image description


Who I am and who I’ll be
Always a beauty lover, Marissa started working in the beauty industry in her thirties. She shares with us her favourite products, skin care tips, and perspective on appearing invisible.


19/99        Take us through your beauty routine. Morning and night.

Marissa Neave        I really love taking care of my skin, so let’s start with the evening routine because it is more in depth. I always wash my face, make sure all my make up is off, I tone, use a couple of serums. Moisturizing is the biggest thing that I do – my skin gets dry skin if I don’t constantly put moisture on, so I use a really gentle, made for sensitive skin moisturizer and then I cover it with oil so I am really greasy and shiny before bed. In the morning I wash my face with water, apply the same moisturizer and sunscreen. Sunscreen everyday has been the biggest contributor to the quality of my skin over the years; if I get a breakout it doesn’t stay a red mark on my face for a long time, because of the sunscreen. And that is pretty much…well that is the skin care.

19/99        What kind of sunscreen do you use?

MN        Biore Watery Essence. It is apparently not cool to use chemical sunscreens anymore. I really don’t like the feel of mineral sunscreens though - I have yet to find one that blends in and doesn’t feel gritty.

19/99        Ah, I found the Biore Water Essence when in Japan and I love it. Now I have to buy it on Amazon.

MN        You can get it on Amazon or YesStyle; it is always on sale on YesStyle. Makeup – I hoard makeup. I have a lot of make up. But I am pretty minimal when it comes to wearing makeup. I love being playful but day to day it doesn’t fit into my routine. I use a pretty sheer finish foundation – like the Glossier Skin Tint, or a concealer sheered out. I don’t leave the house without mascara, and I do my brows. I am very particular about my brow pencil. Then I will usually use a Bite Multistick (discontinued) as a blush and I never wear lipstick.

19/99    Have you ever worn lipstick?

MN        I mean when I worked at Bite I loved getting to the office and putting on a crazy lipstick.

19/99        And then taking it off before you left?

MN        I honestly did. I really did. It depended who I was commuting home with; if I had to go home by myself I would usually wipe it off. I don’t like to be looked at in public. I like to be as invisible as possible. So unless I am ubering somewhere or with someone…

19/99        Have you always been that way?

MN        I went through a Goth stage in high school so there was a time when I wanted to be regarded, maybe for all the wrong reasons, but in my early 20s I didn’t want to be catcalled, or stared at on transit and stuff like that. So I started dressing and trying to appear in a much more generic and simple way.

19/99        Did you find that empowering?

MN        No, not really. When I go away on vacation I am more experimental with fashion and makeup. I wear things that I wouldn’t wear in my day to day life – I feel free and invisible in a different kind of way. I find it restricting that I don’t fully express myself when I am at home. But if I do wear something bold, and I hear something on the street it is just like…blughhh. There was one time, it must have been a year or two ago, and I wore jeans and a button up top which I had tied, so my mid-drift was kind of showing, and I normally don’t dress like that. Of course, some old man said something and I was like ‘Well, that’s the end of the crop top for me’. It just puts me back in my shell when I have those interactions in public.

19/99        It is so unfortunate. That old man probably has no idea that his behaviour is not appropriate or that it is affecting you in any way. He doesn’t see past his instinct of ‘oh I like that’, it is so fucked up.

MN        Yeah, definitely.

19/99        What cleanser do you use?

MN        I am very simple when it comes to cleanser and use the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser. It is so good, it doesn’t make your skin feel taught and dry, but it removes all of my makeup. I guess I don’t wear a lot of make up – if I was wearing a lot of liner or water proof mascara it wouldn’t do the trick. Everybody talks about double cleansing and removing your makeup before you cleanse. I find that the Neutrogena one does both; if I go over my face with a cotton pad afterward it is completely clean, so it works for me.

19/99        What is your brow routine that you are particular about?

MN        My favourite, and it is very sad because I don’t think they make it anymore, is Marc Jacobs Brow Wow in a dark brown. It is hard, but a little bit creamy; it is really easy to get a precise line, without being too creamy that it breaks down over the day. And it is the perfect colour; I like a really cool toned brown. I find warm toned browns make my brows look reddish, which doesn’t match the rest of me. I really love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz but I’ve bought four of them and they have all broken before the product is done; the pencil will break or the spoolie will break off, the cap stops sticking on, so I find the Brow Wow by Marc Jacobs Beauty has the same precision texture and colour, but the packaging is better. I am still working off the stash I got while working at Kendo, and I can’t find it anymore, so fingers crossed that they come out with something. I am going to try the Hourglass one – they have that triangular tip one, and I loved the colour but didn’t love the tip, and they’ve launched it in a micro pencil, so I will try it. Then I do gel, and I am not very loyal with the gel. Kelley Baker Brows has one that is good, I like Boy Brow from Glossier and Makeup Forever has a fiber one that is clear, and makes your brows fluffy, and it isn’t crispy, it doesn’t even feel like a gel.

