Can the words “highlighters” and “too many” coexist in the same sentence? According to Camilla Piccardi, no, and we might agree with her. Camilla, a junior copywriter, editor, and contributor, but above all, a makeup lover, told us about her beauty must-haves, her emo/goth personality, and her passion for colors, above all, pink. We also talked about her slow routine to regain balance and the importance of accepting the fact that skin is by nature unstable, to learn to live with its transience.
Between a good cleanser and the desire to have breakfast in the morning that makes her get out of bed, the keyword for Camilla is always the same: self-care, which then becomes an act of self-love.
What’s your first beauty memory?
My first approach to the world of beauty comes from my mom, from when I used to watch her get ready in the morning to go to work. There’s one thing I remember particularly well: the brush she used on her cheeks, which she still jealously guards in her bathroom drawer. I never managed to convince her to replace it!
What’s the first product that touches your skin in the morning?
My skincare routine starts with a good cleansing. My skin is sensitive, so I prefer gentle and not too foamy cleansers: right now, I’m using a cleanser from Paula’s Choice CALM line, I really like it because it makes your skin soft and bright.
What makes you stay in bed?
Absolutely nothing – unfortunately, or luckily, it depends on how you see it. I’m a morning person, I like to wake up early and start the day calmly. Moreover, that’s the moment in which I feel the most productive, I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting it in bed.
What makes you get out of bed instead?
Breakfast, that’s my absolute favorite meal of the day, and I think I’m one of the few people I know who eats something different every morning. Yogurt and granola, peanut butter toasts with banana slices, porridge, pancakes and fresh fruit… it really puts me in a good mood.
What was your first beauty obsession?
I have an emo/goth past that only a few people are aware of – and of which little photographic evidence is left –, so I’d say eyeliner and black eyeshadow, for sure. When I was in high school, I couldn’t leave my house if I hadn’t covered my eyelids in black eyeshadow first.
What’s your favorite texture when it comes to makeup?
For the base, I prefer creamy and not too matte textures, to get a nice glow effect, and I also love shimmery and glittery eyeshadows.
What’s the “craziest” makeup experiment you’ve ever done?
I’ve been thinking about this but, to be honest, I can’t remember any particularly out-of-the-ordinary makeup look. I think it’s also a matter of personal perception because, when I put makeup on my face, my goal is to have fun and feel comfortable, so what to me is an easy makeup look, displayed with confidence, might seem “crazy” to those around me, instead. If you asked my friends or family, they would maybe answer in no time.
“When I put makeup on my face, my goal is to have fun and feel comfortable, so what to me is an easy makeup look, displayed with confidence, might seem ‘crazy’ to those around me.”
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you?
It means to accept that skin is naturally unstable, it changes more often and faster than we think, and that’s why we need to learn to listen to it and understand its needs. I’ve learned to coexist with this transitoriness – both when my skin is at its best and makes me feel super confident, and when some redness or pimples pop up –, this helps me live more peacefully the changes it undergoes, and it also, somehow, helps me have fun accommodating its “whims.”
Your biggest beauty epic fail?
A few years ago, I was getting ready for a date and decided to go for a purifying face mask using nothing but neem powder – which is absolutely discouraged, if you have sensitive skin… My face went on fire and filled with red marks. As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to cover everything up with a green concealer first, and then, above that layer, foundation. As of today, I still don’t know whether my date didn’t actually notice that something was wrong, or if he simply decided not to comment as an act of kindness.
“Skin is naturally unstable, it changes more often and faster than we think, and that’s why we need to learn to listen to it and understand its needs.”
What’s your relationship with color?
A part of me loves colors very much – especially pink –, it loves playing and experimenting with them, but keeps clashing with the other part of me, which is still influenced by my goth past. They’re like my two personalities: according to how I’m feeling, or to the references I want to draw inspiration from, one emerges more than the other.
How do you take care of yourself?
I try and take some time for myself every day to dedicate to those small activities that, somehow, make me feel good: skincare, makeup, meditation, workouts, and taking care of the 25 plants living in my bedroom. This may sound like I never rest, but it actually really helps me establish a balance.
Your favorite combination of face masks.
Rose Damascena powder on the areas that need hydration, and amla where my skin needs to be purified. I also love Goodal ginseng and artemisia sheet masks, and Huangjisoo tea-tree sheet masks.
What’s the product on your nightstand?
