A Love Letter to Black and Brown Skin: 4 Black Creatives on Self-Care Essentials

Photo:

@itsheymorgan

If you ask any Black creative working in the entertainment industry about their job, I'm sure they have some wild stories for you. And by wild stories, I mean unfortunate tales of discrimination and feeling insignificant compared to their peers. Luckily, these happenings seem to be occurring less as more light continues to be shed on the issues people of color face in the workplace every single day. So many positive shifts happening within the space keep things moving in the right direction. I've had the chance to spotlight so many wonderful Black entrepreneurs who are changing the narrative and making even more space for Black and brown skin on the market.

Today, I wanted to invite a few more of these gifted creatives to share their stories. I thought that Black and brown folks should be given the opportunity to write themselves somewhat of a love letter—a love letter to all the times they felt small but also the times they felt like their most confident selves. Below, you'll get a peek into the most indulgent self-care routines of four celebrity makeup artists and hairstylists. Keep on reading for their everyday staples, confidence boosters, and more. 

Maya René, Celebrity Makeup Artist

Photo:

@maya_rene

Follow: @maya_rene

How do you feel most confident? What are a few things you like to do to boost your self-confidence if you aren't feeling 100%?

I rely heavily on my Christian faith, so even when I'm not feeling the most confident, I have to remind myself of what the Word says about myself and my identity. Outwardly, I feel most confident when I'm well rested. I know that I'm the best version of myself when my tank is full. I also feel confident when I'm able to wake up with a successful twist-out with defined curls. I'm transitioning to my natural hair, and some days, it's hit-or-miss!

On the days I'm not feeling 100%, it's imperative that I carve out time for myself to do something that would bring me joy and hopefully turn my day around, which sometimes means taking myself on a date or FaceTiming my family for a pep talk or simply just going for a jog with my dog.

Has there ever been a time when you didn't fully appreciate the skin you're in or felt underappreciated by the people around you? If so, how did you overcome this?

Honestly speaking, I struggled with my identity from a young age up until my mid-20s. I come from a family with a range of skin tones and shades (all Black and all beautiful), but it could be argued that I'm one of the lightest complected of my immediate family. That being said, it comes with a lot of ridicule and questions. People always had something to say about my appearance, and I'd get teased a lot. I ended up internalizing their doubts about myself. I used to really not like myself, and it took a lot of self-reflection and prayer to push those negative thoughts away and learn to embrace what makes me uniquely me.

What are the most indulgent self-care products you love to use, and why do you love each of them?

I'm absolutely obsessed with skincare products. I'm constantly searching the market for the newest products. While I understand the journey to perfect skin is a long one, I really do appreciate the fast fixes of face masks. I will splurge on face masks. Whether it's a sheet mask, overnight mask, or thick clay mask, I have them all. There are so many options out there that target every skin concern. I feel productive when I'm able to cook a meal, clean the apartment, or answer some emails while also pampering my skin. Instant results are always satisfying, even though they may not always last long. I recently turned 30, so I want to be sure I'm taking the best care of my skin and sticking to my regimen.

What are a few staples you always carry in your kit no matter what?

My staple products include a brightening under-eye cream. Sometimes, concealer doesn't sit right unless the skin underneath is properly hydrated. I love a fresh, dewy glow, so I always keep my Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face and Body Gloss on hand. This product isn't sticky and sits beautifully on the skin. I also love Bobbi Brown's Nude Finish Illuminating Pressed Powder—it comes in five shades. I don't always use them how they're intended to be used. Sometimes, I'll use them as bronzers, or I'll blend this product into the crease of an eye for more dimension.

What is your all-time favorite beauty brand for Black and brown skin?

I have fallen in love with Ami Colé. I'm so excited to see this brand expand on the market and hopefully onto the shelves of Ulta or Sephora! I have also really come to appreciate Kosas. I've been using more clean beauty in my kit, and this brand doesn't disappoint! Its concealers are amazing, and they have a great range in shades—that's the reason they're always out of stock!

Tymothe Wallace, Celebrity Hairstylist

Follow: @tymwallacehair

How do you feel most confident? What are a few things you like to do to boost your self-confidence if you aren't feeling 100%?

I feel most confident by reflecting on when I wasn't the most confident in myself. My self-care ritual definitely keeps my confidence at 1,000,000—getting my hair cut and colored, facials, manis, pedis, and putting on something fly.

