Veronica Pohls is a talent acquisition partner at one of Los Angeles's top software companies. She's incredibly kind, intelligent and enviably stylish, as you can see. Today, she shares her secret to gorgeous hair, her favorite drugstore beauty buys and a surprising trick for smoother skin.
What's your morning skin care routine?
I'm a chronic alarm snoozer, so my morning skin care routine is all about efficiency. I usually take care of my skin while I'm showering by mixing equal parts Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and exfoliating my face with my hands. Yes, I exfoliate my face every day, even though I am not supposed to. I put coconut oil all over my whole body (while still in the shower) and I apply IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum to my face before topping it off with Keihl's Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30.
What makeup do you normally wear?
Since 2012, I'm pretty sure my New Year's resolution has been to spend more time making myself look presentable before work. Maybe 2017 will be my year, but for now, I keep my weekday makeup very minimal due to laziness — but also to give my skin a break.
Face: I start with bareMinerals Prime Time Primer. Then, I layer a light-medium coverage liquid foundation underneath a powder foundation for long lasting coverage. I am loving Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Y375 (thanks, Kylie Jenner's Snapchat story) and I've used bareMinerals Powder Foundation in Medium Beige since I was 15. If I have one tip for foundation, it's to invest in quality brushes to apply it. I use a Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Blender (#78) for the liquid, and Sephora's Classic Must Have Large Powder Brush (#30) for the powder.
I then attempt to tackle the dark circles under my eyes by layering on NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (this stuff is life-changing) in little triangle shapes under my eyes. I do this with my fingers so it warms it up as it blends in. Then, I'll swipe on some Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate. This stuff is the best because it has a brown undertone rather than orange, so it's great for olive skin!
Eyes: Lately, I've been all about trying to make my brows look way better than they do with Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade. I usually skip eyeshadow during the week and go straight to making my best attempt at a subtle cat eye with Eyeko's Fat Liquid Eyeliner. I have no patience for precision, so this eyeliner has really changed the game for me since it's so easy to use and stays on ALL DAY.
For mascara, I am constantly switching between expensive and cheaper brands. I like to layer multiple brands, and today I used Maybelline Lash Sensational and Tarte's Tarteist Lash Paint. I always choose the blackest color they make.
Lips: I love MAC's Lip Pencil in Half-Red because you can use it to create a light lip or a dark lip. It also has a blue undertone, so it helps make your teeth look super white! My go-to lipstick is MAC's Twig, and I usually add a light layer of bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Smooch.
Okay... I guess that wasn't so "minimal" after all, but I love makeup!
What are your go-to haircare products?
I only shampoo my hair about three times a week, but I condition the ends every day. I have been using Pureology's Hydrate shampoo and conditioner for years. I buy the big liter size and it will last me the whole year! About once a week, I use Neutrogena's Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo which basically strips all the buildup off your hair so it's extra soft and shiny. My hair stylist recommended it to me years ago and I've been using it ever since.
After I shower, I towel dry my hair and spray on some It's a 10 leave-in conditioner. I also comb through about a quarter-size dollop of Living Proof Prime Style Extender. If you have not tried this, you need to!! It makes my hairstyles last for days and smells incredible. I usually let my hair air dry about 90%, then run a round brush and blow dryer through it to smooth it out. I might quickly straighten out any weird kinks, then add some wave with Hot Tools 1-inch Curling Iron.
Last, I spray my whole head with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray — if you don't want to spend $44 on texturizing spray every few months, do NOT try this stuff. You'll be hooked.
How do you dress up your look for a special occasion?
If I have a big meeting or if I a feel like getting compliments when my coworkers see I actually put in effort for once, I do some contouring with my bronzer and the NARS concealer I mentioned earlier. I add eyeshadow with my Urban Decay Naked Palette and maybe go a little heavier with the eyeliner.
If I am going out after work or on the weekend, I apply a few individual fake lashes to the corners of my eyes and go a little darker with my eyeshadow. I also love Urban Decay's All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray to make my makeup really stick.
Do you have any favorite affordable beauty buys?
My two favorite cheap buys are Crest White Strips and Crest Pro-Health HD Daily 2-Step Whitening Toothpaste. I don't feel like myself without white teeth. My love of coffee and red wine is next-level, so these are a must.
I used to lay out in the sun all day every day, but now that I'm older I stay out of the sun as much as possible. I rely on Sally Hansen's Airbrush Sun Tanning Mousse in Dark to make me feel like I'm not a zombie. It has a great green/violet undertone so it looks more natural than some other brands I've tried. I also love using coconut oil as my body moisturizer which is super cheap at Costco.
My dermatologist told me that the reason men age better in the face than women is because they shave every day which exfoliates their skin. Ever since then, I've used Tinkle Eyebrow Razors on my entire face and it really does remove a layer of dead skin! It also gets rid of any peach fuzz so your foundation goes on so much smoother and more flawlessly. A little weird, but don't knock it till you try it!
What do you splurge on?
Like I mentioned, I used to be a sun worshiper and now that I'm in my late twenties I realize why my mom would yell at me for tanning all the time. To combat some of the sun damage, I try to get medical grade chemical peels twice a year and use Dr. G Brightening Peel Gel in between.
I also am a long-time user of Latisse to make my eyelashes grow longer, curlier and thicker. While I still need mascara to achieve a dramatic look, I always have people asking me if my lashes are real. It's pricey, but cheaper than eyelash extensions!
What's the last product you used 'til there was nothing left?
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I would bathe in this if I could.
Do you have a regular fitness routine?
I have worked out regularly since I was 13 and love mixing up my routine. I currently do hot yoga with weights at CorePower about five times a week, which has made my skin so healthy. Something about sweating out half of your bodyweight really gives you a glow. I used to hate yoga, but now I can't go more than two days without it. It has really changed my body and helped me manage my stress.
I also love weightlifting and try to mix that in at least once a week. Cardio is my least favorite, so all I really do in that department is walk to work every day.
What's one thing you do every day that makes you feel great?
Hot yoga really is my favorite part of the day. I also make sure to drink a lot of water (about 100 ounces + any water I drink during my workout).
How do you destress at the end of a long day?
There is a 100% chance of me watching The Office or Friends reruns on Netflix every single night.
What's your evening skin care routine?
I always end my day with a hot shower and make sure to remove my makeup. I use Yes to Cucumbers Cleansing Milk to wash my face, but I usually still have some lingering makeup. I follow that with Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover and Garnier Miscellar Cleansing Water to remove the last traces of makeup.
When do you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
I feel most comfortable when I have no makeup on at all. As much as I love how confident makeup makes me feel, I am never truly comfortable until it's all washed off. I feel my best when I'm sweating my butt off in a yoga class and being active.
How would you describe your approach to beauty?
My approach to beauty is keeping it adaptable to my mood. Sometimes I feel like being ultra-glam, and sometimes I am all about the no-makeup makeup look. It's all about what makes me feel my best on any given day!
Be sure to follow Veronica on Instagram and check back next week for the latest installment of 52 Faces, a weekly series that spotlights a real woman's beauty routine. If you missed last week's interview, Coraline Despeyroux, a marketing coordinator for Burberry, shared her daily 10-minute makeup routine and her go-to hairstyle for rainy London weather.