I met Melissa during our time together in the Global Communications department of Bumble and bumble. She was always a serene presence, calm and cool and tomboyishly elegant. Quite a feat, considering she managed the production of 20-30 shows each Fashion Month and dealt with designers (many fledgling), pr folk and hairdressers to ensure the backstage went off without a hitch. She’s on the West Coast now, working closely with in-house visual artists to develop content for YouTube star-turned-mogul Michelle Phan’s rapidly growing company Ipsy.
Ipsy is “all in” for user-generated beauty content and promotion. Their monthly Glam Bag, the beauty sampling service boasting a million subscribers, inspires social media posts that average 10 million viewers a month. The Insta-popular Open Studios program, a mentorship for beauty bloggers and vloggers provides free access to studio space, digital tools and advice from Phan herself. Within one hour of its launch, there were over 1,000 applicants. They also hosts weekly happy hours for their beauty influencer community and employees called “Thirsty Thursdays” and ask different beauty brands to host. So fun…so smart.
But before Melissa got involved assisting the growth of a serious Fempire, she was just another newly-engaged New Yorker. As soon as her rock settled on her finger, we stopped by Molly Guy’s Stone Fox Bride in Soho to have Molly curate a selection of dresses for Melissa. As gorgeous as the gowns are, it’s that just-engaged glow we’re so happy we captured. It’s been a year and a half since her wedding and we miss her! So we caught up to hear what it’s like to work for Phan, her take on New York vs LA style, what she finally wore on the big day, and obviously her favorite beauty products.
Tell me about working for Michelle Phan.
Michelle is so accomplished but totally authentic, grounded and hard-working. She’s really involved and that’s inspiring. She’s true to her ethos that ANY form of expression as long as its authentic is ok. It’s not about trends but about being your best self. Who wouldn’t be into that?
How has living on the West Coast changed your style?
The stereotype holds up. In NY, I was about my Manolos, while now I wear Adidas. Our office is a start-up so the vibe is just different and much more laid back. The one footwear constant on both coasts is my black flat. Zara’s black flats with the slight heel have always been my go-to, but I’m currently in a J. Crew moment. It’s the slight totally feminine heel that is key. I also live in Everlane t-shirts in black, white and grey,. I’m a Levi’s cut-offs girl as you know, but currently constantly in a pair of Zara ripped jeans. I do miss dressing up from time to time so going back to these photos is cool.
Take us through the gowns Molly selected for you.
The Pearl Spaghetti-Strapped Dress: This was so comfortable, yet incredibly sophisticated. I didn’t think I could pull off a long dress like this, but Molly proved me wrong. I fell in love with the Anna flower crown as well. It’s adorned with succulents, air plants and hydrangeas…a work of art! Shop a similar crown here and dress here
The Cold Shoulder: This vintage off-the-shoulder number I’m wearing in the key image of the slideshow was giving me Bianca – I felt like a princess, but a really cool one that wears a bob. Shop a similar style here. (*Ed. Note: We bought that Reformation dress in black immediately. We’re not stupid.)
Daryl K: I’m obsessed, the gold sequins work is incredible (I love some sparkle)…definitely not your average wedding gown.
Vintage Miu Miu Dress: This by far was the most fun – I could twirl in it which is always a bonus and would be amazing on the dance floor.
The Bride Wore…
I wound up cobbling together a perfect look. A dreamy Morgan La Faye skirt tailored to perfection and a Tibi crop top with Manolo Blahnik pumps found with Mom. Similar skirt here and crop top here. On the actual wedding day, I danced so much I split my carefully-tailored skirt and wore it backwards throughout the reception. So there is that.
Melissa’s Beauty Bevy
I work with so many but these are some standouts.
Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: For sucking all the gross stuff out of my skin
Josie Maran Oil: The argan oil in this is top-quality
Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum: As I get older, I’m much more conscious of what I put on my skin and Vitamin C is a great protectant against free radicals. This has a totally reasonable price point which is nice.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen: This is fantastic and absorbs quickly
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: Creates super long spidery lashes
Bumble and bumble Dryspun Texturizing Spay: I have baby fine hair and this is the best for giving me some much-wanted texture, the scent is also light and nice. Bumble does fragrance so well
Bb. Sunday Shampoo: This cleanser isn’t for everyone but for fine hair like mine, it’s perfect. The shine I get from this is unparalleled.
Photography by Jane Houle