“My dad actually got me into beauty. He was always really particular about his skincare and passed that onto me—he taught me to steam my face when I was younger and all that. As a kid, I had a fun relationship with skincare, but when I got a bit older, I would just break out so much. So I was always experimenting with things to clear up my skin. I started my blog August Skin as a way to share that and then started writing for New York Magazine’s The Cut as the Associate Beauty Editor. I write about a little bit of everything, but it’s fun to try and grip our readers into my own little skincare obsession. Here’s my thing—skincare is the only time of the day where it can be just about me. I have this long process where I get to treat myself every day. That’s the best thing.
In the morning, it doesn't take me long to get ready because I don’t have as many steps as I do at night. It’s maybe five minutes altogether. When I wake up, I wash my face with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleaner—I’m oddly obsessed with it because I really like the texture. And the scent is so subtle with the rosewater… It’s there, but not in your face. It’s a nice experience. So I use that on wet skin and then use Sunday Riley Good Genes. That has lactic acid in it to really smooth over you face. After that I’ll use a moisturizer—that changes depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll use Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar with SPF, or sometimes I’ll use RéVive Sensitif Renewal Cream. It’s super expensive, but it’s genuinely my favorite. Or I’ll use Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. I love it! It smooths, and it’s also very light. I’m very into things that don’t make me too greasy because I have very very oily skin. Also, depending on whatever moisturizer I choose I will also use Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Booster. I don’t mind the smell too much, but I know some people don’t like it. After that, I like Cover FX’s Clear Cover Sunscreen—it’s just the best for oily skin.
At night I always remove my makeup with a solid cleanser or oil cleanser. I’m not really particular about which oil cleanser I use because they are kind of all the same to me. I’m more particular about solid cleansers—those can crumble and then it’s kind of like ‘Ew, I don’t like that.’ The Goop Luminous Melting Cleanser is really good, particularly to travel with. I put about a teaspoon in my hand and then rub it all over my face and wash it off. Then I use the Milky Jelly again, because I always double cleanse. You need to remove makeup, then wash your face. If you don’t remove the makeup first, in my opinion, it’s not washing your face. And I know I will break out if I only do it once. Oh! And I never use a cleanser that is foamy. I don’t like surfactants because they raise the pH of your skin. Especially for acne, you want to have a lower pH to prevent bacteria.
After I dry my face, I use a glycolic acid pad. Either the Cane and Austin 20% Glycolic Acid or the Pixi Glow Peel Pads that are also 20% glycolic but a lot cheaper. Then I use Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. I love it, love it, love it. It makes your skin so much smoother. Then I wait 20 minutes before I add the Paula’s Choice Retinol Cream. [Laughs] I know it’s a lot but I’ve worked my way to all of this! It’s not for beginners. I probably overdo it, but I also have very tough skin. I aspire to be the type of old lady that’s 60, but you thought was 30 years old. That’s me. The next Angela Bassett.
Lately I’ve been using the Fillerina, which is a hyaluronic acid that’s apparently just as good as fillers. It has a patent in Switzerland and just came over to the U.S. It looks like a syringe, but it’s just a topical—I put it around my nasolabial folds because my dad has really deep smile lines and I don’t want to get them. And then I’ll pat the excess on my forehead to prevent lines there. Then I’ll use the SK-II Facial Treatment Oil after that. That’s been my routine as of late. The oil will cover my lips so I don’t need a balm or anything. And I’m over eye cream—it’s just another step and I’ve got plenty of steps already.
The best thing ever is Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer. Half the time I’ll take a little dab and mix it with moisturizer. That’s all it takes, so one pot lasts forever—I’ve had mine for a year. For heavier coverage, I’ll use the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation with a Beautyblender for an airbrushed look. There’s nothing quite like it, to be honest. In terms of concealer, I like Kat Von D’s Lock-It Concealer and I like the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. The Nars is good because it’s not heavy-duty but it has a nice finish. After that, I do powder 'cause I’m oily as hell. I'll either use Bare Minerals Mineral Veil or Diorskin Nude Air Powder in Medium Beige. Then for blushes I typically like a peachy-apricot kind of look. Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop is my all-time favorite. For bronzer, I switch between Nars’ Casino and Valley. I apply it underneath my cheekbones and around my forehead.
Currently I have lash extensions, which I get from Wink. But for natural lashes, I am obsessed with this Maybelline Volum' Exrpess The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara. It doesn’t make sense—why would you want spidery lashes? The wand is so clumpy and weird but it works.
I’m obsessed with nude lipstick. MAC Fresh Brew is the best—I love it so much. There’s also MAC Half and Half that I’m obsessed with. Then Rimmel has a bunch of good ones. Right now, I’m wearing Rimmel Kate 46. I saw them and thought, 'This is a thing for me.' Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink is also really nice. Jen Atkin gave me a Kylie Lip Kit Gloss in Like and that one is also nude—it’s perfect for me.
Body is very simple. I shower with Dove—it works and it’s a big bottle and I don't feel dry. Then I use Vaseline Cocoa Butter. Nothing gets better than that in terms of body lotions. I feel like the fancier they are, the less moisturizing they are. I scrub maybe twice a month… I like & Other Stories Cotton Scrub for that.
I love Olaplex! That’s my main thing. I got my hair colored with Daniel Moon—he’s this hair stylist that does these crazy colors and I was really afraid of going to him. Remember when Kylie Jenner had green hair? Daniel did that. He did my highlights and introduced me to Olaplex. My hair feels healthier than even before I got color in it. I use the Number 3—I try to do it once a week but usually it’s twice a month. It’s called Bond Multiplier so basically it strengthens the bonds in your hair so that it doesn’t break. I sleep with that in 'cause the longer you have it in your hair, the better it works.
In addition to Olaplex, I really like this new brand Iles. First of all, the packaging is really cool. They’re like, square bottles. Second of all, the shampoo cleans your hair without stripping it. For conditioners, I like the Iles Haute Performance Conditioner and Christophe Robin’s Prickly Pear Mask. I also like the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Conditioner for tone. When I’m wearing it curly, I’ll wash it once a week but wet it several times throughout because it needs to be wet. Then sometimes I’ll wash with just a conditioner. I’ll either use Cantu’s Leave-In Conditioner, which is so good for having your curls be bouncy without weighing them down. Then I also have the Devacurl Styling Cream in my shower, which I use immediately after washing on wet hair.
Outside of working out—I just run in the park—I am passionate about my cod liver oil. I attribute that to really good skin. I take two supplements a day. And I heard that they’re better absorbed in your body with something fatty like meat or cheese. So eat something like that when you take it. [Laughs]”
—as told to ITG
Ashley Weatherford photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Brooklyn on August 19, 2016.