If you're at all familiar with HBO's Insecure, then you know Molly — the Type A lawyer with exquisite taste in home decor and high heels, and not-so-exquisite taste in men. Yvonne Orji, who plays the ambitious attorney, isn't as particular as her character IRL — but Orji's favorite beauty products are a reflection of that same discerning eye and carefully curated taste. "I turn down during the day, then turn up my look at night," says Orji, who's fresh off a flight to Nigeria.
On her Instagram, the Maryland-raised comedian's beauty aesthetic includes a variety of protective styles, a sweep of under-eye liner, or a dash of sheer lipstick. "My desire is to leave the house with my skin looking flawless without makeup," she says. "I haven’t fully accomplished that — but I'm getting there." After 20 minutes of chatting with the stand-up comic on her head-to-toe beauty secrets, I'm convinced that she might just be humble.
This is a woman who doesn't just pick up a product because of its pretty packaging (although, like the rest of us, she's a sucker for all things Drunk Elephant). Her go-to beauty essentials reflect a careful curation of products with ingredients that actually work, from brands that are actually inclusive. In fact, her selections (largely plucked from Black-owned brands or collaborations from Black women) are reflective of the proclamation that friend and Insecure creator Issa Rae once made — that she's rooting for everybody Black.
Although Orji looks pretty darn flawless in my book, the comedian and author was kind enough to share her beauty secrets — and her favorite products — with me. See them below.
Skin: Black Girl Sunscreen
"This doesn't have that white residue. Sometimes you can look like Casper the Ghost with sunscreen on, because it never blends... and when it does, it looks like you have baby powder on your face. Not sexy. We want to prevent ourselves from getting skin cancer, but still... We were doing an episode of Insecure, and someone asked what I wanted to pack. This [was my first answer]."
Skin: Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
"Anything Drunk Elephant is my best friend. It's so moisturizing!"
Skin: L'Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer
"This helps me look like I have nothing on. I mix it with the D-Bronzi, and it literally looks like I'm sun-kissed."
Skin: Lush Sleepy Body Lotion
"I like the brand's bath bombs, too."
Skin: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
"When you feel a pimple coming out of nowhere, you gotta grab this."
Makeup: MAC Cosmetics Lipglass In Lowcut
"It's a perfect brown and gives a nice pop. In the summertime, if you want to go out and get a little fierce, it's perfect... and for winter, too. Really every season."
Makeup: Anastasia Beverly Hills Jackie Aina Palette
"Jackie is a good friend. Anytime I see her face, it's all compliments — I'm like, 'Your skin is glowing, you’re amazing!' We're like two ships in the night, and I'm always like, 'Jackie, I need to get a tutorial from you. Sit me down and teach me your ways like a sensei.'"
Makeup: Mented x ABF Compact Duo In Season 2
"The Season 2 palette is like a contour and highlight. It was so good that I brought it to a photo shoot with my makeup artist. She asked, 'Is this for me?' and I said, 'Absolutely not!' She ended up buying it for herself."
Makeup: Milani Color Statement Matte Lipstick In Matte Glam
"This is my springtime and summer color, for sure."
Nails: OPI Nail Lacquer In Do You Take Lei Away
"This is Molly's go-to color on the show. It's a really pretty nude. Some nudes can be too pink, but this is flattering on brown skin tones."
Fragrance: Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau De Parfum Spray
"One of my scene partners this season has this, and I was just like, 'What's that?!'"
Fragrance: Harlem Candle Company Josephine Luxury Candle
"Some of their scents are named after influential Black figures and places."
Hair: Grace Eleyae Satin-Lined Caps
"I love them because they line all of their caps with satin. I even wore mine during my recent 10-hour flight to Nigeria. They're great for anyone who wants to look cute but doesn't want their scarf or beanie to dry their hair out."