Yara Shahidi On Why She Rotates Her Face Washes
Plus, the hero products in her entire beauty routine.
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I’m In TZR’s Face Time, celebrities and tastemakers share the nitty-gritty details of their beauty and wellness routines — from Holy-Grail products to non-negotiable treatments.
The Rolodex of playful graphic eyeliner, sculptural braided protective styles, and bold red lips Yara Shahidi wears on red carpets are born in the group text the actor and activist has with her glam team. The thread acts like a real-time mood board, a fever dream of visual references that eventually become the Grown-ish star’s next hit look you see re-shared countless times over on your Instagram stories and feed. The creative possibilities are endless when Shahidi is prepping for a big event, but in her everyday life, Shahidi prefers to keep her beauty routine simple.
A self-confessed former “skin care experimenter,” she’s since curated a lineup of products that douse her complexion in moisture. The same ethos is applied to her hair care routine, which is stacked with treatments and stylers that drench her curls with hydration. With so much emphasis on said moisture, it’s fitting Shahidi is the face of Jean Paul Gaultier’s newest fragrance, Gaultier Divine, and its nautical theme campaign. The gourmand scent combines light, white flowers and sweet meringue with an underlying hint of saltiness, and a few spritzes will likely mentally transport you to your favorite tropical beach.
Ahead, Shahidi shares the starter pack to her beauty routine. Keep reading to find out her skin care, makeup, hair care, fragrance, and wellness essentials.
On Her Nighttime Skin Care Routine
“My focus is hydration, hydration, hydration. As of late, I’ve had a lot of long filming days so after 18 hours of wearing makeup, I’ll start with a makeup remover. I really love ELEMIS’ makeup remover balm as my first cleanse. My makeup artist on set introduced me to it and it helps me melt off that first layer. Your skin needs to be matte for television. While I love being glowy in real life, you can see the camera in my forehead if I’m too dewy. I’ll follow up with a gentle cleanser; I typically rotate between a few of them. I love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Cleanser, my own dermatologist Dr. Pearl Grimes has a gentle cleanser from her line, Katalaya, that I really like because it’s eczema-safe, and I like good old Cetaphil.
I used to be a 10-step person and I still have all of those serums at my disposal, but other than cleanser, I’ve narrowed my routine down to niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and lotion. I used to be a skin care experimenter; I would layer pimple creams on top of one another and wake up with marks that weren’t there when I went to bed. So I’ve been trying to adopt a less-is-more approach to skin care to create a sustainable routine. I’ve also been playing with tretinoin, and that’s teaching me patience because you really can’t rush the process when you start to use it. I just got over the redness and rash from it. And I always take my probiotic at night, whether or not that’s when you’re supposed to have it.”
On Her Morning Skin Care Routine
“My morning routine is also all about hydration and I also will rotate my cleansers here, too. If I wasn’t sweaty during the night or didn’t go to bed with a ton of product on my face, I’ll go with the gentlest cleanser in my collection because I don’t need to keep deep-cleaning my pores. I realized my skin would get drier if I used more stripping or exfoliating products in the morning. After cleansing, I’ll use a hyaluronic acid and lotion as my base. I’ve been trying to get better on adding a sunscreen on top of it all.”
On Her Makeup Must-Haves
“My go-to look consists of doing my brows, lashes, and a lip. Sometimes I’ll put Aquaphor on my brows using a spoolie to keep it simple. I have full brows naturally, but I notice they get thin during periods when I’m wearing a lot of makeup, so I try to keep it simple if I’m not going anywhere and I’m not worried about cameras and HD definition. I’ll even take the rosemary oil I use for my hair and put it on my brows. For my eyes, I use the Dior Diorshow Mascara in the black tube. When I curl my lashes and apply my mascara going straight up, they always end up falling. I realized I like going in sideways with my mascara and it creates a bit of a cat eye, so I don’t have to apply eyeliner.
I love the Dior Lip Glow Oil for a super-glossy sheen [on my lips]. I’m a sucker for anything clear, so I keep it clear. Instead of using a lip liner, I apply Dior Rouge in the color 910 — there’s some beautiful browns in the line — to parts of my lip, then I put the oil over it. That’s my way of getting that perfect brown-nude lip. I’ve also been using a Korean sunscreen my mom gave me that’s transparent, but it has a nice shimmer to it. It really completes the look.”
