty and stayed in the reserves two years studying to be an O.R. nurse. When I got out of the military I needed more education; as a nurse in the military you can have any kind of accident and they can’t sue because there is such a shortage of nurses, but once you get out and need to get a job in the hospital you need more education. So I went back to school to further my education and started working part time at the Estée Lauder counter in Macy’s Herald Square, and I was good. I was doing more as a part-time than some of the full timers, and I said ‘I’m going to take a semester off and see what this is like’. And the rest, as they say, is history and here I am quite a few years later.

19/99     Do you use any anti-age products, and if yes, when did you start and do you believe they work?

KT     For me, not necessarily, but I have seen them work on some people. If your skin is very dry, if you tend to have lines, of course putting moisture on or something is going to help. Some may be over claimed but I do think it is about you, it is very personal, what feels good on your skin, if you are sensitive or not, how much moisture you need and what your skin type is.

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

KT     I think it is two fold. Being in the beauty industry it is my job to represent a certain way, and I like to feel good when I go out, so it is more a pressure to feel good for me in that moment. If it is going to gym, it is having coordinated the work out outfit, but if it is going to work, to me, whatever your industry is, you should represent what you do.

19/99     Does the term age appropriate mean anything to you?

KT     Appropriate for who?! That is something else that there is a fine line to. If it is something that is fun, who cares. Blue hair…maybe someone my age may not necessarily do. Then there are some things that, age appropriate may not be the right term, may not look as good as they did twenty years ago so you may want to rethink it. You can if you want to, but deal with the repercussions of it. But if it feels good to you and you really don’t give a flying hoot what people think, then who cares. 

19/99     How do you use social media and has it affected your self-image?

KT     It is more sharing moments that other people can’t be around for, something that may bring joy to somebody else. And it is also a fun thing for me. It hasn’t really affected me, but I can see how it can for some people. It is so important to not take it too seriously. It is good for some information finding, to me it is really about sharing fun moments, that is where it is at it’s best and probably at the core where it started. But the whole image thing, and altering images, and it is like ‘who is that in the photo?’; it is just misleading and can be so counter productive to what it is really here for.

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

KT     First and fore most, follow your gut instinct, it will never betray you. And secondly take risks. As I get older I find that I regret more what I didn’t do, versus what I did and perhaps failed at. So those are two mantras that I live by.

19/99     Was there a certain point at which you achieved that perspective?

KT     Yeah, I feel like once I got into my thirties I thought about a couple of things that maybe I should have given a shot. I remember having that moment realizing it is about taking the risk, and if it doesn’t work out that is okay, but not having the experiences and learnings from it is a detriment.

19/99     What makes you feel beautiful?

KT     My husband’s love

19/99     How long have you been together for?

KT     30 years, actually a little over 30 years. Married for 18 years. 

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

KT     Not aging as far as the aesthetic of it, but getting to the point where I can’t do something by myself. Which is probably why I work out, I am a triathlete, and I want to minimize that as much as possible. But as far as the just getting old part, no.

19/99     How long have you been a triathlete for?

KT     I’m doing my seventh in April.

19/99     Oh my goodness, that is amazing.

KT     All for charity!  

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

KT     No, not till the day you stop breathing. I think what is super important for people, and I see this in some people and in family members, is to stay inquisitive and want to keep that thirst for learning or everything else just shuts down. It is your own internal fight you need to have. You can’t just say ‘Oh I’m too old for this’, you constantly need to be curious. That helps prolong everything and improves your zest for life.

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Who I am and who I’ll be