What I’m Doing: Skin Care and Makeup Expert Julie Hafer

Julie Hafer, the creator of Beauty Ethics, is taking time to luxuriate and experiment with her quarantine beauty routine.  

We’ve all laughed (then sighed knowingly) at the memes featuring gray roots, woolly brows and mustaches. Now that it has stopped being funny and started to scare the little children, we checked in with skincare expert and makeup artist Julie Hafer, founder of Beauty Ethics, a Raleigh-based and Raleigh-produced skincare company, to find out how we can bring a little glow back to our beauty routine.

photograph by S.P. Murray

Hafer is used to spending her days giving facials, shaping and tinting brows and giving in-person makeup lessons. In this new world of no-touching, she is finding new ways to continue doing what she has always enjoyed most—teaching. Here’s what she taught us:

Hafer au naturel. Courtesy Julie Hafer.

Indulge in Skin Care

I am a bath person, I’ve been known to take a 2-hour bath, especially when I bring a book. If you like to soak, just periodically drain a little water and add warmer water. Warm water, even semi- hot water, de-stresses me like nothing else.  I never put hot water on my face. The face likes cooler water, otherwise, it gets red and reactive. Steaming and hot water are not luxurious for your face!

If you want to add an indulgent skin treatment to your at-home beauty routine, do a mild facial peel every four weeks. I’ve been sending my clients their customized peel formula, then we video chat while I watch and explain how it should be feeling, how long to leave it on, etc. You can DIY a peel as long as you: start slowly, using the lowest concentration you can find (glycolic, salicylic or lactic peels being the easiest); evenly distribute the peel, and take it off sooner rather than later with cool water.

Courtesy Julie Hafer

Cultivate Your Eyebrows

I rarely touch my eyebrows anymore because I’m always hoping I’ll get some new growth. If I do anything, I will tweeze a stray. I’m hoping people in quarantine will allow their brows to go a little wild! More is always more because you can’t sculpt something beautiful without enough clay.

I’m keeping to my routine of dyeing my brows every 3-4 weeks because it makes me feel more in control. Who doesn’t need that right now?

They start to look weak to me once the “unpigmented” ones appear. I’ve been sending clients their custom brow tint formula to apply at home then use a photo of their brows (which I draw on) to explain how to shape the brow and we video chat the process. With at-home color kits, my advice is not to go too warm unless your hair has a red undertone. And not to go too dark unless your hair is very dark already.

Experiment With Your Makeup

If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with a dramatic eye makeup look, there’s no better time! Since we should all be wearing face masks when we go out and about, why not play up the eyes. (Save the bold lip for your next Zoom call!)

It sounds extravagant, but my bold eye look involves three different types of eyeliner, at least two eyeshadows and of course, mascara. There are so many great tutorials online now—why not learn how to highlight and shade your face so that you don’t feel (or look) washed out. I’m also doing online makeovers (individual or group classes) either with the makeup clients already have, or with a customized kit I send them.

One last tip: If you want to up your video chat game, invest in a mini-ring light. You’ll look suspiciously better than everyone else on the call. Or position yourself in front of a window. Natural light is always the friendliest!

Connect with Hafer for more tips, tutorials and beauty products on Instagram, Facebook and through her website Beauty Ethics.