RachelWho I am and who I’ll be
It was like guerilla blogging, and I loved sharing things with people. It was really just a labour of love.
19/99 Tell us a bit about yourself.
Rachel Anise I am a California native, which is kind of rare for California, at least for the most of the individuals who I’ve met here. I was homeschooled until high school, then I went to public high school, and went onto California State University, Long Beach for both undergrad and grad school. I did two rounds of grad school; one for a Masters in Communications Studies and one for a Teaching Credential in English, and I started teaching right out of grad school. I was teaching both high school and college students, which was pretty unusual. At a certain point I left both those positions to go full time at a community college, where I accepted a tenure track position teaching Communications Studies, which I just completed in the Spring. I wrote a public speaking text book with another professor at some point along the way; I love to write but definitely am not looking to do another one for a long time. So that is my teaching.
Then in 2012, I started my blog, Beauty Professor, as a creative side project. I had no concept of it as a business; people were not talking about beauty influencers or anything at that point. I paid my way through college by acting and modeling, and I only say that because that is where my fascination with makeup started; on set. I was blessed to work with some amazing makeup artists over the years and I was always so intensely curious about their process, their products and where they were finding them. At that time products weren’t as ubiquitous as they are today, you had to work hard to track them down. But all my money was going into paying for school so I wasn’t really buying anything. But by 2012 when I started the blog I had started working full time so had some money to buy the products I had seen on set and had amassed, what I thought, was a pretty decent collection. I was on winter break and I just started writing about it. I had no knowledge on starting a blog – I spent a lot of time googling. I spent the first year or two writing, and using my iPhone to take pictures of things. The landscape for beauty writing was very different so people were really welcoming to that. I grew a following, much to my surprise, pretty early on because I was writing about products that were esoteric and hard to find, so I started to show up in a lot for searches. I realized that the things I was swatching and writing about were things people wanted to know about. It was like guerilla blogging, and I loved sharing things with people. It was really just a labour of love; about two years in I started to learn about monetization and affiliate marketing and brands started reaching out in a pretty significant way. So everything since then is a bit more standard.
19/99 Can you take us through your daily beauty routine, morning and night.
RA A lot of my routine varies, based on what is going on in my day. I won’t write about anything unless I have tried it personally, so it is like a testing factory over here. I shower at night, so when I wake up I go straight to washing my face. For the level of product that I’ve got, I am a pretty minimal product user on the regular. I do a single cleanse in the morning; I’ve been using the Augustinus Bader Cream Cleansing Gel cleanser in the morning, and Ranavat’s Cream Cleanser in the shower at night. Then I move to a serum of some sort; I really try to not do too much skin care when I am just at home, I think there is a point of diminishing returns so I try to keep it pretty light. I’ve been using Serucell’s KFS Serum, I am on my second bottle. It is super lightweight, and in super simplistic terms, it retrains your skin to behave more youthfully; I have stuck with it since March and it really does some crazy self-regulating stuff. Then I use Augustinus Bader’s oil or cream if I need more moisture. There is a CBD Face Serum from a brand call Beboe. I love trying smaller brands when I can, because I feel like that is part of my job, to be that voice for up and coming brands and products. The thrill of the smaller brand is always been there for me. I will usually then use an eye cream, Cle De Peau, La Prairie, or Serucell. And then sunscreen; which is almost always SuperGoop Glowscreen, which I love so much. It is so pretty on the skin. Then I will go into makeup. I am a foundation lover; I am always looking for the perfect foundation. I think that in the realm of beauty it can be a bit lack luster but I have always been really interested in it – how do you get a formula that you can’t see, but gives you coverage, that wears all day and doesn’t dry out. I still love foundation, and am on a foundation rotation always. The one I wear the most during the week is a Japanese brand called Suqqu, which you can order online and they ship internationally. They never fail for me. I always love Cle De Peau, they have an exquisite base line. By Terry has this amazing product called Eclat Opulent, it makes the skin look flawless. It is a pretty quiet product, they don’t really push it. Terry told me once that it actually happened by accident – the chemist was working on one thing and ended up making something else which turned into the Eclat Opulent. It is really easy and you can put it on with your fingers. Then usually bronzer, I’m not a contour person; I use a Surratt Cheek Brush which I’ve had for years, and I have back ups at this point, and I still haven’t dipped into the backups. I think Troy makes some of the best brushes on the market; his makeup is brilliant but his brushes deserve their own high praise...they are well worth the pursuit.
