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Remi Bader is like the big sister of fashion TikTok. In her “realistic haul” videos, Bader tries on clothes for the first time in front of her followers, showing what they actually look like once they’re off the rack. She’s also incredibly candid with her followers, and she has no problem telling them that she’s “the sweatiest person alive” among other things that make her one of the most relatable influencers out there. 

Bader keeps it real, which makes her a natural partner for a brand like Dove, which is all about embracing every part of yourself, no matter what. In her recent campaign with the brand, Bader is embracing #BigPitEnergy to encourage everyone to feel a little less insecure about their underarms. I got a chance to talk to Bader about all things beauty—keep reading for our conversation. 

Tell me about your partnership with Dove. What made you want to work with the brand?

This was a very easy partnership that made so much sense because I talk very candidly with my followers about how much I sweat and how it’s a stress for me. When Dove was doing this campaign, it was a very easy yes for me because I feel like the idea of this campaign—of embracing your underarms and not feeling ashamed and all of that—I talk about this without really thinking twice about it. It just really makes sense.

The whole campaign is about helping people feel less insecure about their underarms. How has that helped shift your own perspective?

I definitely think it has because, even though I’m candid and talk about it, I definitely have an insecurity around it. I feel like that’s okay, and it still makes sense for me being a part of this campaign because it’s helping me to be less insecure about it. I feel like a lot of people are really ashamed of seeing sweat through their shirts and things like that. I’ve always made it a big thing for me to get deodorant that makes me feel protected. This is perfect because it lasts up to 48 hours. This campaign has helped me because I was in a way worse place before, where I was like, “Oh my God, I don’t even want to go out because you’re gonna see my sweat in this dress or something.” Why are we so ashamed of something when so many people are dealing with the same issues and it’s such a normal thing? Normalizing it, talking about it more, and not being as ashamed of it is the whole point of this campaign.

I am also a very sweaty person. I completely understand how it feels to be like, “Oh, my God, I’m gonna sweat through this shirt.”

It’s definitely been a stress of mine, especially since I’ve gained more weight. I feel like it wasn’t as big of a stress for me [before], [but] people can have this issue, no matter what weight they are. For me, I feel like that’s where it’s been more bothersome to me. But again, the idea is to give you an antiperspirant. Just having that protection and feeling like you know that there’s something that you can use that will help you, it feels good. 

I feel like Dove as a brand is so about empowerment in general.

Yeah, I feel like there are other things that they work on, too, that have to do with exactly like you said, empowerment of being the size that you are, in that body-positivity and body-neutrality space as well. That was like another reason, seeing other things that they were doing and that they’ve worked on in the past. 

Do you have a favorite Dove deodorant scent?

I like the Beauty Finish. It’s fresh and rosy. I definitely go more toward a stick. But I notice that when I’m more in a rush, which is a lot of the time, I just use the spray, which dries completely clear. You don’t have to worry about seeing the white or anything on your clothes, which stresses a lot of people out too. But for me, I just feel like it’s very easy and quick to do the spray, but I’ve always just happened to be more of a stick person. So now, I just use both.

I’ve always been a stick person too. But the spray is so easy. I’m gonna pivot into a few more general beauty questions. What is your skincare routine like?

I’ve definitely been having some issues with my skin. In the past, I’ve literally never had any, and I think just age, stress, and hormones… It’s normal, but it’s frustrating. I’ve actually just made it more simple. I feel like I’ve been so stressed with trying so many different products, and I obviously get gifted and sent so many different brands, and I get excited and want to try them. I feel like my skin has [looked] pretty good the past few weeks, which I just noticed yesterday. I use these very sensitive exfoliant pads from Dennis Gross that I use every night. It’s like a one- and two-step thing. There are also the stronger ones. If you use those, you just have to use them way less. You definitely don’t use them every day. I’ve been using the sensitive ones.

I’ve been using La Mer or Tatcha Dewy Skin moisturizer at night. I honestly probably should be doing more, but to be honest, that’s really the most that I’ve done lately, and I’ve been not hating it. That’s my night routine. I also always wear waterproof mascara, so I have to use a waterproof makeup remover, and then I like to wash my face. I’ve been using First Aid Beauty. I sometimes use that if I’m not in the shower and [am] taking off my makeup, but a lot of the time, I do a face wash in the shower, and I use the Youth to the People face wash. It smells so good. It’s definitely a stronger face wash. I feel like it really, really clears your skin. It takes everything off at the end of the day. I switched up to using that more the past month or so, and I’ve been really liking that.

If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few products you would be sure not to leave without?

