It’s hard to imagine life pre-pandemic. What did we spend our days doing if not washing our hands relentlessly or dooms scrolling COVID-19 symptoms? Turns out quite a bit. Right before the world took a seismic shift, we had the pleasure of pampering Cynthia Ess (influencer, photographer, mama and expert thrift shopper) with a 60 Minute Gua Sha Glow Facial - days before masks and fever checks. As a beauty influencer, Cynthia knows so much about skincare and beauty, it was a treat to hang with her for over an hour. We chatted about her thrift shopping tips, self-care routine and favorite beauty products. We apologize this took nearly two years to post, but we promise it was worth the wait. Hint: she shares her #1 skincare tip and some realness about her insecurities - and on the flip side, her favorite feature (which turns out is pretty uplifting). Dive into our interview and photo series below, captured by the talented Jenna Elliott.
Tina performed a 60 Minute Gua Sha Glow Facial on Cynthia right before these photos were taken.
Fill in the blank. Self-care to me is _______________________.
Loving yourself and taking care of yourself.
How and how often do you incorporate self-care into your routine?
I try to every single day. It's so important!
Tell us one thing you wish you did more often for yourself.
Stretching (exercise if I had more time!)
What's your favorite way to unwind after a stressful day or week?
Watching good television with my husband.
If there were one thing you wish you would be easier on yourself about, what would it be?
As a beauty influencer, I can be very hard on myself when I get breakouts. It can really affect my confidence. I'm still learning to love my skin along with its imperfections!
Define skin health.
Hydrated, plump and glowing!
Fill in the blank. My skincare routine is ______________.
Extensive and consistent.
What is your biggest skin concern?
PIH (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
Tell us about your daily skincare routine. What products you use, how often you get facials?
I am huge on double cleansing. My go-to cleansing balm is the Farmacy Green Clean. For cleansers, I recently discovered the Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée. It's such a nice gel cleanser and I really think it's helped with my breakouts! My two tried and true favorite cleansers are the Youth To The People Superfood Kale cleanser and the COSRX Low pH First Cleansing Milk Gel. Tip: it's important to keep your cleanser on your skin for more than 30 seconds so the ingredients can really do their job! For toner, I love the Perricone MD No:Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner and the REN Ready Steady Glow toner. The Perricone one gently exfoliates and I love that it leaves my skin on the matte side. I always mist after toner to prep my skin for serum. In the morning I love using a hydrating serum and at night I love using a retinol, such as the Verso Skincare Super Facial Serum. I'm not very picky when it comes to moisturizer but since I have oily skin I like a lighter texture. Finally, I always make sure to wear tons of sunscreen. My current favorite sunscreen is the Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun!
Name three things you love about your appearance.
My eyes, my smile and I'm proud of my strong body after carrying two kids!
Do you have a favorite feature?
Can you share a recent or regular skincare splurge?
Klur Symmetry Fluid serum. I want to try more from her line!
Is there an unusual skincare trend you want to try?
I can't think of anything at the moment, but after my Gua Sha facial, I do want to incorporate Gua Sha massages into my nightly routine!
What is the best skincare tip you’ve ever received, or one you love to share?
Apply and reapply sunscreen!
Do you have a favorite skincare ingredient or product?
What about skin care vices? Is there anything you do to your skin that you wish you didn't?
I have a major sweet tooth, but I know if I have too much sugar I will wake up with spots. Even though I know this, I'll never be able to quit candy!
Is there a beauty trend you would absolutely never try?
Faux freckles and laser hair removal
If you were stranded on a desert island and could pick only one beauty product to have with you, what would it be and why?
Definitely sunscreen because sunscreen is the most important anti-aging product!