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! I’m Asiah James (@xasiahx) and I am a Marketing Director at Conde Nast. My exact title is Director of Emerging Audiences, leading a newly launched team within the Commercial Revenue division that I pitched and organized. My key responsibility is to develop creative strategies across the Condé Nast portfolio (i.e. Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Glamour, etc.) where key partners can authentically connect with growth audiences who have an evolving spending power that is shaking up culture (ex. Black women, LGBTQ+ youth, Millennial parents and many more intersectionalities).
I have always worked at a media company with such strong ties to the beauty industry and this has allowed me to experiment in ways I am not sure I would be aware of if I was not engrossed in this type of work. My role is essential in strategizing the ethos of how so many brands we love connect with their key consumers or reach emerging voices, and during this process of developing the marketing – I make sure to take my time to test, share my own beauty perspective and incorporate the new innovation into my routine. On the flip side, I am often presenting data heavy information in front of large groups where I tend to draw back on makeup and lean into skincare. I have found that I am the most confident sharing my ideas or findings with a timeless beauty look enhancing my natural glow.
My appreciation for beauty stems from my mother and maternal grandmother. I come from two Black women whose approach to beauty is outlined by leveraging essential products to create a timeless masterpiece. My mom will not leave the house without her eyes lined and eyebrows arched. Whereas my grandmother, or Mema as I call her, has a cascade of various red lip stains, glosses, and sticks depending on her mood or outfit. My appreciation grew over the years to merge their approaches to form my own – where a simple eye and/or bold lip are always on my beauty menu.
Every morning I rinse my face with Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser, then apply Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore Refining Toner Serum, then I go in on all my problem areas with Peter Thomas Roth’s Potent-C Targeted Spot Brightener and lock everything in with Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Night Concentrate Moisturizer.
Because of my eczema prone skin, I have two approaches to body care depending on the weather, in which very dry environments tend to cause the most flare-ups. After each shower I apply Cortizone 10 Intensive Healing Lotion for Eczema on areas where I have dark pigments and an intense itch. I then follow up with Raw Shea Butter (from the African market) all over.
Makeup to me depends on mood, and as far as my go-to’s I start with skin makeup and enhance my glow with eye and lip focused products.
For skin, I use Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for full coverage looks, but in my everyday life I am obsessed with Ami Cole’s Skin-Enhancing Tint and their Skin-Enhancing Concealer. When I travel my skin tends to be shell-shocked and I need to spot correct problem areas, so I use Merit’s Perfecting Complexion Stick.
For my eyes, I’m a huge fan of Jason Wu’s Jewel Stick for the perfect outline (good for everyday and dark enough for a night look). I wear mascara everyday even if I do not wear skin makeup and typically reach for Ami Cole’s Lash-Amplifying Mascara for a natural enhancement and for a sultry look, I grab Diorshow Black Out Mascara. When I am feeling fun I love to wear LoveSeen lashes.
My go-to lipstick is NYX Lipstick in Maison. I wear it everywhere and with everything and when I am not in my favorite nude, I am a tried and true Mac Ruby Woo girl. And as of lately, I am topping all lippies with Ami Cole’s Lip Oil Treatment.
I religiously visit my hairdresser/bestie who has maintained my short cut and healthy hair for almost 10 years now. I go every two weeks no matter what. In between I only apply heat when I absolutely have to, but for the most part, I moisturize my scalp every other night with Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine and I only untie my headscarf when folks are visiting or I am on Zoom for work. Haha!
My beauty philosophy is to seek your signatures. Once you land on the core properties of your beauty routine, so much falls into play and there is always room to incorporate new products, but having a core or ‘holy grail’ if you will to upkeep your routine is key.
As I have gotten older, my core decompression and peace lies in faith and community. And in order to have a healthy balance of both and strive for more, it’s important to check in with myself by going to therapy, getting 8+ hours of sleep and trying my best to promote healthy eating habits.
While I have always been a huge fan, more recently since her passing I am in awe of how dynamic singer, songwriter and overall beauty Betty Davis is. In particular how in control and aware of the movements of her body and pairing this with her overall beauty choices – everything she did just seems to HIT. Her unapologetic feminine energy exudes through her visual presence before you even hear her music. Her long and often bright red nails, big hair and lashes that flutter your soul, I mean what more could any other woman want to be? Ah! And in constantly challenging myself to show up as my full self in all spaces, which for me, means as my most confident self, Betty Davis, inspires me to show off my bold personality through my voice, my dark gaze and most importantly through the ways in which I play with the shapes of my body. That’s real beauty to me. I’d also love to give an honorable mention to Diana Ross, and I’m sure we all know why. “