Style

My Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Krissie Garland never saw herself becoming a world traveler. But working as a visual manager for H&M (she’s in charge of making those mannequins look so cool!) ignited her wanderlust. She now lives in Shanghai and fully embraces the expat lifestyle. Ahead, Krissie tells us how living abroad sparked her mask obsession and shares a surprising mascara tip…

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

How did you start working abroad?
I’ve worked for H&M for more than 10 years. I started as a merchandiser in L.A. and worked my way up the ranks until H&M asked me to open a store in Mexico. The funny thing is, my whole life I’d never thought about leaving America; it never even crossed my mind. But after my three-year stint in Mexico, I didn’t feel the need to go back. Now that we’re all getting older, my friends at home are starting families; everyone has their own lives. Since I’m not interested in the settling down scenario, I was like, I am just going to go with this. And I took a job in Shanghai.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Tell us about Shanghai.
I live in a typical lane house off the most crowded metro stop. When it rains, you can barely walk because of all the umbrellas. Some areas are so busy that it feels like walking around in Times Square after you’ve just woken up from a 70-year-coma. But then you have lovely quiet areas like the French Concession, where the tree-lined streets are peppered with tiny cafes and hole-in-the-wall dumpling shops.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

What has surprised you about life there?
I was stoked to see so many folks walking around in daytime hours wearing full on pajama sets. I’m definitely inspired by this look — I’m all about pjs in public. Also, the food here is really, really good. Of course, there’s amazing Chinese food, but sometimes I want a Japanese poke bowl or good bagel, and I can always find that, too.

Tell us more about the food!
I’m still nervous to eat whole pig brains, even when it comes in my favorite spicy sauce. And, so far, no chicken feet, coagulated blood, beetles or scorpions. But I’m all about pork dumplings, sautéed eggplant, spicy tofu, cauliflower with Sichuan peppers, and this crazy steamed chicken thing that just falls off the bone.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Has your beauty routine changed since living abroad?
I never cared that much about beauty before, but now I am hooked. People are really into skincare here, and it’s so cheap! In Shanghai, I’m into massages, facials, and am obsessed with masks. One of my coworkers is 44 and uses a mask twice a day, morning and night. I’m not THAT devoted, but I definitely use one at least three times a week. Lately, I have been using Dr. Jart sheet masks.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

What’s your facial skincare routine?
Every morning I wash with Rx for Brown Skin cleanser, and I just become obsessed with a daytime primer/moisturizer/magic potion by the Korean brand Too Cool for School called Egg Cream. It helps my makeup stay on while somehow illuminating my skin from underneath. I also make sure to detox my skin weekly with a charcoal soap now that I live in one of the most congested countries in the world.

What’s the pollution like?
On bad days, kids will be advised not to go outside. You can see only like 100 feet into the sky, there is a light ash floating in the air, and you can smell and taste metal. My hands will get covered in the soot, and then I’ll know I should wash my face midday. But we haven’t had a day like this in a while. Breathing in polluted air is quite exhausting for the body, and I can definitely see it in the extreme bags under my eyes. For that reason, I use the concealer Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller, which is really effective.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Do you wear makeup every day?
Yes, I wear a tinted BB cream (with SPF) by Maybelline. I have tried a LOT of mascaras, and the drugstore mascara that makes my lashes look longest is Rimmel. I also wear a cute pink lip tint by Too Cool for School. Recently, on heavy pollution days, I started substituting my BB cream for a thicker Clinique Anti Pollution cream, which is tinted and has SPF 45.

What products do you use on your body?
I get body breakouts from time to time, so I use Neutrogena Clear Body Wash in the shower. Once a month, if I can’t get to the Korean spa for a “bacial” (yes, a facial for your back!), then I will use a super intense body brillo pad to exfoliate my skin like whoa. In the summer, I use Palmer’s Skin therapy oil. As I’ve gotten older, my legs have some less-than-sexy things happening on them, and this oil keeps varicose veins and discoloration at bay. In the winter, I use Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 Bergamot moisturizer. I looooove the smell, and the luxurious moisture lasts for 24 hours.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Do you have any skincare travel tips?
On a long flight, I get on the plane, I’ll have one glass of wine and watch one movie, then brush my teeth and put on my moisturizing sleep mask.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

What do you love most about your look?
I do love my hair. I know most people wish their hair did something different, but the only thing I wish about my hair is that it would grow longer so I can have more of it.  

