You know the #ITGTopShelfie, our interview series that shares the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Now we’re taking you into the bathrooms, cabinets, and makeup bags of some of Glossier’s own. These folks work in beauty, and they bring to the table lots of capital-t Thoughts about it. Submit yours on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.
“My name is Angelo, but everyone knows me as Stixx (@stixxinthecity). I live in Brooklyn and I’m from Memphis—for most of COVID I was quarantining there with my family. When I was growing up, people in my community would watch the show Girlfriends, because that was really big, but they weren’t watching like, America’s Next Top Model. I saw Mr. Jay and Miss J and I wanted to be them. And anyway, when people I knew watched Girlfriends no one understood that Joan Clayton was always carrying a Birkin bag or wearing Louboutins. I knew what those things were, but they didn’t. I’m the only person in my family who went to New York.
I did my first two years of college at an HBCU in Tennessee. I was studying sociology, thinking I would be a social worker—I grew up in a really bad neighborhood and always wanted to help kids who were in my situation and couldn’t advocate for themselves. HBCUs are rooted in Black Christian culture, and students were expected to meet the standard of what a man or a woman should be. Back then, at least. At that time I wore a lot of Express button downs, slacks, bowties… it was terrible. The thing is, I wanted to pledge a fraternity, and I accomplished that. I was a fraternity guy! [Laughs] I was out, but only among my friends, and even though I had started to experiment with beauty I kept it hidden. Wearing makeup was just something guys weren’t supposed to do. My roommate would wear a little mascara, narrowly draw on eyebrows with a pencil, and use a little bit of pressed powder. That made me want to try it. He shared what he had with me, and even though he was three or four shades lighter than I am when we went out to clubs I felt amazing.
I finished college at Paine, which is another HBCU in Georgia. When I transferred schools I had a bit more breathing room—I didn’t really care what people thought of me, because I didn’t transfer for the social scene. I was totally out, and that was also different. After I graduated I moved to Atlanta, which was the closest big city, and started a job in social work. At that point a lot of people I grew up with started doing very well and they moved to Atlanta, too. I had a lot of friends who were rappers, or who were exotic dancers and knew rappers, and being in their entourages was how I got into styling. I started off with well-known dancers like Blac Chyna—they had wig lines or swimsuit lines and they didn’t really know how to put outfits together for a launch, so they hired me to do it. Then word spread—someone would ask who did the styling, and my friends would say, ‘Oh, his name is Stixx, he lives here, he can do it for you.’ Eventually styling became more of a job than a side hustle. One day when I was working with K. Michelle on the set of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, she told me someone at BET was looking for a stylist. It was for Rocsi Diaz, the host of 106 & Park. I interviewed for the job, and the agent was like, ‘Can you move today?’ I literally got on a Greyhound bus and came to New York—that was six years ago.
In New York, my environment was suddenly saturated with people who went to school to study fashion. I can switch between masculine and feminine, and they would give me a reference like, ‘You look like Grace Jones from Studio 54, May 1977.’ That really helped me put a name to my style. Now I research everything, and I can do that too. Like, this haircut—it’s a half fade that’s reminiscent of Givenchy’s 2017 men’s show. I go to a small Dominican barber shop every Friday to get it touched up and of course they wouldn’t call it that, but that’s what it is. I still do styling, but now I’ve sort of become an influencer myself. Because I can get my street style pictures in magazines, brands will reach out to me to showcase their merch. I’m busiest during fashion months, when I’m traveling on press trips and zipping all around to get the backstage scoop, but on the day to day I also work at Glossier HQ. They’ve been very flexible with my schedule—it’s helpful having the stability that comes with a regular job so I can go do what I want to do.
When I’m going into work, I wear makeup—I don’t really cover up, but I like to clean up. Even if my face is beat like a birthday cake I want the illusion that it’s my skin. For a while I was having this issue where within four hours of leaving my house, I looked like I was melting—I was spending so much money on blotting papers that eventually I figured there had to be a better way. It took me a couple of times to get the cadence but once I got this method down, it worked. First I apply my primer, or if I’m going out I’ll use the Dior Backstage Face Illuminator because I want to look like a trophy. Next I use Wowder in Medium Brown. After that, I go in with the Kosas Tinted Oil in 9.5, which is actually almost full-coverage for me, and conceal with Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer wherever I need it. Finally I set my face, and the makeup stays! I have really long eyelashes naturally (of course boys do) but I like to use three coats of Glossier’s Lash Slick followed by one of the Dior Pump ‘N’ Volume mascara to make them look thicker. Then I do my brows. I get them threaded and tinted, but because they’re sparse at the ends, I prime the hairs with a gluestick. If I fill them in with a pencil or use Boy Brow after that, it ends up looking more hair-like. It’s truly a game changer.
I always finish with a lip. One time during NYFW, I was leaving a show and Rihanna told me that my lip was fire. I held on to that comment forever—it came from THE QUEEN! My first red lipstick was MAC Ruby Woo, but now it’s too dry for me. I can’t. I look like I have chapped lips all the time. Now, my favorite is Tom Ford’s Cristiano. I also love the shade Christopher, which is a soft brown with a neutral finish, Leo from Glossier, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude pencil, which I use as a whole lip.
I have a very simple skincare routine. Night and day I use Glossier Milky Jelly on my PMD facial cleansing brush. The brush is antibacterial and it vibrates, so I just roll it across my face to break down the oil or makeup. I don’t like to touch my face when I have on makeup—once I feel like it’s clean enough to where I won’t stain the whole house, I’ll double cleanse to really get everything off. Of course, if you do get makeup on your clothes and you can’t afford to take it to the dry cleaner, you can always take a bit of dishwashing liquid, dab it on the spot, and let it sit. After a bit you just hand wash it and let it air dry. Anyway, once I’m done cleansing I’ll apply a sheet mask. I keep all of my masks in my refrigerator, and I mask every morning and every night. That started during the pandemic. The one I really like is the Weekly Reset Mask from Loops Beauty—after I take it off, I pat in whatever is left on my skin and follow with a serum. I use Super Glow in the mornings and Super Bounce in the evenings. Finally, I seal it all with either my Noto Deep Serum or Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Glow Oil.
You know, in beauty, fashion, and in life in general I think that when you try too hard, it shows. The cooler you act, the more effortless you look, the stronger your overall gravitational pull will be.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author