Has there ever been a time when you didn't fully appreciate the skin you're in or felt underappreciated by the people around you? If so, how did you overcome this?

I definitely had a time in my life where I didn't value my outer appearance. I've always been sure in who I was as a person, but I didn't feel the same about my body. God had to deliver me from that. He told me, "Every time I thought less of myself, I was insulting Him." That hit me hard! Every day from that day on, I had to tell myself I was beautiful because he makes everything beautiful.

What are the most indulgent self-care products you love to use, and why do you love each of them?

My most indulgent self-care products are my fragrances. I am a scent person, so I love to smell good, and perfume has become another art form for me. I even create my own fragrances, and the art of making them is so beautiful.

What are a few staples you always carry in your kit no matter what?

As long as I have a flat iron, hair spray, shears, and a Tangle Teezer, I'm good! I can make anything work!

What is your all-time favorite beauty brand for Black and brown skin?

My all-time favorite beauty brand for POC would have to be Dudley. That's where I was trained, so I had to use all their products.

Photo:

@naivashaintl

Follow: @naivashaintl

How do you feel most confident? What are a few things you like to do to boost your self-confidence if you aren't feeling 100%?

I feel most confident after a full self-care day. My favorite rituals to feeling rejuvenated are listening to one of my favorite artists (Somi), an intense facial, a freshly shampooed bed of curls with a little glass of peach tea. Ah… perfection.

Has there ever been a time when you didn't fully appreciate the skin you're in or felt underappreciated by the people around you? If so, how did you overcome this?

Absolutely! I go through this very often, especially now. It's intense and a roller coaster of emotions. The politics of the beauty, fashion, and entrepreneur space as a Black woman is quite taxing. Sometimes, social media and the comparisons can stimulate feelings of self-doubt. I tend to lean into prayer, meditation, and reminders of my body of work to refuel my confidence. But it's still tough. We have to constantly remind ourselves that we belong and we earned it.

What are the most indulgent self-care products you love to use, and why do you love each of them?

One of the most indulgent self-care experiences that I love is the AquaGold facial. I'm completely obsessed. I look like I had a week's worth of rest after this facial treatment. It's packed with all the vitamins and nutrients that my skin craves. I also like to indulge when it comes to my hair. I feel so refreshed after a deep condition and curl regimen.

What are a few staples you always carry in your kit no matter what?

No matter what happens, I carry my Tresemmé One Step Smooth in my kit and my luggage. I'm a jet-setter, so time is always of the essence. I get everything my hair needs in one step. Love!!! I also never leave home without my Curl Queen The Glove. I never have to use a comb, brush, or detangle tool. My entire washday and style diary is complete with it. 

What is your all-time favorite haircare brand for textured hair?

This is such a tough question because I like to use a bit of this and a little bit of that. However, the bulk of my go-tos rest within the Tresemmé collections.

Camara Aunique, Celebrity Makeup Artist

Follow: @camaraaunique

How do you feel most confident? What are a few things you like to do to boost your self-confidence if you aren't feeling 100%?

I feel most confident when I'm caring for my mind, body, and soul. I've had a career where caring for others was all I knew, so I forgot how to care for myself. After learning more about myself through therapy and inner healing, I show up more confident. And when I'm not feeling 100%, I blast gospel or house music and dance, thanking God for where I am. I think feeling content with where you are in life is key. Contentment brings peace, and it's followed by joy.

Has there ever been a time when you didn't fully appreciate the skin you're in or felt underappreciated by the people around you? If so, how did you overcome this?

Oh, yes! I remember working at MAC and being told my hair (aka Afro) looked like Aunt Jemima as a joke—it wasn't funny. Another time, a client rudely asked me if I was the talent now because I was getting featured and taking pictures. Most of the hurt we experience is within our own communities. You overcome it by moving forward and keeping your eyes on the prize.

What are the most indulgent self-care products you love to use, and why do you love each of them?

My new book Love Letters to My Daughters is the one self-care product I need daily! I wrote love letters to the person reading with practical steps to overcome adversities and doubt. It's great because every time I open it, I feel like I am receiving a warm hug, and we all need a hug sometimes.

What are a few staples you always carry in your kit no matter what?

My Camara Aunique Beauty Lashes are always a staple. My favorites are the Mary, Ruth, and Deborah lashes! I always carry a Beautyblender and, of course, brushes.

What is your all-time favorite beauty brand for Black and brown skin?

In my kit, I have Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancers and Black Opal Beauty. I love using those brands!

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