Beauty is a form of escape for most, even during trying times. Just because you’re holed up in your quarters for the unforseeable future doesn’t mean you should neglect your self. Spending time on your skin or hair is just as much a form of self-care as meditation or exercise. Wearing lipstick can be a mood boost. When your skin is brighter so is your outlook.
And remember self-care doesn’t have to be solo act. Find your beauty tribe.
With the above in mind, we reached out to five of our favorite pr gals to dish the details of their beauty regimens, during quarantine and outside of it.
Kirby Brewster, 29
Account Supervisor, Edelman
Given the latest happenings in the world, these days I’m taking all opportunities to slow down and attempt to embrace our new normal so I’ve really been taking a minimalist beauty approach. Each morning, I cleanse my face with Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser. I have dry skin and I never like to use anything that is too stripping or foaming (thanks for the tip beauty editor friends!) Then, I follow my cleanser with the Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer. I received a sample of this about two months ago and fell in love. I literally went back to the store and purchased the entire skincare set. It’s a lightweight gel so it’s a really refreshing moisturizer without that icky feeling Next, I go in with my all-time favorite SPF (yes, even in the house! Fun fact: Your devices are exposing your skin to UV rays) Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30. What I love most about this is that it double as a makeup primer. There’s absolutely no pilling or white cast so it’s a win-win in my book.
With our new virtual reality, I’m nixing my full beauty routine and foregoing my beloved Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 14 and YSL Touché Eclat Blur Primer and opting for a simple, no make-up make-up look. I always start with my brows and use my all-time favorite MAC Eyebrow Styler in Spiked. For some reason, it’s the only thing that works for me. I have full brows naturally, so I lock all the little stubborn hairs in place with NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel in Clear. Next up, concealer. I love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Hazelnut to brighten my undereye and then I use Cacao for the rest of my face. It’s really dewy and natural looking. My dry skin hates a matte makeup look (#sorrynotsorry). To make sure my face stays crease-proof, I dust a light layer of the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Deep Dark all over my face. Let’s be honest my sleep pattern is so messed up and so to add a bit more color to my face, I add a light sweep of NYX Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush in Citrine Rose to my cheeks followed by MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Global Glow to my cheekbones. I love dewy skin, so I can never have too much glow! For a bit of dimension I like to use the MAC Embark Eyeshadow for my contour. Most brands’ shades don’t go deep enough for the contour that I prefer, so I stick to what works even if it’s an eyeshadow I am a die-hard glossy lip girl and I’m never turning my back on this product. Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in FU$$Y is super natural and feminine and it’s not sticky which is honestly the key for a glossy lip. Finally I set it all with a few sprays of the MAC Prep + Prime Makeup Setting Spray.
After a day of a semi-beat, I use my tried and true Simple Kind To Skin Compostable Cleansing Wipes as the first step in my nightly cleansing routine. It’s formulated with clean ingredients and gets everything off in just one wipe. Then, I follow up with Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser. I use it day and night and honestly it’s always been great to my skin so I have no plans of trying anything new. Plus it’s super affordable. Most people may find this excessive, but I have to ensure my skin is 100% clean. I apply Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Micellar Cleansing Water to a cotton round and do another swipe across my face and neck to ensure I’m 100% squeaky clean.I’m not sure what rock I’ve been under, but I recently started incorporating the AHC Aqualoronic Hydrating Toner to my routine. As the product promises, it’s so hydrating and instantly reveals luminous skin with just one swipe. Next up, Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. I have some hyperpigmentation near my mouth and under my chin and this has really been helping. I apply 2-3 drops a night. Another newbie to my routine is the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel. To be honest, I haven’t been using it long enough to know if it’s making a difference but it’s super moisturizing and feels great on my skin. I’m a huge fan of the brand. For my nightly routine, I add the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream into the mix. It’s a thick moisturizing cream which is amazing for my dry skin, but it also doesn’t leave me feeling greasy or with clogged pores. I’ve yet to find anything like this product! I wake up with dewy, luminous skin every single morning. Lastly, I follow up with the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil to seal in all that moisture.
Once a week (twice in the summer and during ”that” time of the month), I use the Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment for a deep cleanse. Typically, detoxifying masks usually leave my skin dry and parched, but this mask is actually a charcoal hydrating mask so it never leaves my skin feeling stripped. For any unsightly pimples that arise I use the Peace Out Acne Healing Dots. It’s really gross, but also satisfying that I can see the gunk come out of my pimple when I use these. I’ve tried a few drying lotions but I’ve noticed they burn my skin so that’s a no-go. And last but certainly not least, the lips! I lock in the moisture with Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Balm Tin.