Image via @marissaneave


19/99        Has your routine changed over the years?

MN        I like trying new stuff but the day to day stuff has remained pretty consistent over the last few years. When I first got back into makeup in my early thirties I finally learned how to from my own opinions on products and I found ways to make it work for me, once I had that ‘A-ha!’ moment, I’ve been pretty loyal to the things that have worked for me. So instead of going ‘oh this product sucks, nothing works for me’ I accepted that some things didn’t work for me and was never going to look good – the colour was wrong or the texture wasn’t suited to my skin type – once I gave myself permission to realize those things, I’ve remained pretty true to certain staples. But I love new make up, so I buy a lot of new make up, but it doesn’t often end up in my day to day routine.

19/99    So in your 20s you didn’t wear much makeup?

MN        I did, but it was BB Cream, mascara and a brow powder – that was the extent of it. And I really loved bright fuchsia lipstick, but I was on this hunt, I couldn’t find the exact shade I wanted. They were never matte enough, or they had shimmer – there is always something wrong. So I had this graveyard of sort of the colour that I had in mind. The best one I found colour wise was Bite’s Kimchi (discontinued) – that was the closest to what I had been searching for. It is not matte, but you can make it matte.

19/99    What are some of your favourite beauty products?

MN        There are really so many. My favourite for skin is MAC face and body, a sheer but buildable foundation. It really looks like skin, and doesn’t slide off your face throughout the day. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter; it is like a shimmery primer, so you can mix it with foundation or wear it alone. Sometimes I use it as an under eye primer because it is really light reflective, so if you have darkness under your eyes it kind of reflects light away. I love the Bite Multisticks (discontinued) – they are the products that made me fall in love with Bite, and I still use them on a regular basis. The colours and textures are so good, and they are easy to use. When I travel I always bring one or two as my eyeshadow, blush, everything product.

19/99        Me too actually, it is the only Bite product I still use

MN        I am really into single, one colour eyeshadow looks - I am still into the iridescent, duo chrome situation. I really love lavender, periwinkle, interesting, unexpected colours on eyes.

19/99        Is there anything you won’t leave the house without?

MN        Yes, mascara. Unless I have a lash tint, otherwise no way.

19/99        What mascara do you use?

MN        I use an Lancome – in the thin square black tube…I can’t think of what it is called. I also love the Covergirl Clump Crusher, I wore that for years.

19/99        Have you been using the Lancome one for years now?

MN        On and off. A few years ago, actually more than a few years ago, it was probably 10 years ago, I went to Chicago to visit my cousins, and I forgot to pack mascara. So as soon as we got there my aunt wanted to go out for dinner and I was like ‘shit I didn’t pack mascara, I need to stop at a Walgreen’s, not optional, this needs to happen, I’m not going anywhere without mascara’, and my aunt was like ‘Come with me’. She is one of those people that shops at department store beauty counters, and gets all the gifts with purchase, and she had a stash. She was like ‘Here, I only use blue mascara so all of these black mascaras here for you to use’. And one of them was a mini Lancome, and I used it and was like ‘oh my god, it is so good’. I have very squinty eyes when I smile so mascara always goes under my eyes, and this was the only mascara I’d used in my life till that point that didn’t smudge. So when I got home I scowered eBay for people who were selling the mini travel sized version…I don’t know why I didn’t think to go to the store to buy one. I probably thought it was too expensive at the time to buy the full size, it is $50 or something. I found someone who was selling 10 of the mini sized for about $20 so I lived off of those minis for a really long time. And now I finally have my own full size that I use and love.

19/99        How do you react to the statement ‘Act your age’?

MN        It doesn’t really have any meaning. I don’t feel restricted by my age. There is kind of a weird relationship – I don’t know how to describe it really. You know, most of my peers have families, or they have been in their careers for about 20 years, so I feel kind of behind maybe where I ‘should be’ age wise. So I don’t know what act your age means…does that mean that I should have started my career earlier? Or had kids earlier? So I don’t know. It certainly doesn’t offend me because I find it meaningless.

