Three Women Time Their Evening Skincare Routines

No one wants to wake up to a smudgy, smeared pillowcases—no one. So, all the makeup’s got to come off. And if not for the sake of your linens, then for the sake of your complexion. Trouble is—especially if you’re tired—it takes up precious time you could otherwise be sleeping. But how long does it really take?

In July, ITG uncovered how long it takes to put your face on, so this second experiment was an ideal follow-up. Back I went, into three women’s homes with a stopwatch in hand—this time, when they were in their pajamas.

Each woman was different. Funny, savvy. Deliberate, speedy. Yet they were also surprisingly alike: They all showered in the morning. They all took their contacts out to sleep. Here’s what else went on:

Jamie Wachlarz: The Recommitted Skincare Devotee
Final time – 9:58

For the interview portion of my 9pm, appointment with Jamie, we leaned against her bathroom sink. All of her chairs were already packed for the move she and her new husband are taking on later this month. Their June ’15 wedding spurred Jamie to recommit to her nighttime skincare routine. Now she allows lots of leisurely time at night to reset her skin. After all, the days are jam-packed as the Director of Digital Media at PR agency, Krupp Group, which represents many CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists such as Eva Fehren. The newlywed’s earrings and rings are a dead giveaway to this.

“I feel like I’m wearing the city when I come home from work,” explains Wachlarz. “It’s in my pores. Like walking around the city in sandals in the summer and realizing your feet are all black and you don’t know why. Washing your face gets all the soot off you.” That’s why she starts her evening routine long before bedtime and cleanses before dinner. She’s also adept at multitasking along the way (e.g. tending to her eyebrows while the toner dries). This self-directed beauty buff calls the day a wrap when her cuticles are covered with balm and CNBC’s American Greed is on.

Skin: Comodynes Micellar Instant Cleansing SolutionMario Badescu Aloe Vera TonerPhilips PureRadiance Skin Cleansing SystemRéVive Gentle Purifying Gel CleanserJoanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask or Tata Harper Resurfacing MaskJoanna Vargas Rejuvenating SerumJoanna Vargas Daily SerumJoanna Vargas Daily Hydrating Cream or Clark’s Botanicals Deep MoistureLa Mer The Eye Concentrate; Just Be Nourishing Face Oil from Pamela Love
Nails: Glossier Balm Dotcom

Aviva Grinnell: The Beauty Sale Insider
Final time – 1:36
At 10pm on a Monday night, I head to Park Slope, Brooklyn. A third-floor walk-up reveals the well-appointed flat of Swarovski’s Global Art Director. I scan the room: No crystals suspended from the rafters, but she is sporting a new black diamond. It suits the fashion-industry veteran. After almost a decade in the business, she credits her work as the spark behind her beauty regimen. “I haven’t bought products in 10 years,” she laughs.

“I picked up whatever was at the Beauty Sample Sales. I have bags and bags in, literally, a box in the basement—full of makeup and beauty products I haven’t used.” The only exception? Cetaphil and Neosporin, tried and true basics she’s found work best for her skin, no matter what her day has in store (she buys them herself). This week, she’s prepping for the luxury jeweler’s support of 15 fashion designers like Peter Pilotto and Creatures of the Wind for NYFW. When nightfall comes, she speeds through her evening routine and flips through a few pages of Mia Alvar’s In The Country before lights out.

Skin: NUDE Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash or NUDE Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil in the winter; NUDE ProGenius Omega Treatment Oil; Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser; Neosporin Original Ointment
Lips: Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Hair: Bobby pin & hair tie

Lisa Bubbers: The All-Natural Jetsetter
Final time – 3:39
The latest interview yet, it is 11pm when I buzz Lisa from the lobby. She admits she’s not a morning person and that that’s a good thing in the start-up world where 7pm is the new 5pm. Bubbers currently the Director of Marketing at Homepolish, which offers beautiful, affordable interior design by the hour. When she’s not in back-to-back meetings, Lisa has a serious case of wanderlust. She’s currently between trips to Morocco and Nantucket, where she’s picked things up along the way. Most notably, argan oil.

