While browsing through TikTok or Instagram Reels, you’ll come across a plethora of influencers, with skin and beauty categories being amongst the most prominent in attracting and inspiring followers. Numerous skincare regimens, beauty routines, and trendy lifestyle hacks have become a valuable asset for beauty gurus to incorporate alongside their makeup applications. Considering over 24 billion beauty-related posts fall under the hashtag “skincare,” standing out in the crowd as a #skinfluencer is no easy task. Nevertheless, Melissa Tovar, a former eighth-grade language arts teacher turned beauty and lifestyle influencer, has successfully carved out her own niche with an emphasis on providing multifaceted skincare, travel, and active lifestyle tips.
Tovar puts her educational background to practice by creating content that primarily connects with teens and young adults who are looking to improve their self-care and confidence. She guides them through recommendations that she has learned along the way with a very go-getter approach and solution based mindset. “I try to ask myself… ‘How can I make their life easier?’ I get a lot of inspiration from obstacles that I’m going through. It could be something as simple as, ‘Oh my God, I have an unwelcome blemish that I can’t get rid of.’ Then, I’ll film the process of me trying to get rid of it and share the knowledge about the products that really worked,” Tovar explains.
This “learn to teach” mindset has helped Tovar tailor a range of active lifestyle skincare steps. Take prepping for her regular workout, pilates, or yoga class, “On the days where I am working out between nine to 12, I usually don’t wash my face in the morning or do too much since I’m going to sweat it out. I’ll just splash on some water and use a moisturizer in my collection, such as the Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence, to reinvigorate my skin with a dose of hydration. Then, I put on my Supergoop! PLAY Everyday Lotion with SPF 50 Sunflower Extract PA++++ – glob it all over my face, my neck, my chest, and my arms–and I go to my class, knowing I’m getting protection from the sun’s harmful rays. After my class, I shower, then I do my multi-step skincare and makeup routine to get ready for the day,” says Tovar.
In her daily post-workout and morning skincare process, the Colombian-American beauty influencer freshens up with the OSEA Ocean Cleanser to remove surface impurities. She follows that with a Vitamin C mask for protection against free radicals. Remezcla suggests using the Pixi Vitamin-C Remedy Mask as an option. Next, she applies Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Mask Single to reduce morning eye puffiness, then Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum that she sets in with a facial roller to boost circulation. She rounds out the morning routine by tapping in ELEMIS Superfood Facial Oil for a hydrated glow, and once again finalizes her routine with Supergoop! PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract PA++++. When traveling, she’s grateful she doesn’t have to sacrifice many of her TSA size-approved skincare products to bring along for the ride and makes sure to pack the Peach & Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist and the Evian Mineral Spray Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray to hydrate and refresh her skin for an on-the-go radiant lasting glow.
TikTok skincare trends have popularized makeup looks like “Glass Skin,” the “Clean Aesthetic,” and “Mary Phillips Makeup,” all of which prioritize skincare to enhance natural features. For Tovar, the trends towards minimal makeup is a blessing, as she’s always preferred a more natural look for her face, to stay at the forefront of daily camera-ready content. “I’m so lucky, that is what’s trendy right now, since I’ve never been a full-coverage person. My makeup routine has always been just the basics. My favorite primer is the MAC Studio Radiance Moisturizing + Illuminating Primer. I absolutely love it as it provides all-day soothing hydration! Then I use the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation as if it were a concealer; I don’t put it all over my face, only under my eyes and then around my mouth to cover up some hyperpigmentation. If I’m going out at night to a nice restaurant or if I’m taking a bunch of pictures, I will do the Too Faced Born This Way Ethereal Light Illuminating Smoothing Concealer, usually just under my eyes to brighten them up. I’m a big fan of bronzer, especially the one from NUDESTIX NUDIES Matte All Over Face Bronze Color in Bondi Bae. Next, for blush, I use the NUDESTIX Matte All Over Face in Sunkissed. My mom used to say, ‘you never leave your house without having earrings on’ but my thing is, I never leave my house without my eyebrows done with the Brow Lift from e.l.f. Cosmetics and Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil Waterproof Eyebrow Definer for defined brows. I try not to add too much [makeup] but I still will look put together,” says Tovar.
Tovar developed a love for skincare and makeup despite it not being a common practice among her family members. Her mother initially felt reluctant about her delving into the beauty space, “She was always telling me, ‘You’re not allowed to have a YouTube, you’re not allowed to wear too much makeup,’’ says the beauty influencer. As a result, in the beginning Tovar had to sneak around to create homemade skincare products such as mixing Nespresso coffee grounds and coconut oil for exfoliating, which she’s reminded of whenever she uses Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub which Tovar always grabs when shopping at her local Ulta Beauty store. “My mom has a skincare routine now because I literally forced her to have one. I’m like, ‘Mom, you have to put this on!’” Tovar chuckles. Through her persistence, her mom now sees the benefits that skincare offers and the success that Tovar has attained by continuing to share her skincare experiences with others.
“Many of our parents are also now learning with us. Sometimes self-care in our communities can be seen as unnecessary or like a waste of time. My response to that is, do it simply because it makes you feel good. Do it because you deserve to relax and take some time for yourself. I think it’s just about breaking misconceptions and allowing our bodies to rest. Luckily, through my journey, I’ve noticed that current and older generations are shifting their stance to be pretty open to that. My mom and my aunts are super excited about developing their own skincare practices now,” Tovar adds
The skincare enthusiast acknowledges that being a social media influencer can also take its toll, with long hours spent on content creation, editing, and brand collaborations, as well as interacting with the positive and negative feedback in her comments. To find balance, she spends time with her husband and family, goes out with friends, enjoys cooking, travels and experiments with activities, such as pottery.
On her weekly self-care day, Tovar cleans and organizes her space, turns on a Netflix show and lights a candle before settling in to begin her deep treatment skincare routine. She focuses on exfoliating and hydration to target makeup and sweat build up that may have set into the deep and top layers of her skin throughout the week. To slough away dead skin cells she starts out with the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant face scrub, which evens out her complexion helping to achieve an all natural face filter-like appearance, followed by a thorough facial cleansing with the Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System. Its gentle, soothing steam plumps up her skin and opens up her pores, rejuvenating her skin. She continues her deep treatment with the Peach & Lily Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask to draw out even the deepest impurities and to help minimize the appearance of pores. After washing off the clay mask, she adds on the Peach Slices Snail Rescue Intensive Wash-Off Jelly Mask to freshen hydration while using her NuFace Trinity+ Advanced Facial Toning Microcurrent Kit which helps tone, lift, and contour the facial muscles while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “That tool completely snatches your face,” says Tovar who appreciates the added collagen stimulation that it provides by supporting her skin’s elasticity plus helping to improve overall appearance which helps her feel at her best as her skin continues to mature. She finalizes the process with Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme + Youth Power Créme Moisturizer, applying all over her face and neck to firm and strengthen her skin making sure to replenish and seal in the moisture that protects her newly exfoliated skin barrier.
As an active skin-influencer, Tovar aims to be a valuable resource by imparting her accumulated knowledge with her audience. She emphasizes that utilizing a variety of skincare products and techniques helps to enhance every facet of her on-the-go lifestyle, as her face is always front and center in her content showcasing her range of topics from skincare tips, to make up regimens, and daily activities. “Ultimately, I hope that my audience can find a sense of balance in the knowledge I share and can relate to my content so that they take away tips that benefit their own skincare and lifestyle practices.”