Why This New Yorker Will Never Apologize For Her Loud Look
New Yorkers are surrounded by noise — if the city had a volume button, outsiders would probably prefer to turn it down. But the booming sounds of the city are built into the fabric of its five boroughs. That “noise” — the fire sirens, the rusty bus breaks, the boombox of the busker on the train blaring music — sets the bar high for everything else the city creates. The people, the sights, and even the smells are just as insistent. This is something Aimee Kelly, an Afro-Latina native and content creator, understands well.
She credits her home city for her unapologetic nature. There, she can explore and experiment with her style without feeling judged. “In New York City, you could walk [outside] with two towels as an outfit and would get at least one compliment — that right there is honestly the most freeing thing to experience when you’re trying to find your style.”
Kelly takes advantage of that freedom every chance she gets. She never needs an excuse to be colorful and loud — it’s her M.O. everyday. From the accessories she layers to the mascara she coats her lashes with, everything, and we mean everything, is boisterous and completely her. Ahead, Kelly gives us an inside look into her bold, over-the-top world. Prepare yourself now: her energy is infectious. Turning up the volume in 3 . . . 2 . . .
On Her Love For Loud Makeup
Being Latina, makeup has always been a way for Kelly to express her Latinidad. “It is, in a way, part of our culture,” she says. And her love for it started early. “I fell in love with mascara at a very young age. It was the first thing I would grab from my mom’s makeup bag.” Her love continues today because of how pivotal mascara can be. For her, it changes everything.
“My lashes have to be loud, always, 24/7,” she says. While the rest of her look may be vibrant, Kelly reserves the bright eyeshadows or lipsticks for special occasions that call for added color. But if you catch her on the subway platform or leaving the bodega, her lashes will be the loudest part of her look.
But any old mascara won’t do. When it comes to her lashes, Kelly is discerning. The volume needs to be just as loud as her personality. Her go-to, the Clinique High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara, delivers. The non-clumping, non-fading, non-flaking, and smudge-proof mascara can last up to 12 hours — even in the brutal New York City heat — and, thanks to its ultra-pigmented, fiber-infused formula, her lashes are always the focal point of a look. “It’s loud and fun like me, and it gives me the perfect amount of volume I am always looking for.”
As a long-time lover of makeup, Kelly has learned a few important lessons over the years, including the consequences of thinning out her eyebrows. (She was in high school, give her a break.) Now, she takes every opportunity to make them appear bold and full. Her trick is to use the Clinique Quickliner™ Eyebrow Pencil. The ultra-fine tip makes creating hair-like strokes easier. And to be sure it all stays put, she usually adds a brow gel to finish it off.
New York isn’t the only city where you can grocery shop in a full beat, eyes dotted with sequins and glitter, without feeling self-conscious. But it’s that energy that influences Kelly to express herself freely. “It has allowed me to be bold and loud without any shame or judgment,” she says. I am not treated differently. That’s why I love my city so much — it allows you to be you, and no one cares.”
On Her Looks That Do the Most
When it comes to how she fills her closet, Kelly has two sources of inspiration. The first being her Latine heritage. “We are very bold in all we do, from how we over-season our food to how we dance to how we play games to how we speak,” she says of her colorful culture.
The second source: her mother. Kelly can’t remember a time when her mom wasn’t loud and unapologetic, and with her closet at Kelly’s disposal, she had a chance to play with everything that made fashion fun. As Kelly got older, she found herself wanting to fit in more. She changed her style to look like everyone else and to please the people around her. But she wasn’t satisfied with her outward transformation until she went “back to her roots” and showed off her true style — another lesson she learned from her mom.
“AimeeLand,” the hybrid space Kelly uses as her closet, office, and studio, is a marvel in and of itself — the color coordination and endless options of accessories could put every other closet in New York City to shame. Her unignorable aesthetic is literally everywhere, from the wallpaper in her office to her socks on her feet. It’s also where Kelly goes to calculate her ‘fit formula. Dress or blazer? A monochrome or multi-patterned set? What will pop best against yellow — orange or pink? How about both?
On Being Fearless
Remember, Kelly’s style wasn’t always like this. At the start, it was hard for her to incorporate the colorful pieces and bold makeup into her everyday look because it was different from what the people around her were wearing. “Though it took me some time for those around me to adjust, I just did it because I liked it, and it made me smile,” she says. “Now [they’re] not phased by anything I wear. They just say, ‘Yeah, that’s Aimee,’ and I love it.”
Of course, experimenting with your style — being loud in deafening silence — is more fun with someone by your side. “I did not know how important it was until I had it,” she says of her best friend, a fellow lover of taking risks. “Having someone with the same concepts and ideas really helps you to be less worried about what others would think because you’re not alone.”
But doing it alone can be scary. Kelly’s advice: do what makes you happy. If you’re feeling self-conscious, she says to remember that whoever is giving you that stink eye will probably never see you again. Plus, they don’t pay your bills. “[People] have to learn to love you just the way you are. Stop worrying about what others think and have fun.”
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Clinique High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara
Clinique Quickliner™ Eyebrow Pencil
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