You really do have amazing hair. How do you take care of it?
I wash it once a week using Pantene for Women of Color shampoo and conditioner. I have to brush my hair in the shower; otherwise it’s impossible. Then after the shower I separate my hair into four sections and work through L’Oreal Melting Gel and let it air dry. It’s the only product I’ve ever found that actually separates and defines my curls for days.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

What’s the most drastic thing you’ve done with your overall look?
When I was 10, my dad made me cut off all my hair because he said I didn’t know how to take care of it. That’s actually something I’ve heard from a lot from mixed girls. I had crazy hair that my mom, who is white, didn’t really know how to deal with. I never wanted her to comb it, and he was like, “Nope, that’s enough.” My hair was short for four years! I didn’t cry a lot when I was young and I still don’t cry a lot, but I cried for so long after that cut. It was horrendous. Once when I was wearing my cheerleading uniform and selling cookies at the supermarket, I asked a woman if she’d buy some, and she said “Sorry, young man…” I said, “What? Are you serious? I’m wearing a skirt, I’m a girl!” She ended up buying two boxes of cookies.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

What did other women in your life teach you about beauty?
There’s one random lesson that I thank the beauty gods for quite often. My friend, who is a makeup artist in L.A., told me that I should apply mascara to damp lashes, right after I wash my face. There’s an even application without clumps, and my lashes have never looked longer.

Beauty Uniform: Krissie Garland

Thank you, Krissie!

P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, and cool hoop earrings.

(Photos courtesy of Krissie Garland. Interview by Megan Cahn.)

  1. Irene says...

    Love this Beauty Uniform feature!!!! I’m obsessed with Krissie’s straw hat 💗💗💗. Any ideas who makes it???

  2. I wish she could do a tutorial on her hairstyle in the close up shot of her face! I’m one of those white mom’s struggling with my mixed race daughter’s beautiful hair. We’re making it work, but I would love to try that hairstyle in her. Love!

  3. Fave beauty uniform!! Someone’s always coming to the comments to say that lol, but this one’s definitely mine!

    Ditto on wanting to see a week of her outfits. Loved every look!

  4. Tiffany says...

    her hair is bomb! lots of skin tips, I will have to reference in the future. thanks for sharing.

  5. emanuella says...

    This is by far my favorite beauty uniform. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Krissie’s week of outfits. I know you guys usually don’t give a girl a “beauty uniform” feature AND a “week of outfits” feature but surely we can all agree that her style is killer!

  6. I love your hair, and LOVE that you love it, too!

  7. Emily says...

    So interesting. I just now read this, but this morning I applied mascara right out of the shower because I was in a big rush….and it clumped!! I thought, hmm…must be because they’re wet. Funny to read her tip today. I’ll have to try again, I’m sure my mascara is just old and crusty : )

  8. Ines says...

    I’d just like to point something out… British and American people abroad get to be “ex-pats” but the rest of us (particularly those of us from the global south) are simply immigrants. That distinction has always irked me because it speaks of the different treatment certain passports get abroad and the positive perception surrounding certain countries. I have never read anyone ever refer to a mexican community as an expat community, yet that is often the word used for britons abroad. In a post-Brexit, post-Trump world, I think we more than ever need to think about how our language can at times silently re-enforce certain stereotypes.
    x

    • Yes! Thank you for pointing this out. Subtle language cues can be powerful.

    • Krissie Garland says...

      Hey, guys! Just to clarify, I’m an expat because I’m on a specific 2 year contract, I’m not living here forever. Same in Mexico, we were all foreigner on signed contracts. All foreigners here with contracts are considered expats in China as well, that’s the nature of the game.

    • emanuella says...

      Interesting argument to think about. For what its worth, my sis moved to europe from the states and is considered an immigrant over there.

    • Julie says...

      The difference is that immigrants usually intend to live permanently in a foreign country and expats are often only temporary visitors. Hence so-called expat communities are generally in flux with members regularly entering and leaving, but immigrant communities tend to be more stable and set down roots, etc.

  9. Beth says...

    I want to be her friend! She seems so cool and confident! So jealous that she lives in Shanghai, it is one of my favorite cities.

  10. Jen X says...

    Great profile, great personality! I give her much kudos for living in Shanghai. I couldn’t breathe well when I visited there back in ’09.

