Jannelle Sanchez, our beloved editorial/marketing assistant, regularly rocks a red lip or glowy cheek on our Zoom calls. When we asked her how she does it, she joked that she has a “low-key high-maintenance approach.” Here, Jannelle reveals her favorite $6 lipstick, a one-minute hair trick, and the age her mom *finally* let her wear makeup…
First off, tell us a little about your career before Cup of Jo.
I graduated with a journalism degree and dreamed of working for a magazine, but thanks to student debt, felt like I had to take the first decent-paying job I could find. That turned out to be a content marketing role for a tech startup. Honestly, I felt disappointed, like I had sold out.
Now looking back, I’m so glad that I went down that career path. During my years working for different startups, I learned so many valuable skills, from learning how to create a pitch deck for a client meeting, to how to write stories that would catch the interest of developers, to how to hold my own when working on projects with VPs and founders. By the time the opportunity came to work with Cup of Jo, I felt ready for the role thanks to everything I had learned in my past jobs.
What was it like to be a 20-something woman in such a male-dominated field?
Thankfully, at each of my jobs, I had a strong, smart female manager who took me under her wing and had my back. But knowing the history of tech-startups — how woman are regularly underpaid, interrupted in meetings, and not taken as seriously as men in general — still got in my head. I never wanted to give anyone any reason to not take me seriously, so I always made it a point to show up to work looking professional and put together. Even at companies where the dress code was super casual, I’d always dress up.
I remember reading an article about how women in the workplace are judged so much by our appearances. These double standards drive me crazy, but I still didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity because I didn’t look polished enough. Moving forward, I’m hoping our society will put less weight on our looks and more on our skills.
Finally, what’s your skincare routine?
My routine is pretty simple because I have sensitive skin and don’t have the patience to sit through a seven-step routine. In the morning, I’ll rinse my face with Cetaphil, then pat on Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I’ve tried a bunch of face lotions and I LOVE this one. I have combination skin, and after putting on this lotion, my face feels hydrated but not greasy. Then I’ll add a layer of SuperGoop Unseen Sunscreen. It’s unscented, and the texture is silky.
What about makeup?
Okay, here’s my secretly high maintenance everyday routine. Grab your favorite beverage and get comfy, haha. I start with a light dusting of bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation in Golden Ivory. Then, with my fingers, I pat Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light Medium Sand on any area where my skin is discolored and red. Then I do another light dusting of foundation to blend everything together, and lastly top it off with a light layer of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Then I brush Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer in Original underneath my cheekbones, on the sides of my nose, and on my forehead. Then, with my finger, I pat Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Bliss Matte Finish on the apples of my cheeks. And FINALLY I swipe highlighter on the bridge of my nose and cheekbones.
I know this whole routine sounds like a lot, but in reality it only takes 15 minutes.
Do you ever wear lipstick?
Yes! A couple times a week. Lately I’ve been into Ulta’s Luxe Lipstick in Cherry Picked.
When did you first get into makeup?
When I was in fifth grade, some of my friends started wearing makeup, and I wanted to join that club SO badly! But my mom had a rule that I couldn’t wear makeup outside the house until I was 13, and she stuck to her guns. I would try to trick her by asking to ‘play makeup’ before going to a family party or the movies, but she’d never fall for it! She’d do my face and I’d feel so frickin’ cute, and then she’d send me to the bathroom to wash it all off before we left.
Once I turned 13, I was so ready to include makeup in my daily life. Since my mom was very conscious of that, she set up a beauty consultation at bareMinerals for my birthday. I was in heaven.
Have you ever had any regrettable beauty moments?
In junior high and high school, my best friend and I were into intense lashes. We’d layer on TWO types of mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast and L’Oreal Telescopic. The result was insane spidy lashes! But it was really fun sharing that beauty faux pas with someone I love, and I always think of her whenever I spot a tube of Telescopic.
Also, in college, I thought I’d try my hand at creating bold brows, but instead of using a brow pencil, I used a black pencil eyeliner. For six months, I looked like Oscar the Grouch. It is what it is.
In your first Cup of Jo post, you admitted that you’re good at singing. We need to hear more.
Haha, yes! My mom said that when I was little, I would sing instead of talk. I’d go throughout my day, quietly singing nursery rhymes like ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ Once I got older, I took piano and guitar lessons. I did musical theater in elementary school and participated in church musicals and a choir. And in college, I started singing at open mics. Here’s a video!
To this day, I love singing for fun, but I’ve never been interested in trying to make a career out of it. I like that it’s my little secret to share with people close to me, whether it’s at a karaoke bar or morning church service.
How do you to care for your hair?
I wash my hair every four days with Pete & Pedro shampoo and conditioner, which is actually my husband Max’s go-to brand. I started using it when we got married. Then I let it air dry. (If I want to do something special, I’ll also use my large barrel curling iron.) I’ll wear my hair down for the first day or two after it’s washed; then I’ll rotate between French braids, space buns and ponytails.
Do you have any beauty tricks?
To tame hair flyaways or frizzy baby hairs, just spray hairspray on the area, then use a clean toothbrush to comb down and work out the frizz. I always do this when I want a sleek, polished look.
How do you change your look for special occasions?
I’ll wet my highlighter brush before applying the highlighter so it has a more intense sheen. And for hair, I like to go big, so I’ll start with a fresh wash, then blow dry my hair to get volume. Then I’ll go in with my large barrel curling iron and create round Novella curls.
Do you have any beauty wisdom or pieces that you want pass down to Ella?
I can’t wait for the day when I can teach Ella how to do her makeup. As a woman of color, I’m thankful that she’s growing up in a time when beauty brands are more inclusive and have a larger variety of shades of foundations and concealers that will complement her skin tone.
And for pieces that will make her feel beautiful, I’d love to pass down my gold hoops and gold cross necklace. Wearing jewelry instantly makes me feel put together and honestly just like a bad bish. And Ella already has her daily floss: gold studs and a gold bracelet.
Do you have any beauty inspirations?
I love the makeup looks of Zoë Kravitz! She strikes the right balance of natural and glam. I also love watching Desi Perkins and Sazan Hendrix do YouTube makeup tutorials.
What’s your beauty philosophy?
It’s so easy to stick with what we know and what other people expect from us, but I think it’s freeing to step out every once in a while. Try to find new looks that still make you feel like YOU. I believe you can feel like yourself wearing chapstick during the day or wearing aqua blue eyeliner on a date night. And if you find yourself liking something that you didn’t expect, go with it! Own it! We are allowed to evolve and change.
I get bangs about once a year on a whim, and seeing that new but familiar version of me always gives me a thrill and gets me excited about other versions of myself that I’ve yet to explore. So, give yourself permission to follow your curiosity and do something fun, like buy the colorful eyeshadow palette or dye your hair pink. It’s not shallow or frivolous, it’s a fun way to get to know yourself.
Thank you so much, Jannelle! We love you!
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