The Witch Whose Stiletto Manicures Take 8 Hours

The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.

“My name is Bri Luna (@yungkundalini). I’m a Los Angeles native who now resides in Seattle, and being a witch IS my real job. Some people have misconceptions of what a witch is or what witches do—they’re either very intrigued, or frightened due to religious convictions. But most just have a lot of questions: about astrology, tarot readings, and my business. I am the founder and creative director of The Hoodwitch, which provides everyday magic for the modern mystic. I’m also a soon-to-be-published author. (Harper 2023!)

I don’t care if it sounds self-indulgent—self-worship is great healing magic. For me, beauty is a ritual (and my favorite ritual at that). I find no greater pleasure than adorning my body in fragrances, makeup, oils, and jewelry. My mother’s immaculate vanity table was my favorite altar. I loved looking at her gorgeous lipsticks and dousing my Barbie doll’s hair in her expensive perfume. And now, my work is all about autonomy and self-affirming beauty ritual practices. I even designed and co-created my own makeup collection with Smashbox. I was also born under the sign of Taurus, which is ruled by Venus, the planet of art, beauty, and sensuality. I use glamour as an act of resilience in a world that wants you to feel guilty for loving and pampering yourself. I am dedicated to honoring my physical vessel, and that means I’m the friend who’s always going to encourage you to get that Botox, buy the $5,000 boots, eat pasta in a new set of Egyptian cotton sheets, and take a bubble bath in the afternoon just because.

I find most of my beauty inspiration from ancient gods and goddesses, nature, horror movies, and all the weirdos of the world: Little Richard, Eartha Kitt, Divine, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Grace Jones, Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, vampires, and other villains. I’m all for personal transformation and reinventing your look as many times as it takes to feel like your most authentic self. If you don’t have it naturally, buy it. Who gives a shit what anyone else thinks? My true form is a sexy demoness who loves taking naps—half succubus, half cozy. I only wear black, and stick to hyper-feminine looks with some tomboy elements: skintight latex with oversized sweats, a vintage coat and sexy undergarments underneath, extra long eyelashes and long nails.

Beauty can be really connected to your spiritual and your emotional state, and I use makeup to set an intention. If I’m doing public speaking, and I don’t really feel that confident, I’ll do something bold with my makeup. I want to feel that power, and I want people to pay attention to what I’m saying. My eyes are my favorite feature, and I love to bring them out with lashes and a black cat eye. I’ve purchased nearly every black eyeliner ever made—waterproof, smudge-proof, everything—and I kid you not, the best is Wet n Wild’s H20 Proof Liquid Eyeliner. The wand is perfect, and the formula has this really pretty matte finish. It dries beautifully, and then you could literally go swimming in it. Eyelashes are another thing where price doesn’t always mean quality—at the end of the day, Ardell strip lashes are the best. They photograph so beautifully. I’ll get lash extensions for big events or long trips, which means I’ll have them for a couple months at a time a few times a year. I’m obsessive about getting them filled, because I really don’t like the look when they start to fall out.

I never leave the house without doing my brows. I got really good at drawing them on after I shaved them off in high school—though surprisingly, they actually grew back. Most of the time I use MAC’s Brow Styler Pencil in Stud and their powder in Espresso, and sometimes I’ll add Glossier Boy Brow. If I’m running errands and don’t want to look tired, I put some Glossier Stretch Concealer under my eyes. I also like Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer—I use their Tan shade when I’m in LA, and Almond in Seattle. I dust on a little KVD Lock-It Setting Powder after, but because I don’t like to look too powdery, I spray a little rosewater spray from The Heritage Store, at the end. I like to keep it in the fridge.

I use all sorts of skincare, from high-end to handmade, but I do try to stick to products that are cruelty-free, even if that means spending more money. I don’t ever use coconut oil on my face. Ever! If I do, I get such bad acne. And I don’t care how sleepy, drunk, or tired I am, I have to wash my face at night. I’m very picky about makeup remover, and love using organic grapeseed oil to melt it away. My grandmother swore by it. After that I just use a gentle cleanser, because I don’t want to strip my skin’s natural oils. One of my favorites is from a small, organic, Latina-founded brand called Brujita Skincare. The Santa Limpia Facial Scrub is creamy and whipped, made with palo santo and maca root to cleanse the negativity from your day. It’s also antibacterial and has vitamin C in it.

I get a micropeel facial from my dermatologist once every four months or so. It’s a version of microdermabrasion that also includes an acid peel, and it makes my skin look amazing. I also love vampire facials, obviously. If I’m exfoliating on my own, I use Sunday Riley Good Genes when I’m in LA. It gives me what I need in warm, humid weather, but the lactic acid is too rough for Seattle. Instead, I keep a humidifier in my bedroom and use the Herbivore Botanicals Pineapple + Gemstone Mask mask every so often. It is the best thing ever. No matter how much I travel, this stuff makes my skin look like magic. I’ll also mask with the Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask, which I partly love because it makes me feel like I’m doing something ancient, mixed with apple cider vinegar. And if my skin is problematic, I’ll make a mask out of organic Manuka honey or spot treat with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.

I have five million lotions, potions, oils, and perfumes. People always tell me I smell good and ask what I’m wearing, but… I don’t share my exact fragrance combinations. I like to keep some things a secret! I will tell you that I love perfumes from Byredo, Creed, and Le Labo. I’m obsessed with the Le Labo Rose 31 shower gel. I always carry Frederic Malle hand cream in my bag, and love their travel-size perfumes too. The Heritage Store makes a body oil called Aura Glow, which I love. And, along with my deodorant, I also wear a little patchouli oil blend from a local store called The Vajra in my armpits. Their prices range, depending on the size of the bottle and the blend—some of the essential oils are really rare, like a Moroccan rose oil that’s almost $70. My friend Sarah used to work there, and she’d make me custom blends depending on my mood. All I’d have to say was ‘I’m feeling down,’ and she’d say, ‘OK, then you need something citrusy, and something to ground you’ and whip up something incredible. I swear she is like a fairy.

When I’ve been heat styling my hair a lot, I use the Kérastase Nutritive Shampoo and Conditioner. Their deep conditioning mask is great too. If I’m wearing my hair naturally curly, I’ll twist it up, wet, with organic coconut oil. Sometimes I’ll add a little Kérastase Sérum Oléo Relax Hair Oil. When my hair is blown out and straightened, I love adding beach waves with a curling wand and Kérastase shine spray. When I’m somewhere tropical, I absolutely have to have Moroccanoil Hairspray. And Drybar makes a fantastic dry shampoo.

My nails feel like a true extension of myself. Nails were historically used to show power—goddesses adorned their fingers and hands, and long nails have always been associated with vampires, witches, and even aristocrats. That’s what I’m tapping into with my stiletto nails. My nail designs are always very well thought out, which is a fun way to express myself and my moods creatively. I’ve worked with the same nail artist, Peka Grayson of Impekable Nails, for five years now. She’s one of the best in the game! I see Peka every three weeks, and because her designs are so intricate they can take up to eight hours. (We usually end up ordering Uber Eats!) Since we spend a lot of time together, it’s important that we really vibe and connect—she’s also a Black woman and a business owner.

To relax, I love to drink wine and bathe in virgins’ blood. Some of my favorite activities include collecting rare, out of print beauty and esoteric books, indulging in jewelry and fragrances, sex, magic, psychedelics, and eating lavish meals alone. I hate the gym, and I don’t like people watching me work out, but I do like running. Some people go for long runs on the beach; I go for long morning runs in the cemetery. The ghosts can watch me.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author

Source link

Leave a Reply