“These days I have a more organic-based beauty routine,” she shares. “Back in the day it was chemical based. Now I like tea tree oil to dab on zits and I like the smell of herbals.” Take, for instance, earthy sage or lavender. Or her weekly clay mask that makes a satisfying sound as it’s removed, Bubbers demonstrates with a grin. After a quick cleanse and a cream, she throws her hair into a braid and does some light reading—currently On the Move: A Life by Oliver Saks—before hitting the sack.

Skin: Cetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserAquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing OintmentDr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Soothing Face CreamAvène Sérénage Nutri-Redensifying Night Cream and Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Soothing Treatment LotionBoscia Luminizing Black Mask or Cattier Paris Clay MaskKoutoubia Morrocco Oil ArganFinest Nutrition Tea Tree Oil
Hair: Hair tie & braid

Bottom line: The average evening beauty routine took 5:07 from the first splash of water to the last stroke of lip balm. How does it compare to your daily skincare? Share your thoughts and times below.

—Katie Sherman

For more daily beauty routines check out #ITGTopShelfieAlso, check out this guide to best acne treatments to sleep in

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Good Excuses For Not Making Eye Contact

I tend to think that social skills are, in general, overrated. Sure they help make parties less awkward, but I’ve made it this far without them—and so can you!

The main topic of today’s conversation is eye contact. Generally, I avoid it. Not always intentionally—but when it’s pointed out, I certainly become so conscious of it, I have a hard time looking anywhere in the vicinity of a person’s eyes. And I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Even if it is, I’ve gotten mighty good at explaining it away with excuses that make me feel less incompetent in social situations. I’ve included some below for your consideration.

A caveat: There’s plenty to say that the right amount of eye contact in professional settings can help foster good relationships and growth and promotions and all that. But considering that most corporate (and even not corporate!) offices revolve around people staring at their computers 90 percent of the time, I suggest you try really hard when it counts and give yourself a break all other times. Here we go:

You’d Rather People Earn Your Trust
The Wall Street Journal reports that people who fail to make eye contact in the workplace seem untrustworthy, and for lack of a better term, shady. Sure, OK, but a quick spin turns that point into this: You’re not untrustworthy—you’re just asking to be wooed. Want to look into my eyes? Well you’re going to have to work a little harder than that…

You’re Already Intimidating Enough
If you’re reading this, I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re super motivated, organized, and just generally on your game. That scares people! And for good reason—they might work for you some day. To temper that, it’s best to keep eye contact to a minimum; aforementioned WSJ story mentions that 10 seconds or more of eye contact at a time can seem super aggro. To be on the safe side, avoid entirely.

You Have Social Anxiety
Totally fine by me—you don’t have to come out and say it. For this, I actually have a very good solution. When at parties (or anywhere you might need to talk to someone one-on-one) stare off dreamily into the distance and string together words that have no business being together in a sentence except to say that you’re really grappling with the complexities of the world at large and isn’t that really admirable? Basically just be really interesting. It’s a good excuse for bad behavior most of the time.

—Emily Ferber

Photo via Getty.

Not into eye contact? You can still be a happier, nicer person. Here’s how.

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Chloë Sevigny’s Cool Year

Last fall, I passed Chloë Sevigny—40 years old this year!—walking east on 16th Street in the golden hour with a giant Chloé shopping bag slung over her shoulder. I forced eye contact; she did not return my smile, but locked eyes anyway. Her red lipstick was lacquered on, complimenting a white ensemble, if only to say, “No, darling, I’m not worried about getting this on my shirt,” or “You’d be lucky if I get it on yours, to remember me.”

Jay McInerney, a fabulously flamboyant and intrepid journalist, crowned Chloë the It Girl in a 1994 profile in the New Yorker, and then, with methodical schoolboy precision, went about proving it. And you know I give him a real A++ for effort: “Watching Chloë read a fashion magazine makes you think of Alexander Woollcott devouring a ten-pound lobster a l’Americaine or Casanova undressing a servant girl.” Now, “the coolest girl in the world” or not, one still cannot elide the fact that he’s really saying: I’m watching a 19-year-old from the suburbs read Vogue.

