Tell me about yourself.
Michaella: My name is Elle. It's short for Michaella. I’m a sophomore in college studying psychology. I am from Boston originally. If I could start college over, I would have chosen to be a creative writing or Arabic major. Writing is my passion right now. I want to start an Instagram blog–partly as a way to post cute pictures, but also to offer tips for college-aged women who don’t feel like they can dress well without spending a ton of money. I just take advantage of sales. My goal is to share my tips.
What are your beauty struggles?
Michaella: One beauty struggle I had when I was younger was not being represented in the beauty industry. Especially coming from a place where I didn’t have money. It was hard to find makeup at places like CVS and Target. The Maybelline bb cream that had the shade deep was my intro to makeup and it didn’t even really match [laughs]. Around the time "12 Years of Slave" came out, dark skin black girls started being chosen for modeling roles because of the "exotic" look. I looked up to people like Maria Borges who was one of the prominent African American models for Victoria's Secret. I started to see people who looked like me being represented.
Skin wise, hyperpigmentation is my biggest struggle. I used to think it was unique to me but my mom said she had it too. I definitely struggled with it. There is not much education for young women of color. We don’t know how to fix scarring. Also finding a dermatologist that looks like you helps because she can recommend products that work for her skin.
The tips I have learned from my derm are #1 to stop picking at my face #2 there is a lot of good information on the internet and on Youtube. My way of trumping hyperpigmentation is using science and getting educated about what is up with my skin. From personal experience, I've spent a lot of money and been in alot of pain trying products and methods that didn't work. The money you spent would be better used with a dermatologist.
What is your beauty routine/go-to products?
Michaella: I’m just now getting into beauty products. I’m learning along with my Instagram followers. I really love Glossier’s boy brow it keeps my eyebrows in place. I also use Vaseline for everything! It doesn't clog my pores. A pro-tip is to use Vaseline on your cheekbones for a highlighted look.
Do you think beauty is psychological?
Michaella: It's interesting you ask that. I had a convo with a friend last night and asked what makes something standardly beautiful. She lives in North Carolina and someone asked her to model, but she told them about me instead. I asked why she didn't take the gig and she said she had arm fat so she doesn't think she's right for it. She said she hadn't seen any woman who had body weight on billboards. That made me think that it takes women like my friend to go out and be models for other girls to see that they can do it too. They have to go out and break the mold of what it means to be beautiful. By doing this, they are sending a message that their bodies have a place in the world of beauty and fashion. Social media has made it possible for women to say what they want and redefine beauty.
What is your self-care routine?
Michaella: Journaling helps a lot. It’s great to write things out. I write 3 things that I am grateful for every day. By doing that, you trick yourself into being positive. It makes you realize how blessed you are. That has been such a good technique for me. I listen to alot of different music. I have a very eclectic music choice. I love Humble by Kendrick Lamar. Other times, I like to empty my head by listening to classical music and bringing my own theme into the music. I love classical music because it makes my mind a blank slate.
Keep up with Elle: