Angelica Rogers is a digital designer at the New York Times. She’s a total delight to be around, with her upbeat personality and amazing style. Here, she shares her favorite tricks, including her sweet proposal story and the best liner for Brigitte Bardot eyes…
What’s your daily makeup routine?
To even out my skin tone, I use Bare Minerals BareSkin Serum Foundation. I love how lightweight it feels, and it doesn’t clog my pores. Then I’ll add a touch of MAC mineralizer blush in New Romance (it’s the prettiest, pearlized color) and a spritz of Urban Decay’s makeup setting spray.
When I want to play, bold lipstick is my top choice. Before applying my lipstick, I’ll prep my lips using Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. Two of my favorite MAC shades are Film Noir and Ruby Woo. I love MAC because they have so many vibrant colors and aren’t crazy expensive.
What about your skin?
About a year ago, I started breaking out with large, cyst-like pimples. My dermatologist explained that many women experience adult cystic acne due to hormones, stress and diet. In order to keep my breakouts in check, I drink lots of water and keep my skincare routine focused on clean skin.
I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, usually Cetaphil. For particularly oily or breakout days, I’ll use Sumaxin, a medicated face wash. I always make sure to use a moisturizer with a high SPF to prevent the sun from darkening any lingering acne scars. I like Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50 moisturizer, which offers amazing protection, but since sunscreen can sometimes leave a chalky residue on my face, I’ll mix one part SPF with two parts Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer for a smoother finish.
Do you do any special treatments?
On Saturdays, I’ll use a Clarisonic brush along with their detoxifying clay mask for a deep clean. Since I wear makeup daily, this is my purification ritual. I love how the Clarisonic makes your skin feel super smooth, and the mask minimizes pores and breakouts.
How do you change things up for special occasions?
I’ll do a winged liner to channel Brigitte Bardot for the night. One of my tricks is to use this gel pencil — not hard pencil or liquid liner. The gel glides better and gives you more control; it also lets you fix mistakes more easily. My other nighttime look is a smoky eye. The Naked eye palette is really helpful, since there’s a little illustration inside showing you where to apply each shade.
Do you have any beauty multi-taskers?
Regular old Vaseline is a wonder product. Eye makeup is the WORST to remove and the only thing that seems to take care of mascara is Vaseline. And when I’m worried about lipstick getting on my teeth, I swipe a tiny bit of Vaseline on my teeth beforehand.
What do you love most about your look?
I love my nose ring. I’ve worn one on and off since college. I used to wear a tiny gold stud and people wouldn’t really notice. It wasn’t until I switched to the hoop that people started to see it.
I like that now you see people who are like me: people who are in their thirties, people who are professionals, who have piercings or tattoos. I like that you can have something that’s uniquely a part of you and still have people take you seriously. It’s pretty cool to see how much the working world is changing.
What are your favorite drugstore finds?
I spend so much time in drugstores it’s sad. It’s easy to go in for a roll of paper towels and end up spending 20 minutes looking at nail polishes. One of my top finds was Burt’s Bees Lemon Bath and Body Oil. It smells amazing and feels great when applied after a shower.
On the flip, what’s your biggest beauty splurge?
Hands down, my favorite splurge of all time is laser hair removal. My skin was always irritated by shaving. Initially, I was nervous about using any type of laser because of my dark complexion; I’d read that certain lasers can burn the skin and not get rid of the unwanted hair. After researching various spas, I found one I trusted. Now, I barely have to lift a razor to remove the few hairs that do grow back, which are much thinner; and I don’t get ingrown hairs or razor nicks. Laser hair removal is truly amazing!
How do you care for your hair?
I’ve had natural hair since 2006 and locs since 2008. Switching to locs gave me the low maintenance hair I’ve always wanted. Yes, you need to maintain locs by retwisting consistently. Yes, shampooing takes more time and effort since they are a lot longer (and heavier) now. But when I wake up each morning and need to get going, I only have to put a little oil on my palms, finger it through my hair and I’m done.
For weekly washes, I use a clarifying shampoo like Neutrogena or Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile liquid soap because they don’t leave as much residue as normal shampoos. Coconut oil is my go-to product for moisture and shine. I use it as a conditioner, for hot oil treatments and to retwist my roots.