And call me crazy but my shower routine has easily become my #1 decompressor during these crazy times. I alternate between Dove Purifying Detox Body Wash when my skin just needs a break and the Dove Pampering Body Wash when I feel like I need a bit of TLC. Now that I have significantly more time on my hands, I’ve been super diligent about using exfoliating mitts and treating my entire body well. After a total body exfoliator, I lock in the moisture with a super hydrating lotion or body cream. For day, I opt for Dove Cream Oil Shea Butter Body Lotion and at night, L’Occitane Smoothing and Beauitfying Milk Concentrate; this stuff is amazing—it’s literally like butter.
We can name a million and one ways this self-isolation period has slowed down our daily routines, but one thing I’m super thankful for is that it’s given me a reason to take my health seriously. A healthy immune system is of the utmost importance at this time. Every morning and night I have a cup of freshly boiled ginger tea from ginger root, a teaspoon of black seed oil (sometimes I add a bit of honey into the mix to disguise the taste), vitamins and of course, a daily green smoothie. Between daily walks to seemingly nowhere, I try to find time for a 30-minute sweat session. For the next 14 days, I’ll be taking the x28 14-day challenge (pray for me). I’ve also recently discovered sound baths. If you’re experiencing anxiety like I am this is a sure way to easy your mind and recharge your mind, body and soul. Lastly, my night wouldn’t be complete without lighting a few candles; lavender and eucalyptus have been my favorites.
Stephanie Scott-Bradshaw, grown woman
CEO & Communicator-in-Chief, First and Last PR
Instagram handle: @stephscottrocks
Relaxation and routines are so important, especially now. I start my day by drinking a tall glass of room temperature water to awaken my system. This also helps suppress any cravings, and gives me time to focus on my intentions for the day. From there, I’ll begin my workout to get my energy moving and help me focus for the day. I use Massy Arias’s workout routine on my iPad. I love it because each day/week is different and I feel like she’s there stretching and training with me to help make sure I get the moves right. There is also an accompanying meal prep program that makes figuring out what to eat a breeze. After working out, I’ll follow up with a healthy shake using a mix of fruits, kale, and Vital Protein’s Marine Collagen. Running my company keeps me pretty busy so I don’t always have time for a bath. Instead, I love a good hot shower with Le Labo’s Basil Shower Gel which smells amazingly fresh and makes me feel like I’m relaxing at the spa for way after the shower water has stopped. On alternating days, I exfoliate with Beneath Your Mask’s Body Exfoliator which has just the right amount of scrub and isn’t too harsh. After showering, I treat my skin with a super strong Vitamin C serum. Right now, I’m loving Hyper Skin’s Get Hyper Clear Vitamin C Serum and Urban Skin Rx’s Super C Serum. I top the off with Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, even when I’m in the house, to avoid UV rays. I keep my lips hydrated with Beauty Bakerie’s lipgloss in Jellyana. It’s super sheer and complements my natural pink lip color.
Plus, the formula is super juicy so my lips never look dry. I find that color helps with my mood, so I always put on a cute outfit with a pop of color—even when I’m lounging.
On the weekends, I treat my hair to a hydrating mask, like Oyin Handmade’s What the Hemp Deep Moisture Mask , while catching up with all of the news on IG or the latest IG live DJ set, and follow with a scalp massage using Afro Sheen’s 3-in-1 Nourishing Oil or EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Oil.
When I don’t have time to make it to the nail salon, I’ll shape my nails and update my manicure using two coats of Pear Nova Beneath Me, a super sheer white base coat, and finish off with Pear Nova Clearly for my top coat. The brand also has a cuticle oil that I brush on to keep my cuticles hydrated and to avoid splitting.
I’m a big fan of tea and love to indulge in sensual or spicy blends. Since I’m usually typing on my computer, tablet or phone, I keep the Soothing Company’s Microwavable Neck Wrap close by for easy restorative heat therapy. At home, I have a stash of rose tea that is made of real rose petals that I picked up in Harrod’s. I also enjoy sipping on Harney and Sons Green Tea with Coconut with a little oat milk. If I want a little boost, I make my own version of my favorite coffee shop’s tumeric latte using GOLDE’s Tumeric Powder, warmed oat milk, honey, cinnamon and fresh cracked black pepper.
I love fragrance. I usually have a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oil burning. If it’s a date night with my hubby, I prefer Le Labo’s Santal 33.