On How She Wears Fragrance
“Fragrance has always played a practical role in my life. I’m a big essential oil-wearer and come from a family that’s always had various oils in the house, like frankincense for grounding and peppermint to clear your airways. Being Black and Iranian, we always had so many good family scents, from rosewater in our ice cream to having certain flowers around in the springtime. Because of that, fragrance and mood have always been a big connection for me, and I use it as a way of lifting my mood or calming myself.
As soon as I smelled Jean Paul Gaultier’s new scent, Gaultier Divine, I immediately understood the nautical aspect of the campaign because there’s such a beachy aspect to the scent. There’s light white flowers in it, which I love, but there’s also a saltwater element that makes me feel like I’m on the beach smelling fresh air. It’s rainy and gloomy here in LA, so it’s kind of perfect for days like these because it’s a way of transporting myself somewhere much warmer.”
On Her Hair Routine
“If I’m not filming, I try to only wash my hair once a week. Otherwise, I condition and maintain my curls in between wash days. On set, we rotate through so many looks where my hair is totally gelled down or something, so I’ll have to shampoo it four to five times a week. Again, hydration and repair is super important, because even though I don’t use heat on my hair beyond a diffuser, I know that just pulling on it can still have an effect. Rosemary oil is one thing I’ll put on it, but I also love lathering really moisturizing shampoos into my hair, too. The Honey Fresh Aloe Vera Clarifying Shampoo from Tara P. Henson’s line is so nice because it gets everything out of my hair but it still feels soft after I rinse it out. If I know I’m going to be shampooing my hair a ton, that is the one I like to use.
Otherwise, if it’s a big reset wash day, I’ll use my Olaplex Clarifying Shampoo. On top of that, I’ll rotate between hair masks because my hair will get tired of [the same product being used on it]. On my off days, I’ll put a hair mask in and leave it for upwards of two days and just not touch my hair. On my mornings when I’m doing a wash and go, I’ll wash, condition, and detangle my hair, and I love using my Mane Choice Design Gel. It really helps me define my curls, and because I try to prioritize not touching my hair when I’m not working beyond a little refresh, I can keep my curls poppin’ for seven days if I’m covering it in a scarf at night. I’m also a fan of Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La, a curl-defining product I discovered at CVS when I was in college.”
On The Beauty Pros She Has On Speed Dial
“I often do a Barbara Sturm facial before a big carpet or if I’ve been working a lot, I’ll sneak in on a weekend to do a reset to get all of that makeup out of my skin and get extra hydration. I go to my dermatologist Dr. Grimes when I’m dealing with something a little more intense. I think it’s very common for women, especially BIPOC women, to have different autoimmune things and that affects my skin. I love that she first checks my vitamin C and iron levels before prescribing anything to me. She has a very holistic approach to making sure my skin is cared for.
I get my haircuts done by Christin Brown, who’s known as Curl Factor on Instagram. I think it was Season 2 or 3 of Black-ish when I decided to go heatless. I was using heat on my hair every day during production because they need your hair to match what you shot the day before. So even if it had curly hair, it was easier to curl it [for continuity]. It took so many years [for my hair] to recover, and she helped me with those first few big chops. She also gave me my bangs I’m obsessed with.
I really rotate with makeup artists, but Nikki Wolff, who did my makeup for the Gaultier campaign, also did my last Met Gala with the brand. I really enjoyed the creative process because we’re all reference people, so we will have a whole group thread of images to pull from, and she always finds a way to make it her own. With makeup, I love being able to be as creative as possible; I never use it to cover up, but to be very expressive. I love that everyone is down.”
On Her Wellness Routine
“It's not officially wellness, but music has always been a big deal for me, along with mediating what I consume. I’ve been a big true-crime person for such a long time and I realized that listening to it right before bed was probably not the best. So I’m being very intentional about listening to white noise and such at night because it’s made me wake up feeling so much more balanced. Also paying attention to what I consume first thing in the morning. I love my NPR app, but I try to listen to things that are just generally more uplifting first and I’ve noticed a big shift.
The Big 6 lymphatic draining technique is another thing I do because it’s just so achievable. I find myself picking up a routine for a week and then ditching it when life gets a little too busy, but this is something I can do to reset in my trailer.”
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