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I'm going after the facts – understanding ingredients beyond the fluff. I'm always interested in brands where there’s truth in the science, truth behind the products.
We talked to Felicia Walker, New Jersey-based beauty and skincare expert, about the science of skin, why skincare comes first, and how to get that glow with Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream. Read on to follow Felicia for a day.
People have always asked Felicia Walker about her skin. It started before she began blogging: “Everywhere I went, people were asking about skin and beauty. I never walked in with a name tag saying ‘ask me questions about skin and beauty,’ but people just gravitate to me for that.”
As it turns out, she was the right person to ask. Felicia, the beauty and skincare expert behind the award-winning beauty blog ThisThatBeauty, began her skincare journey by trying to solve her own concerns. She was visiting dermatologists for adult acne, but felt that no one was solving her problems. So she decided to educate herself.
“I took it into my own hands to research, read medical journals, try different products, and educate myself on my skin. Through that, I realized I had the ability to help others, too.”
It was the early days of beauty blogging, and she saw a void to fill. “I felt that the education was missing. I saw the need to go deeper.”
So she dove in. She began reading scientific journals, studying clinical results, and asking questions. It’s a method she still stands by. “I’m going after the facts – understanding ingredients beyond the fluff. I’m always interested in brands where there’s truth in the science, truth behind the products.”
Felicia’s fact-based approach has garnered a loyal following. “Obviously my opinions matter, but with everything I do I like to come with enough real facts and information.”
Felicia is based in Newark, NJ, and goes into New York City once or twice a week for photoshoots, meetings, and press events. When she’s not in the city, she’s writing, managing her business, and heading up ThisThatBeauty’s charitable giving arm, which helps minority-owned businesses like Brooklyn-based Style Eyes Optical.
But before the busy day begins, she makes space for gratitude. “I start each day with coffee and a few gratitude mantras. Being an entrepreneur is a bit like working in a vacuum at times, so it’s really important for me to start my day with a dose of gratitude, reminding myself through the ups and downs that I am literally living the life I dreamed and worked so hard to attain.”
She’s most grateful for her five-year-old daughter, Phoebe. “I love waking up and seeing Phoebe. She’s the light of my world and I’m so happy she’s mine.”
Becoming a mom has changed how Felicia sees the world in ways she didn’t anticipate. “There’s just something about raising a little person, seeing the world from their perspective and seeing how the world sees them.”
That changing perspective extends to Felicia’s views on beauty. “I’m very intentional on how I personally represent beauty to my daughter and what I project to the world.”
With Phoebe, she starts with inner beauty. “I talk to her a lot about being beautiful because, unfortunately, the world is not going to always look at this child and tell her that. I think it’s especially true for black children, but I think for all children. You’re not going to always see yourself represented and you can’t look to the world for validation.”
Felicia is teaching her daughter that skincare is an integral part of self care. “Skincare is part of caring for yourself the same way you eat healthy foods and wash your body.”
“I feel like most Americans get into makeup when we’re 16 or 17, but we don’t get into skincare until our early twenties. A lot of times girls want to wear makeup to cover up their skincare problems. I’m like, let’s talk about how to get rid of them, not just cover them up. I’m a huge advocate for that level of education for women, and boys, and girls. It’s crucial and we don’t see enough of it.”
Even so, Phoebe loves playing with makeup. “Yeah, I got the kid of my dreams. I thought I wasn’t going to get a kid like this, and she really loves everything that I love.”
Felicia starts her day with a tried-and-tested skincare regimen. She cleanses, tones, does an essence, an eye cream, a coat of Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream, and then sunscreen. “After that, I’ll dab on concealer and set it with a little bit of setting powder so that it stays.”
“When the skin is properly prepped, makeup is going to go on flawlessly and it’s going to look better. Your makeup doesn’t have to work as hard. And the Rich Cream works really beautifully under makeup. It doesn’t separate the makeup, it doesn’t make the makeup too greasy.”
Felicia loves makeup, but is a firm believer that skincare comes first. “I don’t want to say nothing matters after skincare, but nothing matters. That’s the message that I need people to understand. Makeup is an enhancement.”
When your skin is well cared for, “you’re not working so hard to try and cover and conceal and camouflage. Makeup is just so much more enjoyable and delightful when your skin is in a good place.”
When she can, Felicia takes a break to treat herself to lunch. “I typically have my big meal of the day around midday. One or two days a week, I’ll make sure this is a really nice meal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It might just be falafel at a local spot and I sit outside and eat it. That tiny bit of solitude brings me so much joy.”
When she does go into the city, she stacks her day with meetings and press events. “I have to determine which ones are the best fit for me and my blog. I turn down a lot of press events.”
When she’s hopping from one event to the next, she has a trick to keeping her makeup fresh. “I use Rich Cream as a hack midday. I just press it over my skin to give it more bounce and glow, or to refresh makeup if it’s looking a little matte.”
Back at home, once Phoebe’s down for bed, Felicia takes time to do whatever her soul desires. “Sometimes it’s a catch-up phone call with a friend, sometimes it’s cracking up to Family Guy, sometimes it’s emails. But it’s my time and it’s whatever I need it to be.”
Of course, she ends each day with her skincare regimen. “I really, really enjoy using the Rich Cream. Summer, spring, winter, and fall – I’m always going to go for a denser cream.”
Aside from her core regimen, she listens to what her skin may need that night. If she’s been out in the sun all day, maybe it’s a detox mask. If she wants a little extra glow the next day, maybe it’s a peel. As Felicia puts it, “everyone should have a beauty arsenal. You’re in there playing chef. You’re deciding what your skin needs today, but you start with the core.”
Above all, Felicia encourages her readers to pay close attention to their skin. “Get to know your skin so you know what your skin needs and when it needs it.” Study your skin the way Felicia studies the journals. And when you have questions about skin and beauty, you know who to ask.
Do you have questions? Comments? Topics you want us to cover? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.