When I put a little time into myself I feel better, and there is a benefit to that in terms of how you treat people and how you are in the world
19/99 We are big fans of Surratt.
RA His brand is amazing, he is such a visionary.
19/99 His product brings us great joy.
RA Yes, it is makeup lover’s makeup. So I use the Surratt brush and I like an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light. I am fast; I can get my whole face done in 7 minutes, from years of getting ready in the car and then running to class I am good. I am really into this Lawless blush, called Vintage Love, which I wear a ton of, it is easy and really natural looking and I think it looks good on everyone. I love the Westman Atelier Highlight stick in Peau de Peche, Tom Ford Brow Gel. For eyes, it is whatever for the day; often Tom Ford Golden Peach, which has been a favorite… I’ve gone through 6 or 7 of them. Mascara, I love a good tubing mascara, which probably comes from my love of Japanese Cosmetics. Lately I’ve been wearing one from Em Cosmetics. For someone who has allergies tubing mascara is really life changing because it doesn’t smudge. I love Victoria Beckham’s Satin Kajal Liner in black for my water line, I am always looking for a new good one. Lips, I’m a pinky, peach lover always. Some of my favorites are Sisley Lip Twist in #10 Sugar and #3 Peach, Au Nautrale, which is clean and green, out of Wisconsin, and they make really pretty glosses. Colour wise I just go for something lighter, and nude, nothing that is too high maintenance.
19/99 Do you feel pressure to look a certain way?
RA Yes, I actually think I have gotten more comfortable in my skin. I will shoot a tutorial starting with a completely bare face, whereas if you had asked me that before, I would have never. But I really think it shows the power of application and makeup. I don’t use filters, I don’t have Photoshop on my computer. I definitely look for good light when I am shooting but I try to keep it really genuine and real. Over all though, I do usually have a 5 minute face which just makes me feel a bit better, I feel more prepared when I have just a bit on my face. For teaching, I think when you are more polished, whatever that means for you, you perform better, to really be the best version of myself. When I put a little time into myself I feel better, and there is a benefit to that in terms of how you treat people and how you are in the world.
19/99 If you could share advice with your younger self, what would it be?
RA Don’t let you insecurities hold you back from interactions with other people. I had a battle with acne in early college. I feel like when you are feeling uncomfortable it makes you retreat, and hold yourself back. And I’ve realized that I have never treated anyone differently because they have acne, how I value them, if I want to listen to them, how I interact with them. And I feel like that would be the case for most people. So having been in both shoes, I wish that hadn’t held me back.
19/99 What makes you feel beautiful?
RA It is two fold; I was raised to really focus on inner beauty, my mum went out of her way to ensure we were focused on heart first, outsides second. Exercising true empathy for others definitely affects the way I feel about myself. When you can use your insight and past experiences to understand what someone is going through and help support them, it's transformational. I feel like when I’ve had a day when I’ve been really productive, doing something that I love, at the end of the day I feel good. Whereas there could be days that are harder, and not as productive and I may be looking aesthetically at my best, but I don’t have any satisfaction in it. I also feel grateful that I can spend time in front of the mirror and come out of it feeling more polished and feel a bit more confident. And of course my husband and my daughter make me feel beautiful no matter what.
19/99 Do you think there is a point when we stop growing and learning?
RA I think you can be very old and be very young in terms of growth. And you can be very young and be very advanced in terms of your growth. I think there are people who have zero interest in growing, no interest in looking inwards, learning how to treat people better, or communicate more effectively, love people in the their lives better, and there are people who are doing those things and that is growth. I don't think that is associated with age. It is like showering; you can shower one day and get clean, but the next day you have that choice again – you aren’t going to stay clean because you took a shower yesterday. And when you are working on yourself it is the same thing; everyday you can choose to whether you do it or not.
Follow Rachel @beautyprofessor