The Do-Gooder Consultant Who Takes After Cardi B
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.
“Hi! My name is Ashley Spillane (@aspillane), and though I travel a lot for work my homebase is in Washington, DC. I run an all-female consulting firm called Impactual that advises consumer brands, individuals, and nonprofits on impact work. These projects can make a real, measurable difference on societal issues, like increasing voter engagement and making the world safer for people of all races, ethnicities, and gender identities. My job is largely to act as a problem-solver. I help our clients identify an issue they want to help resolve and then my team and I conceptualize a formal plan that brings it all to life. We find the right experts and partners where needed, identify resources, build creative campaign materials, handle event planning and execution, and whatever else needs to be done.
My day-to-day work touches politics, business, entertainment, technology, fashion, beauty, and international affairs. I might be going door-to-door to encourage voters to cast a ballot, creating voter-engagement apparel for Lady Gaga to wear, or connecting nonprofits like Power the Polls to the right talent and influencers to help increase engagement. That’s my favorite thing about my job—I get to work across industries and genres with really interesting people. After doing this for a while, I realized that every industry has its own vibe and style. My look for a meeting with a fashion magazine might differ from what I’d wear to meet with a voting-policy expert, for example. It’s not necessary, but I treat it as a little challenge that I enjoy. And it also helped me develop and evolve my personal style—trying on all those different looks made me feel comfortable combining them.
For women, the relationship between beauty and confidence is an incredibly complicated and unique one. But for me, I know that when I feel good, I look good, and when I look good, I feel good. I’m better at my job because I prioritize these things. A good manicure is my secret weapon. My first boss in DC always had a chic, simple manicure, and whenever I’d meet a big deadline she would give me gift cards to get my nails done. I started copying her—a manicure with Essie Mademoiselle twice a month—and I’ve gotten bolder over the years. I love reds like OPI’s Coca-Cola Red, blues like After School Boy Blazer from Essie, and blacks like the OPI classic Lincoln Park After Dark. Getting a manicure is the very first thing I plan to do when COVID ends.
Every morning I read Politico Playbook. Then I wash my face—Cerave Foaming Cleanser is awesome, inexpensive, and does a great job keeping my skin clear. I’m pretty sure Cardi B is a fan, too. Because I travel a lot, and because I always seem to forget something I’ll need to replace wherever I am, I’ve prioritized affordable products that fit well in a single bag. The one product that takes up the most room is Image’s moisturizer with SPF 50. (Even though it’s travel-sized!) It’s super rich and creamy, which is what my dry skin needs in winter. I’m obsessed. Another winter cream I couldn’t live without is Bag Balm. I spotted the tiny green tin at a pharmacy check-out, and now I always have this heavy-duty, Vaseline-like cream on-hand for dry or cracked skin. [Ed note: here’s ITG’s full review of Bag Balm if you’re curious.]
I always use Kérastase L’incroyable Blow-Dry Lotion before I blow out my hair. It’s my biggest splurge, but the number one thing my stylist recommended. I see Nadine Matar, who’s also a friend, at DC’s PR at Partners. After my hair is dry, I’ll go over it with my T3 flatiron and create some light bends. But I try to limit the number of times I do that each week. A little Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Cream helps my fairly wavy hair air dry beachy. I have tons of freckles that I love, and because I never want to cover them up I opt for a light tinted moisturizer. Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in G11 gives me a dewy look, and Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light/Medium has more of a matte finish. I just discovered Glossier Cloud Paint and I honestly can’t believe nobody told me about it sooner. Puff is the perfect shade and makes me glow. I’ll never use anything else again. If I have time I’ll play around with golden-brown Teddy eyeliner from MAC. But if I’m in a rush, I just throw on some Benefit They’re Real mascara, spritz a little Bulgari Omnia Crystalline, and go.
At night, a few chapters of a juicy novel helps me sleep. I don’t think I realized how much I love to read until the pandemic hit—night after night of Netflix made me restless, and then I turned to books. I finished 158 books in total while working on the 2020 election. Authors like Jasmine Guillory, Elin Hilderbrand, Kevin Kwan, and Curtis Sittenfeld seriously saved my mental health. And when I’m ready to unwind, Yogi Honey and Lavender Tea is like a magic potion for me. I drink it almost every night.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author