Quinta Brunson: What It Costs to Be Me

These days it's nearly impossible to know what women are spending on the way they look. Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might have honed her craft using the finest from the drugstore aisles, and the utterly makeup-free type might be spending thousands on laser treatments and serums. Enter our series "What It Costs to Be Me," in which we're asking interesting women for radical transparency.

Next up? Quinta Brunson, 29, writer, producer, actress, and comedian in Los Angeles. Her annual total? $2,116

Is there anybody on the Internet more likable than Quinta Brunson? From her breakout viral hit "The Girl Who’s Never Been On A Nice Date" to her series "Quinta vs. Everything,", it’s safe to say the world doesn’t just like her—we f*cking love her. Luckily for everyone, she’s also currently working on a hotly anticipated pilot for a CBS show, "Quinta & Jermaine," with Jermaine Fowler. As for beauty: If you haven’t seen Quinta vs. Everything: Beauty Routine Struggles already, stop whatever you’re doing, watch it, and have the best six minutes of your week. Whether she’s trying (and failing) to recreate a YouTube influencer’s natural hair look or navigating the rapids of party makeup, Quinta’s particular brand of low-key beauty commentary is refreshingly relatable. In actual real life, her beauty regimen is—no surprise—pretty uncomplicated. "I try not to focus on much other than being healthy and happy," she says. "That tends to make my skin clear, and my worries minimal."

The only things I need for my skin: $12
My skin care is a clean wash cloth ($3), preferably white, a simple face cream, and minding my business. I love Pond’s Unscented Dry Skin Cream ($5). I use it on my face every day. It’s old-school, but it keeps my skin smooth and moist, and I’ve been using it for years. My mom passed it down to me. I’m not sure I’ve ever even had a conversation with her about it, it’s just what we always used and I never even questioned it. It wasn’t until I became a full-grown adult woman that I started noticing other women talking about moisturizer this, moisturizer that. So I ventured out once or twice to try a different face cream before deciding: absolutely not. Not only were other creams more expensive, my skin looked worse. I remember I bought one once that was maybe $50, and I kid you not, in an hour my skin was dry. I couldn’t believe it. $50 for what? What are we paying for? The name? Because we’re certainly not paying for the way it works.

Every once in a while I’ll do a Garnier Super-Purifying Charcoal Sheet Mask ($4) that I get for cheap at a local drugstore. It’s really, really good: quick, not messy. I usually do it after having to wear heavy makeup on set for days in a row. Charcoal just resets my skin.

My shower essentials: $28
For the shower, I love St. Ives body wash ($5) or Dove ($6). Both leave me feeling clean and soft. When I’m out of the shower, I usually use grapeseed oil ($8) or shea butter ($9) to keep my entire body smooth. I buy a lot of my products off of Amazon—I try to get 100 percent African shea butter, but it’s one of those things where the exact brand doesn’t really make a difference.

My hair routine: $151
Hair care is different beast, but I’ve finally narrowed it down to five basic products: Shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, curl cream, and Jamaican castor oil. I don’t care about spending money on products that claim to do anything. I like facts. Either the product works or it doesn’t. On days where I need to wash my hair, which can vary from once a week to three times a week, I use Cantu Sulfate-Free Cream Shampoo ($5) and follow it up with Cantu conditioner ($5). I’m mostly into three hairstyles: a wash-and-go, slicking my hair back into a bun, or throwing on a nice head wrap. Since I’m always on the go, those styles have become the easiest because I can do them at home and I don’t have to stop at a hairstylist or maintain anything too difficult. For awhile braids were my go-to, but I had to give it a rest after suffering from a bit of traction alopecia around my edges. Such is life. In the meantime, these styles have been keeping me cute and ready for action.

Every morning is different, but this morning before leaving for the airport I washed my hair and went with a wash-and-go. I start with Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner ($12), then work a Denman brush ($17) through my curls to detangle them. After that, I put my hair in about six sections and use a four-finger scoop of Eden BodyWorks Curl Defining Cream ($8) for each section. Right after the curl cream, I use a little Jamaican Castor oil ($12) to moisturize and seal everything in.

