The Singer-Songwriter Baking Her Way Through Anxiety

The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.

“Hi, my name is Gracie Abrams (@gracieabrams). I’m a singer-songwriter, and writing is my favorite thing. Connecting with people after writing about something super personal feels like such a relief. It’s a very nourishing job. The non-writing related parts of my job… those can feel challenging sometimes. I sing my own songs, and because I struggle with anxiety, the performative and public aspects of that can feel tricky. When I get anxious, I have to just remind myself that I’m so lucky to be able to do this for work. Crazy lucky. My new song ‘Feels Like’ is about living in New York with my best friend. Ordering in SomTum Der is up there on my list of favorite things, and after living in LA for a while, having actual conversations with strangers every day is like heaven. (Even if the conversations aren’t always pleasant.) In LA, strangers like to pretend like you literally do not exist when you pass them on the street.

As a writer, I’m very much compelled by the non-physical—the way relationships, books, and places make me feel. That’s really important for me to remember, because it’s easy to get into a habit of thinking the external is what’s most valuable and beautiful about ourselves. That could not be farther from the truth. I think people spend unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of time on social media looking at the external. The way I feel about the poetry behind my favorite songs is so much more intense than the way I feel after going down the shitty rabbit hole of comparing myself physically to others. Everyone I’ve really idolized in the beauty and fashion world has a bare face, and is just showing themselves. I like that most.

I went to Barnard for college, and when I got there I developed really bad cystic acne. It’s since gone away, and even though I still break out, now I just appreciate that it’s less of a big deal. Anything that’s not cystic acne is literally fine. Another thing that happened when I was in college is that the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes invited me over to her house for a makeup playdate. That was the most fun—she’s a genius, obviously. Katie turned me onto Augustinus Bader….though I’m not sure if she remembers that. She put their moisturizer on my face, and it made my skin so happy. It took me a while to actually incorporate it into my routine because the price tag is almost unthinkable, but here we are.

When I started being nicer to myself I began feeling a lot more beautiful. I’m sure it looks insane, but I do talk to myself out loud semi-often… That feels like a beauty secret to me. Now, I use a face wash from Christie Kidd that just says ‘clean’ on the bottle. That is exactly how it makes me feel. Next I use the Augustinus Bader Rich Cream, which is like butter for my skin. I know it’s ridiculous, but relying on that cream is massively helpful. After years of cystic acne, finding a product that really does what I need it to do makes me feel generally better. I use the Elta MD sunscreen for acne-prone skin. I fall into that category for sure. And at this point, Boy Brow basically feels like a part of my skincare routine, too. I want huge, messy brows all of the time.

I like feeling boyish with my makeup. Minimal. Most days I use Boy Brow and nothing else, but I’ve also been using Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder recently, because I’m on tour. I truly sweat so much during shows. The Westman Atelier foundation stick is my concealer above all else but also the best foundation if I need it to be. I use my fingers to apply it, and it ends up looking and feeling like skin. I love that the Tower 28 cream blush in Power Hour makes me look sunburnt in a good way and also sort of works as a bronzer. It’s pretty dark and I’m super fair, so a little blended into my cheekbones goes a long way. I truly hate lipstick. But I love lip balm. Ultralip in Trench is the first balm-lipstick hybrid—I actually carry it with me everywhere. It’s the perfect color and makes me feel less dead inside. I also use it on top of my blush as a kind of glossy highlighter situation, and even swipe some right under my brow bone sometimes. (Professionals would probably advise against this but I cannot lie to you, reader.) I also line my lips with Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude. Finally, my last product is Lash Slick. I don’t wear it every day, but the truth is that it improves my life and I probably should. Even though I have zero French heritage, I feel quite French whenever I wear it.

