Danielle Brooks, Actress, Orange is the New Black

Danielle Brooks

“On Orange is the New Black, I have hardly any makeup on. It’s very minimal, which was hard to get used to at first. I was like, ‘Please, I just want my eyebrows arched! Please!’ But they weren’t having it. As an actor, it’s great because I want to stay true to the script and my character [Taystee Jefferson], and the reality that we are trying to create. But as Danielle… [Laughs] You know, I wish I could be all made up. But honestly I enjoy staying true to Taystee—they want to stay authentic to the story, and I totally understand that. So on the show, I wear very little makeup: very light cover-up, a tiny bit of mascara, Chapstick, and that’s about it. But my hair, that’s more of a collaboration, which is great. I get to have a little say in that department.

Lately I’ve been taking more risks with my look—when I have a makeup artist, I take risks. [Laughs] But I can’t take risks on my own; I play it pretty safe on my own. In terms of makeup, I’ve been rocking mostly MAC and Make Up For Ever. Make Up For Ever has great foundation for dark skin that won’t leave your face oily, and MAC has amazing eye shadows and blush…. I used to do events for MAC, actually. They would have events in different cities, and I used to sing in the stores—cheesy songs, to get people to come into the store. I didn’t get any free products, though.

My big thing is going to a dermatologist. I have a whole regimen and routine—I have to use a toner, I have to wash my face every morning. I think it’s very important to take care of your skin and my way of doing it is seeing a dermatologist. Get rid of that nastiness in your pores. Clear up your face! While filming the first season [of the show], I was having problems with my skin—it was really hard to maintain healthy skin. But I started going to Dr. Ryan Turner in New York, and he’s amazing. He told me exactly what to do every morning and every night to keep it healthy. I was lost before.”

—as told to ITG

Danielle Brooks photographed by Emily Weiss at the Fashion Media Awards in New York on September 6, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Allie

    so what did the dermatologist tell you to use?? Can't leave me hanging!

  • Tanya

    yes please tell us more!!! and yay for the first post on someone who doesn't have a BMI of 18-19 range.

    • beeswaxnoneofyour

      I take it you missed the Beth Ditto Top Shelf.

      • just me

        There is no Beth Ditto Top Shelf. And the only Beth Ditto post only mentions Yon-ka toner, which turns up nothing (!) when you google it.

      • k8


  • sssavvy

    oh i love her!!! great article :)

  • Gauri

    This is a lovely post!!! Like the lady above me said, it's great to not see a supermodel sometimes..


  • Martina

    She is quite beautiful and her skin is glowing!

  • kathS


  • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

    omg, she is gorgeous! her smile is beautiful! (quick, itg, ask her what she whitens with lol.)

    • ITGNick

      This just in: It's Crest Whitening Toothpaste.

      • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

        a small price to pay for pearly whites like that. must invest

    • Amanda

      is that you in your icon? if so, what lipstick is that?!

      • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

        Definitely me and it's two layers of Covergirl Outlast Lipstain in Port Pout (purchased during a strange drugstore beauty binge). It's literally like paint for your mouth, so if you pick some up (dirt cheap!), only use the included gloss as necessary. Other glosses = paint thinner.

        If you're looking for a true lipstick, not stain, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IMAN's Black Brandy ($) and Kevyn Aucoin's Blood Rose ($$)

        • Amanda

          I've never tried any Covergirl lip products before but oh how I love liquid lipstick. I have the same skin tone and dark hair as you so this color is calling my name. I could use a late night drugstore beauty binge.

          Also, LOVE the IMAN lipsticks! Black Brandy is so good.

          Thank you my fellow dark lip loving lady!

  • Melani

    It's great to see a beautiful women that's not a super model. Please feature more women like her. It's refreshing...

  • Yaume

    Kudos ITGfor featuring such a beautiful woman...

  • Mina

    LOVE HER and great job ITG for interviewing her. I'm sure there are a lot of fans of Orange is the New Black that want to know more about the actresses!

  • ChristineStorch

    Love her on Orange is the New Black!! Great Post.

  • circafashion

    Love her character on the show

  • k8

    omg taysteeee!!!!!!!! loved her on oitnb!

  • Bella

    Beautiful woman who looks comfortable in her own skin. Pity she doesn't tell us what products or actions her routine involves, and doesn't share the secrets of her dermatologist.

  • Pamb

    So glad to see a woman of color! Also a woman who isn't a size 2 and thinks she's fat. Yay for normalcy (although I would have like to see more product info. No hair care tips? What treatments does she get at the derm? A little short in actual info, IMO).

  • Shannon

    Gorgeous, talented woman! I wish this were a Top Shelf! I agree with the other commenter, let's see all the ladies of OITNB.