If I’m doing a slicked-back bun, I wash my hair, then apply leave-in conditioner and comb it through. Then I use my grapeseed oil to seal that conditioner in, then work in Xtreme Wet-Line Styling Gel ($18), again going section by section—and finally, I brush my hair back into a bun.

If I’m not doing a bun or a wash-and-go, I do a headwrap. I found a great bundle of Rayna Josephine hairwraps on Amazon ($20 each). And if you’re into headwraps, I’m going to need to put out a shameless plug for my girl Freddie’s new line at Fringe and Company (approx. $55 each). She has amazing wraps!

My everyday makeup: $112
I’m still a bit of a newbie in the everyday makeup department, but I think I’ve landed on what I like. I’ve been enjoying Glossier products, because they’re simple, light, and easy to apply. So far I love the Perfecting Skin Tint in Deep ($26), the Cloud Paint Blush in Haze ($18), the crystal clear lip gloss ($14), and the Generation G lipsticks ($18 each) in Cake, Zip, and Crush. I found out about Glossier because a girlfriend who’s known me a long time went to their flagship store in New York. Ironically, my friend didn’t like it (she wanted more coverage), but she thought I should check it out. I went online and I loved their videos—it looked like the girls weren’t wearing everything. I can’t believe it’s taken this long to get companies to understand that not everybody needs to be at the extreme end of the makeup spectrum. I very much need to exist somewhere in the middle, and it’s hard to find the middle ground.

My two big-occasion makeup items: $58
I prioritize having only the things that I need. For a while, I didn’t even have a foundation, because I didn’t have to wear any to work or events. When it came time for pictures and interviews, I finally invested in the Fenty foundation in 420 ($34), because it was an easy buy and matched my skin tone really well. Nighttime is when I bust out the bold stuff like that and Fenty's Stunna Lip Paint ($24). I love the bright red. I don’t really use eye makeup, but if I am wearing mascara, I pick up whatever I see first at the drugstore.

My two perfumes—one secret, one not: Roughly $150
I have two favorite perfumes. One is Modern Muse by Estee Lauder ($125). I’ve only been wearing it for maybe six months. I was in an airport at the duty-free, and was basically like, “You can’t keep wearing only Urban Outfitters perfume, you’re a grown woman. Time to wear a grown-up perfume.” I went through scents and landed on this one, and I really like it—it’s bold and feminine—but to me, it’s still a lot for everyday wear. I kind of look at it the way I look at night makeup versus day makeup. It’s kind of a night perfume, so I only really wear it for special occasions.

And then, like I mentioned, my day-to-day perfume is from Urban Outfitters, but I don’t want to share what it is because you guys are going to go buy it. Then they’ll sell out and discontinue the line and I will never get that scent again. I can tell you that it’s very light and floral, but also somehow traditionally masculine too. But because it’s floral, it also reads as feminine, if that makes sense? I like my perfumes to smell the way I’d like to think I come off—strong, but not in a corny "strong woman" way. Just like: People don’t know who’s coming through the door, but she smells great.

My favorite brow and nail spot: Approx. $1,245
I get my eyebrows waxed every two or three weeks. It’s usually about $25. I’ve been going to Wynn Nail Spa in Hollywood, and I just love it there. The woman who does my eyebrows knows what my brows need. My brows are nuts. They need to be put in their place. Brows are one luxury I feel fortunate to have, and I’d be afraid to give it up if I ever couldn’t afford it anymore. Every now and then, I dabble in getting my nails done, but I don’t really enjoy it. It costs too much and they’re growing or chipped the very next day. I do keep my toes painted, though, usually with a gel. That’s $60 an appointment about once a month—also at Wynn.

My self-care habits: Approx. $360
I don’t have a gym membership. I strongly dislike the gym. I hike and play tennis instead. Whenever I go to a different city for work or relaxation, I make sure I take nice long walks. And I try to get a massage every other month, just because it feels good. I don’t really have a particular place I go—I’ll go wherever is nearby, and it’s usually about $60 for an hour. I typically get a Thai massage, because there are a lot of options here in LA. I consider that to be a big self-care thing, because I think we hold a lot of tension in our bodies. Massage is an important part of releasing it.

Published at Wed, 02 Jan 2019 22:22:42 +0000