Four years ago, Alisha Ramos launched a newsletter all about being cozy. “I’m an introvert and I don’t love going out, but I like making people feel comfortable and connecting on a deeper level during a night in,” she says. Alisha, who lives with her husband, Corey, and dog, Bowie, in Bethesda, Maryland, shares how she cleared up her acne and her ultimate self-care tip…
First off, tell us about your work.
In a previous life, I was a software engineer and designer, but, on the side, I started a newsletter and community called Girls Night In. The 2016 election was the impetus for starting it — that election cycle was so stressful and I was burned out. I wanted to create a brand that celebrated slowing down and connecting on a deeper level. We now write a weekly newsletter about how you can relax, recharge and build meaningful community.
How do you like to relax these days?
It’s all about shutting down the laptop and letting your brain rest. For me, that’s gardening — it has brought me so much joy to connect with nature and be a beginner in a field I know nothing about. I geek out to Garden Answer’s YouTube videos, and I watch Monty Don every night before bed. It’s like my bedtime story, listening to his dulcet British accent.
How do you take care of your skin?
My skincare routine got more streamlined before my wedding this fall. I was struggling with acne, so I wanted a regimen that helped target that. I found one that really did clear up my skin — on top of cutting out dairy.
Ooh, what is this regimen?
I love CosRx because they’re more affordable and you can find it online. It’s also a Korean beauty brand, and I’m half Korean so I have that K-beauty pride. I start with CosRx Low PH balancing cleanser and Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, which is super hydrating. Twice a week, I’ll use CosRx Blackhead Power Liquid — it’s a chemical exfoliant that goes down deep into your skin. You can feel it working and it helps strip back any dead skin cells. Then I’ll use CosRx Snail Essence — this is a newer product in my routine.
I’d always been skeptical but as we go to winter months, my skin dries out AND is acne prone. This snail essence feels easily spreadable and not sticky.
What comes next?
I’ll finish with CosRx Moisturizer on top to seal everything in. This regimen really, really works for me.
How have you been during the pandemic, overall?
Honestly, we actually love being homebodies — watching Netflix, cooking, the whole thing.
What do you like to cook?
My husband and I are on this kick of making a dish from the cookbook Jerusalem — roasted butternut squash with red onion and tahini. It’s delicious and you can make it in one pan.
How does it feel to say ‘husband’? You got married on October 11th.
It still feels weird! I haven’t said it out loud that many times. Corey and I have been dating for five years and now suddenly I’m a wife and he’s a husband!
Tell us about your wedding.
Our original dream was to have this really big party in D.C. with all our friends and family. We had been planning it for more than a year. Then COVID happened, and we had to change our plans. We ended up having six guests total — our parents, one brother and his wife, and one grandparent.
How did it feel in the end?
Honestly, it was perfect. Having dinner with the candles lit and the rain outside felt so romantic and cozy. I wouldn’t change a thing.
And coziness is your whole thing! What makeup did you do?
A glam look with fake lashes, a smoky eye and a peach lip. Plus, a simple updo.
On regular days, what makeup do you swear by?
Chanel Acqualumiere Foundation! It’s lightweight and adds a thin layer of perfect skin to my face. I’ve been using it for more than six years and I’ll never stray away. Since I’m half Asian and half Hispanic, I have yellow/olive undertones and it’s hard to find the right shade with makeup. Chanel has always had the tone that matches my skin — I use NC20.
What about eyes?
Growing up, my mom forbid me to wax or pluck my brows, so I know basically nothing about brows. But Glossier Brow Flick is really easy, and I use it every day. I draw little flicks on my brows with the thin felt-tip pen. It takes me like 10 seconds. And Laura Mercier Caviar Stick eyeshadow is a new discovery. The copper shade is a beautiful, very subtle metallic. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it. It slides on so easily and doesn’t budge all day. I love it so much!
Do you add anything for Zoom calls?
Yes! Wander Beauty blush stick. I wanted to try a more berry toned blush for fall and winter. Whenever I slide it on my cheeks, it almost gives you clown vibes, but I think it’s great for Zoom calls because you need to pack it on for this new world we’re living in! I like a little blush to show through the screen.
How do you take care of your hair?
Oribe in general is my holy grail haircare brand. The scent, oh my god, if I could wear it as a perfume, I definitely would. Twice a week, I’ll use the Oribe Deep Conditioner in the shower, and after a shower, I’ll brush through my curls and use the Oribe Royal Blowout Hair Styling Spray. It works, especially for my dry, frizzy hair.
What about fragrance?
My daily perfume is No. 4 by Maison Louis Marie. Ages ago, I was given the No. 4 candle, burned through it really quickly and found out they launched the same scent as a perfume. My husband always says, you smell delicious, even though I wear it every day!
Who taught you about makeup growing up?
I actually wasn’t allowed to wear makeup into high school. I wasn’t even allowed to shave my legs, which I got into a big fight over! My older sister had the iconic Bobbi Brown makeup book — I snuck into her room, took it from her bookshelf and read it cover to cover.
Ok, let’s do a lightning round…
What makes an inviting bed: All the pillows you can fit, and the fluffiest throw blanket
Irrational fear: That I’ll walk into the bathroom, turn on the light switch and they’ll be a huge cockroach; I brace myself for it every time!
Favorite dessert: Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream
Pandemic activity: Growing flowers from seed
Go-to podcast: One of my favorites is Chanel Miller’s Childhood podcast, which is great for pandemic times. It’s just her and her sister chatting about their childhood memories; it feels like you’re in the room, giggling with them about their inside jokes.
What makes you feel beautiful?
When I make time for myself. For example, doing the entire skincare routine and putting care into my face as I’m massaging the serum into my skin, etc. As an introvert, I find alone time to be so important. I need it to recharge. I’m constantly on the phone and in meetings, but it can be a lot to transition from that straight into talking to my husband and playing with the dog; of course, I love those things, but now that we’ve lost that commute time, I’ve lost that moment to center myself. Locking myself into a room — even the bathroom — is my top self-care tip that I’d give to anyone so you can just be at peace.
(Wedding photos by Astrid Photography.)
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