We recently met up with our friend Stephanie to take a peek inside her beauty bagg. Don’t be fooled by the professional exterior of this pharmacist, however – this health care professional is Sephora VIB status!
Name: Stephanie Pham
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Garland, TX. I met my husband in high school and we both went to college together at UT. We were high school sweethearts. Now I manage my own pharmacy in Las Colinas [a suburb of Dallas]. I like to eat out and I love my dog, a corgie named Koji!
What were your first memories of using makeup?
I started doing makeup when I was in middle school. I hung out with all the “bad kids” back then and we wanted to go for the goth look, with thick black eyeliner.
What attracted you to the goth look?
Chinese families are so strait-laced, so that was my breakaway from that a little bit. It made me feel on the dangerous side even though I was actually a really good kid and made straight A’s.
With makeup, you don’t have to do anything major, but you can feel like a whole different person.
By high school I guess I figured out that it was not a good look. I started wearing less eyeliner and added a little bit of mascara because I was still trying to date my husband at that time. I would think, “Oh, maybe if I wear more mascara he’ll notice me!”
My parents thought it was just puppy love. I showed them!
Do you think the media portrays an artificial ideal of beauty?
People blame the media more than they really should. I don’t think they’re doing a horrible job of portraying something; it’s just how you react to that portrayal.
Since I’m a healthcare professional, I see people who get plastic surgery all the time. And they’re so self-conscious. When I’m talking to them, sometimes I’ll ask, “Is it what you expected? Are you happy with how it looks?” Most of the time they’re still not happy and keep going back for more.
Some people never show their face. They always have other people come to the pharmacy for them, and I figured out it’s because of a self-image issue. Some still put crazy, crazy makeup on, like eyelash extensions just to go jogging. You can tell a lot of times they never look you in the eye and never want to talk about anything. That gives me an indication that despite doing all that stuff you’re still not happy with yourself… I think that’s a little bit sad.
Since I’m a healthcare professional, I see people who get plastic surgery all the time. When I’m talking to them, sometimes I’ll ask, “Is it what you expected? Are you happy with how it looks?”
What do you use for skincare?
I just got the Clairsonic brush. I love it. It’s only been a week and it’s gotten rid of a lot of bumps. I use that first. Then I use Korres pomegranate pore-minimizing moisturizer. It smells like roses!
Your makeup looks so natural! What’s your usual routine?
I’ve been breaking out recently, so I dab on Stila concealer. Then I use my liquid foundation and blend that. Usually I do my eyebrows first. I’ve tried a bunch and the Benefit brown gel one is a lot better, so I brush it on diagonally. The nude eyeshadow goes on my eyelids because when I’m tired they get brown and red.
Then liquid eyeliner, top and bottom. I just pull my eyelid and do my line, sometimes I swoop it up, sometimes I don’t, it never looks the same!
What beauty features do you feel most self-conscious about?
I have really thin eyebrows, so for the most part I have to draw them in. My eyebrows stop right there [points at half way point of eye]. One day, my cousin made an innocent comment to me and said, “You look like your eyes are smiling because they look like semicircles!” I was like, oh my god. It was completely innocent but to this day I still think about it. That comment traumatized me!
Also, I have huge lips, so I think I can’t do the dramatic red lip thing. And when my skin breaks out, it makes me very sad.
And look — even Stephanie’s corgie Koji loves her beauty products:
How does your husband feel about your beauty obsession?
If he’s watching me do makeup, he’ll stare at me, and be like, “What does that do?” “Do you need that?” I’m like, “Yes, go away!!”
Thanks for letting us in on your beauty secrets, Stephanie! You rock.
Do you have any questions or suggestions for Stephanie? If so, leave them in the comments below.