Trista DeVries is a brand coach, marketer, and web designer who is passionate about helping women-identified business owners build growth-ready, big thriving brands.
I love today’s interview because Trista really digs deep into her roots and start with beauty, but also outlines her thoughts on beauty in social media … AND gives us a detailed account of her almost 10-step K-beauty routine! Find out which step she skips – keep reading!
What did beauty mean to you growing up, and what or whom were your major influences?
I wrote a lot of answers to this question, but the truth is, my understanding of beauty when I was growing up came from my mother – which, I’m sure is the same for a lot of us. When I think of my mother, I think of someone who wasn’t very concerned with beauty at all but instead someone who was concerned with image.
She was a small business owner and managed a large team of staff, so she wanted to look professional and appropriate for the workplace. She was also streamed into blue collar education and trade schools as a teenager because her father was a blue-collar worker, so I think she was always trying to prove that she wasn’t poor or stupid (things she’d been told growing up.) To her, how you presented directly impacted how people treated you.
I hit puberty very early (at 9!) and with it came severe cystic acne, which was complicated by my genetically inherited extremely oily skin. My mom saw this as a “problem” to be solved, so I went to more estheticians before I was 15 than I have in the remaining 25 years of my life. As a result, I grew up believing that being beautiful wasn’t something I *could* be, which was only compounded by the teen magazines that I was (somehow) allowed to devour with great gusto.
As a result, beauty has always a fairly elusive concept to me, in general. Growing up in the 80s (and with everything mentioned here), the pervasive message was that only very beautiful women were lovable. This was certainly compounded by the idea that I wasn’t beautiful and needed a lot of work to make me beautiful.
Ultimately, my understanding of a human who could be loved and a beautiful person became intertwined. Your body was what made you deserving of love.
What role does beauty play in your life at this moment? How has it changed over the years? What do you focus on to feel like your most beautiful self? (e.g. skincare, makeup, hair, mental well-being, physical well-being?
Well, once I met my husband and realized that my beauty wasn’t connected to my self worth, beauty became more of an internal personal thing for me. Around my 30th birthday I started to play with clothes that made me feel good – to really define my style – and makeup has never really played a big role in that. I do some eyeliner and mascara, a little bit of lipstick, and that’s it!
I’ve gone back and forth between wearing a “full face” – which I assure you has never even approximated an actual “full face” – but my default is bare skin, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. I try more to just feel good in a general sense than using a beauty routine to make myself feel more beautiful.
What are your thoughts on beauty in social media and what do you wish for or hope to see as beauty evolves each year? (e.g. inspirational, aspirational, overdone, attainable, unattainable?)
There’s this kind of period in your late teens and early 20s when everything seems like it’s made for you. Suddenly you begin to see yourself reflected in every advertising campaign, every clothing store, every beauty brand. You have no idea why you feel so good – or so free and desired – until this moment in your life passes.
When you realize that it’s because only that fleeting moment in a woman’s life is desired and prized by people who make things, you really start to see it through a very different lens.
Social media has come to really compound this phenomenon. If beauty bloggers and influencers are to be successful, then they need to be either in that moment of their lives or look like they’re in that moment. The beauty bloggers of today – while you cannot imagine Insta without them – will be gone in 5 years, replaced by a whole new group who looks nearly exactly like them.
What needs to change is the idea of what’s beautiful and what’s desirable. If we can do that as a society, then social media will change, too.
Describe your journey with beauty as each birthday or decade passes.
I am so legitimately unconcerned about getting older.
In fact, not long after my 40th birthday, I decided I wasn’t interested in colouring my hair anymore. So, after 25 years of dyeing every 6 to 9 weeks, I just started letting my natural colour grow in. And, it’s mostly gray, which is something I’m surprisingly fine with.
I looked at a picture I took of myself recently, and I can for sure see the extra lines around my eyes and the gray hair. It doesn’t change that I still feel at home and beautiful in my body. And truly, I feel no different on the inside than I did when I was 22. This is an impossible concept to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but I just know that I have to take slightly better care of my digestive system and my knees hurt way more than they used to – but beyond that, I’m the same.
(I also really love celebrating my birthday, so this may perhaps help me feel less like I’m “getting older” and more like I’m “getting to celebrate me AGAIN!” When I type that out it feels narcissistic, so I’m going to talk about that in therapy this week.)
Explain your current beauty routine, and please feel free to provide examples of looks you want to learn, procedures you want to try, or treatments you are curious about!
Two years ago, I discovered Korean 10-Step beauty routines, and I’ve honestly never looked back. I don’t do every step, but here’s what I consistently do every day.
1. Oil cleanser: Right now I’m using one by Burt’s Bees, but truly almost any oil cleanser will do. This has made the biggest measurable change in my skin. It truly takes out the excess oil and makes my skin overall less oily. Why, oh why did I resist so long??
2. Water Cleanser: I use Wonder Pore’s Deep Foaming Cleanser. I can’t read the package (because it’s in another language), so I don’t know what’s in it. I just know it works, so I don’t even care.
3. Exfoliator: I use the St. Ives Tea Tree Scrub because it has regularly shaped grit. So many exfoliators have irregular sized ingredients, often with jagged edges that can tear at pores and make then look bigger. I truly don’t need any help with that.
4. Toner: I use Wonder Pore’s Pore Freshener. This was the first thing I started with and even just using this I saw such a huge difference that I’ve stuck with it. It’s my ride-or-die, desert island product. Get some.
5./6. Essence / Serum: I’ve played with a bunch of these. Everything from Vitamin C serum to the Wonder Pore pre refining essence, but the one I’m liking the most right now is Youthful from Stella & Dot. Despite its truly terrible name, I’ve been using it for about 3 months and I notice a really significant difference in brightness overall and redness reduction.
7./8. Moisturizer/Sunscreen: Moisturizer and I have always had a very complicated relationship because I’m so oily. I’ve been consistently using and liking the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair. It has Retinol and SPF 30 sunscreen, which has been keeping things looking smooth and protected without making me feel overly oily or weighed down.
9. Masks: I use a variety of sheet masks that I find online and at retail. There’s no one I really like in particular, except that I’m usually looking for brightness and general calming. The one non-sheet mask that has been a real game changer for me is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. You mix it with apple cider vinegar, and it dries so much that your face pulses and you go beet red after (for a little while, it’s all good), but sweet buttery baby Jesus does it ever clean out your pores. It’s great for acne scarring (of which I have TONS) and general cleaning out of closed pores.
There’s no step 10 here because I don’t believe in eye creams. Ha! That’s my routine!
Give us your fast five …
Beauty Muse : Right now I’m really crushing on Jamie-Lee Curtis. She’s just so badass.
Favourite Product : Wonder Pore Pore Freshener
Your Splurge Item : A good serum. It’s worth it!
Best Beauty Skill : Learning to manage my extremely oily skin and scalp.
Worst Beauty Skill : Actually doing makeup. *wipes away tears of laughter*