The past few weeks have had a major shift with everyone. One thing that has helped me to destress is my ability to connect with people via telephone, Zoom and other chats. I’ve been connecting with fellow business owners and top execs in the beauty and lifestyle space to see how they are doing. Being able to share our survival tips, resources and a few laughs is really inspirational to me and helps me to remember why I work so hard and love what I do so much. I’m also using this technology to host group video meet-ups with my friends and family from all over. I had a virtual birthday party last week with friends from all over the country and my husband and I are planning a virtual triple date with some friends for next week. Owning my power to be present in the now and connect with those that I care about regardless of any boundaries also brings me an amazing sense of empowerment even in our current state.
Keewana Grant, 30-something
Director of Beauty & Well-being, Purple PR
Instagram handle: @keewanagrant
Although I love beauty, skincare specifically, my routine is actually quite simple. My mom is my ultimate skincare hero, so the idea of simple beauty routine has always been my thing. I grew up in a Jamaican household where we used Dove bar soap to wash our face and Vaseline as our all-over moisturizer. On a good day, we would use granny’s Pond’s Cold Cream that she locked in a closet. LOL!
I wash my face every other day to avoid dry, irritated skin. I start by using a cleansing milk or oil. My fave right now is OSEA Ocean Cleansing Milk to pre-nourish and cleanse my skin, and to break up dirt and makeup (if I’m wearing any). Then, I wash my face with True Botanicals CLEAR Nourishing Cleanser and/or Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser—if I need some extra exfoliation. After washing, I pat my face dry. Then, I use Thayer’s Original Witch Hazel for my toner followed by OSEA’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum for extra antioxidants. To seal the serum, I use boscia’s Chia Seed Moisture Cream. I love a thick super-rich cream, and this does the job ten times over! Next, I use the RMS Beauty Oil. I never leave the house without face oil and never skip this step. I love RMS’s because it’s a lightweight, highly-concentrated multi-purpose oil that makes my skin radiant and hydrated. Lastly, and also another step I never ever skip (word to my other skincare hero Felicia Walker of @ThisThatBeauty) I use sunscreen daily. Sunscreen is essential in preventing hyperpigmentation and sun damage. My two faves are SUPERGOOP’s Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 and Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30; these two do not leave a gross white film.
Once or twice a week, I will do a mask. My current faves are 111 Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask, Masque de Radiance Brightening Moisture Mask, Youth to The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask and Dr. Jart+ Hydration Lover Rubber Mask.
My makeup routine is even more simple than my skincare routine, because I wear very little to none at all and don’t really know how to apply. But when I do wear makeup, I like it to look like an extension of my skin and not heavy or cakey.
I use the Bare Minerals BAREPRO16-Hour Full Coverage Concealer under my eyes in shades 13 and 14 to blur any imperfections. I love this formula because its super creamy and very easy to apply. Sometimes, I’ll apply as dots around my lip and cheek area where I can be a bit deeper in skin tone to even everything out. Then, I apply Tata Harper’s Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint in Very Vivacious (editor’s note: this shade is discontinued) below the cheek bone with in either, RMS Beauty Luminizer in Champagne Rosé, Peach, or my new fave Amethyst Rose. This is a must for me. Try it and thank me later. That RMS Glow is unmatched, hunny!
I love red lipstick. It’s a staple for me. My tried-and-trues are MAC Ruby Woo (a long-standing classic), NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Russian Roulette, The Lip Bar’s Liquid Matte Lipstick in Bawse Lady!, or my new fave CODE8 Matte Velour Lipstick in Lost in Translation.
My brows are non-negotiable. To be honest, I actually haven’t gotten them done professionally in over a year; but when I do Nirit Reani is the absolute best! Now, I just tweeze the unibrow and I fill them in very lightly with NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate.
My sister is vegan. Sometimes I try to incorporate some of her healthy choices into mine. I take Mary Ruth’s Liquid Multivitamin every morning followed by the Liquid Probiotic. (Sis advised that liquid is best.) I also love carrot juice, so I drink that almost every day. Trader Joe’s makes a really good one.
As for my hair, my go-to hairstyle is a sleek bun with a middle part, but I really want to try knotless-braids. I love Charlotte Mensah’s Manketti Oil Collection (I use the whole line even the candles). I also swear by Oribe’s Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque. I\t smells so good and makes my hair so soft and hydrated. I use Palmer’s, Natural Fusions, Mallow Root Leave-In Conditioner as a detangler; it’s really a lifesaver. And to keep my hair moist until the next wash, I use Nature’s Blessings Hair Pomade. It works wonders!