I keep a tiny rollerball version of Le Labo’s Santal 33 in my bag. It reminds me of LA, which… there’s absolutely nothing wrong with! But I’m much more into their Jasmin 17 scent, which reminds me of the east coast. I have an actual spray bottle of it at home. So far it’s my favorite perfume I’ve ever found. To unwind, I love stretching. It feels like doing therapy on my body, and has helped so massively with my anxiety the past year. The other thing that’s helped my anxiety is baking. I bake a lot. A lot. One of my favorite recipes is the New York Times one for Banana Everything Cookies. I make variations of these constantly—I don’t even look at the recipe anymore, that’s how many times I’ve made them. If you’re looking for cookies to eat for breakfast but also every other time of the day, start here.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author

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This Is The Key Going (Or Staying) Blonde In The Fall

I think everyone should go blonde at least once. Whether or not blondes have more fun is a moot point compared to all the extra attention—an experience worth experiencing. But while going blonde the first time feels like stepping into a foreign land where the shampoo’s always purple and the drinks are always free, going blonde a second time is more like an icy cold rinse. You know the discomfort you’re getting yourself into (long, expensive salon sessions and frizz), but it’s worth it, for the extra shimmer.

I knew I’d never go pure white platinum again, like I did my first time around. I actually didn’t think I’d ever go blonde again, until I saw Margot Robbie on the cover of August’s Vogue. Her hair color was… well, I wasn’t totally sure how to describe it. Bronde? Sandy? Golden? It was perfect. So while everyone around me started creeping deeper and redder for fall, I quietly nursed an obsession: on commutes I saved photos of Sharon Tate, Peggy Lipton, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman. Early in the morning, before my alarm started buzzing, I screenshotted Olsens, Hailey Bieber, Magdalena Frackowiak, and Facebook photos of dirty blonde girls from my highschool. I zoomed in on Lily-Rose Depp. I paused on one surprisingly compelling shot of Dylan Sprouse. None of them were not the same shade of blonde, and none of them quite reflected Robbie’s hue either. But something about them was similar? I couldn’t quite place it, but had faith that a professional could. After I had amassed my dossier, I reached out to colorist Lucille Javier.

I met Lucille when she worked at Sally Hershberger, an old-school editor watering bowl. After cutting her teeth there under notorious blonde-maker Aura Friedman, Lucille took her 15 years of experience to Mark Ryan Salon, a brand new Chelsea space with big, sunny windows and luxe teak accents. I showed up at my appointment with way too many images. (Showing one reference picture to your colorist = helpful, 20 pictures = muddling.) But Lucille was up for the challenge. The through line, it seemed, was that everyone I saved was just… a natural blonde. Their hair already grew out of their heads pretty light, and instead of being bright, beachy, and streaky, it was even and a little bit anemic. In other words, not what most people asked for from their colorist. Which isn’t to say it couldn’t be replicated. Lucille just took an extra second to think before mixing up a concoction.

The next few hours were a chemically-scented blur. As I dug into my bag of pre-packed snacks, slammed on my laptop keyboard, and slurped up iced coffee, Lucille slapped acrid white paste on my hair confidently and quickly. An Edward Scissorhands of bleach! Midway through, after giving my stinging scalp a rinse and satisfying scrub, Lucille showed me what’s essentially a colorist’s underpainting. My hair was not Khaleesi white—actually, it was a little orange, which she explained was kind of the point. She knew if she bleached me further, she’d just have to add in warm tones later; instead, she left some warmth from the bleaching process and worked with it as a base. And that helped her maintain my hair’s integrity, too. If she had left the bleach on for longer, damage was inevitable, and my hair would veer more punk than towhead. Natural hair is glossy; frizzled bleached hair is not.

The next step was adding dimension. Instead of using highlights, Lucille did it with glosses. The tone itself was something she called “wheat.” It was buttery but muted, warm but not brassy, and the exact same contrast level as my skin tone. This was surprisingly flattering: far from washing me out, it made my blue-and-yellow eyes instantly brighter and replaced the redness in my skin with a creamy, milky glow. My roots and ends ended up being slightly darker than the swath of hair from temple to temple, which sounds a bit funny until you remember that’s exactly where the sun hits. And though I’m not sure if anyone would believe I’m a natural blonde, no one would question how perfectly normal it is against my complexion. It doesn’t look like any of the photos I had saved, but it does for me what those shades did for them.

Is that all there is to an autumn blonde, then? Shine, warmth, embracing a little neither-here-nor-thereness. After I posted a photo, my Instagram DMs blew up with messages from women saying that whatever this tone is, it’s making them consider a dunk in bleach for the very first time.

