Kelsey Whelan is a UX engineer at Netflix. She is warm, intelligent and seriously stylish. Today, she shares her beauty routine, including a game-changing lip gloss and the best beauty advice she's ever received... and the worst.
Tell us about your daily skincare routine.
Admittedly, I've only been taking proper care of my skin for the past few years. I've tried a number of lines, but lately I stick to Aesop. I'm a sucker for great packaging and their products are both incredibly fragrant and work well with my skin. The magic combo for me is the Fabulous Face Cleanser, B & Tea Balancing Toner and Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream.
When I'm on the go, I always have my Glossier Priming Moisturizer on me. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and dewy and it's easy to bring with me when I'm traveling for work or showering at the gym.
What makeup do you normally wear?
After moisturizing, I start with my face. I like pretty light coverage and Amore Pacific's Color Control Cushion Compact is a great buildable product with SPF 50. Most days I stop here, but on occasion I'll throw on some NARS's Orgasm Blush.
Then, I move on to my eyes. Usually, I start with Chanel's Ombre Essential in Lotus as a base color, and then add some eyeliner and mascara. I'm not especially loyal to any brands here, but my current favorites are Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner and Chanel's Inimitable Mascara. For brows, I love my Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer — it's got a nice triangular tip that makes it easy to apply and it stays on all day.
My lips are constantly chapped, so the most important aspect of any lip product is that it's moisturizing. Somewhere there's a black hole full of my lost-but-not-forgotten Burt's Bees chapsticks. For color, I tend towards nudes and soft pinks with brown undertones. My current go-to lipstick is Honeycomb by Amuse Bouche.
Do you have a DIY treatment you love?
I've attempted to make my own lip scrub, but generally just buy it. I'm a big DIYer in general, but not so much when it comes to beauty products.
Tell us a little about your job! What's it like working at Netflix?
As a UX Engineer at Netflix, I spend most my days designing and building software, lately with a focus on tools that support Netflix original content. So I play a very small role in making sure you always have plenty of binge-worthy shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Both my dad and grandfather had careers in tech, so it makes some sense I'd end up building software myself. That said, the gender ratio in tech is quite disproportionate, and despite working with a number of amazing ladies, my group is still under 20% women. Across the industry that number drops to an average of 17% women in technical roles.
All this to say I'm generally not getting beauty tips from my coworkers. My work environment is very casual, and in a lot of ways, my makeup routine reflects that.
What was your last big beauty purchase?
Over the holidays I bought Chantecaille's Stress Repair Concentrate ($178), which I've yet to open. Ironically, it was so expensive that it came with a free gift, which included a sample that's lasted me over two months. It still makes me uncomfortable to think I spent so much on eye cream, but I guess it's better safe than sorry? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Do you have any beauty indulgences?
I've gotten eyelash extensions a few times and every time they make me feel great without any makeup.
What's the best piece of beauty advice you've received?
Growing up, I never saw my mom wear much makeup. Though it's not really advice, seeing her confidence in her own skin helped me view makeup as a tool for enhancing, not hiding, my features.
Have you made any beauty choices that you ended up regretting?
In high school, I would cover my entire face with bronzer and it looked absolutely terrible. Tangentially related: Several makeup artists over the years have given me tips on how to cover up my freckles or make my eyes look less Asian, which I find both bizarre and regrettable.
What's the last product you used until there was nothing left?
NARS's Larger Than Life lipgloss in Tiber is my jam.
Do you have a signature scent?
I'm a creature of habit and have been a long-time fan of Kai. I don't have a sophisticated way to describe it, but it smells wonderful and you'd be hard-pressed to get me to change.
Who do you look to for beauty inspiration?
To be honest, I just follow a lot of bloggers on Instagram. I don't have a good answer here, but I do love Chrissy Teigen and would probably try any product she endorsed.
Thank you, Kelsey! Check back next week for our latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights real women and their beauty routines. In the meantime, here are four DIY face masks for glowing skin and three multitasking makeup brushes every woman should own.