But for the past 20 years, Chloë’s more or less eschewed the fan-celebrity pact with her public that usually means employing a publicist with a direct line to Us Weekly. If you want to worship me, she seemed to say, sing The Bluest Eyes in Texas at Karaoke like in Boys Don’t Cry, refresh eBay for that pink Supreme skateboard with my high school yearbook photo, DVR Big Love.

Until this year, where seemingly out of the blue she released Chloë Sevigny, her Rizzoli picture fan book “for the kids.” It’s a beautiful gingham artifact but, to quote the writer Amie Barrodale, if you’re like me then be like me and immediately start clique stalking her photog-y friends who provided the candid snaps on Instagram. There’s bestie from the tri-state area, musician-artist Lizzi Bougatsos, who posted these cheeky outtakes that didn’t make it in the book; here’s our lady chilling with skater-chronicler William Strobeck, who just so happens is friends with the “mystery man”, i.e. civilian Ricky Saiz, Chloe’s been dating this year.

Then—because there’s nothing chicer than doubling down—she gifted us No Time For Love, a zine of the men in her life (with stickers over their faces and newspaper clippings from Page Six). What’s worse—or what proves her to be the ultimate celebrity, I think—is that her primary sources serve only to heighten her opaqueness, her coolness, her unattainable celebrity-ness.

The actress Natasha Lyonne, writing the afterword to Chloë, addresses the Chloë je ne sais quoi: “You can live in her house, drive her car, listen to her iPod, and wear her clothes—none of that makes you Chloë.” To which I almost screamed: Yes, yes, but tell us what’s on her iPod! Lyonne gives up a little, but not much: “No matter what her particular obsessions are—the film Picnic At Hanging Rock, the novel The Executioner’s Song, Morrissey, Fassbender, Depeche Mode, Judy Garland—it’s all in her lifeblood…I could go on and tell you how much she loves fennel. Or that we eat a lot of watercress together.” She doesn’t go on, though I wish she would.

In her “where-is-she-now” New Yorker profile this year, 20 years after the premier of Kids, she defined cool: “Cool has a certain mystery to it. It’s being removed. To me, the coolest thing is to keep something to yourself.” In her zine, she clipped her quote in a New York Post article: “’I don’t like Sean Penn talking about how much he likes [poet] Charles Bukowski on Charlie Rose. To me, I’d rather not hear that at all. I’d rather not know so much about actors. It makes it harder for me to enjoy the characters they play.” (The Post gets the kicker though: “Thanks, Chloe [sic] — now we know a little more about you, too.”)

I see Chloë as a celebrity quite tuned in to the whitewashing effects of the Hollywood machine. In the Spring/Summer Issue of Purple, she flips this worry onto her interviewer’s lap: “How does one maintain their weirdness over time?…How do you stay in touch with the people on the weirder side of life? Do you know what I mean? I often think about that when I see performers and people that I admire getting older. Women always start to do an Asian influence, like kimonos…” (In a classic Chloë I-change-my-mind-when-I-want move, she also told Leandra Medine this year that “as I get older and dress a little more ladylike, maybe I’ll buy into more Japanese designers, I think that might be the route for me…”)

In Chloë’s case, you maintain your weirdness by all of a sudden taking your foot off the peddle whenever you feel like it. You move from the East Village—her East Village—to Park Slope, with nothing more than a shrug. You get an Instagram account and sign up for Facebook after decrying the lack of privacy on social media. You give us, in 2015, a weird a wacky body of work as a model, actress, designer, It Woman on top of all this self-released media: via Opening Ceremony we American Girls can finally pull off the trench coat and beret in America; she got ugly ugly for American Horror Story; she teamed up with pal Natasha Lyonne for a horror film called, duh, #horror; she posed naked with a lobster as underwear a la Dalí; she smoked a cigarette with Kristen Stewart; she got a “screwball thriller” movie where she plays a character named Chloe crowdfunded on Kickstarter (girl, we support you)…

Which is all to say, the coolest thing Chloë could do at 40 is do what she never did before: give us everything we want, then shrug as if to say, “You’re the one that wanted proof you couldn’t be like me.” And so—my zine shredding its staples from heavy flipping; my Chloë book at a friend’s house because she wanted to “borrow” it—I think I’m just going to have to go back to watching her movies, wearing her clothes, refreshing her friends Instagram feeds, and praying that Gawker Stalker will come back!

