52 Faces: Kate Alvarado

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Kate Alvarado is an LA-based yoga instructor, model and actor. She's down to earth, funny and exudes California-cool vibes (just look at her envy-inducing hair!). Today, she shares her beauty tips, including a homemade treatment for curing dry lips and the secret to attaining those perfect beachy waves.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

What's your daily skin care routine?

My daily skin care routine begins with washing my face in the morning with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream. I am, unfortunately, a victim of chronic dark circles, and while all makeup artists irritably ask me if I went out the night before, the answer is most often, "No." I could have slept 10 hours the night before and still have them. However, I have found that Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renewal Anti-Puff Eye Roller helps with the puffiness and gives a little life to my eyes.

Moving on into moisturizers. As I mentioned before, I have extremely dry skin and La Roche-Posay's Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream is the only moisturizer I've found that truly keeps my skin soft all day. The only problem is that it only has SPF 15, so most days (at least, when I remember), I'll also put on the corresponding sunscreen, which has SPF 60. I typically keep the sunscreen in my purse, so if I feel my skin is getting more sun on a given day, I'll reapply on the go. Another item in my purse is Cetaphil's Antibacterial Facial Bar Soap that I use in between teaching yoga classes.

Getting home at night, I will take off my makeup with Neutrogena's Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towlettes and wash my face with La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel, which is more of a gentle cleanser that focuses on removing makeup. I then dab a small amount of Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Cream under my eyes and onto other places that feel dry.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

When did you start taking skin care seriously?

It wasn't until the modeling jobs became regular that I actually began to think about my skin and overall beauty routine. In college, I was the girl who went to bed with her makeup on, fake lashes and all, only to wake up and head straight to class the next day. My routine began to change when I would get to set and makeup artists would comment, "Your skin looks tired" or "Your skin is really dry," and I realized I couldn't get away with my old habits anymore. I began to get a facial every other month with Madison DeClercq at Skin Worship in Beverly Hills. Not only did this help my skin a lot, but she also started giving me great tips on daily skincare. By no means have I gotten it down, but it's a lot better than the 19-year-old me peeling off her fake lashes in her 8 AM class. I should also note, looking back, I'm embarrassed I wore them at all.

Tell us about your everyday makeup routine.

For every day makeup, I keep it pretty simple. I absolutely love (big surprise) La Roche-Posay's Rosaliac CC Cream, which is meant to tone correct any redness, as well as acts as a tinted moisturizer. To cover the horrid eye bags, I use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, specifically the medium custard color. For mascara, I've used the same brand since high school, Benefit They're Real! Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara. I recently did a shoot with them and they gave me a bag of samples — it was better than Christmas. My cheeks are naturally rosey so I don't really need blush for my every day look. Last, I pop on a bit of Aquaphor Lip Repair on my lips, and I'm good to go.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

How do you switch up your look for a night out?

For a night out, my makeup routine has taken a 180-degree turn from my college years. I used to rock a heavy smokey eye, pack on MAC foundation and wouldn't dare be seen without a nude lip. I am much more mellow now. The foundation I've recently fallen in love with is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I feel like my skin glows when I wear it and it's extra soft. I definitely wouldn't suggest this foundation for someone who has oily or shiny skin because it will add way too much shine to your face. Again, I use NARS for my concealer and Benefit for mascara.

If I wear eyeliner, which is rare due to my horrible lack of precision, I will use Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. However, I will only use it when I know I have time to redo it at least three times. I also love Stila's Baked Cheek Duo in Pink Glow blush because it is extremely light. For Christmas, my roommate got me Anastasia Beverly Hill's Contour Kit in light to medium, and while I don't believe in contouring, it has a really nice powder that I use for bronzer.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

What do you do to get such amazing hair?

As far as my hair goes, I have an amazing colorist who cuts and styles my hair. Her name is Chelsea Wernsman and she works at Mèche Salon. Not only does the salon have an amazing vibe to it (making me never want to leave), but Chelsea has been the one person to ALWAYS have me walking out obsessed with my hair. She just recently gave me bangs and I wouldn't have trusted anyone else to do that. She also gave me a bottle of Olaplex Hair Perfector, which is a mask I will use when I feel like my hair has been taking too much heat. Since the bangs, my everyday styling has become a little more complicated. I blow dry the bangs, and if I have time, I like my hair best when I spritz Sun Bum Beach Formula Sea Spray and let it air dry to get the "I just jumped in the ocean, duh" look.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

As a model and dancer, have you learned any great backstage beauty tips?

As far as my beauty routine goes, the biggest lesson I've learned as a former dancer and now current model is that efficiency is key. I'll never forget when I was in China with my dance team at UCLA and we were told that we had 10 minutes to get "game ready" with no outlets or mirrors. I was shocked that I looked almost as good as when I spend two hours on my hair and makeup. I have my routine down to a science at this point and can be completely ready in 20 minutes. Now, does that always happen? No. But if I need to, I can always make it work.

Do you have a DIY treatment you love?

My favorite (and I'll be honest only) DIY treatment I've got is for dry lips. I take a shot glass, pour in olive oil and brown sugar, mix it up, and then place it on my lips and rub. The brown sugar helps to exfoliate, while the olive oil adds moisture back. I mostly like it because it's yummy.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

What's the last product you used until there was nothing left?

I use every last drop of my La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream, to the point where I will literally cut the bottle open at the end to make sure I've gotten every last drop.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

Do you have any routines that make you feel great inside and out?

When talking about all of these products, I realize I consume a lot, and while all of this helps my skin completely, I want to be clear that the ritual that actually makes me feel the best is yoga. You're going to have to let me digress for a second. Once I started practicing yoga more regularly, and it transformed into a part-time career, all of my beauty rituals changed. I started wearing less makeup, curling my hair less, and going for a more natural look. Don't get me wrong, this girl still loves a great night out with makeup on, but I truly started to like my face more when I had less makeup on. I can't go more than a day without practicing yoga because I start to get bitc... nope, we will go with irritable.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

Who do you look to for beauty inspiration?

My beauty inspiration, cue the eye roll, is Gwyneth Paltrow. My roommates will literally kill me when they read this, and I will concede that she has made some ridiculous statements about health and beauty. However, I think she is one of the most naturally beautiful women in the industry and I really admire her commitment to healthy living, not only for herself, but also for her kids. I read goop.com regularly to stay up to date on her nutrition and overall health advice. A couple months ago, I saw her at the Whole Foods in Brentwood with her daughter Apple; no makeup on, hair in a bun and in workout clothes. She was raw and completely stunning. Mind you, I don't doubt she spends a lot of money to get her skin to glow that way, however I still appreciated the realness of her as just a mother with her daughter at the market.

When do you feel most beautiful?

I feel most beautiful in the summer, when my hair is blonde from the extra sun, my skin is tan from long days at the beach and I've been able to practice yoga regularly, helping me feel strong both physically and mentally.

(Image: Kate Alvarado)

Be sure to follow Kate on Instagram, and check back next week for our latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights a real woman's beauty routine. If you missed last week's interview, we spoke with Alexa Egeck, an accessories buyer for BHLDN (Anthropologie's bridal site). Here, she spills her beauty secrets, including a game-changing eyeliner that's super affordable. In the meantime, does the 10-step Korean skin care routine really work? Find out here.

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