STACIE HA, 25 YEARS OLD, MULTIMEDIA DESIGNER
ON HER FIRST EXPERIENCES WITH BEAUTY
“I think my first ever beauty memory was being absolutely obsessed with Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. I feel like any girl who grew up in the 90s was absolutely obsessed with them. I had them in every possible scent! I would apply them religiously because they 1) were heavy on the glitter and 2) let’s be honest they tasted great. I think it wasn’t until I was about 12 that I started noticing what “real” makeup was. At that time, makeup to me only consisted of clear mascara and lip-gloss; nothing else. I remember being so frustrated and unable to comprehend why I could never look like Hilary Duff using only those two items.
ON THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE SHE’S RECEIVED
Oh, do I ever wish that I had listened to my mom when she said I wore far too much makeup and that I was over-plucking my eyebrows into near non-existence. I mean I was 12. What 12 year old actually needs to be applying any makeup to their perfect skin or even has to worry about their appearance at all? If I could go back in time I would just let my young skin breathe! The best beauty advice I’ve ever received is that less is more. I suffered from some pretty bad acne near the end of high school and remember telling myself, ‘Stacie you should probably go easy on the liquid foundation and concealer’, but I was way too insecure about my acne and kept packing it on. As the years went by I made a conscious decision to focus more on skincare while keeping my mother’s voice in the back of my mind. I was tired of hiding behind a constant veil of poorly caked-on makeup. I envied any woman who had the confidence to go out bare-faced and hoped that one day I too could feel that comfortable in my own skin. It was so bad that I used to go out with a full face of makeup even if my only plan for the day was popping out to Walmart. One day I came to the realization that I was trying to cater to the judgments of others rather than making myself happy. It wasn’t until this past year that I felt brave enough to step outside my house without makeup.
ON HER SKINCARE PRIORITIES
Until a few years ago I would say that I cared way more about makeup than skin care. I was so used to hiding behind a mask that it definitely took a toll on my skin. It sounds so easy, but I make sure to wash my face thoroughly at night to remove all my makeup and gunk that builds up on my face during the day. It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, I have to wash my face or I know that my skin will pay for it later. I’ve also tried to make it a habit to apply a mask once a week to exfoliate my skin and really deep clean my pores.
ON WHAT SHE LOVES ABOUT MAKEUP & BEAUTY
Most women would be lying to you if they said that putting on makeup or taking the time to take care of their skin doesn’t help with their confidence levels. For me, taking the proper time to do my makeup – usually on the weekend because I mean let’s be honest who has the time every day? – really boosts my mood. I find it super relaxing to sit down and properly put the effort into applying my makeup on the weekend. It’s therapeutic for me to have that time to myself. As a designer, I really enjoy the creative component associated with makeup. I love the freedom it gives me to explore different looks and I truly feel like I’m creating a work of art when I use it.
TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS
I’ve been using Foreo LUNA Mini for almost a year now and I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best investments I’ve ever made for my skin. The biggest benefit I’ve seen since using this product is the change in the texture of my skin. Acne from my late teens and early twenties had left me with some battle scars, and I noticed that after a few months of use my skin became smoother than I ever thought I could be. The brush is just so good at deep cleaning my pores that my skin feels like it can actually breathe. The Luna Mini is one of the easiest products to use. First, I wet the brush instead of dampening my face. I try to avoid wetting my skin as much as possible because it gets dry super quickly. I then place a pea-sized amount of cleanser on the top of the brush and wet it again. There are two settings on this cleansing brush: one that activates lighter vibrations, and another for faster and more powerful vibrations. I tend to gravitate to the lighter mode when I’m waking up in the morning and the more powerful one at night when I’m typically removing makeup. Once I’ve selected my setting, I gently move the brush in circular motions all over my face for about a minute, rinse my face, rinse the brush, and that’s it! My skin is quite sensitive and I love that using it feels like a soothing massage for my face. Whenever I’m done using it, my skin feels so clean, soft, and exfoliated. I had been eyeing this product for a while because I heard great things about it from beauty gurus, but I was always hesitant to purchase it because it was a bit pricey. I finally took the plunge and bought it during Sephora’s VIB Rouge event so that I could get it slightly discounted and feel a little less guilty about the price tag. Honestly, in retrospect, it was a shame that I waited so long to purchase the Luna mini because it would have helped with my skin problems that much sooner. I love that no part of this ever needs to be replaced and that it’s charged easily via USB. I would vouch for this product any day because it has made that much of an impact on my daily skin routine.