19/99        Do you find those perceived milestones haven’t driven your trajectory?

MN        No, I don’t feel pressure from those things necessarily. I mean I don’t really hold myself in comparison to a broad generalization. There are certainly things within myself – yes I do wish that by this age I would be more established or known more, or have more experience. But I don’t really find that it is society that is putting those pressures on me. It is more an internal reflection and perhaps regret of some choices I have made in the past. I think I am kind of anti-authoritarian in general, so if there was a pressure I wouldn’t subvert to it anyways…

19/99        How do you react to the term ‘Age appropriate’?

MN        Another one that I don’t know what it means. I can see where those ideas some from, but through social media those boundaries have sort of broken away. I still feel kind of youthful, so even though I am in my late thirties, I still feel like I can dress like a 25 year old. I don’t feel like ‘oh should I wear a volunteer t-shirt and mum jeans?’. I don’t know what it means for a 37 year old to be age appropriate in fashion and make up. There are certain people, older people, who have received a lot of praise for eschewing notions of what aging should look like. They still wear fun makeup, they have a strong sense of personal style. That is more my lane. I don’t need to be unusual or stand out, as I said earlier I don’t really like to stand out. But I have never really felt the need to dress a certain way because of my age. I will still buy stuff from Forever21.

19/99        Has age affected not wanting to stand out?

MN        I don’t know if it has anything to do with age. It is a great contradiction in my mind. I don’t really give a shit what strangers think of me. I’m not someone that needs everyone to like me. I have never felt the need to please every person, and yet I don’t want to be noticed or draw attention to myself. So those seem like warring ideas in my head…but I think that is just me, and my own hang-ups about not wanting to be noticed in public. As I get older I definitely care less and less what people say about me or think about me, but that is in a one on one or professional context, or personal context. There is something about being in public space and having a stranger say something to me that I find so offensive and disarming, but I am not scared to express myself at work and share my opinion about things. I am not scared of people thinking I am overbearing or overstepping my bounds, I want to be honest and real in that kind of context, and age has definitely made that easier. There were years where I never felt empowered to share my own opinion or step in if I felt something wasn’t happening it should. So that has gotten easier as I’ve gotten older.

19/99        What does a person’s age tell you?

MN        I am definitely more sensitive to how people act rather than how old they are. I have worked with a lot of people who are younger than me that are awesome. I’ve worked with people my age and older who are totally unprofessional and inexperienced. It runs the gambit; you meet so many people in different contexts. I’ve never had trouble relating to people who are a lot older than me. I went back to school when I was in my late 20s, so I have a lot of friends who are 10 years younger than me. My friends have always ranged in vast age, so I am definitely more sensitive to how people act than what their actual age is. 

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

MN        I would tell my younger self not to be so hard on herself, and to be less self-conscious and have more fun, and not obsess over what people were thinking of her. I came to that on my own eventually where I didn’t really consume myself with thinking of what other people might think of me, but I was obsessed with wanting people to like me. That changed probably in high school.

19/99        That is pretty good!

MN        Maybe after, I don't know. I remember in high school, I wanted everyone to like me and I was really nice to everyone, even to people who didn’t deserve my kindness. That ‘s where the flip switched; when I was super nice to people who ended up being jerks to me. I’d think ‘Oh I was super nice to you because I wanted to you to feel accepted, and good, and you were so mean to me back and you’ve probably been through a lot of pain and I don’t know how to deal with that’. So it was at that point that I realized that being liked wasn’t about me necessarily. 

19/99        When do you feel most beautiful?

MN        That is always tricky. I don’t not feel beautiful on a day to day basis, but there are times when I catch myself in the front facing camera, from that horrible angle, so anytime that isn’t that angle I guess. There is a general level of self-acceptance in that I don’t hate what I see when I look in the mirror, like I did ten years ago. There were times in my late 20s and early 30s that I’d have those moments but I don’t have that anymore. It is just a quiet comfortability with myself that makes me feel beautiful. 

1999        Do you think there is a point when we stop growing and learning?

MN        I hope not. I mean I have my moments where I look at kids on Instagram and am like ‘why are they doing this?!’ So I definitely have my ‘get off my lawn’ stuff; but I am a pretty curious and open person so I certainly hope that I can maintain that throughout my whole life…cause if you stop learning…hohhh, scary.

NEXT ARTICLE image description


Who I am and who I’ll be