The skincare community is vast and complex -- because people are vast and complex! Ohlolly talks with some of our favorite skincare enthusiasts and beauty influencers about the ins, outs, ups and downs in the beauty industry. We discuss their skincare journeys, changes in the industry and, of course, beauty tips and tricks.
Today we talk to Amanda Youssef. Amanda is a longtime friend of Ohlolly, K-beauty fan, and hardworking entrepreneur who's a go-to for all things skincare. She inspires us to get things done and find creativity in everything we do. Welcome, Amanda!
Tell us a little about yourself and your beauty/lifestyle journey.
I’m a creative communication consultant that has been working with beauty and lifestyle companies for 15 years. I was lucky early in my public relations career to work at agencies in New York and Los Angeles with a range of small and large beauty and lifestyle companies that really propelled me to where I am today and I was an eager professional.
The experiences on this career journey have, for me, been unparalleled. From 10 years of Fashion Week to creating national consumer sampling campaigns and event production for brand and retail events, it’s a sort of Renaissance woman of a career. Perhaps one of the best parts of this job has been to work with companies like NYX Cosmetics and Schmidt’s Naturals in their early days; to see where they are now and know that you were a part of that is a great feeling.
Today, I run a boutique creative communication shop that works with small businesses in beauty, lifestyle, philanthropy, and alcohol and spirits to help build their business and tell their stories to the world.
...it’s a sort of Renaissance woman of a career...one of the best parts of this job has been to work with companies like NYX Cosmetics and Schmidt’s Naturals in their early days; to see where they are now and know that you were a part of that is a great feeling.
How has your personal passion for beauty/self-care integrated with your career?
I have always been passionate about the beauty world — in my teens, I was the resident makeup artist and in college I worked at the Benefit Cosmetics makeup counter. As I grew in my career and was exposed to new skills and sides of the beauty industry, my personal passion for beauty integrated naturally because playing with and selling makeup when I was younger was scratching the surface of what was out there.
What draws you to the beauty world?
The beauty world is dynamic and I love that! There are so many elements to the industry, it’s hard not to be inspired and captured by the creative environment.
What changes within the beauty industry have you seen over the years (for better or worse)?
There have been a lot of changes for the better in this industry. The rise in consumer interest and education has been a big one because it’s caused a demand for transparency and consideration in the ways a company operates. I also love that the industry is becoming more inclusive and available for small companies to play against the bigger guys with the prevalence of social and digital media.
Who has anyone influenced your interest in skincare and the beauty industry?
There have been many people that have influenced me from a creative, professional, and personal standpoint over the years. My biggest influence has been my mentor and former boss Stephanie. She played a large role in my professional development and initial career interest in the industry.
I also love that the industry is becoming more inclusive and available for small companies to play against the bigger guys...
How has social media impacted your work?
Social media has expanded my work in many ways — it created a space for more connection and that’s given professionals like me more opportunities to tell a brand’s story and reach customers.
Consumers have a new place to gather information and meet others, creatives and industry influencers like makeup artists and dermatologists have a platform to share their knowledge and talent. Small businesses are able to increase their reach for new customers. People are able to connect more, and I get to be part of that professionally and personally.
What do you look for in a good skin care product?
I try to use cruelty-free products and try to stick to vegan ingredients whenever possible. Otherwise, I judge a skincare product based on results, since I keep a pretty tightly curated skincare routine. If I don’t see a visible effect or receive a compliment about my skin from another beauty friend before the product is finished, then I won’t buy it again.
Do you have a tried & true favorite product?
Water! That is truly my holy grail tried-and-true product, but I do have a few favorites that have been part of my routine these last few years.
I’m a big fan of Urang and love their True Rose Repair Essence and the Kosmetic Immunity Beta Glucan Recovery Serum and the Enzyme Cleansing Powder. I also sing the praises of Li Organics and her Liquid Amber Oil Serum. My skin has never looked better.
Do you have any too-good-not-to-share skincare hacks (could be for travel, daily routine, anything…)?
Water! I’m that friend that tells you to drink more so your skincare products can work because that is the ultimate beauty hack. Another good hack is using an overnight or sleeping mask (and sunscreen!) before getting on a flight. Flying can make me feel dry and puffy all over, so the extra dose of moisture helps.
People are able to connect more, and I get to be part of that professionally and personally.
How have you been taking care of yourself these past few months? What does your ideal day of self-care look like?
Taking care of myself these days has involved spending a lot of time outdoors walking, hiking, bicycling, and practicing yoga since I returned to California and the weather is warm. Being outside helped keep me grounded over this last year especially, and in general it helps me keep my body active and my mind balanced.
A balanced day is my ideal day of self-care, though a day of beauty indulgences like a facial and a massage at a spa sounds really good, too.
Thanks for sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the industry with us, Amanda! Those simple tips of water + balance are always a good reminder.
If you're interested in working with Amanda or connecting with her further, click here.
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