Régine Labossière, 38
Associate Director of Media Relations, Carmichael Lynch Relate
Instagram handle: @the256project
I am consistently slathered in a number of oils and lotions, and have been that way since birth. My current self-care beauty routine is broken down into several categories: body, hair, and face. Nails used to be a part of this but, unfortunately, ever since having a baby last year, the only nailcare I have time for is keeping them filed and clean, if that.
On a daily basis, I am in and out of the shower with some basic Dove body soap. But usually on weekends, I’ll do all the things to set me up for the week; so that’s when I shave, spend time on my hair and get a good body scrub going. A friend gifted me Herbivore’s Coco Rose Body Polish and it is the best body scrub I’ve ever had. It has a light smell and has the perfect size particles. The particle size in a scrub really matters to me!
I lotion up every micro-centimeter of my body. I am not particular to any lotion brand as long as it’s thick and moisturizing, and contains vitamin E or cocoa butter. I’ll often customize my lotion routine by adding an oil —like coconut or vitamin E oil—for extra moisturization.
I think all women, especially Black women, can understand when I say, my hair journey has been quite the experience. I am now 38, and I don’t think I started liking my hair until maybe two years ago. I still think saying that I like my hair is a stretch but I am definitely more accepting of it now than I ever was. My current hair routine is all based off on something that happened two years ago: I got pregnant and went natural for the first time since I had my hair relaxed for my First Communion. That’s almost 30 years of chemical hardship! The most important piece of information I learned when going natural was to make sure all my hair products were sulfate-and-paraben-free, which wasn’t something I cared about before but now is a must. Since going natural, I almost always let my curls fly, but sometimes I switch it up and straighten my hair with a flat iron. My last haircut was in October. I found a new hairstylist who specializes in textured hair for both curly and straight styles and she gave me one of the best cuts of my life that makes my hair look good no matter what I’ve done to it.
I wash my hair with shampoo no more than once a week and that’s usually on weekends when I have more time to indulge in my self-care routine. First I decide if I’m going to start out the week with curly or straight hair. If curly, I’ll use a wide-toothed comb before getting in the shower. I shampoo with just a little bit of product until I know I’ve scrubbed every part of my scalp, and then use a lot of conditioner and let that sit in while I finish showering, before rinsing and stepping out. I like using the Aveda Nutriplenish Deep Moisture Collection. Aveda is a client but trust me when I tell you that the Nutriplenish collection is hydrating and also has the best aroma of any haircare product I’ve ever used. Since I’m wearing my hair curly, I don’t run a comb through it again so as to not disturb my curl pattern and to minimize frizz . I use Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream and use my hands to create the shape and style that I want for the day. I’ll wear my hair curly for 2-3 days from that initial wash. To keep up the look, I’ll spray my hair at night with the Aveda Nutriplenish Leave-In Conditioner, and then slather it in oil in the morning, which can be the Aveda Nutriplenish Multi-Use Hair Oil, or Shea Moisture 100% Pure Argan Oil. I like to switch it up so I don’t run out of any single oil quickly. I love my oils.
If I’m going to start out the week with my hair straight, then I’ll do the same process for washing and conditioning as I do when I’m wearing it curly but I’ll comb it out after the shower and wear it in a low ponytail or bun so it dries naturally before I use a flat iron the next day. At some point before I use the flat iron, I’ll use the Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother, which makes a big difference in how straight my hair gets and how many days it will stay smooth. And then I’ll use one of the oils every morning as I style my hair.After several days of wearing it straight, I’ll go back to curly. For this, I’ll use some Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Recovery Treatment Masque as a deep conditioner while I’m scrubbing up in the shower, and then do the whole leave-in conditioner and oil process again until the next shampoo.
The only part of me not covered in oil is my face and that’s because I have struggled with adult acne since graduating from college. In fact, I practically lived off of Proactiv products for the better part of my 20s because it was the only brand that actually gave me clear skin without fail. But by the time I was 30, that started to feel a little harsh on my skin. Someone put me on to Murad and I have used Murad cleansers ever since. I’ve made plenty of other changes as I’ve gotten older, and now I have multiple steps in my daily morning and night routines.
