The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of the lovable, consummate, and loyal Into The Gloss reading community. Submit your own on Instagram – post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) And add the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie so you can be featured on ITG.
Hi! I’m Sonia Patel (@soniapateljain). I was born and raised in New Orleans to traditional Indian immigrant parents. My parents were very strict and I think in response I was in a hurry to get my own life as soon as possible You normally do four years of undergraduate and four-year pharmacy school, but I got undergraduate in two years and entered pharmacy school when I was 19. During my school days, I also worked about 30 hours a week in a retail pharmacy, and so did I. don’t think I slept four years, but I graduated from pharmacy when I was 23 and moved to Dallas and that’s where I started my career.
For the first few years I was a retail pharmacist – I made a good salary and I loved not being in school, but I wanted to see what else was out. When I moved to New York, I met so many women of all races with careers I had never heard of. I saw myself in them and started thinking about my experience with retail pharmacies and what I would change if I had the opportunity. For six months a friend and I recorded the entire experience at the pharmacy and worked to figure out which parts were broken. Half a year later we started Capsule here in New York City. It started as a digital pharmacy, and the idea was that you could get your medication the same day you need it. With this technology, you can do everything very seamlessly and efficiently from your phone. COVID has turned business from a practical, nice one to an essential one and has really changed the way I work. Now I spend most of my day laying the foundations for this product to be available in the US as soon as possible.
As a pharmacist, I love to search for ingredients to understand what’s in my beauty products. In the morning I wash my face with Honest Beauty Gel Cleanser and then apply Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. I’ve been using this for years and I love how well it soaks in my skin. Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and especially here in New York City it really helps protect my skin from the elements. The next product I use is a peptide eye cream, the Biossance Squalane Eye Cream, because I have a bit of hollowness under my eyes. Since my skin is rather oily, I prefer gel moisturizers with dimethicone. It really helps lock in moisture into the skin without making me shiny. Trusting in a Gel Lotion from It Cosmetics is a great lightweight gel-based moisturizer. I store all of my products in a mini fridge in my bathroom to keep them effective longer and also because I love the feel of cold products on my skin. I also have a rose quartz roller there and use it to massage my skin for about two minutes in the morning. The last thing I use is sunscreen. Colorescience’s tinted sunscreen is my everyday favorite, and I also use a layer of their SPF powder for extra protection. My most common makeup product is lip balm, and either Henne Organics or Eco Lips Mongo Kiss sit on my desk while I work. I also spray Mario Badescu rose water toner once a day to feel refreshed.
I wear a bit of makeup but definitely keep it simple. First, I apply Bareminerals Tinted Powder to mattify any excess oil and give my skin a smooth finish. I’m a huge fan of Live Tinted and their mission, and the Huesticks are amazing. If my kids have kept me up all night and I haven’t got enough sleep, I use the Huestick to correct the color under my eyes and dab MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation on it with my fingers. But if I want to add a little more I can use the Huestick as a blush or eye shadow. I have a few of these, but the shade I use the most is Perk. When I also use a highlighter, I like the glossier, which is a highlighter and moisturizer in one. I use the shadow quartz.
Make-up is all about the eyes. I use Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara which has really cool ingredients and an amazing brush. I want a very subtle effect and don’t like chunky mascara that makes my lashes look really thick. I’ve had microblading done in the past, and to be completely honest, I used a random Groupon – I didn’t know then that I should probably do a little research. Luckily they did a great job. To touch up, I use Benefit Brow Zing and the Bobbi Brown eyebrow brush. I’ve been using this brush for about 10 years and I’ve probably bought four of them. The last thing I do is line my bottom waterline. In Indian culture, wearing pigment under the eyes is very common – we call it kajal. Most people in America only use a pencil eyeliner, but for some reason the color instantly disappears into my waterline as soon as I apply a pencil. My mom used this thick putty from India in her waterline and it looked darker. As I watched her do it, it inspired me to apply eyeshadow to my waterline with a Sephora eyeliner brush with a very sharp edge. I just pat it dry and it absorbs all the water that is there. The combination works better than a pencil to keep the pigment in place and the line stays sharper for longer.
I’ve always worn the same two fragrances – I really never get lost. Carolina Herrera 212 my daily fragrance. It’s very light and flowery, lasts without being overwhelming and always compliments me. My nightly scent is Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, a classic. When I put this perfume on I know I’m going somewhere and as soon as I put it on I get excited. I haven’t worn it in a long time because I haven’t gone anywhere and the thought of putting it on to sit around makes me sad. With all the chaos and unpredictability in my life, these two scents grounded me and reminded me of happy moments.
I don’t think anyone in my life knows I have curly hair because I don’t leave my house without blowing it out. Throughout my life I have tried every treatment under the sun: straightening irons, keratin treatments, perms … I also dyed my hair every shade from blonde to black so I am definitely trying to give her a lot of extra love. I use Grown Alchemist Shampoo and Ouai Conditioner which work very well together. I also use Ouai’s leave-in conditioner. When I blow dry my hair, I use Olaplex 7 Bonding Oil before and after applying heat. I like to use a paddle brush and either a Babyliss or Dyson hair dryer. Both are great, but I think the Dyson is a bit stronger and makes my hair smoother. I also do a lot of deep conditioning treatments. I will wear coconut or almond oil overnight once a week and I will usually be using Olaplex 3 Hair Perfector on a Saturday morning. I leave it on for three to four hours – I go to the gym, make breakfast, and take a shower a few hours later. This product single-handedly changed my hair texture. It’s so cool.
My hairdresser Monica cuts my hair and then we usually cover grays with dark brown and add warm balayage tones. I’ve seen her for a long time and I love that she knows my hair. Every month I also get this thing called the Shine Bomb, which is a gloss-slash conditioner that is a complete game changer. In the week and a half after the gloss bomb treatment, my hair is silky smooth. I use Life Extension biotin for my hair and skin, and I also considered taking collagen – I’ve heard really good things about it for hair growth. In terms of beauty additives, I would say look for products that are certified. Most OTC products are not regulated by the FDA, and sometimes when I read the ingredients on the supplement labels, there is nothing in the product that works at all. Or they are formulated in doses that are not effective. Be sure to research brands and understand their manufacturing processes.
For my nighttime skin care regimen, I add retinol for fine lines. The Inkey List Retinol Serum is around $ 10, and I can use it every day without feeling irritated. It’s a really great product. I use an exfoliator once or twice a week to highlight newer, fresher skin. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA works pretty well – I put it on at night and my skin is glowing in the morning. I also really enjoy making masks. Glytone makes a really powerful scrub that you leave on for about ten minutes. I like that the Odacite Bioactive Rose Peel is really natural and has beautiful ingredients. And then my favorite is the Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask. My husband is from Japan, we had our wedding in Tokyo and every time I go I fall in love with the beauty products there. I can only bring a few back and then I’ll run out. I love Tatcha because the entire line was inspired by the geisha’s beauty regimes, which used natural ingredients and Japanese superfoods. It’s the best I can get here for access to these products. I have identical three-year-old twins, and it’s been a challenging couple of months between having kids and running a business. Lying fifteen minutes while I make a mask, with no children, is the time I have to myself. “
– as ITG said
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