Do you discovered any tricks for styling your locs?
Pipe cleaners are an amazing way to give locs perfect ringlets that last for days. I’ll take a pipe cleaner and wrap the loc around it, matching the tightness with the amount of curl that I want. Usually I’ll use damp (towel-dried) locs, and I’ll sleep on them overnight, because then I know it will be dry by morning. Pipe cleaners are so much easier to sleep on than foam rollers or other types of curlers. Plus, the results last forever. The last time I did it, I literally had to wash the curls out!
I also love experimenting with fanciful updos, which give my locs a chic, sculptural look. YouTube vloggers like the lovely Franchesca of Chescalocs inspire me to try ideas at home. When I need a professional touch, my hair stylist Sammy LaCombe creates amazing loc styles that I can actually sleep on at night.
Tell us about your fiancé! How did you two meet?
Drew and I met in college, the summer before my senior year. We actually met on the night my ex-boyfriend dumped me!
How did he propose?
I had been dying to visit Europe for as long as I could remember. So last year, we booked a trip to Italy. When we got there, Drew was acting kind of weird. I was like, “What is going on here?” We went to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where The Birth of Venus is on display. As we approached the painting, I turned my back to him for a second and when I turned back around, he proposed to me, right in front of the painting. I was so surprised! We’re getting married next May.
What is your bedtime routine?
At the end of the day, my fiancé and I watch our favorite shows or quirky YouTube videos in order to unwind. Right now, we’re really into Game of Thrones, but my guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Luckily, Drew discovered f.lux, software that adjusts the screen’s brightness to mimic the actual time of day. It uses a sunset color at night, which makes watching videos easier on your eyes.
Have you read anything good lately?
I’m currently reading Bettyville, the memoir of a New York writer who moves back to his hometown to take care of his aging mother. My grandmother has dementia and my mother is her primary caretaker, so I’m always looking to share similar stories with my mom as she navigates this role. I also just finished the book Swamplandia!, a book about a girl growing up in Florida that was really poignant.
Are there foods or drinks that help you feel your best?
My fiancé and I will make fresh juice in the mornings from kale, apples, ginger, beets and carrots. We both kind of hate vegetables, so juicing helps keep our nutrient and vitamin intact high.
Do you have any rituals or mantras that help you feel great?
On my dresser, I keep a piece of paper with daily affirmations. I can see the list while lying in bed. It serves as a friendly reminder to myself that we can create the day we want to have. Here they are:
1. Be kind. See it lift spirits including your own.
2. Let go of how things should be.
3. Say NO when you need to.
4. You are enough just as you are right now.
I made them up based on things I’ve read or heard. At the New York Times, we have a group where women gather and listen to inspiring speakers, and one of our recent speakers was Gloria Steinem. One of the messages from her talk was the power of saying no. I found it really encouraging.
What are some Times stories you’ve enjoyed working on?
I loved doing a piece about Hoboken street style. I live in Jersey City, so I was happy to bring more New Jersey pieces to Times fashion. It was also very meaningful to design a platform for women who have had stillborn babies to share their stories. I also like designing breaking news for print, like during Hurricane Sandy. That’s what working at a news organization is all about: the fast pace, the adrenaline and the hope that you are helping people.
We also saw on Instagram that you were photographed by legendary street style photographer Bill Cunningham!
It was the day I was about to get my engagement photos shot, and he walked over and started talking about my hair. He kept comparing my hair to an old-school hat, and asked if he could take a few pictures. I was like, “Of course!” It was super, super flattering.
Last but certainly not least: Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
My overall beauty philosophy is to love yourself. It’s a philosophy that requires practice. Some days my hair looks a mess or I get a stain on my clothes and it can be hard to see beauty. But when I practice self-love, I smile a lot and radiate confidence. Those two things are really the best beauty products to have by your side.
Thank you so much, Angelica!
(Photos courtesy of Angelica Rogers. Top photo and engagement shoot photos by Ilene Squires Photography. Brooklyn street-style shots by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. Orange office photo by Bill Cunningham. Interview by Caroline Donofrio.)