Which brings me back to my original point: you’ve got to go blonde at some point in your life. Season be damned; now’s as good a time as ever.

—Ali Oshinsky

Photo via ITG

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Thrasher Magazine – Nick Michel’s Surprise Pro Party

A few nights ago at a secret bar in Los Angeles, Nick Michel was ambushed with his first pro board on Frog. Friends, fans and industry hotshots all came out to honor the young star. The Modelos flowed freely so it’s hard to remember everything that happened. Good thing we got these photos. —Kris Burkhardt

Stepping in through the door at this undisclosed joint, we got some of Ventura’s finest: Gabe Thompson, Diego Todd and Charlie Van Lent

02 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyOne step beyond the entrance, Toya’s hangin’ with sidekick Johnathan Flechas

03 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyOur guy Rye Beres and the old Lakai TM 

04 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyClassic Grip’s Salomon Cardenas and Canada’s Bob LaSalle

05 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyJalba and Ralba

06 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyKiss, marry, kill

07 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyKirby and Pedro have a…

08 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyLotties Gang, Louie and Chris came out too

09 2000 Nick Michel Pro Party“Guys, the sandwiches here are psycho”

10 2000 Nick Michel Pro Party Oh yeah, we didn’t just come here to hang, there was business at hand! Everyone’s attention focused on the video, but Zach Sheats is looking like he knows something we don’t

11 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyCool video, but wait, what are those blue things?

13 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyBoom! Mango and Nick’s sister Jackie Michel reveal the hardware

13 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyThat’s right, Nick’s pro, son!

14 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartThe Michels bring their own carrots to the bar

15 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyJalba welcomes Nick to the pro roster

16 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyJ-Lay cops a first edition and Kevin Shealy’s bus tub is probably the reason we don’t remember much

17 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyIllinois boy Cory Glick secured the package

18 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyMango probably explaining the carrots

19 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyAnd then blessing a fan with his John Hancock. Who is the T-Funk of drinking?

20 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyWKND’s Zac Gracie treated Nick’s board like the back page of a yearbook—HAKAS

21 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyWorld Peath reunion. Las Vegas, stand up!

22 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyLooks like Toya just sold a house

23 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyCrowd surfing and getting covered in creative juice

24 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyGoodnight, Nick. This blog might be his only memory of the evening…

25 2000 Nick Michel Pro PartyAsk your shop if they got the carrots. Congratulations, Nick, you’re pro as Frog. Everyone else, keep your eyes peeled for his new part

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The Best Products Team ITG Used All September

*Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG’s editors discuss our favorite products. They’re the best things we’ve tried all month long, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized before we have the opportunity to get sick of them and move on to something new. This month, you’ll find a few running themes: there are 2 Victoria Beckham products, 4 products under 20 bucks, and at least 3 holy grails. From a mascara that hits every lash, to a serum that brings down mystery zits fast, to a sunscreen that you can pile on, find your next ultra satisfying purchase below. *

I… found my holy grail mascara this month: Victoria Beckham Future Lash. I love a really natural mascara that lengthens, defines, and separates my lashes. The goal is baby lashes: fluttery and soft. And I don’t want to have to use a makeup remover or makeup wipe to take it off. In the past I’ve loved using Lash Slick and Covergirl Clump Crusher, but Kackie’s Youtube video reviewing the best tubing mascaras sold me on trying something new. She deemed Victoria Beckham’s the best middle ground between volumizing and lengthening. The tube is glass, heavy, and luxe, and the brush itself is very small, thin, rounded, and precise: literally my dream applicator. The formula is black and matte, and, obviously, it’s tubing. All I have to do is apply warm water, and the lash tubes literally glide right off still in their pointy lash shapes. It will definitely flake if you rub your eyes, because the tubes break up, but if i don’t touch my eyes I completely forget it’s there. But it builds if you want to, is really lengthening, is slightly volumizing. 10/10.
—Sam Sonntag, Senior Design Manager