My favourite thing about Origins’ Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is how clean it leaves my face feeling. I’ve used other cleansers before but they always tended to leave me some makeup residue. It’s hard to describe how good it makes my skin feel after just one wash. It’s so gentle, foaming and deep cleaning. Using this face wash in combination with the Luna Mini does wonders for my oh-so-fun ‘combination’ skin type. My t-zone typically has enough oil to cook up french fries, whereas my chin and cheeks stay relatively dry. This cleanser is so appropriate for me. This is one of the only cleansers that does not leave my skin feeling bone dry after prolonged use. Plus, the combination of this face wash and the Luna Mini makes one bottle of this cleanser last me an entire year. If you were to use it by itself I’d say probably two bottles a year is all you would need.
I love how natural my Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation looks and feels on my skin. It gives me the full coverage it claims and is super buildable without ever looking cakey. It’s my lifesaver in the morning when I’m in a rush to get out the front door. It is extremely easy to work with and takes about a minute or less to put on. This foundation lasts me all day, as long as I lock it in with some primer spray and powder. I typically wear this foundation whenever I go out, so minimum 5 days a week. I’d like to say it generously lasts me a whole year, which is surprisingly quite long considering I use it almost every day. But, I will say the last months are definitely a struggle to get the product out. You’re going to find yourself shaking around the pot to try to get out what little is left. I apply this foundation using Tarte’s Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush. I’ve tried applying the foundation with other kabuki brushes before I caved in and bought the Airbuki. I find this is the only brush dense enough to use the foundation to its full potential. All I do to apply the foundation is gently push the Airbuki brush into the mesh of the jar, tap away any excess and then buff it into my face. I love how easy it is to clean the brush as well. Since the bristles are so short, the product is super easy to wash out, unlike most kabuki brushes.
I use First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream every day in the morning to moisturize my face. It absorbs fairly quickly and I don’t have to wait long at all to apply my makeup. The best thing about this product is that it keeps my skin sufficiently moisturized and doesn’t break me out or leave my forehead super oily. I’ve had such a hard time finding the right moisturizer. A lot face creams have floral ingredients, which are what breaks me out like mad because I have a floral allergy. There was a moment in my life where I assumed every face cream would irritate my skin, so the day I found this was a miracle! To use, I apply five dots on my face: one on my forehead, nose, chin and each cheek, then use my fingers to evenly spread it all over my face. The tube it comes in is fairly large so it lasts me well over a year, and at $43 I get great value for the price.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in ‘light’ is my holy grail under-eye concealer. It helps brighten and conceal my dark circles within seconds. Whenever I don’t really feel like putting much effort into my makeup, at the bare minimum I’ll pop a bit of this on to make me look a little more alive and healthy. I have very pale skin, so I use the shade ‘light’. I would say almost anyone could use light if you really wanted that bright under-eye Kardashian look. I love that it lasts all day and doesn’t crease. It’s also super lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy when I wear it, which I find to be the main problem with a lot of under eye concealers currently on the market. The applicator is quite soft which is perfect because I never like applying anything harshly under my eye since it’s such a delicate area. I’m very particular when it comes to concealers and have tried several high-end ones. None of them have worked as well as this high-street product. The fact that I can get this concealer for only $10 at my local Walmart is amazing to me!”
– As told to the GRR