Hii! My name is Colleen but, you can call me Coco. I’m a 31 year old German, Irish, Filipina living in Los Angeles. I grew up in Tampa, Florida but many moons ago I decided I needed to change things up & switch coasts. And tbh, it’s a love/hate relationship…
LOVE: my friends, the melting pot culture here, activities & foooood
HATE: dry weather, traffic & my family being so far away
But with any new place, you adapt and you find what you need to help you. In this case, it’s all the things I love mixed with plenty of water, moisturizer, podcasts & FaceTime.
First thing you do when you wake up/go to bed?
I’ve always been a morning person. During the week, I wake up at 6am and get ready for work. On the weekends, I “sleep in” until about 7:30/8am. And the very first thing I do is make my bed. My mom has that engrained into my soul.
Because I wake up so early, I’m usually pretty tired come 8pm. I take a shower, choose my outfit for the next day, play with my bunny & make myself a warm cup of CalMag-C (an instant, anti-stress drink that’s pure magic). It’s a specific ratio of calcium, magnesium and vitamin C that helps relax your muscles & improve your sleep—basically, a warm blanket for your insides. It’s also great for after workouts and menstrual cramps!
Any ritual health/beauty/wellness routine or products?
It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I really started paying attention to what I put on my skin. I have naturally dry skin that LA has only made worse. I’d get awful cystic acne and dry patches that I figured the more random products I bought, the closer I’ll get to a solution. WRONG. So one day, I switched out all my chemical crap products for more natural based solutions and I immediately noticed a difference! I’ll share my MVP’s.
I found that my genes, mixed with LA’s drier climate, only dried me out more when I washed my face with water. So instead, I’ve been using Cocokind’s ‘Facial Cleansing Oil’ to remove my makeup and their ‘Rosewater Toner’ to even out my skin. Their product line is incredible because not only do they look cute on the shelf, they’re also affordable and work.
Afterward, I apply Le Saint Beauty’s Marula Oil. My skin eats this stuff up. It’s great after cleansing in the morning, before I go to bed, and sometimes I dab some on over makeup to get that dewy, glowy look. Marula seed oil has a lot of benefits including being rich in antioxidants and naturally calms any skin inflammation, which really helps that Irish part of me.
I end everything off with my all-time favorite moisturizer-- In Your Face Cream. I’m OBSESSED with this stuff. It’s so natural you can practically eat it. Not only does it smell delicious but, it’s really helped my skin look more youthful and give me the intense hydration that I need.
And because LA is thick with polluted air, I find that I need to exfoliate my skin every couple days. I found out recently about KORA Organics Turmeric & Brightening Exfoliating Mask and I’m lovinggg it. You’ll look like you stuck your face in baby food but, the after effects are amazing!
Favorite feature on yourself and why?
My smile and my legs. Growing up, I used to get teased a lot for how long and skinny my legs were. I was taller than my friends and even some of my family members (I’m 5’10). And as far as my teeth, they always seemed bigger than my mouth, so smiling felt awkward. But as I got older and my body proportioned out a bit, they quickly became my favorite. Now, I LOVE my smile and my long ass legs.
How do your job, lifestyle, and background affect your routine?
I work for an amazing family who I consider an extension of my own. But every day is different than the last so it makes having a routine a little tricky. Sometimes I’m traveling and other times, I leave early in the morning and don’t come back home until later on at night. My weekends are usually random, depending on what I’m doing and where I am. So I make use of what I can control and that’s my morning & nighttime routines. I also try to stay consistent with drinking water, moving my body, and taking vitamins throughout the day. But most importantly, I stay optimistic af. Bad day or good day, I always make the best of the situation. I’m such a happy person and I’m a firm believer that remaining positive can really contribute to your mood and how you treat yourself and others.
What do you do to stay healthy?
Honestly, I’m not as healthy as I should be. I’m not a very strict person when it comes to diet & exercise because I find that that mentality doesn’t work for me AT ALL. Instead, I keep things balanced & in moderation. If I want pizza, I’ll eat pizza. Dessert after? Fine. But the next couple days, I’ll try & lay off the carbs and eat loads of vegetables.
For working out, I’m lucky enough to live in an area with so many options for exercising. When it’s nice out, hiking is great! I know that sounds so basic of an LA girl but, seriously, there are some beautiful hikes over here. I also love PLATEFIT classes. It’s 27 minutes, HIIT, done on a vibrating plate and it kicks. my. ass. LOL. Those 27 minutes make me feel like I worked out for an hour.
I’m also really into vitamins. VitalBulk’s ‘Daily Health Kits’ are amazing because you get all the essentials in one little packet. A good probiotic to keep the gut healthy. And if I’m ever feeling slightly rundown or sick, Source Naturals ‘Wellness Formula’ gets rid of it completely! Take 6 capsules/3 hours until you feel yourself again. Seriously, magic.
Any cultural tips/tricks you've learned from family and/or friends?
Having a Filipino mama definitely meant you have to be neat & clean. Hence, my bed making every morning. Before school she would tell me to make my bed so my room didn’t look messy. And she’s right! My day doesn’t feel the same if I know my bed isn’t made.
She also made me do this weird thing as a kid. She’d have me massage my gums with my finger. And it always felt like an eternity doing it but, I swear it helped me get straighter teeth. I’ve never had braces and my mom has PERFECT teeth (also no braces) sooo… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
How do your ethnicity and identity intersect and affect your beauty preferences (or grievances)?
Being mestiza (Filipino mix) was a struggle when I was younger. I’m an only child, all my relatives I knew in the states were white and all my friends were white. Everyone I knew was fair skinned and had lighter features. My mom would bring me around to hang out with her Filipina friends and that’s where I would feel the most… accepted? We all looked the same! But, it’s interesting because I would hear these women talk about wanting an “American nose,” bleaching their skin to make it whiter, implants, etc. I saw these women as beautiful but, here they are trying to change themselves to fit the “norm.” I was hella confused. Are my almond shaped eyes and tannish skin—weird? Do I need breast implants? How’s my nose??
Anyways, fast forward to now and I couldn’t be more proud of the way I look. I think it’s beautifully, unique, au naturel. I mean, sometimes I wish my hair wasn’t so frizzy or my skin wouldn’t get so red or acne prone (thanks, dad) but overall, I love it & embrace it.
If you were to create the perfect beauty/wellness product for yourself, what would it be?
Ugh, my water intake is embarrassing. A supplement that gave me the exact amount of water I need every day would be GENIUS.