So excited to start the week with a new edition of Beauty Journal with the absolutely fabulous Rebecca Naomi Jones. Perhaps you've caught her on the Broadway and Off-Broadway stage in shows like Passing Strange, American Idiot, and most recently as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, to name a few. Girlfriend is EVERYWHERE. And have you heard her sing? You will weep and joy-scream, okay? On top of all that, Rebecca is the living definition of fierce, I have never seen her not looking bonkers good. Even when I just run into her on the damn street. Not only does she always look like a total bad-ass, but she has a grace and enigmatic presence that you just don't see every day. I'm super excited that she's answering our questions and sharing her secrets.
Tell us about yourself!
Ahoy! My name is Rebecca and I live in Brooklyn. I was born and raised here in NYC and still love it most of the time. I act and sing for a living (henceforth referred to as the blah blah and the la la), which I also love most of the time. I'm really close with my mom, have a great group of friends, and a nice boyfriend.
Were you into makeup while you were growing up?
My mom thought it was tacky when little kids wore makeup. I think something about the sexiness associated with it freaked her out, and I guess I've seen enough Law & Order: SVU episodes to be grateful for her kibosh on that. Random memory: When I was a bit older, in middle school, this girl in my class got caught with a bag of makeup by her suuuper strict parents and lied and told them it was mine and then they were mad at me. Rude.
When did you start wearing makeup or developing a skincare routine?
I started wearing makeup occasionally during my high school years, but kept it pretty natural. I feel like makeup wasn't considered cool in our circle - no one wanted to look like they were trying too hard. When I wore it, it was usually lip gloss and drugstore brand mascara and maaayyybe eyeliner. I didn't like the way lipstick looked on me but enjoyed pumping up the eyes here and there, especially if I were going to see a ska band or something, naturally.
What are your skincare and beauty priorities?
The main ish with my skin is hydration. I have some bad habits (too much wine, not enough water) that leave my skin feeling dry and just sad, so along with trying to improve upon those habits (drink less wine, drink more water), I love a good moisturizer and hydrating mist! I also try my best to get 8 hours of sleep each night. More often than I like it becomes 6-7 hours, but I try my best because it makes a HUGE difference in my skin, my energy, and my emotional well-being.
What's your daily skincare routine?
In the morning I wash my face with Sensé Gentle Daily Cleanser, then I moisturize with Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. I love this shit so much because it's thick but doesn't leave residue and smells so good. When I had money at some point in my life I splurged on some Sonya Dakar stuff that was so awesome and made me feel like a lady. The Seaweed Liposome Gel is cool and refreshing and feels like what I assume Botox would feel like if it were a gel made from seaweed. That stuff'll make your skin feel renewed as hell, and using her moisturizer to follow it up makes a nice combo. I still have some of her Triple Action Organic Scrub left, which I use maybe once a week or every two weeks to exfoliate and combat discoloration.
At night I wipe my makeup off with a facial cleansing towelette. Right now I'm using the Burt's Bees Pink Grapefruit ones, which I find to be pretty refreshing. If I've worn eye makeup I also like to use oil-free makeup remover pads from Andrea Eye Q's. Then I moisturize with Burt's Bees Radiance Night Cream, or occasionally use an Organic Treatment Oil from Juice Beauty. Then I slap on some lip balm from Pangea Organics brand (Italian Red Mandarin with Rose.)
What's your signature beauty look?
Subtle drama. I use Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation with SPF 15. It's got enough coverage to even my skin tone out but isn't so thick that it completely covers up my freckles - plus it's great under powders if I do want a more made up look for an audition or something. For those more made up days I also use Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer, before brushing on some Prestige Skin Loving Minerals from the ol' Duane Reade. I use an eyebrow pencil from MAC to fill in what I plucked away in days gone by, but I haven't stopped thinking about Glossier Boy Brow since Lourdes told me about it over a month ago. I want to try that ASAP. When I use eyeliner I like to do liquid on top and pencil on bottom, but light enough that it's understated. I like NYX or Prestige for liquid liners, and I go back and forth between MAC and various drugstore brands for pencil. Now for my faves: mascara and blush. If I sort of want to elevate my look but don't want to wear much makeup, blush and mascara do the trick. I love L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara for everyday and Buxom mascara or Benefit's Bad Gal Lash for a little extra oomph. My favorite blush is from YSL but I have yet to use an entire container without at some point dropping it and making a mess, so recently I've gone with a Sephora Brand one that I surprisingly like. Usually for lipsticks I go pretty neutral. I LOVE the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Het Loo. LOVE. For the more dramatic look I have a nice darkish red from Dior, but recently have been defaulting to a wine colored cheapie lipstick from Revlon called Va Va Violet - wintry boldness at it's best. If I wear eyeshadow I lean towards greys or browns for a smoky eye look.
What's your secret weapon?
I think my secret weapon might be that I don't wear makeup most days. Does that count? When I don't feel like I HAVE to wear it I just don't, and I feel like that keeps my skin pretty healthy!
What's your favorite pizza topping?
Ricotta, lemon, and asparagus. Though recently I had a delicious veggie slice (broccoli, peppers, etc) that had cooked CASHEWS on it and it was SO GOOD. (Lourdes' note: Nuts on a pizza? This friendship is over.)
Big. I'm half black and half Jewish and it shows. Curls on curls on curls.
I usually let my hair be it's wild and messy natural self, which means I don't use a lot of products. My hair is naturally very dry so I don't shampoo often. What I do use is a big ass amount of conditioner. I like anything that promises lots of moisture and repair. Right now I'm using the Macadamia Nut one from OGX, and it's doing the trick. Post shower I usually let it be or blow dry the hell out of it so it's as big as possible.
Do you have any bad beauty habits?
Uh, yeah. Sometimes I get so sleepy that I forget (read: refuse) to wash my face before bed. And if I've had makeup on that day that means clumpy lashes and skin of shame. I know, I know, I'll do better.
Also I've never really had much of a lady mustache, but about six months ago I got obsessive about what little bit of fuzz I could see and started using a trimmer thing on it. So naturally now I've got more hair there and have to figure out a solution. Lourdes suggested threading which scares and intrigues me, and Jinnie mentioned the same in her interview, so I think it's time. I need a recommendation of where to go though. Hit me.
If you have one, who or what is your beauty inspiration?
My good friend Eisa Davis. She glows. She treats her skin with care, and her face is always fresh and dewy.
If you were stranded on a desert island with three products, what would they be?
How do you pamper yourself?
When I'm in a show I get massages often - it keeps my body from breaking down and feels like a reset button for energy.
And lastly, what's the worst beauty trend you ever tried?
The eyebrows. Why did I pluck them so thin in middle school? This will plague me for years to come!
Thank you, dearest Rebecca! Make sure you follow her on Twitter at: @rebeccasername and on Insta at: @onerebeccajones