Lip gloss 100%. I definitely switch it up. But if I’m using a lip balm, I would say Summer Fridays, or I like the Tatcha lip, too, but for lip gloss, I use a bunch. I have so much. I use MAC, I use Buxom, [and] I use Makeup by Mario. I just love lip glosses, and I have like a million. I switch those up. I can never leave without lip gloss. A little touch-up, like a powder, because I get so sweaty. I like the mini Charlotte Tilbury one to go. Maybe just like a little bronzer if I’m out and I want to touch up later. MAC has a new bronzer that I’ve been liking, and it just came out.

What’s your favorite waterproof mascara? I feel like it’s so hard to find a good waterproof mascara.

Oh yeah, I’ve tried a lot. I’m actually really into the Maybelline one. There are so many that I feel are big on TikTok that I tried, and I’m like, “No, I’m sorry—it’s not good.” I think it still goes down my eyes. Oh no, it’s Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara from Maybelline, and I actually have a million tubes of it.

That is such a good one. I saw a review you did on the Telescopic Lift Mascara. I feel like that’s a big TikTok favorite.

It’s hard because anything that’s quick and easy for me is more what I do. I don’t know what I’m doing with my makeup, like I actually look insane. Yesterday, I tried doing it by myself to go to a podcast, and it was crazy. There are things obviously that are easy to do. And for me, mascara is simple and easy. One thing I learned by just being a sweaty person is I need to have waterproof. I literally will not touch a not-waterproof mascara.

I feel that. Otherwise, I find that mascara will literally just go down my face throughout the day. Have you always been a lip-gloss person?

Oh my God, yeah—my whole life. I actually can’t be anywhere without it. I just love the feeling. I feel like people hate sticky, and I love sticky. I just want it to stay on my lips as long as possible. There’s actually this MAC Lipglass, and it’s clear, and you could put it over any lip gloss or lipstick or anything. It’s just a thick coat, which some people might hate but I love, of thick, clear gloss that makes everything look better on your lips. That’s been my go-to the past few months. I sometimes will take a gloss with color and then two hours later put it over it.

I need to try that. Would you say that’s your holy-grail gloss product? 

Well, there are two. I get MAC Lipglass in Lust. That’s the color that I feel is my color. I now put Lipglass over it or any other lip gloss that I wear. But I feel like those two are probably my most used.

How did you decide to start doing realistic hauls on your TikTok and Instagram?

Wow, this feels like a while ago now. I lost my job in July of 2020. I was in the music industry. I wasn’t doing much, and I’m someone that definitely likes to stay busy. I gained a significant amount of weight at that time. I ended up looking into being a curve model, and I signed with the current modeling agency, but being in the middle of COVID, not much was happening, and I need to keep myself busy. At that time, especially since I gained weight and was looking for clothes to wear for these modeling shoots, I was just like, “Wow, it’s so crazy how being even just a 14-16 how difficult it is to find clothes.” It was just such a frustration for me.

I feel like that led me to start making these videos for my friends—trying these clothes on, laughing about it, and talking about how it was frustrating—but I kind of made it a joke. I ended up one day deciding to just put it on TikTok. I don’t know. I made a video to see if my friends would see it and maybe some other people would, but I obviously never thought it would turn to the point it did. I think it was the fourth or fifth video I made that blew up, and it really was just the video saying, “We will never, no matter what size we are, look like the model online.” We get mad at ourselves for that, but it’s really not our fault. And then I started trying on these clothes and showing the good and showing the bad and put humor into it, and it just took off, took a life of its own.

It has for sure. What’s your favorite part about doing them?

I think the best part is when I laugh and … have fun with it. For me, doing that is more enjoyable than obviously doing any ads or other content because I feel like that’s what I started doing. It’s literally my experience that I’ve grown up having and a fitting-room experience and just bringing that to life. I think the best part is that I’m trying on those clothes for the first time. So my followers are seeing my initial reaction. Sometimes, I even crack up, or it’s just the real experience, but then watching it back, I think the best part is when I laugh, and I’m like, “This is so ridiculous.” It’s fun for me. I can put a little bit of my weird, crazy self into it when I start singing songs or doing crazy things. I mean, who would ever think that this would be my job? So I’m definitely grateful for what it’s turned into.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would you tell her?

I would tell her that everything’s going to work out. I would never change anything because I feel like I’ve learned so much through all my experiences, but [I’d] probably just tell her that everything’s going to be okay. Stop planning every single second of every day and how your life is supposed to go because it’ll probably never go by the plan and by what you thought it would be. Everything happens for a reason. It’ll all work out. I truly believe that. For me, I was in a pretty dark, not great place at the time right before COVID and during COVID. I turned something that was frustrating for me, losing my job and gaining a lot of weight, and I did what I could with it. It ended up being a good thing for me, and now, I can help people that are in similar situations and share my life and my journey with people.

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