Beauty Products Maya Allen Uses to The Last Drop

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Pat McGrath eye shadow, Briogeo shampoo, and Mented Cosmetics lipstick.

As Marie Claire’s digital beauty editor, Allen covers everything from celebrity interviews, global beauty trends, and her favorite Black-owned businesses. She’s also held posts at Byrdie, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and Essence, to name a few. “Diversifying the historically limiting lens of beauty is my mission,” she says. “Celebrating the uniqueness and nuances of beauty is a superpower, and I’ll never take that for granted. For so long, the industry rejected this notion and instead put one type of beauty standard on a pedestal. There is endless magic in our intrinsic differences, and I embrace that through storytelling.”

Speaking on the United States’ current racial reckoning, the editor wants to see more (and long-overdue) representation both on the front and back end of beauty. “Black people need to be in C-suite positions making the decisions and calling the shots,” she urges. “Once the beauty industry builds a more diverse community internally, it will reflect externally, which will result in real, long-lasting change.” This is why she’s always considering brand’s stories. “I support Black- owned brands and small beauty businesses because I honor the thoughtfulness and care that goes behind crafting each product.”

“I preach the same skin-care sermon to my loved ones: Don’t just put anything on your face. Study the ingredients, do patch tests, ease into testing new products, cater to your skin’s ever-changing needs, and splurge if you have the means to,” Allen advises, though she adds that a high price point doesn’t necessarily equal high quality. In her own beauty collection, makeup and hair care are a “free-for-all” as long as she looks and feels good. Skin care is where she’s most willing to invest “because acne is an old friend I don’t want to make amends with.” She counts Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Darker Skin Tones Face Cream, Black Girl Sunscreen’s Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Renée Rouleau’s AHA/BHA Blemish Control Cleanser, and Joanna Vargas’s Magic Glow Wand among her skin- care essentials.

From Uoma Beauty’s Contour Stick (“The golden highlighter makes me look like a glazed goddess who just left vacation in the tropics”) to Mented Cosmetics’ Matte Lipstick (“After years of searching for the one, I’ve finally found a true nude that suits my skin tone”), below are the products Allen uses to the very last drop, half of which come from Black-owned businesses.

Fenty Beauty Foundation in Shade 420

Dior Rouge Blush in Shade 999

UOMA Contour Stick in Bronze Venus

Pat McGrath Palette in Bronze Seduction

Silke London “The Poppy” Hair Wrap

Mented Cosmetics Lipstick in Foxy Brown

Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

Briogeo Charcoal + Coconut Oil Shampoo

Coloured Raine Paint in Cherry Blossom

Dr Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Cream

Byredo Black Saffron Eau de Parfum

Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30

Renée Rouleau Blemish Control Cleanser

The Y by Yusef Alligator Clip Kit

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk 4-in-1 Crème

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel

iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum

Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash

Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand

Smashbox Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse

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