—Kaitlin Phillips

Photo via Getty.

More on online admiration: what it means to be someone’s #Mom.

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Follow Friday: @DEERDANA

It’s Friday and what better way to send you off into the weekend than with a rose gold tub of Créme de La Mer?

Anniversary collaborations are easy to overlook (this one celebrates La Mer‘s 50 year existence and is only available in Saks stores in New York right now; on in September), but for this one, the Miracle Broth creators tapped illustrator Dana Veraldi of DEERDANA to design the commemorative tote that made its way to our offices along with the jar—well played. Veraldi’s been drawing the likeness of pop culture icons for over 5 years and La Mer, it seems, is no exception. She’s also got a bad-ass t-shirt collection available at Opening Ceremony, and it’s hard to pick a favorite–Grace, Frida, Larry?

But for now, let’s focus on that jar. What’s inside is great, obviously, but maybe it’s more exciting to think about what you’ll do with it after you liberally apply all that Créme to your visage. Could make a nice place to store change when you start saving up for a new jar…

Photo 1 by ITG; Instagrams courtesy of Dana Veraldi.

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What To Know About Moles

Beauty marks can give a person character. But as striking as they can be, they also needed to be understood for what they are: moles. And moles can be dangerous. Obviously this doesn’t apply to every speck that calls your body home, but it’s important to be alert about their appearance and if that changes. To advise, we called New York-based dermatologist Neal Schultz. You won’t be able to diagnose a mole on your own, but you can know when it’s time to get it checked out by a professional.

Know What You’re Dealing With
Semantics are important. “All birthmarks are moles, but not all moles are birthmarks,” Dr. Schultz says, referring to the fact that many moles can appear a good long time after we’re born.

But more importantly, not all moles are the same in terms of risk. “People are always concerned with raised moles, but very rarely are raised moles bad,” Dr. Schultz says. “It’s usually the flat moles that get into trouble. Raised moles are intradermal moles, or compound moles, and they have a much lower rate of malignant degeneration. Flat moles are where most of the cases of melanoma come from.”

Symmetry Can Be Good And Bad
“All normal moles have what’s called an axis of symmetry,” Dr. Schultz explains, meaning that if you could fold it in half over some point, one half would be the mirror image of the other half. “Any mole that does not have an axis of symmetry, you should show your doctor.”

But there’s a caveat: “There’s one other peculiar sign that’s really useful—if you draw a line down the middle of your body, from your chin down through your groin, and you have two moles that are mirror of each other, meaning roughly the same distance from that middle line and approximately the same level up and down, there is a good chance they are precancerous,” Dr. Schultz continues. “It’s one of the few times in medicine where symmetry is bad.”

Be On The Lookout For Change
“I tell people moles can change because they get hit, beaten up, and inflamed. But if in two weeks they don’t return to their normal appearance, then show up to somebody. Nothing terrible is going to happen in two or three weeks.”

Check In Once A Year—And Thoroughly
“Your skin is the only organ in your body that you get complete control on whether or not you get cancer,” Dr. Schultz explains. “I don’t mean by avoiding the sun—I mean by getting it checked regularly.” Make sure you’re seeing a dermatologist at least once a year—and dress down for it. “Go without your nail polish because you can get melanomas under the nail that we’ll look for. Don’t go with tight-braided hair because we want to look through your scalp, too,” Dr. Schultz adds. Basically, you can get a mole anywhere, so be prepared to check everywhere.

When you don’t have an appointment imminently approaching, you can still be vigilant. “If you have any type of procedures done on your hair—a cut, straightening, trimming, whatever—there is somebody looking through your scalp. Know to ask before you go to your hair professional, ‘Hey, if you see anything up there, let me know so I can show it to my doctor.'”

Photo by Jen Steele.

When to forgo the facial and see a dermatologist instead.

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