On the Counter | CJ Shepard

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The one where Fenty setting powder saves lives and Lancome makes highlighters out of fairy dust.

A quick storytime for you. One night a friend/manager from one of my jobs texted me with a photo of her medicine cabinet (with scant medicine to be seen) to share the skincare she had been using on her face. From this photo and my combined love of reading Into the Gloss for hours, I was struck with inspiration to raid my friends’ “top shelves,” if you will.

I’ve helped all my friends with skincare, makeup, you name it. It’s what I do for a living but it’s what I love off hours too (seriously, never hesitate to message me). I love to give often candid opinions with expressive facial expressions in tow to my friends. I love to be helpful!! Even though I’m a Leo!!

Anyways, enough about me. For my first hopefully on going series of Top Shelves (name may be changed so ITG doesn’t get mad at me), I interviewed my friend CJ, one of the coolest people I know. We met at Madewell, bonded over our chill laid back personalities, high end shit and also her fluffy Siberian Husky, Beans.

“I used drugstore [products] when I was like, 15, then I switched and learned what was good in college, and it rocked my world.”

When CJ arrived at my house, she brought in almost all the personal care products in her bathroom at home. Purely for photo purposes, we raided CJ’s stash and dished over the what-why-how of all the things she owned from the comfort of my bedroom.


Cleanse- The Chanel Le Lait is weird, but I’m not going to get rid of it. I got it because it was the most appealing because it just turns to water. You pump it into your hand, wipe it all over your face like a cleanser, and just use a cotton pad to wipe it away. I used it on the plane [when I went to the Philippines] and it was super clutch for that purpose -I didn’t have to get out of my seat to cleanse my face. Oh, it also has micro blue algae in it.

I wouldn’t buy the Le Lait again, but I’m just trying to figure out what I like skincare wise. The Chanel’s not revolutionary but its pleasant. I like cleansers that I can either put on my Foreo, they foam up, or they’re exfoliating.

Tone- Chanel’s Le Tonique gives me life, it’s something I would probably keep buying. I use the Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance all the time.

Treat- Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Clearing Lotion gives me life. If I have acne, it goes away in like, a day. I use it every morning because my routine is shorter than my night routine. I feel like it helps keep me feeling clean between actually applying makeup on top of it because of the bacteria that you can have in makeup. It’s actually an extra precautionary step/preventative measure for acne rather than treat it as is.

Eye Cream- Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening eye cream- Dude, this shit is so good. I’ve tried Banana Bright and Kiehl’s but this is tied with Kiehl’s, I love the consistency.

Moisturize- In the morning, I’ll go to my Origins Original Skin. I’ve been using Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel Creme in the winter, I don’t know if I’d buy it again. I use pretty turbo night moisturizers.

At night I cleanse, tone, apply Herbivore Prism, then I alternate between C.E.O. and Truth Serum, once a week I’ll layer Good Genes on top of CEO then I moisturize again to lock that shit in. I don’t really care if my skin gets oily at night -because it’s so dry in this season.


I got a sample size of Tatcha’s Silk Canvas that’s lasted me three months. I feel like it does what it intends to do, which I appreciate. I like that it’s something you don’t have to squeeze out of a tube and I can just press it into my skin. The Water Cream layers really nice with the Silk Canvas, I would recommend using them together. I like that it’s a stiffer product. I feel like if a primer’s too liquidy, it’s just going to come off and not help the foundation stick. Since I’m so oily,  I really need something to mattify and be tacky and help it not move.

I usually wear Chanel Lumière Velvet. It’s really nice and sheer. I wanted to try a medium coverage foundation because I think full coverage is a little turbo for me. I didn’t have a medium coverage foundation, so I shopped around for what’s mattifying and would stay. Lancome Teinte Idole is marketed as a 24-hour foundation and if I buy a fuller coverage foundation, I don’t want it to move.

Chanel’s not really about full coverage, it’s more of the natural thing which I like because I feel like I don’t wear a ton of makeup. My Lancome was the first time I bought a medium coverage foundation. If I’m feeling really saucy, I’ll try the Estee Lauder [Double Wear] if I wanna splurge on a full coverage.

I’m not usually a big fan of Tarte but I do like their Amazonian Clay Blushes. I don’t wear highlighter often...I mean Amrezy is a little turbo...I like it and use it on my inner corners. I needed to switch it up so that’s why I got this Lancome one. It’s magical, it’s made out of fairy dust. It did come with a pad though and I was like, “How do I apply a highlighter with a pad?” Bronzer wise, I use the Chanel Les Beiges and I actually like the brush it comes with because you can use it. It’s not a pad.

I always keep the Fenty pressed powder in my bag because it saves lives when it comes to touching up my makeup. Guerlain came out with a travelling compact...it’s inlaid with mother of pearl. It’s heavy and nice [packaging]. It smells the same as the OG meteorites. I love Tati, she reviewed it as a highlighter...but it’s not...it fixes your face, that’s all it does. I feel like it does a lot but other people might not think so. It’s not a finishing powder, I use Laura Mercier to set. I’ve tried Tarte and Ciate but they sell Laura for like, $15 at the Bare Minerals outlet so score.

I love this Chanel eyeshadow quad- the formula’s really nice and I really like purples to go with my eyes and complexion. Love me some Chanel Beauty. I also have this mini peach palette from Too Faced. It smells wonderful. I feel like there’s a lot of shades in the OG that I felt like didn’t work with my skintone.

Lips (because this was where CJ got really extra)

I try to keep a nice spread in my bag, there’s a good selection depending on how I’m feeling that day. I’ve tried a lot of lipstick and my top ones would probably be Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Deauville, a nice brown shade -I don’t need a mirror to apply it, NARS lipstick in Damage -a pretty mauve that I wear all the time, and this Shiseido in the shade Sweet Desire. They’re from the Rouge Rouge line -which is a stupid name, but the packaging makes up for it. It has a nice little magnet that keeps the lid and base together. I like the shade and the formula’s really good.

I don’t put lipstick on in my house -it’s something I put on in my car, sitting in traffic, and if the car jerks or something I don’t want to mess it up and have to magically find makeup remover. NARS’ Lip Glide in Paradise Garage is really nice for when I don’t have a mirror. If I need to clean up my lip -I’ve done too much. Like Anastasia, there’s too much clean up involved.

Marc Jacobs Enamored Gloss Stick in One Mauve Time is another one that I like because I don’t need a mirror to use it. It’s sheerish if I want a little bit of color to add to my appearance. I love this shade from Chanel’s Ombre Premiere line. It’s like a pink.


I keep the Chance Eau Fraiche in my bag because it’s my favorite scent and I’ve worn it for the last seven years. I just love the packaging of this one.

As told by CJ to me in great detail and written frantically on my computer 

A love note from me to CJ: Thanks again for bringing almost all of your belongings to my house and letting me root through them! You've been my soulmate to discuss all things high end, makeup, skincare, and our own oily skin drama. Would recommend to a friend but you're mine for now soz. All the love!!

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