Name: Monika Wykurz
Location: Bellevue, Washington, United States
Day job/current gig: I’m a part-time retail sales associate at a small Northwest beauty supply and salon chain, and a full-time wife.
Hangouts online: rocaille-writes.blogspot.com, Twitter and Instagram
Current favorite product: The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02 (the perfect summer glow for pale skin tones!)
Beauty inspirations: Urban lifestyle, rock ‘n’ roll scene in the ’60s and ’70s, San Juan Islands, French Symbolist poetry, So-Cal, Audrey Hepburn, travel photography
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Eclectic
What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?
A good concealer is an absolute must for any skin emergencies, and MAC Studio Finish and Becca Dual Coverage Compact concealers are some of the best out there. I also can’t leave the house without a hint of blush on my cheeks, and Laura Mercier Second Skin Powder Blush in Lotus Pink suits my complexion particularly well. Last but not least, a good brushing of black mascara, like Covergirl LashBlast Volume.
When did you start getting into makeup?
When I was a little girl, I really wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and become an actress; I even played a minor part in a Polish movie when I was 12 and remember being fascinated by the make-up artists’ trailer. Then, in my early twenties, I stumbled upon YouTube make-up tutorials when getting ready for a 1930s-themed costume party, and that sealed my interest.
What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?
Mineral foundation! My skin is my greatest insecurity so a super quick application of a powder foundation, like Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15, does wonders for my self-esteem. I also think that a slick of bright lipstick equals instant glamour.
What’s your favorite beauty tool?
I love the luscious softness of my bdellium tools makeup brushes. I use no. 776 (MAC 217 dupe) for a quick one eyeshadow look and to blend out the crease, no. 995 kabuki to buff in my mineral powder, and no. 975 is my favorite for bronzer. The green and yellow handles always manage to cheer me up!
What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?
The best and most difficult to follow piece of advice I’ve ever come across is to understand that we often are our worst critics. Being a perfectionist, I sometimes really struggle to look past my flaws.â€¨
What’s your skincare routine?
In the a.m., I wash my face with Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser and tone with the Ultracalming Mist. I followup with Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion and always wear Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ when I’m not staying in.
In the p.m., I remove my makeup with Dermalogica Precleanse oil, cleanse with either the same cleanser as in the a.m. or my REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, tone and apply John Masters Organic Vitamin C Anti-aging Face Serum. I also treat my acne-prone areas with either a prescription retinoid or some good ol’ salicylic acid.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?
I think neem oil takes the prize for this one. I’d read that it was amazing for clearing up the skin, but the garlicky chive smell was so pungent that I wasn’t able to use it long enough to see any results.
Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?
My fellow Lipstick Bandits seem to agree that I gravitate toward perfected skin and often wear a peachy pink lip; but overall, I love wearing a winged-out eyeliner and a vibrant lipstick with cool undertones.
Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”
I like to experiment with my look and usually embrace the results. I’m definitely not the type of girl to cry at a salon over a cut or color service; however, when I was a teenager and couldn’t find a concealer to match my fair skin, I used to apply a skin tone powder eyeshadow on my spots. Maybe not such a big crime in itself, except that it was a pearl finish…
Highlighted pimples, anyone?
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I purchase most of my makeup from Sephora, but I also love browsing Nordstrom’s beauty counters. For fashion, I tend to shop at H&M and Forever21, although recently I’ve become obsessed with Asos.com. My most loved shoes usually come from Nordstrom as well.
Anything else you want to share?
Apart from being an irrevocable beauty addict, Iâ€™m also a huge bookworm. Snuggling on my couch under a soft blanket with a cup of Cream of Earl Grey tea is one of my favorite pastimes! Since summer is typically the season for all sorts of getaways and lounging by the pool, I thought Iâ€™d recommend a couple of books Iâ€™ve been enjoying — The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley for all mystery lovers, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami for a bit of magical realism, The Character of Rain by AmÃ©lie Nothomb for language geeks, and lastly The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for some self-reflection. Happy reading!