Actually, I have none, can you believe it? But there’s always a water bottle on it, I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
What beauty products do we find in your bag?
Permano hand sanitizer and hand cream, lip balm and the lipstick I’ve chosen to wear on that particular day for possible touch-ups.
The latest product you’ve said “yes” to, and the latest one you’ve said “no” to.
I said no to the caffeine eye contour by The Ordinary. I had high expectations at the beginning because everyone was speaking very well of it, but it had zero effects on me, nor positive nor negative, just none. On the other hand, I said yes to the solid conditioner by Shop for Gea, I thought my hair would have suffered for the transition, but they stayed soft and shiny, instead – moreover, it’s a great zero-waste solution.
“Permano hand sanitizer and hand cream, lip balm and the lipstick I’ve chosen to wear on that particular day for possible touch-ups.”
What are your favorite makeup brands at the moment? Or the ones you use the most?
NABLA is one of my favorite brands ever, I love their face and eye powders, they’re pigmented but blend in a heartbeat, not to mention all the Brow Divine I wore out when I used to draw on my eyebrows – bangs were a game-changer from this point of view. I also often use Serum Foundation by The Ordinary, Glassy, and the mascara by Espressoh.
What’s the book on your nightstand?
At the moment, I’m reading “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir. A challenging essay, indeed, but very interesting and timely.
What product is on top of your wish list?
As far as makeup is concerned: Chromium Liquid Eyeshadow by Natasha Denona in the shade “Dragonfly,” I’ve been waiting for it to become available again on Sephora’s website for weeks. Skincare-wise, instead, I’m flirting with some products by Abib, and the Brightening Blue Oil Serum by Urang.
“I also often use Serum Foundation by The Ordinary, Glassy, and the mascara by Espressoh.”
You have too many of…?
Highlighters. I’ve got all sorts: loose or compact powders, creamy highlighters, stick highlighters… they’re my obsession. However, my favorite remains the Skin Glazing line by NABLA, I like to apply them all over the face, as well, for a glass skin effect.
What’s your total relax routine?
I wake up around 7:30, have breakfast taking my own time, then shower, face mask, skincare and meditation. Then, maybe, I watch a movie or read a book, or I doodle in my bullet journal.
The skincare product you couldn’t go without?
A good moisturizer for dry/sensitive skin. Among all those I’ve tried so far, my favorite remains the Moisture Cream by Pyunkang Yul.
Over the past year, we’ve had a lot of time to think: if you could invent a makeup product which hasn’t been put on the market yet, what would it be?
To be honest, I think the market is already quite saturated with products. On one hand, I’m happy about that, I like to make some research and try new things, but on the other hand, it’s hard to keep up with all the new launches, even just to always be up-to-date and informed on what’s new. Not to mention how stressful it can be for those who find it hard to navigate the world of beauty or those who approach it for the first time.
“Highlighters. I’ve got all sorts: loose or compact powders, creamy highlighters, stick highlighters… they’re my obsession.”
The world of beauty is also connected to mental health. What are those things you would want to change?
Exactly. Now, more than ever, I understand the importance of self-care in finding your own balance and taking some time for yourself to feel at peace and (why not?) also a bit creative. I think that beauty needs a little bit more intellectual honesty. The audience, no matter how vast it is, should be educated on the fact that the value of a cosmetic product is extremely subjective. It depends on your type of skin, personal goals, and expectations. We should all learn to give the right weight to the words we use because there’s no such thing as miraculous products, and we should keep in mind that it’s impossible to see the effects of a cosmetic product after just a couple of applications.
The latest thing that made you smile?
My little niece. She always fills me with feelings of joy and lightheartedness.
“I think that beauty needs a little bit more intellectual honesty. The audience, no matter how vast it is, should be educated to the fact that the value of a cosmetic product is extremely subjective. It depends on your type of skin, personal goals, and expectations.”
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
In the summer of 2018, I traveled to South Korea on my own and spent a month in Seoul, for a study trip. It may seem nothing, but I was born in a family of campervanners, so I had never taken a plane before, nor traveled on my own until that moment, I was incredibly nervous and excited. It was a wonderful experience that allowed me to test myself in a thousand different ways, and I always think back to it with so much joy and a bit of melancholy. Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t come back to Italy – the morning of my flight back home, I was sitting in my bedroom considering this very possibility… Eventually, I loaded my baggage on the bus that would have taken me to the airport and went back home. I think that it was an act of bravery, as well, in its own way.