By Ashlee Cruz (@pinay_spice)
My name is Ashlee Cruz, and I’m a freelancer and design assistant at Glossier. I’m also the owner of a growing vintage company (@choisevintage on Instagram, my regular account is @pinay_spice). I recently moved to New York City, as interning for Glossier was my first job post-graduation, and time has moved quickly over the past eight months. As someone who thrives in chaos I feel at home.
I get up pretty early to work on personal and freelance projects. Right now, art directing Choise Vintage has taken up a lot of this down time. After making some French press, I obsessively moodboard for photoshoots. I love collaborating with friends, photographers, models, graphic designers, etc. There’s nothing more exciting than building this small artist community in Bushwick out of love.
I feed Phil, my cat. Water my hardy pothos plants twice a week. Maybe touch up my bleached hair before work. This was a DIY job, and if you’ve had experience bleaching hair on your own, I’ll give you my recipe for success:
Bleach twice with Quick Blue and 30 volume developer.
Figure out what level you bleached your hair to (probably 8/9)
Match your level to a shade of Wella toner (I bleached my hair to a level 9, so I used T14 Pale Ash Blonde).
Use hella hair masks and OLAPLEX!
For more information about Ashlee's at home bleaching technique check out Becoming a Blonde Unicorn in the Comfort of Your Own Home
My morning skincare and makeup routine is as follows:
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and/or Micellar Water
Glossier Priming Moisturizer
Sephora LashCraft Mascara
Glossier Boy Brow in Black
Some kind of lipstick color that suits my outfit. It’s the fun part.
I am riding the JMZ train to work, overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan skyline. As small as this is, it’s the best part of my day. It’s grounding to see the city during my everyday commute. I get obsessed with certain bands and artists, because music is really helpful for my anxiety. My current obsession is Rex Orange County, but usually I’ll listen to 60s music while reading "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. This lets everyone know that I’m a secret romantic, haha.
Work grind. As a design assistant, I am bouncing around the creative team’s projects. I help with everyone from packaging to design to creative ops. It’s a packed office between Chinatown and SoHo, and there are so many food options. Some days are very chill and relaxing, but others may include running to Canal Plastics or bringing vendors to the lovely 11 Howard Hotel.
Late lunch. I usually bring my own lunch but eat at Canal Street Market with a coworker. Sometimes I’ll take a walk around the area and snap some photos. If I really need to, I find myself going to MUJI or the jewelry stores on Canal Street to unwind.
Office hours are over. At the end of the day, I remind myself I’m only 23 and I feel pretty accomplished for what I have done. Even though I’m freelancing in the creative world; I think a lot of other immigrant Americans who are afraid to pursue their dream of working in the arts, due to pressure from their immigrant parents or fear of failure. Being a creative means learning from your mistakes and continuing to grow from them, and it takes years to refine whatever craft you choose.
I’m honestly, probably, swiping through Tinder in bed. I turn into gremlin, watching Hot Wings on YouTube eating Takis and salad. If I have plans, I’m grabbing soup dumplings with my freelancer friends and planning photoshoots, or at a Bushwick skater bar with another Tinder date. My friends jokingly call me a savage, but it’s true. You have to keep it real.
Photographed by Laura Beckerdite @lalalauramae_
I don’t have a nighttime skincare routine. My lovely roommate and I usually do some catching up before going to bed. At the end of the day, I really think about the platonic friendships that have turned into family. It’s tough being in the city alone, and it’s even tougher when you don’t get monetary help from your parents. It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same advantages you may have. The people who have helped me navigate Glossier and Choise are the ones holding me down. This is a small thanks to them.