His government name is Jonathan Van Ness. But to the nearly 5 million fans who tune into Van Ness’s Instagram feed and Netflix’s Queer Eye for serotonin-boosting hits of joie de vivre, he’s more than a hairstylist and rainbow of a personality—he’s an actual friend, intimately known as JVN, even if it’s just in our heads. We’re in on the JVN-as-best-friend fantasy. (Who isn’t?) So imagine our delight when we learned our multi-hyphenate hero— who also packs comedy, writing and HIV-positive advocacy into his schedule—is just as much as a feel-good force IRL as he is on screen.
When greeting a crowd in LA recently as part of his role as a Biossance brand ambassador, JVN charmed the pants off of everyone on the rooftop space while looking fabulous in a sheer top and heels. Never mind he was fighting a cold. Exactly how does one of pop culture’s most positive forces keep his energy 100? Van Ness, who also happens to have written the book on radical self-care (Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love), explains it all, below.
Self-Care Shaped By Chronic Illness
Having a chronic but manageable illness like HIV makes it even more important for me to have self-care incorporated into my daily schedule so that I can stay calm while having a really busy life, and self-care is something that I use—whether it’s yoga, therapy, or meditation—to help control my crazy life. But whether or not you’re managing an illness, it doesn’t change the need to incorporate self-care into your routine.
Hopefully one day, clean, sustainable beauty will be the norm—not the exception.
On Maximizing Downtime
[For everyday self care,] I love to spend time with my cats. I love figure skating. I love gymnastics. I love going to the gym, taking walks, and being at home — whether alone or with friends. If I had the time [for an ultimate self-care session], I would take a vacation on a turquoise beach with lots of yoga, and baths, and meditation.
His Morning Glow Up
I love incorporating skincare that helps me feel and look my best, while also coming from ethical and sustainably sourced places. I love taking baths with Herbivore Coconut Milk Bath Soak. I start my [skin and hair] routine with Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream all around my eyes, underneath and above. Then I apply Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel for additional de-puffing when needed, especially if I’m applying makeup. I massage those products into my skin gently to help with puffiness.
I’ll spray Oribe Foundation Prep Mist [on my hair] before braiding to set it nicely. [After I apply sunscreen all over my face, neck and ears], I begin my makeup by mixing three products [including Algenist Color Correcting Radiant Primer & Concealer] into a homemade concoction. Next, I apply concealer where needed, mostly around the eyes, nose and on any scars.
I’m conscious of the ingredients in my skincare, but I think for many people, clean beauty can be a difficult place to navigate. That’s why I worked with Biossance on The Clean Academy, which is a great resource for people looking to better understand what it means to be clean, and to hopefully help them make smarter, healthier choices. It’s important that we all understand which ingredients are safe for us and the planet, and hopefully one day, clean, sustainable beauty will be the norm—not the exception.
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