I recently had lunch with one of my closest friends, Irene, and took the opportunity to interview her for our bi-weekly beauty interviews. Irene is a recent graduate of NYU and relocated to Shanghai to work for Ogilvy. I met Irene during my time at Shanghai American School and I can honestly say that she’s one of the most lovely and stylish women I know. So let’s get started!
Irene: “Usually I wash my face once at night, and in the morning I just splash water on it. Then I use Burt’s Bees Rosewater and Glycerin Toner. I pat it on my face with my hands. And then I use Cera Ve face lotion cause it’s really light and gentle, but it’s better for winter because it’s very thick. I like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer too. I use Aveeno sunscreen, SPF 70 [laughs], cause sun care is very important.”
DT: [laughs] I’ll be sure to emphasize sun care! What about makeup?
Irene: “I use Olay and Covergirl stuff (Olay & Covergirl Simply Ageless Foundation) as concealer because the texture is really nice, almost whipped, and it’s moisturizing. Usually concealer makes my skin flaky but that one is really good. After that I use Almost Powder from Clinique and Korres eyeliner and Korres mascara sometimes. I don’t usually wear mascara. And Burt’s Bees chapstick. I really like natural products for my skin.”
DT: Any other products that you like to use?
Irene: “I like Essie nail polish in Jazz and Mademoiselle. And I got a Philosophy eye cream as a sample that I really like (Philosophy Eye Hope). You just put it on your eyes and it makes them brighter.”
DT: What about for going out? Do you do anything different with your makeup?
Irene: “I wear more eye makeup, I’m not a bold lip person. I wear a smokey eye or something.”
DT: What kind of things do you like to get professionally done and what do you like to do yourself?
Irene: “I would like to get professional facials regularly, but I need to find a good place here. (In Shanghai) I would do a lot of skincare related things professionally, I think, but I wouldn’t get my makeup done. I don’t see the point. I like to get my eyebrows threaded because I think it looks a lot cleaner and, for me, it’s less painful. And I read that if you get your eyebrows waxed often it can give you wrinkles. Getting manicures is nice, but your nails don’t stay nice for very long.”
DT: Do you do anything special for your hair?
Irene: “For hair I like the Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Serum, you put it on after your shower and it’s not greasy, which is nice. It makes your hair really shiny. I tried to transition to sulfate free shampoo, but in China it’s hard to get. I sometimes use coconut oil in my hair as a mask and rinse it out.”
DT: Are there any products that you were excited to try, but it ended up being a bust?
Irene: “Embryolisse, it actually made me break out even though everyone said it was really gentle. Also, Coconut oil, I still use it on my hair but I thought I’d use it every day on my face [laughs]. But it left some places dry and other places too oily.”
DT: OK, let’s transition to fashion! How would you describe your style?
Irene: “I think my style is [pauses], I don’t know casual and classic? I usually just wear like pretty simple stuff, what do you think?”
DT: City chic?
Irene: “[laughs] Maybe.”
DT: Do you have any celebrity style or fashion inspirations?
Irene: “I like Rachel Bilson’s style. Recently, I’ve started to like Claudia Schiffer’s street style, even though it’s kind of mommy. It’s pretty chic and casual.”
DT: What places do you like to shop at?
Irene: “J.Crew, but sometimes when you wear all J.Crew it looks too preppy so you need to mix in other stuff. I like Club Monaco, Zara, Madewell.”
DT: What about jeans? [Laughs]
Irene: “[laughs] My favorite jeans are AG because they fit me really well and I think they’re really well made. They fit me better than any of the other brands I’ve tried.”
DT: (Readers: FYI we’re laughing because Irene is the one that got me hooked on AG Jeans, my wallet is still suffering) What about accessories?
Irene: “I don’t really wear accessories but I have a Michelle watch that I got for grad and a Giles & Brother nail bracelet that I really like. You can have it engraved.”
DT: Do you have any beauty or fashion pet peeves?
Irene: “I don’t like when people do really intense wingtips or when people wear fake contact colors. I guess I just don’t like things that don’t look natural. I think beauty is more about working with what you have and enhancing your natural beauty, not really faking too much.”
DT: Do you have any beauty advice, words of wisdom so to speak, for our readers?
Irene: “The most important thing is skincare, if you have good skin underneath then your makeup will look better. Also, wear SPF every day or else you’ll get sunspots [laughs]. That sounds so ominous, but it’s true!”
After that, Irene was kind enough to let me rummage through her bag and see what kind of stuff she carried around with her every day!
(tide to go pen, spin pins, Burt’s Bees chapstick)
Thanks Irene, for letting me pick your brain and rummage through your purse!