In the morning, I start with the Murad Clarifying Cleanser, and then use witch hazel as my toner. I switch between Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment and Differin gel acne treatment if I have a pimple, which I often do. I then use Valmont Moisturizing Eye-C-Gel as my main under-eye treatment and Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector. Unfortunately, all that acne creates a lot of dark spots and I feel like I’m always trying to prevent and then correct spots on my face. If I can feel a large pimple coming in, then I will use the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment as more serious preventative measure.
Without a doubt, the one product that has improved my skin the most is Aveda Tulasāra Firm Concentrate. It has made the skin on my face and neck soft and dewy, looking as if my skin is always fresh. If I’m not going to wear makeup that day, which is most days, then I’ll use Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller as a quick and easy undereye concealer, and that’s it. I do, however, almost always have lipstick in my bag and will apply that without a mirror, literally, on the go. I use Sephora Collection Rouge Matte Lipstick in a bright orange and a dark purple. The pigment and lasting power of the Sephora brand lipsticks are insane.
If I do put on makeup in the morning, then it’s either the basics—L’Oréal Double Extend Lash Extend Mascara in Black and Fenty Beauty bronzer in I$land Ting—or if I’m feeling playful, I’ll layer on more. I use Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum 50 Tinted Sunscreen Multi-Protection in Medium. I’ve been using Nars Blush for 15 years; my current shade is Torrid. My eyeliner options are usually a Sephora-brand kohl eye pencil, the Wet & Wild Shimmer Eye Pencil in Copper, or a Sephora-brand eye pencil in a bright blue if I want a fun look. One of my favorite eye shadows is Iman Cosmetics Luxury Eyeshadow African Violet. It’s a powder; I like to applying it with a Q-tip and my finger.
At night, if I’m wearing mascara or a lot of eye makeup, I’ll use coconut oil to remove it, and then use Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes in Pink Grapefruit to clean my entire face. After that, I just wash with water and slather my face and neck with Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer. I am trying so hard to get rid of dark spots and prevent wrinkles because I’m 38 and the acne won’t quit.
I love masks. They are part of my weekly self-care routine; although, I’m using them a lot more now that we’re all home all the time. If my skin feels extra oily, I’ll use Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. If my skin feels extra tired, I’ll use Valmont Prime Renewing Pack. Otherwise, I’ll use Valmont Purifying Pack.
Knowing that what I put into my body is what helps my skin look good, I make sure to drink plenty of water and also take supplements daily. I drink water constantly from the moment I wake up until I go to bed and add tea to help up my water intake. Some long-time favorites are Black Cherry Berry and Honey Vanilla Chamomile herbal teas by Celestial Seasonings, which happens to be another client but I grew up drinking this brand of tea. In case you couldn’t tell from my tea selection, I have a sweet tooth so my daily vitamin of choice is the MyKind Organics Elderberry Immune Gummy by Garden of Life.
I saw a facialist two years ago who told me that, if I really wanted to see clear skin, I had to completely cut out dairy and cut back on sugar. That’s been really hard for me, but I have swapped out cow’s milk for oat or almond milk in my coffee and cereal and am, unsuccessfully, trying to cut back on sugar as much as possible.
I need to create space for myself every day to recharge. One way I destress is by listening to podcasts. I can turn them on and feel amused or informed but not be overwhelmed. I also listen to podcasts when I want to zone out, like while cooking dinner or washing the dishes. Some of my favorites are The Allure Podcast, Naked Beauty, Breaking Beauty, Second Life, and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.
I try not to put too much pressure on myself to work out; though, I do try to make weekly workouts a thing. I realized during my maternity leave last year that, if I could steal just 20 minutes of time to do a workout several days a week, then this would contribute to my mental and physical health, while also help me chip away at achieving my fitness goal. Realizing that all I needed was 20 minutes was really helpful. Now that I have a toddler, time is just as precious, so I keep the same mentality. I often do Yoga with Adriene, or follow the Return to Life Center’s Instagram page for Pilates moves and stretches, or go for a short run. Lately, I’ve been doing one-person dance parties for hours at a time thanks to DJ D-Nice’s live sets on Instagram Live.
The absolute best thing for my beauty, self-care and destressing routines, though, is sleep. I’m someone who needs 8 hours. I’m probably getting a solid 7 hours of sleep in per night, with an extra hour or so of not-so-great-quality sleep. Everything about me becomes worse when I haven’t gotten consistent good sleep, from my skin to my attitude.
Brianna Wright, 29
PR & Digital Engagement Manager, Unilever
Instagram handle: @MissBri1003
Self-care to me means finding balance in all aspects of my life, mentally, physical, and spiritually. I like to wake up early in the morning to meditate, pray and set my intentions. This helps me stay focusedand gives me a sense of clarity before I conquer my day.
