The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here
Name: Celia San Miguel
Location: New York, NY
Day job/current gig: I’m a freelance writer for a number of magazines (mainly LATINA), and I’m also a social media manager for a leading digital agency in NYC. In addition to that, I’m also an on-air style and beauty expert, working mainly with Telemundo here in NYC.
Hangouts online: sickathanaverage.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
Current favorite product: Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge lip color and Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner
Beauty inspirations: Markets, flappers, can-can dancers, Chinese hibiscus flowers, pink peonies, parakeets, butterflies, Mick Rockâ€™s glam rock photographs, Brazilian samba dancers, punk fashion…. The list is endless!
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Exuberant
What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?
The list of products is endless! Starting with the basics, I can’t live without my Clarisonic Mia 2 for a really deep and thorough cleanse. I’m always testing different facial cleansers, but I tend to come back to the Korres Wild Rose Daily Brightening Cleanser, the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash, the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser, and the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. As far as moisturizers and anti-aging products, I like using the Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15 over the EstÃ©e Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator during the day and, at night, I apply the Clarins Double Serum and then add my nightly moisturizer (either Caudalie’s Premier Cru or L’Occitane’s Immortelle Precious Night Cream). And that’s just skincare!
As a makeup junkie it’s so hard to pick just a handful of products! For the face, I love Tarte Cosmetics’ BB Cream, Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Veil Fluid Makeup, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Ambient Lighting Powder, and NARSâ€™ blushes (Orgasm is still one of my all-time fave shades). For eyes, I swear by Urban Decay’s eye shadow palettes (the Naked 2 palette is so fantastic!) and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Shadow pencils. And, since I’m all about bright lips, I tend to gravitate to Illamasqua’s lipsticks and Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist lipsticks or, for a more liquid, slick look, I’ll use Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge lip colors or OCC Makeup’s Lip Tars.
When did you start getting into makeup?
I think around the time I was five or six! I remember watching my grandma getting ready in the morning, and she had this ritual that seemed so glamorous to me as a wide-eyed little girl. I still remember the facial massages she gave herself while applying her Pond’s Cold Cream and the way she’d blot her lips after smoothing on her favorite shade of lipstick (a wine-ish red from EstÃ©e Lauder). It was magic to me.
What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?
A healthy, glowing complexion and a bright lip goes a long way. When in a rush, I’ll typically reach for one of my favorite tinted moisturizers (I adore Hourglass’ Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and Tarte’s Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer), and then I’ll mix that with a drop of luminizer, like the NARS Illuminator or one of Make Up For Ever’s Uplight shades. When you apply the mixture to your face, you’ll get that nice bit of coverage with an added glow that makes you appear lit from within. Add a nice, creamy lip color in a vibrant shade and you’ll be good to go!
What’s your favorite beauty tool?
I’m currently obsessed with the TRIA Hair Removal Laser. I always suffered from ingrown hairs on my legs and, since I started using the TRIA a year ago, it’s ceased to be a problem (and, of course, thereâ€™s less hair growth overall, which cuts down on shaving time). Given how costly in-office laser removal treatments tend to be, this tool is as an absolute lifesaver.
What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?
Hmmmm… So many things come to mind! I think some of the greatest advice I received involved the art of using concealer. For example, to cover a reddish patch or a blemish, you want to use a concealer with a mint-y, light green tint so as to neutralize the redness and then, afterward, dab on a neutral shade that matches your skin tone. Similarly, to cover purplish or blue under-eye circles, youâ€™ll want to reach for an orange-tinged concealer and, again, dab the neutral shade above this one. Itâ€™s all about make up color theory and learning which hues neutralize each other, which complement each other, and so forth.
What’s your skincare routine?
Check out the answer to the No. 1 question.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?
There were several peels that were a bit scary (to say the least), but I think some of the weirdest things have involved at-home, DIY treatments that I attempted (like coffee scrubs and hair masks with egg yolks and mayonnaise and avocado). I’ve learned over the years that I’m not particularly gifted at whipping up these all-natural beauty remedies and treatments, so I pretty much steer clear, since having to clean up the mess afterwards is never fun.
Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?
Not really! I love to experiment with different looks — it’s part of the fun for me. That being said, I love color, so youâ€™ll usually find me wearing either bright eye colors or vibrant lip hues.
Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”
Of course! I wore acrylic nails as a teen and twenty-something and I thought I looked so fly but, really, it was a hot mess! And then, of course there is the plethora of botched hair color experiments, which include a jet black color that left me looking like Wednesday Adams and a bright, orange-tinged red that was Carrot Top all the way.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I love Sephora, of course, as well as Ulta, but I also love going into drugstores and roaming along their beauty aisles — whether it’s Duane Reade, CVS, or Walgreens.
Anything else you want to share?
For one, I own over 50 perfumes, and I wear them all since I firmly believe in switching up scents depending on your mood, your outfit, and your destination. What else? I have tiny feet, so even my 11-year-old stepdaughter wears a larger shoe size than me (it’s kind of embarrassing). Oh, and you’ll never catch me without earrings on — I even wear tiny studs when I sleep! What other random factoid can I give you? Oh yeah: some kids used to call me Punky Brewster as a kid, which I secretly loved since I always thought she was so scrappy and funky. Oh, and I used to have the hugest crush on Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest when I was a teeny bopper, and I still get hype every time “Scenario” comes on!