They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. If that’s the case, I want those babies bright and well lit! After the devastation of learning my favorite eye cream was being discontinued, I was on the hunt for the next best thing. That’s how I discovered The Inkey List’s Brighten-i Eye Cream. Standing in the Sephora, I was intrigued not only by the price ($10, it’s a steal y’all) but also the unique ingredient callouts. It combines skincare (an ingredient called Brightenyl that’s apparently four times more potent than Vitamin C) and cosmetic (microscopic peachy pearlescent pigments) components to target dark circles and brighten the under-eye area. I’ve been using it for about three weeks, and can literally see the difference in my undereye area. it’s just the best lightweight brightening eye cream! Plus it’s vegan, geared for all skin types, and comes with a metal applicator that glides on perfectly. What started as curiosity is now a guaranteed repurchase.
—Berto Morales-Brown, gTeam Editor

I’m a big fan of Japanese sunscreens, and more specifically Rohto’s. I’ve tried a lot of them before (they’re all great) but last time I was at oo35mm in Chinatown I picked up The Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Essence Gold SPF 50+. It checked all my boxes: powerful UV filters (the ones you can’t find in the USA), high UVA/B protection, no added fragrance, with a non-drying, non-greasy finish. It’s a dreamy lotion-gel that spreads easily and, despite a little alcohol in the formula, doesn’t dehydrate my oily, acne-prone skin. Actually, feels hydrating—it leaves a lightweight sheen that helps me embrace a little glow. I can apply it liberally, as all sunscreens should be applied, using the two-finger rule because it leaves no white cast on my medium skin tone and costs less than $15. Seriously, it’s a great bang for your buck—I can even cut the tube open to get all the product out once it’s nearing its end. It’s the first chemical sunscreen I’ve tried that doesn’t irritate my eyes. Moving forward, I will always have a backup bottle on my top shelf.
—Tiffany Pham, Analyst, Global Supply Management

Lightweight facial oils are the workhorse of transitional skincare. The weather in New York has been a mixed bag, but an oil? Good for all of it. On t-shirt days I’ll press it into damp skin for a sheer sheen of moisture; if I’m layering a sweater and soft blazer on my body, I’ll layer my oil on top of a cream for extra insulation on my face. The one I’ve been returning to over and over lately is this one, from Le Prunier. Mostly because it’s so neutral. Every other oil I have right now has some active element (enzymes, retinoids, bakuchiol) which is cool but less versatile. What is inside is plum seed oil. Nothing else! It’s naturally high in protective antioxidants, and even though it’s full of nourishing fatty acids, it also has a really low comedogenicity rating. (Read: it’s unlikely to clog your pores.) If anything, though, buy this oil because it smells like straight up marzipan. Did you know plums and almonds are closely related? Each time I apply, I make sure to take a long, calming inhale in my palms. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve figured out how to work it into my routine so often.
—Ali Oshinsky

Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel took two hours to get rid of a bout of cystic acne I’d been dealing with for months. Seriously. Months! These nightmare pimples dominated my summer: I tried everything, including steroid shots from my dermatologist, and nothing worked to bring them down. A week ago I bought this tube from my local pharmacy in total desperation. The maximum strength packaging had “stubborn acne” written on it and promised to “reduce size and redness in just 2 hours”. But even though we’re talking 10-percent benzoyl peroxide here, it doesn’t feel like a max strength acne gel at all. It’s creamy and soothing, and the 1oz squeeze tube has so much more product than you’ll ever need. I applied a thin layer (anything more than that is too drying and/or results in a white crustiness that’s difficult to rub off) and waited. I have NO IDEA why this worked and other products didn’t. None. I have stared at the ingredients over and over again trying to figure it out, and honestly just think Neutrogena may have made a deal with the devil. After two applications, I looked in the mirror expecting to see more acne and I saw my skin again instead. I cried.
—Melodie Bonnano, gTeam Editor

Ouai x Byredo’s latest collab is as fantastic as I expected. Technically you’re purchasing Byredo’s iconic Mojave Ghost fragrance for 26 bucks. A mega steal! Though this sandalwood-scented leave-in is more than just a pretty face. I’m picky about products, constantly reading ingredients, and I was hesitant to swap Ouai’s into my well-established hair routine. (I’m a loyalist!) Unlike the leave-in conditioners I’d been using in my (2c/3a) curly hair, this one comes in a spray bottle, which… actually makes styling easier. I spray all over, then use a detangling flexi brush for better distribution. It’s also SLS/SLES and cruelty-free, and contains vitamin E, which leaves my hair soft and manageable. And I’ve been getting so many compliments! This is the best leave-in conditioner for those who care about scent AND style.
—Adamarie Laboy, UX Researcher

