Real Girls, Real Beauty: 4 Local Babes Show Us How They Get Gorg

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on April 17.]
Who runs the world? Girls. Specifically (if we do say so ourselves), San Francisco girls. Seriously though, it’s no secret that we love supporting our local ladies. And for the latest installment of Real Girl, Real Beauty, we’re bringing you the prettifying secrets of not one, not two, but four S.F. lovelies who are killing it career-wise and looking oh-so stunning while they're at it.
We’ve asked our bevy of successful Bay Area beauties what products they can’t live without, how they turn a basic look up a notch, and even a few things they might have been embarrassed to admit. This city may be a hot spot for natural beauty, but don’t get it twisted — these local stunners put in the work, too! Along with beautiful portraits of the ladies themselves, we've got all their get-gorgeous secrets for you to copy, stat. Because while we know it's what’s on the inside that counts, looking hot on the outside definitely doesn’t hurt, either.
01_Angelica3 Angelica modeling some fuchsia lip color (and a matching scarf) out in her garden.
Angelica Benjamin, HR Generalist, Co-Founder of Digitally Chic
Where do you find your beauty inspiration?
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I really admire unique, confident women. It takes a lot of courage to stay true to who you are, and not conform to what you are told you should look like. There is something to be said about how effortlessly Queen Latifah radiates confidence and individuality. Everything she does is so graceful. She definitely gives me the strength to accept and embrace my differences — and be proud of who I am."
A few of Angelica's go-to products!
What beauty products do you absolutely swear by?
"Clinique’s 3-step System (or pretty much any skin care product they make), MAC products (I live at the counter), Palmer's Cocoa Butter, Nivea’s Firming Lotion Q10 Plus is literally heaven in a bottle, Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub, and Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm With Pomegranate Oil."
What’s your go-to beauty look?
"Something light and pretty always does the trick. I prefer to use MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish. It has very minimal coverage, and a hint of color. So, your face can breathe throughout the day. On top of that, I add black eyeliner with a thicker winged edge, matte peach blush with an added layer of shimmer, defined brows, and a pop of color on my lips. MAC has an amazing finishing spray called Fix+ — after my makeup is done, I spritz to set, and I'm ready for the world!"
angelica_3 Angelica's array of amazing lip products. Wowza!
What beauty trends do you steer clear of?
"I steer clear of anything that alters my natural self — like tanning, plastic surgery, lip injections, or Botox. Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?"
04_Angelica4 Smile!
What’s one thing you splurge on in the name of beauty?
"Mascara! I’m pretty sure I go through a tube of MAC’s Haute and Naughty Lash every week. It can get pricey, but you can’t put a price on fabulous lashes."
Photographed by Christine Ting
Look at those baby blues!
Jenna Boulé, Marketing Manager at Apple
Where do you find your beauty inspiration?
"Inspiration can come from anything — doing new things, going new places, and an appreciation for good design. And of course, elements of other people’s style are inspiring to me, too. I love the website Svpply for finding new things. I use Svpply like most people use Pinterest, to curate a collection of things that are pleasing, but I appreciate that everything on the site can be purchased. I also really love finding vintage pieces (doesn't everyone), and have a few go-to places that aren't typically known for clothing."
A pretty snapshot of Jenna's makeup bag (and the crave-worthy contents).
What beauty products do you absolutely swear by?
"I'm pretty open to trying new products, but there are a few that have staying power. D.J.V. Beautenizer Fiberwig Mascara is the absolute best, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle has been my go-to scent since 2005, and my Jenny Pennywood toiletries bag that was a gift. I also really love Chanel nail polish for the quality and strong pigment of colors. It'll grow out before it chips! Lately, a good friend introduced me to Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks, which are really moisturizing and come in great colors."
Have any beauty secrets? Do tell!
"I'm often asked, ‘How do you get your hair like that?’ Well, I use a really small amount of Kevin Murphy's Motion.Lotion, and then diffuse my hair with my head upside down for maximum volume. From there, I go back through with a one-inch curling iron to get the frizz out, and tame my ‘fro. Also, I wash my hair about three to four times a week, and rotate between fancy and cheap shampoos every other wash."
Jenna's super-organized cabinet! Jealous?
What’s one thing you splurge on in the name of beauty?
"I'm generally pretty thrifty, but I learned early on there's a big difference between nice makeup and the cheap stuff. So, I splurge on most makeup. I also got hooked on Santa Maria Novella's Body Milk after receiving it as a gift from my brother."
What feature do you like to play up?
"The two features I receive compliments on the most are my eyes and hair. My hair does its own thing regardless, so I can't take any credit for playing that up — but with makeup I'll try to use colors and tones that bring out my blue eyes. Stila makes a great eye shadow trio called Gold Rush that I wear day-to-day, and it can also be used as a great base for a smoky, or more dramatic eye. Very versatile."
Photographed by Christine Ting
Lily is all smiles in a lovely red hue, and a cute polka dot top.
Where do you find your beauty inspiration?
"I'm constantly inspired by French New Wave films — especially, Anna Karina. Their look is always so chic and timeless. Also, the gals of Twin Peaks, and can't forget RuPaul."
A bevy of beauty products!
What’s your go-to beauty look?
"Bright lips with a cat-eye."
Any beauty inspired diet tips?
"Chia seeds! They're full of omegas 3 and 6, which is great for your skin, and keeps your body hydrated."
What beauty products do you absolutely swear by?
"The Clarisonic has been the MVP of my beauty routine — it has freed my skin of breakouts, and leaves it baby-butt soft. Also, Osmosis Skin Care keeps my skin great, its full of effective, but non-irritating ingredients and is organic. Lately, I've been a lipstick junkie, so I've been swearing by YSL lipstick. It doesn't dry out my lips, and comes in a slew of colors."
Could her nails be any cooler?
Any bad habits you’re willing to admit?
"I'm a pimple picker!"
Photographed by Christine Ting
Gina posing for the camera in her Jordan Park home.
Gina Pell, Chief Creative Officer at Joyus
Where do you find your beauty inspiration?
"I spent the greater part of last year sampling and researching hundreds of beauty products for Joyus, and discovered a plethora of transformational cosmetics that became our bestsellers."
Gina's eye-catching cremes and perfumes.
What beauty trends do steer clear of?
"I've been in the fashion and beauty industry for too long, which means I've tried just about everything. I'd be a hypocrite if I criticized any specific trend, but I would only say to be prudent of some of the more aggressive facial treatments — and always ask for referrals!"
What’s one thing you splurge on in the name of beauty?
"I wish there was only one thing! However, I really do believe that we are never more beautiful than when we are happy — so I will splurge on any and every experience that will help me attain that state. I'm an ardent fan of luxurious girlfriend getaways. My last one was at The Ritz in Half Moon Bay with BFFs from my previous company, Splendora."
Stunning Va!entinos
What feature do you like to play up?
"I'm actually more focused on trying to hide my under-eye circles. Between my work, two toddlers, and life's ups and downs — it's hard to get that beauty sleep."
Gina's color-soaked house.
What’s your go to beauty look?
"Red lipstick, hydrated skin, and pearl earrings."
Photographed by Christine Ting

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