BEAUTY INTERVIEW: Top 5 with Suzy Theelen

SUZANNE THEELEN, 23 YEARS OLD, INTERIOR DESIGNER

Ottawa, Ontario

WHEN HER RELATIONSHIP WITH BEAUTY BEGAN

“You could say my relationship with beauty started pretty late in the game. I started to truly play around with it during my 1st year in university thanks to YouTube. I had worn mascara and maybe some concealer before then but discovering beauty channels on YouTube really transformed the way I viewed makeup.

ON THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE

The best beauty advice I’ve ever received is that less is more. When I say that I don’t mean that you should never do a dramatic smoky eye or a bold lip but that you should balance the makeup you wear with your natural features. For instance, if you have great skin you don’t need corrector, concealer, foundation and powder. Just use a tinted moisturizer or spot conceal. Don’t make yourself look like a powdered donut if you don’t have to!

ON HER BEAUTY PRIORITIES

Since I’m still pretty young there haven’t been any drastic changes in my skin over the past few years. In terms of priorities, I try to mostly focus on keeping my skin clean and moisturized. Making sure you have smooth skin as a base for makeup really helps limit the amount of product you need to put on your skin. Water is also one of the most important factors in my skincare regimen because it honestly makes the biggest difference in firmness and fine lines.

ON HER BIGGEST BEAUTY REGRET

I definitely regret ever cutting my own bangs. It completely changed the shape of my face and not in a good way. They were short and crooked and took forever to grow back.

TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS

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I love Lush’s Grease Lightening Cleansing Gel because it does double duty. I use it as a cleansing gel every night before bed with my Clairsonic, but if you’re noticing a particular area or if a pimple is giving you an extra hard time you can also use this as a spot treatment. I have combination skin – normal around the perimeter of my face and oily around my t-zone. I wouldn’t say I have acne prone skin but I definitely get breakouts now and then, especially around that time of the month. Occasionally, I’ll dab some of this product on a problem area before bed and it’s usually gone when I wake up. I find this cleanser is great for my skin type because it removes excess oil from the skin thanks to acne fighting ingredients like witch hazel and tea tree oil. This product definitely dries your skin out a little bit, however, it never gives me dry patches or anything but it does feel tight. I use a moisturizer immediately afterward and find the tight feeling goes away instantly. That being said I wouldn’t recommend this product for those with extremely dry skin. A small bottle of this cleanser usually lasts me anywhere from 1 to 2 months.

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I’ve used Smashbox’s Photo Finishing Water every time I put makeup on for about 6 months now. I use this as a primer and sometimes if I find my face is looking a bit too powdery I will use it as a setting spray. I got this product as part of a set and honestly, my expectations were pretty low for this considering it looked just like water. One day I used it when I was in a hurry and later noticed that my skin was looking extra good that day. I didn’t know why until I retraced my steps and realized it was because of this! I apply this finishing water after cleansing my skin and applying moisturizer. Once my moisturizer is fully absorbed I’ll spray this all over my face and then apply my makeup. Sometimes if I’m going for a full-out glam look I use this with a silicone primer over areas with larger pores. I love how easy this product is to use. You just spray your face and you’re done; no need to rub it in or anything. This finishing water is definitely worth its price tag. After skincare, I think that primers are the most important beauty product. You could be wearing an $80 foundation but it won’t look good if your base isn’t up to par.

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I use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in ‘shadow’ whenever I have time to contour my face. I have combination skin so I really need a foundation that can work well with both dry and oily skin. I would consider this to be a medium coverage foundation that is both extremely blendable and natural looking. Even on days where I don’t apply foundation all over my face, it still blends naturally into my real skin. I run this under my cheekbones like you would a powder contour. You only need the smallest amount which is great because it lasts forever. Then I just press it into my skin with a beauty blender in upwards motions towards the cheekbone until blended. I love the formula, packaging, and shade match I get from this product. Since I have extremely fair skin with a neutral undertone it’s almost impossible to find a contour shade that doesn’t look too orange or gray on my face. This color is perfect and creates really natural looks. Personally, I find stick foundations to be much easier to apply than liquid ones and there isn’t as much waste so I get way more bang for my buck. I also like that I have the option to buy a single shade to contour with instead of having to spend money on a contour kit where I might only use 1 out of 4 to 6 products.

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My Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter Stack Eye Shadows have just the perfect amount of pigmentation. One of the greatest things about this product is that it allows you to choose the level of intensity of a look you want to create, making it great for both neutral and dramatic looks. I find these shadows give excellent color payoff but are forgiving if you have a heavy hand. I love the colour choices in this set and find they complement my green eyes well. There are lots of warm-toned neutrals similar to the ABH Modern Renaissance Palette but without the shimmer. There is a shade in this stack called ‘blur’ that is designed to make all your eyeshadows blend seamlessly together. This shade has become essential to me when creating looks even if I use other eyeshadows not in the stack with it. I really love how the different eye shadows magnetically stack together, the fact that the pans on these shadows are large and the quality of the product is great. You do have to order the stack online and they are sold out quite frequently which is admittedly a bit of a pain. They are totally worth the effort, though.

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I wear Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H Makeup Foundation every day. This foundation gives me medium buildable coverage.  I usually mix it with either a moisturizer for more sheer coverage or with another foundation for heavier coverage. If I want heavy coverage I usually apply this foundation with a beauty blender and if I’m wanting lighter coverage I use a stippling brush. I like to do this because depending on what primer I use this foundation can sometimes oxidize and turn a few shades darker on my skin as the day goes on.   It has taken me quite some time for find the perfect medium-to-full foundation that is an exact match for my skin tone. Many foundations either come out too yellow or too pink which is very noticeable on my fair skin.  This foundation is the best I have come across so far. Like I mentioned earlier, the only problem I have with it is that it is a little finicky about which other products I use it with as it can occasionally oxidize. One bottle of this product can last me anywhere from 4-6 months depending on how sparingly I use it.”

– As told to the GRR

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