With all this time spent at home and limited amount of make-up being worn, I started wondering what I should be doing with my skin. I reached out to beauty expert, journalist, and brand strategist Janna Mandell to get some of my burning beauty questions answered.
Julie: Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the beauty world?
Janna: I started out in writing, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. When I was in New York, I was writing about nightlife for New York Magazine. I had always wanted to write beauty but there was no need for more beauty writers. I started temping at Goldman Sachs to earn extra money and I started a conversation with an MD about an electronic trading firm they had invested in. Long story short, he convinced me to join the start-up and I went from temp to Director. I taught myself the world of finance. Five years later, I was recruited to start a competing brand by a bigger electronic trading firm. I loved the challenge but it was a really draining job and I missed writing. One day my husband told me his client’s wife was the Beauty Director at InStyle and that we were going on a double date. We went out to dinner and we talked beauty the whole time. She told me I had a bunch of great ideas and I should start writing again. She was the one that suggested I become a blogger. I had no clue what a beauty blogger was but I gave it a try. Shortly after that, I was chosen as a finalist in Allure’s first beauty blogger competition. That helped get my name out, and I went on to write for E! as the Beauty Police, San Francisco Chronicle, and Forbes. I am currently writing for the Huffington Post.
Julie: On days that we have Zoom calls and want to wear a little make-up. What’s your natural go-to make-up look?
Janna: I love Juice Beauty Stem Cell CC cream with SPF 30 (also favorite tinted moisturizer), Henne organic lip balm, and a little Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil and Glossier Boy Brow gel.
Julie: I have a lot of redness in my skin. Suggestions on ways to reduce redness? Does drinking alcohol perpetuate redness?
Janna: Yes, alcohol is definitely a trigger. Also stay away from hot showers, hot tubs and spicy food. Angelina Umansky, founder of Spa Radiance, is a master esthetician who taught me cooling down your skin is the most important thing. An easy at-home remedy is applying organic Greek yogurt as a face mask. Also, Saint Jane has a CBD beauty serum that helps calm the skin. I also love Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator. I keep this in my purse and in the fridge so I can spritz when I feel my skin heating up. Josh Rosebrook Vitabalm Cream has blue tansy in it and it’s an ultra-healing cream.
Julie: What are your favorite beauty products if you have no budget?
Janna: I love French brand Biologique Recherche. It really works. One of my favorite products is Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W, otherwise known as “Jesus in a Bottle.” It exfoliates and hydrates the skin. You apply it by tapping it on your skin. Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix is a panacea for dry, irritated skin. I also recommend investing in an LED light therapy device like Lightwave or Light Stim LED Light Therapy. It takes down inflammation and also stimulates collagen production. I also love Marie Veronique Vitamin C+E Ferulic serum as a superpowered antioxidant serum and her Gentle Retinol Night Serum for evening, along with In Fiore Vis Clair Supreme eye cream AM and PM. It brightens immediately and helps build collagen over time.
Julie: What are your favorite budget-friendly beauty products?
Janna: Egyptian Magic healing balm is amazing for everything. I am also a big believer in skin care spatulas. You should never put your fingers in your skincare products. Use the spatulas to scoop the product out of the jar and then apply with your hands.
Julie: Do jade rollers really do anything for your skin?
Janna: They help cool down your skin but I prefer the Gua Sha for lifting and definition.
Julie: What’s your favorite concealer?
Janna: Cleu de Peau has been my favorite for years. Perfect amount of coverage.
Julie: Any other beauty tips?
Janna: When you’re trying new products it’s always important to slowly introduce new things. You don’t want to overwhelm your skin—another tidbit from Angelina. When applying make-up to your face I like using clean fingers instead of brushes, which can collect bacteria and soak up all your product.
I loved every minute of my conversation with Janna. Janna is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to skincare. She’s an expert, innovator, and lover of all things beauty. You can follow her on Instagram @ Beauty Binge.