A close friend of mine, Olivia Bormann, is a queer woman of color who works in higher education in the Bay Area. As someone who is successful and looking to live her life authentically and unapologetically, I decided to do an interview with her on the topic of beauty.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is whatever makes you confident and happy. To me, it’s not mainstream. It’s dynamic, it’s individual. It’s not just the makeup that I wear but also that I’m strong physically and emotionally. For me, beauty is all encompassing and is respectful in the sense that it respects people’s gender identities and presentations.
What is your beauty routine?
I have combo skin – it’s really annoying. I’ve tried using fancy skincare products but they didn’t work for me at all. I use Cetaphil and mild cleansers since my face is so sensitive. In the morning I use moisturizer with SPF of course. At night, I ALWAYS make sure I remove whatever makeup I’m wearing, wash my face, put on Vitamin E oil, a thick night cream, and then my retainer. Once in a while, I use a charcoal or exfoliating face mask.
As for my makeup routine, I do minimal makeup because of my sensitive skin. I use eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipgloss. Sometimes foundation but I don’t like how it feels on my face.
Who / What inspires you?
Rihanna. I just want to be her. She intentionally chose to make 50 shades of foundation and to be all inclusive. People who are unapologetically themselves and are not afraid to be who they are inspire me. I want to live my life authentically and be unapologetically myself but sometimes I’m not – sometimes I’m scared to be and that’s something that I’m working on and trying to get better at.
What does living authentically and unapologetically look like to you?
Living life unapologetically is just what it sounds like — not apologizing for who I am. That means what I look like, who I love, what I’m interested in, what I like to do in my spare time, how strong minded I am, how opinionated and emotional (and always sharing my opinions and emotions).
What is your advice to anyone who is struggling to find their own definition of beauty?
My advice would be to try to think about beauty in your own unique sense. If you’re looking for cues from the outside world, you’re not going to find them. It has taken me a long time to realize that how I look and how I want to present myself can be dynamic and not just one thing. Look to people who you feel good about and admire. Figure out what you like because you like it and not because someone else or the rest of mainstream society does.
We should all not be afraid to celebrate our own unique individuality when it comes to beauty. And we should all strive to live our lives as authentic and unapologetic as Olivia. If you have any questions or want to reach out to Olivia, her instagram is @mxoliviakat.