I love working out. It’s a great way to de-stress and it’s also a form of self-care. It helps you look and feel good! I enjoy strength and weight training to help tone my body. I have an amazing trainer, Bryan Blackwell of Kaeos Fitness, who I work with few times a week. I also enjoy dance classes for cardio, and I appreciate all the workout videos on YouTube for the times when you want to get a workout in at home.
My beauty philosophy is that skincare is an essential and that makeup is a choice to enhance your natural look. Getting facials is something I like to do to unwind and treat myself. It’s important to find a dermatologist or esthetician based on your individual needs to help treat your skin and find products that work best for you.
I like to start with what I put into my body, as beauty starts from within. I love to drink Essentia Alkaline Water and green juice daily . They’re key for clear skin and my overall health. I order my organic cold press juices and supplements, such as sea moss, from The Market Place in Englewood, NJ.
I’m not too particular about cleansers. I enjoy products that make my skin feel clean without stripping it of moisture. Currently, I’m using Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel. I also like using Simple Micellar Cleansing Water. It gently cleanses while removing makeup, and leaves my skin feeling hydrated. On the occasions when I wear a full beat, I use Vaseline Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly to help loosen up my eye makeup and foundation. It’s also one of my favorite multi-taskers. I use it on lips, as a natural highlighter on my cheekbones, and I also pair it with my body lotion to help lock in moisture with a glowing finish. For day, I like AHC Aqualuronic Toner. It is super hydrating and makes my skin feel supple and incredibly soft to the touch. At night, I use Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner. It’s rich in alpha hydroxy acids, which are helpful for treating my dark spots from acne scars; it leaves my skin glowing
I’m obsessed with serums. They’re very concentrated and packed with amazing ingredients. I use vitamin C to treat dark spots and brighten skin and hyaluronic acid for moisture. Some of my current favorites are Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, and AHC Aqualuronic Serum. If I’m breaking out, I slather on Dermalogica Age Clearing Serum. I like to use this when I have breakouts since it has salicylic acid, but doesn’t dry my skin out. As for eye creams, I like Ole Henriksen Banana Eye Cream. It’s great to use as a prep for concealer. For combating puffiness, I like rubbing the area with the cool metal tip of the Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift.
I love a dewy, luminous look to my skin. Shea Moisture Brighter Days Ahead Night Cream, Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream and Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist are in my current rotation.I always apply them to my neck, chest and hands—the true tellers of age. I mask exfoliate 2-3X per week with Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask and exfoliate with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant.
As for makeup, my everyday look is simple and typically consists of brows (Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra-Fine Shape & Define Pencil in Shade 5, to be exact), Too Faced Born This Way Multi Use Sculpting Concealer in Butterscotch, a black eyeliner (any one will do), black mascara (Lancôme Grandiose or Lancôme Hypnose Drama are my faves), and Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb. I’ll set the look with Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Setting Powder in Blondie. Sometimes I’ll also add Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter in Topaz or Champagne Pop when I want an extra glow
Since I like to switch up the color and style of my hair often, I typically see my stylist (@danii_style_me) for all my hair needs and wash & sets. For home maintenance, I use products to keep my hair healthy and moisturized. My go to leave-in and conditioner is Suave Professionals for Natural Hair. It makes detangling a breeze and leaves my curls soft and defined. I also like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk , a multipurpose leave in that smells ah-mazing! I’ll smooth in Mizani MoistureFusion Collection when my hair needs some extra moisture and TLC. A heat protectant is a must. I typically wear my hair straight or curled so Mizani Thermasmooth Collection helps protect my hair and fight humidity. I love my edges to be laid and smooth, especially when rocking braids or a pony. So you no I can’t live without my edge control; it is one of the greatest inventions ever! I’ve tried almost every edge control on the market, but Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control is one of my all-time favorites. It’s flexible, gives light shine and doesn’t revert my hair. And like most Black women, I sleep with a scarf at night to maintain my style and keep my hair smooth. The scarf has to be satin though, and not cotton, so as not to dry out or break my hair.
But the ultimate way for me to unwind is to listen to music. Music has such a strong connection to my mood. A great playlist is essential. It can help to make me relax, get pumped for a workout or instantly take me back to a moment at time. Right now I’m listening to Jhené Aiko’s new album.
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Joane Amay is the Beauty and Style Director at Ebony magazine. A hoarder of shoes, baubles and sparkly things, she dreams one day of owning her own private island.