I’m A 24-Year-Old Video Production Associate & Dermaplaning Saves Me $$ On Makeup

In this special-edition diary series, women open up about their over-the-top, hyper-specific, or otherwise unique beauty and wellness routines — with the added consideration of money. Here, we take an honest look at how real people take care of their bodies and minds, including why they love their beauty and wellness practices, how they can afford them, and how they make them feel. As told to Vanessa Golembewski.

Cassie, 24
Video Production Associate
Sayreville, NJ

What’s your usual beauty routine?
“One thing that everyone thinks is weird is I use baby wash to wash my face. I have rosacea, so I can’t use anything harsh or scented because I will get a bad flare-up. The baby wash is nice and gentle and removes everything. I’ve been doing that for about a year and noticed a big change right away. I haven’t had a rosacea flare-up pretty much since I started doing that. My roommate asked me why I had baby wash and was so confused when I told her it was for my face.”

How did you first decide to start using it?
“I used to use it to just wash my makeup brushes, but one day I was in a pinch and didn’t have any face wash. So I was like, Well it gets the makeup off my brushes... And it was really life-changing.”
How do you follow up a baby-washed face?
“After that I use vitamin C serum every other day, and once a week I use a dermaroller, like the tiniest one. I just go over each spot a few times. Using it with serum helps it sink in. My moisturizer is from Belif and is the only one that’s ever worked on my skin.
“I also shave my face. I have really dry skin, especially in the winter. One time I looked up remedies for this and found dermaplaning. I first got it done at a lavish medical spa where it was $150, and I was like, I can buy a straight razor and do this myself. It works and really exfoliates my skin. I’ve been doing it for almost two years. When I say I shave my face I think people think I have a beard and take a razor to shave it, but that is not the case. And I don’t care about talking about it — if my crazy routine can change someone else’s life, then it’s worth it.”

What about makeup?
“I tattoo my eyebrows. It is life-changing. I have really, really light eyebrows naturally. I was filling them in every day, even to run errands because they’re so light. I don’t want to have to do this every day of my life. I went to a place to get them done the first time — it’s not like a tattoo gun, it’s like a tiny blade. They numb the area with cream and draw them on and then blade out hairs. I went once and then went for a touch-up a few months later. That was two years ago. I would go more if it weren't so expensive.”
So has this all changed your makeup routine?
“It has in the sense that I can do more and use a wider variety of products. When my skin was dry and flaky, I couldn’t use foundation or primer that wasn’t moisturizing; the only foundation I could use was this fancy one that cost like $40 a bottle. But now, I can use anything and make it work. I used to never wear blush because my skin was so red. But now that I have everything under control, I use blush, which is also a life-changing product. I can put my bronzer and highlighter on and I’m like, okay. But you put the blush on? It’s perfect.”

How does your beauty routine affect your wellbeing?
“When my skin’s dry and I have a flare-up and no eyebrows, it doesn’t feel good. Everyone can tell you you’re beautiful, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel that way inside. Even the eyebrow thing — waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and having eyebrows is life-changing. And it feels good to have control over how my skin behaves and knowing the exact right things to do to stop it when it acts up. Learning the balance and finding a full routine is amazing and makes me feel so much better about myself.
“I’ve also noticed a change in my personality. When you look good, you feel good. It’s easier to put yourself out there. I’m naturally a shy person anyway, so it’s just easier to have fun and be more carefree when I'm not worrying, Does my skin look flaky? Is my face red?
What does this all cost you in terms of time and money?
“I buy a huge bottle of baby wash every month and it’s about $5. Moisturizer is about $38, and that lasts me about a month. The serum, which is $45, lasts a while because I use it every other day. My dermaroller is $20, and I replace it every month. The little razors for my face are $5 for a pack of three. My initial eyebrow tattoo session was $600; a touch-up would be about $300. I’m aiming to go for an eyebrow touch-up in a few months, because that will be two years from my last one.

“Eyebrow tattooing is the best money I’ve ever spent. And the money I’ve invested on my skin makes my makeup cost less. Now I only spend maybe $22 to replace my sponges and setting spray every month. In terms of time, my routine doesn’t really take that long. Maybe 30 minutes or so. But I would rather do this for 30 minutes than get an extra half hour of sleep. If I don’t want to be a crusty, dry — I really have no choice if I want to [feel my best].”
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