I love a facial mist in the middle of the workday. After a long stretch of meetings, I’ll reset with a little spritz and feel ready to go again. Am I saying I’ve found bugs in my code because I took a second to spray my face and take a breath? I’m not not saying that! My current favorite is the Youth to the People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist. I have sensitive skin, so I love that this spray is gentle and includes soothing ingredients to reduce redness. But it’s also powerful in that it gives me real hydration from the shea butter and hyaluronic acid. It’s honestly amazing that they pack that stuff in, because the mist itself is super fine and settles really gently on my skin. I love it! In fact, I think it’s about time for another spray right now!
—Courtney Bohrer, Senior Engineer

Against all odds, it’s been a banner year for lip products. My latest obsession is this gloss from Victoria Beckham Beauty. There are two kinds of glosses in my book—cushiony, thick-as-nail-gels glosses, and thin, super glossy, lip oil-adjacent ones. VB’s sits in the latter camp, although I’m partial to either kind, depending on the day. The thing about Posh Gloss is that it’s perfect in every way. It’s not sticky at all, instead feeling more balm-like than anything. But you wouldn’t know it by the way it wears—glassy, crystal clear, ultra glossy shine. It’s also super comfortable and everything I would love in a gloss anyway, but somehow better. If VB doesn’t come back with a few tint variations of this gloss, I will riot.
—Ashley Weatherford, Senior Editor

I’m queen of the frizz, as evidenced by the crown of two-to-three inch broken hairs that sits atop my head. The situation is this: 2b waves in some places, 3a curls in others, very fine and tangly all over. Curly products I’ve tried in the past have weighed my hair down or mysteriously stopped working after a month (my research tells me this might be due to silicones creating a coating on curls that makes them feel soft, but doesn’t actually let moisture in). I’ve never been loyal to a shampoo and conditioner before, but I’m happy to report that I’ve officially made my first repurchase of Bread Beauty’s Hair Wash (they call it a co-wash meats gentle cleanser) and Hair Mask (I use it as conditioner in the shower). They’re both silicone-free and sulfate-free, the shampoo lathers the slightest bit and smells like fruit loops, the conditioner has the texture of thick buttercream icing and smells like bread. It’s packaged in a piping bag-type thing that really makes you feel like you’re decorating your head like a cake, and sometimes I slick my hair back into a bun and sneakily wear it all day.
—Amanda Keffer, Senior Copywriter

Photo via ITG

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Thrasher Magazine – Shareef Grady’s GoFundMe

  • 7/09/2021

    Andres Bill’s “Be Water” Video

    Flowing through Southern California’s alleys and well-trafficked avenues, Andres’ crew hits huge taildrops and ditch dives with their own rhythm.

  • 1/25/2021

    Pretty’s “ATL to SF” Video

    Pretty's "ATL to SF" Video

    Shareef Grady and ATL’s Pretty squad bounce from the South to get some at Clipper. Come for the stoke—stay for the roasts.

  • 1/19/2021

    Adam Robo’s “Mint Condition” Video

    Adam Robo's "Mint Condition" Video

    Shareef Grady, Austin Thongvivong, Justin Hearn and their bi-coastal crew pulverize Portland and Atlanta with heavy clips and good vibes.

  • 12/29/2020

    Jourdynn Sherman’s “Worldformation” Video

    Jourdynn Sherman's "Worldformation" Video

    This stacked pack of ATL locals beats the streets with a non-stop barrage of fast flip tricks and some good old-fashioned mischief. More of this, please.

  • 11/17/2020

    Naquan Rollings’ “Buss” Video

    Naquan Rollings' "Buss" Video

    Ishod, Shareef, Christian, Dritsas, Billy, Ish and more heavy hitters bust in the bowls and avenues of NYC. If the mission was destruction, consider it complete. 

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