  11. Laura says...

    In every picture she looks like a beautiful magazine spread – the airplane one kills me! Can’t wait to try the mascara tip. In each piece I cling to mascara information, still trying to find the best.

  12. Trying that mascara trick asap!

  13. Jeannie says...

    Loved this beauty uniform – especially the mascara tip. What a beautiful woman!

  14. Lisbet says...

    What a beauty – thanks for sharing, Krissie! I feel inspired :)

  15. PL says...

    I used to live in Shanghai! but still in China. Can relate to the pollution comments :)

  16. She is BEAUTIFUL. And I love those school pictures so much!

  17. Haeli Kim Shu says...

    This is such a small, small world! I am an avid reader of Cup of Jo, live in Shanghai and Krissie is a customer of my restaurant! (Thanks for coming to Sproutworks, Krissie!). I’ve always loved her style! So excited to read about fellow expats! And yes, she always looks amazing!

  18. I’m so jealous of her gorgeous hair and effortless style! Loved this interview; I’m totally going to try out that mascara tip!

  19. Megan says...

    Krissie! You are so beautiful and stylish and live such an interesting life! So, soooo cool.

    Also CupofJo team, thanks for sharing someone living a pretty different life from the normal beauty routine ladies! As much as I like hearing about people who are married with babies, it’s also nice to hear about woman doing other awesome things with their lives! Not that you don’t focus on that globally in your articles but maybe we don’t always see that perspective in pieces like this. Good work!

    • Kara says...

      hear hear!

    • Jessica says...

      Yes! More of this, please!

  20. Bec says...

    I find this fascinating: “my whole life I’d never thought about leaving America”. I can absolutely not identify with it! Amazing style.

  21. Jasmine says...

    My favorite. She is so so beautiful and stylish. Can you please do an interview with her on style and fashion tips? She looks incredible.

  22. Hilary says...

    She is so gorgeous and I love her style! You can tell how instinctually she pulls it off…

  23. Oh and my son wears pj outfits out and about all weekend.people make snide comments and I just say they’re jealous.

  24. Wow, she’s beautiful. Love all the product recs. Putting mascara on wet lashes, what? Do yours curl naturally? Mine are so straight…and when I was 7 a man called me a boy. I was OUTRAGED! I had a green velvet jacket on! And pierced ears! And our family, with FIVE girls, had lived across the street for 5 years! I may have scared him with my 7 year old outrage!

  25. amanda june says...

    i live in beijing so i loved this one! so fun!

  26. Karen T. says...

    OMG–love this one. Couple observations–her skin is flawless (totally going to check out her recommendations) and there isn’t a bad school picture in the bunch (even with her hair trauma!)

  27. Janice says...

    Loved this Beauty Uniform! Krissie is stunning! I would absolutely freak out living with that much pollution!

  28. She looks absolutely amazing!

  29. Mixed girl with two white parents and they had no idea what to do with my hair – my dad just cut it every few months so it was a short fro. So many boys comments – ugh!

  30. Awesome hair!! Loved this beauty uniform.

  31. Thank you for this!! As someone who lived overseas as a child, I have always wanted to do something like this, and still planning on it! Thank you for the daily dose of inspiration!

  32. Chelsea says...

    Stoked to make my first comment on Cup of Jo after falling in love with this blog a few months ago! That said, as a mixed girl with a white mom I had the exact same childhood hair trauma. She, a hairdresser, swore it would look great and once all was said and done I burst into tears and refused to take off my hat for the next three days. After school, I’d come home, sit in front of the mirror, cry, and grab at the hair that wasn’t there. The kicker was when the woman at our local doughnut store said to my mom “Oh, I didn’t know you had a son, too!” We laugh about it now, but I’m glad to read I’m not the only one who endured childhood humiliation at the hand of haircutting shear!

  33. Elizabeth says...

    What a rad woman. I really liked that this post included some things about life in Shanghai – I had no idea that people wore pajamas in the street!

    • Lavinia B. says...

      I live in a suburb in San Jose, CA, and my Asian neighbors like wearing pajamas out during the day as well. They sweep their sidewalk, walk their dog or go to the grocery store like that.

  34. Meredith says...

    She looks like so much fun to be around! I love her style as well!

