HI, I'M CHRIS!

INTP-T

This past April, I took a 16 Personalities test and learned that, by their scale, I'm a "Logician," or INTP-T:

"The INTP personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being "common". INTPs pride themselves on their inventiveness and creativity, their unique perspective and vigorous intellect. Usually known as the philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor, INTPs have been responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history."

My mind was blown. I had never been able to qualitatively understand why I "am the way I am." Pair that with the fact a standard trait of an INTP personality type is constantly feeling like they find it hard to connect with people, you can see why I was subsequently freaking out!

I also learned that my brain is wired without an emergency stop button. From the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I (finally) fall asleep at night, my mind is running at 9,000 RPM. When I read that part of my analysis, I broke down crying. There, in the palm of my hands, were the the answers; the key to the biggest door (in the cosmic room of doors we all are in, ya know) I had never been able to unlock for as long as I've been alive. I used to cry myself to sleep as a kid because my mind was always moving so fast, and would sometimes go to really dark places in the bank of my emotions. As someone who doesn't really understand emotions the way I do cold hard data, I suppose it was just my mind trying to make sense of my heart. I'm still learning to be more in touch with my emotions and to find balance in my introverted nature, but I think that will be a lifelong battle. At least now you may understand why I'm not the most chatty in Instagram comments or someone who usually posts every day.

Taking the personality test really did change my life (I bought the e-book lol), because it taught me to stop questioning myself and my thoughts. Eventually the second epiphany kicked in: stop seeking approval from people whose opinion of you will not help you in any way, shape or form. So now I'm going with my gut, making the art I want, and expressing my thoughts freely - without doubting myself. And that feels really good. 

I missed you guys! Sorry I was gone so long - I can explain! But first, a warm hello to those of you that are joining our lil' skincare and family. Thanks for stopping by.

It all started after the fabulous Farmacy field trip when I was sorting through the photos I had taken that day. I drafted a post, previewed it on the old blog, and sighed. The platform around the beautiful photos felt outdated and generic. I tried uploading them on Flickr which helped the photos shine, but didn't allow for storytelling.

I realized that it was time for a website relaunch. As I began to explore new platforms, my imagination did what it does best and went off the deep-end. I saw the overhaul as an opportunity to create an experience that was new, different, and exciting. In fact, the relaunch comes at a time where I feel a vast amount of personal change and growth. I'm happy with who I am for the first time in a very long time, so I let my newly discovered self-confidence be the driving factor in the construction of this site.

The only problem is that I've never built a website before, so I've spent the last month learning as I go. All of the content on this website comes from me unless otherwise noted because I'm just too much of an Aries to relinquish any creative control.

As time went on, the website grew into an introspective of ideas, visuals, and resources that I hope will reflect who I am as a person and who I aim to be as an influencer. I truly hope you feel welcome here and that it was worth the wait.

Consider this page an open diary where everything is explained and typed up for you to read. 

Enjoy x

WELCOME BACK / WELCOME!

 

NICE TO MEET YOU.

LOVE,

CIRCA 2009

THE NAME

It all started during the summer before I began eighth grade. I went to a three-week summer camp for filmmaking and made great friends with a girl named Lindsay. I told her that my name, Chris, was short for Christopher to which she replied with something along the lines of, "I'm going to call you Toph (as in, Topher Grace) now." I took my middle name, Cameron, snipped off the first few letters and arrived with "TophCam." It became my username across all social media accounts that I made, and still is.

I'm 22 now, and TophCam has become what I affectionately refer to as my drag name - an idealized persona and brand. It's an extension of who I, Chris, am as a person as much as it is completely detached from how I present myself to the world. It's a way for me to live out my best moments (which I believe are always right now, not yesterday, not tomorrow) on the Internet while maintaining a modicum of privacy - hence the overexposure I talked about in the previous paragraph.

I still find that many people don't know that my name is Chris, which means that the people watching me on YouTube already see me as TophCam, so why not have a little fun?

Why not take the idea and run with it?  Flush it out? Make it fabulously unusual?

So I did.  And here we are. 

 

Let's do this!

THE WEBSITE

TOPHCAM.COM is a grab bag of eccentric ideas that I hope come together as a website that's informative, albeit slightly irreverent. It is a blog, an art gallery, a social experiment, an online personals ad, a booth in a cozy restaurant, and (most importantly) whatever you want it to be.

My style is half tongue-in-cheek and half serious-as-hell, and my approach to blogging and the website are no exception. As an experiment in online social privacy, you'll find that I reveal quite a bit about myself and my life - even if it's not fully explained. This is all on purpose. My thinking is that if I publicize a lot about myself - you could even say "overexpose" - then that means I can keep my private life even more secluded. Who knows if it'll work, but I find the entire concept of social media to be incredibly interesting.

