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Issa Rae Wants You to Age Gracefully by Giving Yourself Grace

It’s been three years since the final season of Insecure, yet fans of the HBO show will tell you they still reference episodes in conversations or can’t resist a rewatch when clips resurface on Twitter. It’s a testament to creator Issa Rae, who has a natural knack for writing compelling and relatable television that sticks with you long after.

It’s only fitting that Rae is bringing her talents to the beauty world by launching her own hair care line, Sienna Naturals. Cofounded with Rae’s sister-in-law, Hannah Diop, Sienna Naturals targets scalp care while addressing the needs of textured hair. The line highlights the importance of using clean ingredients, which mirrors Rae’s work in writing and TV: natural, authentic, and real.

“Sienna Naturals was literally an organic connection,” Rae tells Glamour. “My sister-in-law started a hair line and I’ve been her guinea pig since 2014 to try products. She catered it toward my particular hair texture. With someone making products dedicated to my actual hair texture and health, I became a natural evangelist for the products. So now we’re partners in the venture.”

Rae hopes the line will help make natural hair care a positive experience. “Taking care of your hair and the process of textured hair, and Black hair in particular, can be so arduous and so annoying, irritating sometimes and intimidating,” she says. “It was just about being able to tell that part of this story and show how this has helped my journey through that.”

Ahead, Issa Rae shares her best beauty tips—including her morning routine, her desert island products, and the nail color she wears when she’s “feeling herself.”

Glamour: What’s one beauty trend you’re obsessed with right now?

Issa Rae: I’m obsessed with baggy jeans. That’s my favorite thing on earth right now. I know that skinny jeans are trying to make a comeback, but I will be wearing baggy jeans. When high-waist jeans came back, I was like, Thank the Lord. And so now baggy jeans are just, they’re the best.

What’s one beauty rule you swear by?

That less is more. I’ve always liked to look natural and like myself, and there’s nothing worse than either stripping your face down or any other part and just feeling like, Oh, this isn’t me anymore; I don’t look anything like myself. So I like the enhancing features that exist on a minimal level.

What’s one beauty rule you think is BS?

When things go out of style. Nothing goes out of style; it always comes back. And so I will wear whatever I wanna wear, whether it’s out right now—if it looks good on me, then it’s never out.

Fill in the blank: “I love my hair when…”

I love my hair when it cooperates. Sienna Naturals are actually clean, healthy products that are good for your scalp health. I love the way particular products make my hair feel, like the H.A.P.I. Shampoo. Washing my hair just feels like less of a task, and I feel like at the end of the wash, sometimes, you could feel like your hair is just completely stripped of moisture. And these products are all about moisture. So they’re dry-hair approved.

Fill in the blank: “I feel most beautiful when…”

I feel most beautiful when I’m bare-faced.

Do you remember the first beauty product you ever used?

I remember the first beauty product my mom put on my hair consistently, and it was a pink lotion. I feel like it was that Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer that she bought. And I think I have a positive and negative connotation with it. The positive connotation is it moisturized my hair. The negative connotation is she would be pulling at it, it would be greasy. It had a very distinct smell. Didn’t smell bad, but you just knew.

What is your biggest beauty fail?

My biggest beauty fails, thankfully aren’t fully photographed, but it was when I went through the experimental phase in college with actual hair where I was just trying my own twists and overusing products. It just didn’t look great—you know, some fit your face and some don’t. And I used a lot that did not fit my face.

You travel constantly. What city or country gives you the greatest beauty inspiration?

I just went to an island near Aruba. When you’re just surrounded by beautiful waters and sun and just tropical, that is where I get my writing inspiration. Like, how can you not be your best self and feel great?

You can only use three products for the rest of your life. What are they and why?

I would say Sienna Naturals Dew Magic on my hair, Ole Henriksen Dewtopia Retexturizing Night Serum on my skin for my night routine, and Kiss My Ash body balm. Dew Magic makes my hair feel extremely moisturized. it actually kind of helps with even my curl pattern. I can leave it in and feel secure about styling my hair. Dewtopia has been a product in my nightly skin care routine that has been essential for not having pimples on my face. I haven’t gotten period pimples since. I swear by it and it just keeps my face clear. I love a good body balm and Kiss My Ash is one of my favorites. When I wanna feel dewy, that's my best bet.

Sienna Naturals Dew Magic Leave-In Conditioner

$24.00, Sienna Naturals

OleHenrikson Dewtopia 20% PHA/AHA Retexturizing Night Serum

$60.00, Sephora

Kiss My Ash Body Balm

$28.00, Femme Noire

What colors are you loving on your nails right now?

My favorite generally is a yellow. You can always tell where I’m feeling myself if I have a yellow pop on my nail. But right now I’m Nude Life cause I have too much shit to do.

What’s your go-to getting-ready music?

There’s this artist named Elmiene that is phenomenal and I cannot stop playing him. His latest album is my getting-ready music.

How much time do you spend getting ready?

It depends on what I’m getting ready for. If it’s every day, I’m going to work in the office 20, 30 minutes max. If I’m getting ready getting ready, I’ve tried to cap it at two hours.

What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?

It’s in the early morning. Honestly, I get up at four and that is my workout time. And then literally after that time, I sit with coffee and a journal and just sit with my thoughts.

What is your power perfume and why?

I just recently took on a new perfume by Chloé called Atelier Des Fleurs. That is my favorite perfume, and I always get compliments when I work.

Chloé Atelier des Fleurs Cedrus Eau de Parfum

$308.00, Nordstrom

If you could change one thing about beauty perceptions in Hollywood, what would that be?

Aging gracefully and being allowed to do that. As women, I hate that we put so much emphasis on looking young when aging is an actual process and it’s gorgeous.


Originally Appeared on Glamour