The mantra “flexin’ in my complexion” isn’t just the tagline of Kheris Rodgers and Taylor Pollard’s wildly popular T-shirt line; it’s a way of life for black women and girls. Of course, this level of pride comes with a desire to keep everything healthy and looking its best, too.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t pay attention to the products and techniques used by famous beauties like Lupita Nyong’o and Yara Shahidi in addition to the ever-expanding community of natural-hair blogs and brown-girl-friendly Instagram accounts, Chances are we won’t be taking milk baths like Mariah Carey anytime soon, but thankfully, there are some more down-to-earth options for us to choose from.
Ahead are some of the hair, skin and makeup products our faves have sworn by over the years; from cleansers that promote a more even skin tone to hair products that enhance curl definition.
Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar
Last year, Teyana Taylor revealed that Urban Skin Rx is the brand she swears by for keeping her skin on point, specifically the Even Tone Cleansing Bar.
"I've been using it for a couple weeks now and already see my skin glowing!! This even Tone Cleansing Bar is Everything. I personally use it three times a day but really U can just do it in the morning and before bed!!," she posted.
$24 at Urban Skin Rx
Urban Skin Rx
Miss Jessie's Multicultural Curls
Last year in a tutorial on her YouTube channel, Zendaya called this Target staple her "special juice" since it "helps to define the curls or the waves without making it crunchy."
$16 at Target
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick
In an interview about her beauty journey with Refinery29, "Broken Clocks" singer Sza revealed her go-to foundation.
"For foundation, I like Hourglass. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, and it works for Black skin. It vanishes everything, and it’s buildable. I sleep in this shit, and I got bad skin," she said.
$46 at Hourglass Cosmetics
SheaMoisture African Black Soap
In an interview with InStyle, Jourdan Dunn credited this drugstore fave with clearing her breakouts.
"So I researched natural products and came across African black soap. I've been using it for two weeks and have seen a difference. The acne spots and scarring have faded," she said.
$5.99 at Ulta
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
In a 2017 interview with The Cut, actress and foodie expert Tia Mowry called this nightly facial oil her secret weapon.
"It has a lot of essential oils in it and is like an elixir. And my gosh, after putting this stuff on my face, even my sister was like, 'Oh my God, what are you doing with your skin?' It’s amazing," she said.
$47 at Kiehl's
While promoting Black Panther in a Buzzfeed interview, Lupita Nyong'o shared that her skin-care go-tos include Lancôme (for which she is an ambassador) and avocado oil.
"I'm a low-maintenance kind of person. I stay hydrated and then I use a light moisturizer—Lancôme day cream—that's known as Énergie de Vie. I try and not wear makeup when I don't need it, and then I'm very religious about taking my makeup off. [I use] avocado oil to take off my makeup because it's gentle," she said.
$12.99 at Amazing Nutrition
In an expansive interview with The New York Times, Laverne Cox shared that she actually uses baby shampoo to wash her face. And according to an expert who spoke with Allure, it's actually a safe cleansing method.
$4.99 at CVS
Black Opal Perfecting Skin Foundation
In an interview with Refinery29, Cardi B.'s trusty makeup artist Erika LaPearl revealed that she actually uses Black Opal's Perfecting Skin Foundation to contour her face and nose.
"She likes her nose to be really contoured. So I do that, and then blend it out with the compact powders," she said.
$9.95 at Black Opal Beauty
Black Opal Beauty
Camille Rose Leave-In
Fitness guru Massy Arias told StyleCaster that she loves Camille Rose products for her hair.
"They have a honey leave-in and the actual gel. It’s time-consuming, but I finger coil it, then either air-dry or diffuse it. Separate the curls and it can last four days," she said while describing her wash day.
$13.99 at Target
While chatting with Byrdie about her Clean & Clear partnership, Yara Shahidi revealed the secret to her glowing complexion: cardamom.
“Cardamom is great for you and has a number of skincare benefits [like vitamin C and boosting circulation]. One of the only ingredients in Persian tea is cardamom. So it’s really about finding those things, whether it’s a tea or juice, that help supplement your skincare routine through your diet. It’s about making sure that you internally take of yourself; that you focus on fixing more than what’s externally visible," she said.
$7.93 at Amazon
While dishing on her self-care routine with StyleCaster, Zoe Saldana revealed that she loves Davines products (like the Solu Shampoo) for her hair.