As my mom would half-jokingly say, "Who the hell cares?" And she's right. Who the hell cares? But as I've experienced firsthand the unwavering support of the skincare community, y'all care. I care. We care together, and that says something.

I grew up, almost literally, on the Internet and I've always found it to be a place I felt at home in. It's almost limitless in reach and, as we're seeing in our community, a place where you can form very real and very meaningful friendships. 

It's been a place where I can display things I create which, after all, is still what feeds my soul. I still have a huge crush on photography, so the website was designed to be very photo-centric. The blog is still the hub of the website and will remain as such because, after all, that's why most of us are here ;) There are so many nooks and crannies to explore, and I can't wait for you to unearth them. It's been so fun to design!

I've loved paying tribute to small little things here and there. The red and white buttons are inspired by the Alfa Romeo emblem (and Jimmy Buffett) and the yellow text is a nod to Miley Cyrus. If you are curious about the website inspiration, I made a board on Pinterest that tries to explain it! 

To me, skin and skincare is everything. It's my life, quite literally. I love skin. Mine is normal to dry (sometimes congested) and always dehydrated, but it used to be oily and acne-prone. In fact, the reason I connected skincare in the first place was to self-treat my acne. I became obsessed with learning which skincare ingredients were effective, which weren't, things to avoid, and how to piece together a skincare routine. Unfortunately, my acne was just too cystic to be treated topically - my dermatologist and I tried everything over the course of a few years - and eventually I went down the path of Isotretinoin, or Accutane, as it was called back then. It changed my life and my skin forever and I'll always be a firm believer in it - for the right scenarios, that is.

I documented some of my experiences on YouTube and saw my skin go from greasy to parched in a matter of months. I began to understand what it felt like to need extra moisturizer for the first time in my life, all the while getting deeper into exploring skincare.

After treatment, I discovered Caroline Hirons on one of Pixiwoo's Body Talk videos and the rest is history.

The way I feel about skincare is always evolving and I'm learning more about it every single day. I don't like to put myself into a box because I think good products exist across all markets. As complicated as ingredients, skin structure, and building an efficient ritual may be, I think it's important to remember that it's just skincare. It should be a joy and a reward rather than a laborious chore and I think many of us, myself included, can easily forget that when we're searching for the next best retinoid or acid exfoliant. Unfortunately, not everything works for everyone, which is why community is so important and why I'm so glad we're all here together.

So here's to skin, loving it and all its features and flaws, living in it, and indulging in it as much as practicing moderation and respect. Let's find the best products, together, and gab about them over champagne and face mists.

SKIN

Blogging - I take that shit seriously. First and foremost, I'm a consumer. I want my needs as a consumer met, and I'm sure many of you feel the same. Even if something is sent to me as gratis, I know that isn't the case for many people. That's such an important thing to consider. After all, it's not my money to spend and I would be downright despicable for flippantly brushing that fact off just to collect a couple bucks here and there.

To some, the enthusiastic pursuit of beauty products might seem superficial, but to those who have discovered the magic of a happy complexion, a more synchronized disposition, and a community to share that empowerment with - we know it's so much more than moisturizer.

I'm privileged to have the platform that we have all built together because we're small in scale but mighty in intention. We seek both knowledge and enlightenment in skincare, self-care, and the innerworkings of a beauty ritual.

I love skincare and cosmetics so much that it led me to pursue it on my own time and eventually into my college education - where I'm currently still studying. I've worked for quite a few brands over the years doing field work where I learned a lot behind the scenes about brands, their products, and their retailer relationships. I feel like this guides the manner in which I talk about products. I'm passionate and I love research, but I still think the product experience is equally important.

We want to know our goop is going to work (and why), how it will make us feel, and that if we have to lay down a significant amount of cash for it, why it is or isn't worth it.

I like to talk about skincare in a way that makes it a level playing field for most of us because the industry does a damn good job at making it difficult to understand and easier oversell you on.

My promise to you is: integrity, transparency, and empowerment through knowledge - and you might even discover some self-care inspiration and see some fun photos.

I just want to be the best I can be for you and for me. I want to do what I can to shake up the current state of the blogosphere.  I'm an artist by instinct and a blogger by choice.

"Your canvas is your skin" - Liz, my best friend from the Internet.

THE BLOGGER

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Thank you for scrolling down far enough to see this ;)

I hope you were somehow informed, inspired, welcomed, and/or empowered by anything that my site has presented itself. I want to break boundaries of what an "influencer" can be. For the entire metaphorical spilling of my guts, you can read about it here, should you be curious: 

© 2017 TOPHCAM

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