Tracee Ellis Ross Greases Up In This $22 Cult-Favorite Cream For Baby Skin Overnight
Tracee Ellis Ross does not have a single ounce of shyness inside of her–and thank goodness. We all get to reap the benefits of her boldness, especially when it comes to her beauty routine. If you’re one of the eight million people who follow her on her ever-candid Instagram account, then you’ve seen her document no-makeup days, DIY hairstyling, experiments with neon-hued eyeshadow, funny-looking facial massagers, countless bold lipsticks, and more. The 47-year-old actress and star of The High Note and Black-ish is a bonafide beauty guru, and in 2019, she became a beauty brand founder with the launch of haircare line Pattern. With jumbo-sized curly hair conditioners and shampoos formulated for what Tracee calls “juicy, joyful, and confident hair,” it was an immediate hit. Now, Pattern is expanding to styling products so the fun can really start.
Its launch date, June 19 aka Juneteenth, is significant as it’s a day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. “As we continue to protest and gather and strategize and hold those in power accountable and reimagine our future and vote, I am reminded that celebrating Black beauty is a part of this revolution,” Ross said in an Instagram video. “I’m reminded of the urgency that propelled me to persist for 10 years to create Pattern.”
Over a phone call on April 23 about the new launches, Tracee told Women’s Health, “Phase one was all about knowing your pattern. Now, for phase two, we’re all about the shape, the silk, the texture, and showing off our curls in different, adventurous ways.”
Her personal favorite in the new collection is the Stronghold Gel. That’s because she favors wearing her hair in a slicked back bun, which she finds “most elegant, especially for black tie events.” She formulated the gel so that it gives hold and a nice sheen, but doesn’t flake. “Especially on hair that’s a bit dirty, I’ll slick it back with water then keep it back with Stronghold Gel in my hands. I don’t get flyaways!” she shared.
Ahead, hear more from Tracee on her inner and outer beauty secrets.
She never cakes on face makeup.
“I love natural skin. That’s not to say I have a problem with foundation, but I personally love the way our natural skin has a gradation in tone. You can see feelings move through your face. I also have to say that for me, wearing concealer and all of that ages me. It gets stuck in the creases of my skin.”
She has a holistic approach to healthy skin, including getting shut-eye.
“The key to great skin starts with sleep. I’ve been getting my sleep during this pandemic. I do my best to get eight hours. That’s my number–everyone has a different number. I drink tons of water, more than you think you would need. I think hydration on the inside and outside are the key to making sure you have glowing skin.”
Her self-care practice includes affirmations.
“I have a lot of mantras, like may I know that all is well, or may I know that like a flower, I am worthy of love without effort. Most of my mantras, honestly, come out of my biggest fears. I like to name what that is so I have clarity. Right now, my mantra is May I be easy, gentle, and joyful. Usually, I have so much to get done, and time seems to be in such limited supply. I tell myself to work smart, work hard, and push and push—like, I know I could get more out of me. As soon as the stay-at-home situation started, it was like slowing down a speeding train. I had to pause a very active mind and allow myself to not pick up a narrative that frightened me. Easy, gentle, and joyful settled me down.
Right now, my fuse is a little shorter. Things that rolled off my back before are a little hotter and a little stickier. So it’s all about giving myself that permission to be easy and gentle in the way I meet myself and others, and in howI approach my day.
She is a huge fan of face masks, and turns wearing them into a ritual.
“I love a mask! I use a lot of them. I love to clean my skin thoroughly, put on a mask, then get in a hot bath because your pores open and can really receive the mask. Then, when I get out of the bath and the mask has gotten all slippy and moist again, I’ll either add another layer of the same mask, or a different kind of mask on top of it, and then rub it in. I’ll leave that on for another 10-15 minutes. I love to double mask, or do multiple masks in a day, especially before an event.”
She is dedicated to regularly exfoliating.
“I really believe in clean, exfoliated skin. I use a Clarisonic with a really soft, gentle brush. About once a week, I use a pure enzyme gel. It’s really gentle, it’s not like it’s harsh or anything. It’s just gentle. I don’t use any scrubs on my skin, but I do clean my skin thoroughly.”
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She embraces “shiny” skin.
“I really layer on the hydration. I usually use two serums, then a cream, then some sort of oil on top of that. I love when my skin is shiny. I will pat down my T-zone, but I love when my skin is properly hydrated. If there was one face cream that I could be left with it’s the Retrouvé Intensive Replenishing Moisturizer. This product is expensive, but it is heaven to me and really penetrates the skin. My skin does look a little greasy, but I love it.Your skin stays happy and hydrated! Personally, it’s my favorite to use underneath foundation while I’m at work. It just allows the hydration of your skin to just shine through. We use the BeautyBlender with the foundation completely wet, it makes the foundation more sheer.”
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She takes time to really massage her face and body.
“I use my hands to really massage the creams and serums into my face, massaging around my eyes, and my ears. The muscles in our face get a lot of tension. During this time staying at home,I’ve also been doing a lot of self-massaging. I’ve done Gyrotonics in my house for years. So I do a lot of the body massaging. I saw a video that struck a chord with me: It said that your body can’t tell the difference between you touching yourself, and someone else. It apparently gives the same endorphins.”
She incorporates facial tools in her routine.
“I do love rollers, and gua-shas and those big “cold blue balls” (the Allegra Baby Magic Globes). Often, I use them because I’m tired. I wake up really early to be at work at five in the morning. It’s not easy to get eight hours when you have to be up at 4:30, 4:45AM. So, I often use them to wake my skin up.”
She swears by cult-favorite body balm Egyptian Magic.
“It’s an all-purpose skin cream. It has olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly. I alternate between that and the Bag Balm on my hands. But, the Egyptian Magic I love and will put all over my body. Sometimes, I’ll do a dry brush of my skin and then use a scrubbing mitts. I will scrub my body down, then come out of the bath, dry my skin, and cover myself in Egyptian magic. I put on a pair of black sweatpants and a black sweatshirt and some socks–so you don’t ruin anything or get it greasy. The next day, you look like you’re 10 years old. You can put it on before you sleep. Know you’re going to be real greasy, but your skin really looks like heaven in the morning.”
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She wears bright makeup to boost her mood.
“I just love color. It reminds me of the way nature uses color. There are just pops that come out of nowhere. You don’t question the combination of yellow and orange in nature, or orange and purple, they just get juxtaposed naturally. So, I don’t mind doing that in my makeup because color really makes me happy. Even when I didn’t put any foundation, or I didn’t put any concealer on, or even mascara, with a pop of color, I felt good all day. I use eyeshadow like water colors, so like I wet my fingertips and it would get really opaque. It was really fun. It really is an art form.”
Pattern stylers are available at patternbeauty.com now and at ulta.com starting June 28.
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