“In my previous HR life, I learned to navigate a myriad of personalities and competing priorities. Believe it or not, this type of day-to-day laid a really solid foundation that helps me manage my professional beauty life with ease.”
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it? What skills and knowledge did you gain while working there?
I actually worked my way through college. I worked full time for Prudential Financial while going to school full time. I started out as a recruiter's assistant and eventually became a recruiter before I even graduated college. I peaked (professionally) early!
Before landing at Bergdorf Goodman, you were an HR Exec at the New York Times. What were your job responsibilities in this position? What were your favorite and least favorite parts about working in HR?
Initially I was the head of HR for About.com, a company that was owned by The New York Times. My role involved overseeing all HR functions for the organization. After about two years, I was promoted to The New York Times side of the business where I took on a diversity focused recruitment role. In my previous HR life, I learned to navigate a myriad of personalities and competing priorities. Believe it or not, this type of day-to-day laid a really solid foundation that helps me manage my professional beauty life with ease. I really appreciate and value this sort of background. As for the thing that I liked least...it was probably the lack of creativity in HR. But, that actually ended up being a good thing because it forced me to pursue creativity outside of HR--and we all know how that turned out :).
You're currently Bergdorf Goodman's Social Media Beauty Editor. What steps did you take to successfully make the transition into the beauty industry?
I took the very careful step of getting laid off. LOL. Truthfully, I'm always very careful to not overly romanticize what it means to strike out on your own. I had the good fortune of a lay off, which provided a financial cushion. At that time it was just me and Mr. ThisThatBeauty, so we could afford the 'risk'. I had already built up a following and a brand that was garnering attention. So, when the lay off happened, I was really prepared and knew exactly what to do to take my blog/ brand to the next level. It was a gradual, yet steady build.
What are your primary responsibilities at Bergdorf Goodman? What does a typical day look like for you?
No two days are ever the same, and my day rarely begins the same way. Some mornings start at press events or market appointments with our vendors. In both scenarios, I’m as pleased as punch because I love checking out new beauty. When my day starts at my desk, I always go through my emails first and scan for high priorities. From there it’s a maze of strategy and planning sessions with our buying team and vendors, copywriting, shooting products, and managing our social platforms (for beauty).
How do you find balance between your personal and your professional life?
Trust me, it has taken lots of trial, error and plain old getting it wrong. At this point, I've learned to give myself a little cushion between the office and home--and in this time I try to answer as many emails as possible before I reach home. Once I'm home, I'm mom. No emails. I also (try to) limit my late nights to one per week...press events are an unavoidable part of my profession. The weekends are generally reserved for family and friends… no work. But come Fashion Week, all bets are off.
“I'm always excited for new colors and spring is the perfect time to experiment. As for skincare, if it's Korean -- I'll try it! I'm currently obsessed with all things Korean.”
You are also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the very successful beauty blog, ThisThatBeauty.com. What inspired you to begin blogging and what keeps you going?
Quite frankly, I needed an outlet to purge my beauty ramblings, and many many years later, I'm still like a kid in a candy store, so that keeps me excited and going. I'm never not excited to try a new fill-in-the-blank.
Tell us about your winter beauty regimen--how do you keep your skin hydrated and moisturized despite the cold, harsh air?
My winter beauty routine is all about layers. I strategically layer moisture into every step. I start with a hydrating cleansing balm like Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm. In addition to Hungarian Moor Mud, which acts as a dirt-and-grime magnet, this creamy balm also contains a touch of Sweet Almond Oil, which leaves my skin looking super glowy. I like using it with a muslin cloth for added gentle exfoliation. Next, I layer more moisture with a skin-balancing toner or facial essence. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is my go-to. I’m also a fan of Cle de Peau Beaute Energizing Essence. And I’m never without Chantecaille Rosewater for a midday spritz; the anti-inflammatory properties are so good for dehydrated, winter skin.
For my eyes, I generally layer an eye serum and then an eye cream. My current favorite eye cream is Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20. It leaves just a touch of bright, which I love. I follow the same layering process for my face – hydrating serum and then a moisturizing sunscreen. For winter, my skin responds really well to retinol (not so much in summer), so I go really hard with a supercharged, retinol-based serum. I’m currently using StriVectin StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Concentrated Serum for day and Kate Somerville 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream for night. For daytime, I top everything off with a generous slathering of ReVive Perfectif Even Skin Tone Cream SPF 30.
When I’m in a hurry (and as a new mom, this occurs way more than I’d like to admit), I cleanse, press in a face oil (Restorsea 24kt Liquid Gold Face Oil with Vibransea™ Complex is my current fav), and apply sunscreen. My year-round, nonnegotiable beauty product is daily sunscreen. Even if I have to skip everything in the middle, I am never without sunscreen.
What new products or brands are you most looking forward to for spring?
I'm always excited for new colors and spring is the perfect time to experiment. As for skincare, if it's Korean -- I'll try it! I'm currently obsessed with all things Korean.
What three products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal--those Holy Grail items you just can't live without?
Honestly, it begins and ends with daily broad-spectrum sunscreen. That's the key to everything--clear skin, even tone, (staying) wrinkle-free. Sunscreen is the answer. I also love masking because the results are so instantaneous. Lastly, a nice face oil makes me very happy. When I'm too busy (or lazy) for all of the steps, face oil is a good catchall.
What is the most indulgent beauty treatment you've ever had?
I’ve had some pretty decadent treatments at the Orlane Institute in Paris. If I said much more than that, it would sound like I'm bragging :).
What's the best piece of beauty advice you've ever received?
Start early. And obviously, we all know that true beauty comes from within...that goes without saying (but I just said it!). There's no reason to not nurture both inner and outer beauty.
Learn more about Felicia, plus get her insider beauty advice at her site, ThisThatBeauty.com. You can also connect with her on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.