The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of the lovable, consummate, and loyal Into The Gloss reading community. Submit your own on Instagram – post your top shelfie (tag us with @intothegloss!) And add the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie so you can be featured on ITG.
“Hello! I’m Catherine Saint Siena (@catherine_saintsiena) and I’m a writer and comedian. When I was 14 my dad took me to see Jim Gaffigan get up and something clicked inside me. I doubted it for a long time. whether I can do comedy when it feels really fun and really good. Insecurity is a big part of comedy in general – exploring those little cracks can heal. I wasn’t a ‘cool kid’ and I think a lot of my sense of the word is Humor stems from loneliness. I’ve always been watching other people and my own thoughts, but I have a loud inner critic (not all of us) and part of the difficulty has been actually getting stalked.
I’ve jotted down stand-up ideas on my phone for as long as I can remember, and I opened my voice recording app while I was alone to try out impressions, accents, or little things. This was just for me to make me laugh. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I showed someone the stuff and went on stage. I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer. I really made the decision in January 2020 and quit my company job late last year to focus on writing a pilot for a satirical psychological thriller. I also have a podcast called KTR, which is a satirical news show. Much of my comedy is about the beauty and millennial facade. We live in such a status-oriented, performance-oriented culture, and I not only want to uncover the cracks, but also offer a hopeful alternative.
My skin looks pretty good now, but I’ve had bad acne all my life. I was unlucky with dermatologists and experimented with so many things that ultimately made acne worse. I was always so desperate about it. Finally, I found myself on Reddit and ITG and took matters into my own hands. I think my skin was really dry, and all of these ingredients that I tried to get rid of the breakouts made it worse. A simple, moisturizing routine really helped my acne. But it’s all still trial and error – for example, the CeraVe moisturizer that everyone is obsessed with gave me terrible cystic acne for two months.
When I wake up in the morning, I wash my face with a Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary. I gua sha while it’s running – I feel like using oil is the whole thing, and this cleaner is like an oil anyway. It worked. Or sometimes I use the Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser which is super easy. I’m very high-low on my beauty routine – I’m sure beauty comes at a huge premium, like restaurant wine, so I only buy the expensive stuff when it’s worth it. The CE Ferulic Serum from Skinceuticals is worth it to me. I’ve tried other, cheaper vitamin C serums, and they are never as effective. I have a very expressive face, so I use this Biologique Recherche Elastine Serum for fine lines. When I have an active pimple that is fairly common, I use Hexomedine, which ITG pointed out to me. It’s a French antibacterial thing – I take a Q-tip, dip it, and then slide it on my pimple. Next, I use Neutrogena HydroBoost Moisturizer, which is super easy again, and then I always put on sunscreen. I have a lot of moles that I need to watch closely, so I’m pretty obsessed with them. I usually stick with EltaMD sunscreen because it feels very nice and thin, almost like a skin care product or something. It’s also super moisturizing and glowing, which I really like.
I hope when people look at me they say, “She’s wearing mascara and maybe something on her lips.” I want everything else to take a back seat. If it’s a good skin day I use the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tone in Formosa. Or I strategically place a Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in vanilla under my eyes, on pimples, and around my nose, then blend it out with a beauty blender like his foundation. My best technique for covering pimples is using Radiant Creamy Concealer and Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage together. It’s a magical combination. I’ve used the Benefit Hoola Bronzer for maybe 15 years – if Benefit ever went out of business I would buy 50 of these things. I’m so pale, of course, that you can tell if I’m going overboard, but I like my skin getting a little more life. To blush, I love the stupidly expensive but beautiful Westman Atelier Dou Dou. I also like Ilias Rouge in A Fine Romance and Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm – those are the three in rotation. I like to put my blush high on my cheeks and a little over my nose like kids do these days.
I gave up on having perfect eyebrows. People say, “Eyebrows should be sisters, not twins,” and mine aren’t even friends. With the Anastasia Dipbrow in taupe, I draw in some strategically placed hair. The way I use it isn’t what most people do – I actually move an eyeliner brush in the product and then pinch it off to create a sharp point. I pampered myself and got the Chanel eyeshadow in Candeur et Experience, and for the day I use the lightest brown in the compact on my lash line, and at night I will go into my crease with the darker browns. I switch between Lash Slick Mascara, which looks like eyelash extensions and is super easy to take off, and Telescopic from L’Oréal. That’s really defining what I like, and it’s super dark. The last step is the lips. I’ve been using Glossier’s Gen G in Like pretty exclusively for years, but recently I started doing something new. I lightly draw my lips with Bobbi Brown Lip Liner in Cocoa which is kind of dark and not a color I would normally choose and then I use Nivea Cherry Chapstick over it. I don’t know what this combo is about, but it looks natural and is so easy to maintain. I adjusted my make-up with MAC Fix +, a game changer. It feels moisturizing and blurs everything on my skin in a really nice way – I even use it when I use the Ilia Foundation. I can’t live without it.
My hair goal is always to look like a Swedish baby. I took my own baby photos to Colleen at Spoke & Weal because I had really blonde hair as a kid – I remember my aunt telling me, “People pay a lot of money to make their hair look like yours. ‘and that felt so crazy to me. Well, it is an endless quest to come back to it. Jay Braff cuts my hair and convinces me to walk over my shoulder. I used Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color and Gold Lust Conditioner for seven years. My hair is naturally wavy, but I like it when it’s straight so I blow it out with the Revlon round brush. Before I blow dry, I use some Kérastase Blonde Absolu heat protectant and the Aveda Light Elements Texturizing Cream only on the ends, otherwise it can look a little broom-like. Sometimes I finish with Kérastase Oléo-Relax oil, which is anti-frizz. Consider Me Influenced By Into The Gloss To Buy A Mason Pearson Brush. It was a tall girl buy, but I feel like it does make my hair healthier.
In the evening my routine is very simple. I wash my face, let it dry, and then apply tretinoin. Kicking is amazing because it’s good for acne and antiaging – it’s a nice all-in-one device. I just got a degree up to 0.05 percent. Then I wait a little and then moisturize with my Nivea cream. It’s like six dollars, maybe less, and I love it. It works for me and doesn’t clog my pores – thank goodness. ”
– as ITG said
Photos about the author