  35. Summer says...

    Krissie is so gorgeous with such a down to earth personality! The cookies story made me laugh, bc a similar thing happened to my sister as a kid and she is serious about never having short hair again.

    I’m curious about this mascara thing….I purposefully wait until they’re dry, because I’ve noticed my lashes have ZERO curl if they’re still wet.

    • Jen says...

      Yes. Me too!
      I think this works best for people who do not rely on an eyelash curler for shape.
      I really enjoyed this post. Krissie has such an interesting perspective (and I love all the beauty tips, always).

  36. Anna says...

    I love her confidence and her HAIR!!!!!! (So cool!!!)

  37. Mel says...

    That picture with the dog, was that taken in Stockholm?

  38. heather says...

    She looks fantastic. She seems so at ease in herself, so confident. Life goals for me!!!

  39. I love love all the product suggestions your beauty articles provide and I tell myself I’m going to come back for that link when I’m on my laptop/have time etc. but then I don’t get to it for a few weeks and forget which article it was in.

    Would be wonderful to have one place on your blog that lists all the products suggestions from your beauty articles perhaps?

    • Nina says...

      I second this!!!

  40. Mei Su says...

    Love how well she adapted to Shanghai and that she appreciated the daytime PJ sets! Thank you for featuring such a gorgeous and interesting woman. I’m also inspired to look and dress less blah.

  41. Kate says...

    Hah! I re-read your “how did you know when you were ready for kids?” post yesterday and started thinking “yeah! maybe I’m ready!” but now this one has me all “nope, let’s travel always!” Thanks for nothing, guys!! ;-)

  42. Kelly says...

    SO much joy comes through here! I think Krissie would make such a great friend!

    Kelly

  43. adorkabelle says...

    Love her sense of adventure and how her hard work has paid off! @krissie – have you been to Café del Volcán in Shanghai? THE BEST FLAT WHITE. EVER.

    • Krissie Garland says...

      I HAVE! It’s where i buy my coffee beans weekly and yes girl, those flat whites are to DIIIEEE

  44. margie says...

    Krissie seems so rad. She is lovely, and cool, has a great job, and I want to be her.

  45. Shashi says...

    I want all her outfits

  46. This is so awesome!!! Love her hair-love! Thanks for featuring a “mixed-chic” who resembles so many wonderful women in my life!

  47. Christine says...

    I am obsessed with the black and white max dress that she is wearing with the pink sunglass in the picture where she is posing in front of a stone wall. Any idea where it is from?

  48. Jacqueline says...

    I love this series so much!! I love, love reading about all these beautiful and interesting women! Thank you Cup of Jo Team for this amazing and engaging content!

    • Karen says...

      Ditto!!

  49. Ellen says...

    so beautiful in every way!

  50. Envious of her jet setting ways! I never ever thought I’d want to live in another country until this past year when I went to Europe for the first time. I’ve always been one of those – wanting to settle down types – and got married young. I can’t wait to have kids, but a big part of me just really wants to travel the world and maybe live somewhere else for a bit. There’s so much of this world to experience, I don’t want to miss out on any of it!
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  51. Love her style! And her hair! I want her to be my much cooler sister who gives me a makeover!

  52. Her style is so vibrant, you can actually feel her energy emanating off of the photos! How awesome! What a great profile, I enjoyed reading!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

    • You put into words my same thoughts!

  53. LOVE this beauty uniform! It’s so funny — I’ve done a lot of things in my life to accept and even love my curly hair, but sometimes I still think, “oh, the only people who see in tv or movies or ads are people with smooth hair.” And then I look at Krissie and I think, “girl, you look AMAZING,” and I am reminded that looking like OURSELVES is the most important thing of all.

    http://www.dessertclub.com

  54. What fearless style! I can’t wait to try that mascara trick tomorrow morning. I’ve never heard it but it makes perfect sense!!!

  55. Joy says...

    BEAUTY UNIFORMS ARE A HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK. LOVE THEM SO SO MUCH!

    • Lily says...

      Yep. Reading about these fierce stylish and glowy women always makes me feel good inside and this week it was even better. Extra ups for featuring someone mixed-race! Thanks Cup of Jo. You ladies are great.

    • Alex says...

      Agreed! Such awesome, inspiring women!

  56. BEST beauty uniform ever! She is the coolest!! Raddest hair for sure. (But totally pulled off the Chinese look in that photo with the hat!) I thought it was so funny that so many women – of all ages – wore the pj sets when I was in Cambodia this summer. So chill.