"I like them because they use a lot of organic ingredients for their line," she said.
$28 at Amazon
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
In a recent interview with StyleCaster, expectant mom Chanel Iman revealed her simple yet effective skin-care routine.
I’m very simple with the products that I use. I wash my face every day with Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel and moisturize my face with Ponds Facial Moisturizer," she said.
$38 at Dermalogica
While chatting with Glamour, one of our favorite curly girls, Logan Browning, shared that most of her hair routine is made up of DevaCurl products.
"As a curly girl, it took me a long time to find what works. In the shower I detangle section by section. I use their No Poo-Original, Heaven in Hair, and mix B’Leave-In with Arc Angel Gel. I twist it up in a towel turban and let it air-dry because I like my hair to be really big. Then there’s a lot of shaking and pulling," she said.
$10 at DevaCurl
It's no secret that Rihanna is an avid user of her very own Fenty Beauty line; so much so, that she wears the products long before they hit shelves. Case in point: The singer secretly debuted the Moroccan Spice Palette in the video for "Wild Thoughts."
$59 at Fenty Beauty
Julie Hewett Camellia Oil
While promoting her New York & Company line, Gabrielle Union told Racked that a certain oil is what keeps her skin looking so youthful.
"At night, I use the Julie Hewett oil; that’s my overnight oil. And for day, I just started using Mirigal oil. I put it under my makeup, and it’s amazing."
$48 at Julie Hewett
In a recent sit-down with InStyle, tennis icon Serena Williams broke down her beauty routine, including the one product she uses daily.
"I use a NARS concealer every day," she said.
$30 at NARS
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate
This summer, Jordyn Woods shared all of the products she uses for a glowing complexion with InStyle.
"I have this Tom Ford cream bronzer, which is great for doing a no-makeup makeup looks," she said.
$85 at Sephora
ISun Alive & Ageless Skincare Antioxidant Sun Butter
For her 2017 Allure cover story, Zoe Kravitz revealed her go-to sunscreen is ISun Alive & Ageless Skincare Antioxidant Sun Butter.
"Smells so good I want to eat it! It's so important to wear sunscreen—protect that skin," she said.
$40 at ISUN
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Lotion
While promoting her Pandora collaboration with Allure, Ciara admitted to stealing her husband Russell Wilson's lotion.
"One of our bottles [winds up] missing at times. I take his Kiehl's bottle from his countertop, and it ends up on mine. Then he's like, 'Where'd that go?' And he goes back and gets it. We have things that we share, and that is one of them," she said.
$30 at Kiehl's
True Botanicals Renew Nutrient Mist
In an interview with HelloGiggles, Dear White People star Ashley Blaine Featherson called True Botanicals one of her favorite beauty brands.
"They have something called a Nutrient Mist. I use it on my face every morning and night. So that, and I love kojic acid soap or papaya soap. I use that every day for my face," she said.
$48 at True Botanicals
Kerry Washington x Neutrogena Essential Cheek Palette
In an interview with Allure, Kerry Washington shared why her Neutrogena makeup palettes are part of her personal routine.
"On a busy day, if I keep these two essential palettes in my purse at all times—I can have other products that I toss in and out—but if I have these two, I'm armed with everything I need, no matter who I am, no matter where I'm going," she said. "I wanted it to work for everybody, for every situation, to take the complexity out of it and just have your essential kit."
$9.99 at Neutrogena
Coconut, Castor and Lavender Oil Mix
Joan Smalls's DIY combo for softer lashes and moisturized hair edges is a blend of three natural oils.
“I do a mix of castor oil, coconut oil, lavender oil and put it on a brush and apply it to my eyelashes and my hair edges for extra moisture,” Smalls told Byrdie. “Since I’m constantly putting so much makeup on my face, I try to do this every day.”
$5.29 (for the lavender oil) at Amazon
Tea Tree Oil
Model Winnie Harlow also loves her essential oils. During a brief chat with W Magazine, she shared her mostly natural skin-care routine.
“I take off my makeup with avocado oil and tone it with tea tree oil. Then I use an anti-aging oil, and rub that into my skin, and have a face cream, and so on and so forth,” she said.
$8 at The Body Shop
The Body Shop
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Victoria's Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes said the brand's facial wash and moisturizer are her favorite drugstore items.
$14.49 at Ulta