  57. Wow! She’s amazing!

    Completely relate to the hair cut story. My aunt randomly cut off my waist length natural Afro curls when I was 10 and as an adult, I look back and wonder why my mum let her do that. They were so gorgeous! 😳

    • Yes, my mom took me to a barber when I was 6 and had my hair cut short. I never got over it!

  58. Hania says...

    What a beauty! Love, love, love her style!

  59. Helen says...

    I’m dying to know where the dress is from in the photo where Krissie is wearing a straw hat!

    • bisbee says...

      Me too! It’s fabulous…

  60. Lauren says...

    This awesome lady just inspired me to try to be about 500% cooler. Love her style, her hair, her attitude about life. Thanks for sharing such awesome people with us :)

  61. Jess Wyatt says...

    I absolutely love this woman. Great style, really interesting perspective, so beautiful, AMAZING HAIR. More please!

  62. Kate says...

    Beautiful gal- I love her dress style, I just wish that so many of these products weren’t so toxic!

  63. She exudes cool! Her confidence is so refreshing.

  64. Karen says...

    I’m obsessed with Too Cool for School!! I also use their cleansing foam and Beauty Water (from another Korean brand) for my night routine and will never go back!!

  65. JT says...

    OMG. What a great job. What cool outfits. You know she was the girl you wanted to be in High school and still ended up cool as an adult. Some girls have all the luck :)

  66. Liz says...

    she’s so cool and cute and amazing! love this one!

  67. Cynthia says...

    I like her beauty tips and her hair. I’m impressed that she uses a mix of drugstore and department store products. I’m a fan of Clinique’s Super City Block SPF 40. Her parrot travel bag is so cute!

  68. That is some pretty amazing hair. Love her style and attitude.

  69. Elisabeth says...

    I loved this one! Krissie epitomizes cool.

  70. My parents also cut my hair really short when I was young (maybe 4?) and I didn’t grow it out again until HIGH SCHOOL. It was the same issue – “oh, we don’t want to deal with it and she can’t take care of it herself, so we’ll cut it off.” WTF?! I’m white but my hair is curly, and I just don’t think they knew what to do with long, curly hair (ie less frequent washing, using conditioner, not brushing it when it’s dry).

    I really loved hearing about Krissie’s experience with a similar situation! Her hair is beautiful!

    • ME TOO. My dad said it was simpler that way. My sister and I looked like boys until well into middle school. The kicker? My little brother had a “grungy phase” when he was 10 and of course was allowed to have his hair as long as he wanted! No, I’m not over any of this yet!

    • Lauren says...

      This also happened to me when I was 8. I sobbed for days

    • June2 says...

      Wow, horrible. But while my mother loved our long thick wavy hair too much to cut it (hers was thin and super fine), it did not stop her from complaining loudly and painfully (to my sister and I) for the entirely of our childhoods, about “all the hair everywhere” she came across while cleaning. She was just awful about it – we couldn’t help it, it was what we were born with, and SHE was the one doing the brushing. Today, I still have long hair and the space under my beds and the drain where ever I shower is always shiny clean.
      Anyway, I LOVE this woman’s hair, its gorgeous!

    • Laura C. says...

      My 5 year old has really curly hair and I wash her hair once a week, I use tons of conditioner and brush it when wet. Of course she has medium lenght hair! But my little one is three years old, she is a blondie with thin hair and sleek, and I keep her hair short. Why? I have too much work handling with my eldest’s hair- so my youngest pays for the sins of the guilty! And, she is so beautiful with her short hair! She reminds me of Anton a little bit :)
      Said that, Krissie’s hair is awesome. Love it.

  71. Jessica says...

    Ummm can we get a week of outfits from this uber cool lady?? Love all her tips.

    • Amanda says...

      Seconded!

    • KR says...

      Yes, agree!

    • Emily says...

      Please please please!

  72. Brandi says...

    love her style! just inspired me to go shopping! : )

  73. Lauren E. says...

    “I know most people wish their hair did something different, but the only thing I wish about my hair is that it would grow longer so I can have more of it. ”

    Love this.

  74. her sequin caftan is a dream come true! and what a cool job. she seems so awesome!

    xo, brittany
    i’ve got a holiday party ready look on my blog today!
    http://www.notablob.com