Marsai Martin’s makeup routine is as fun as you’d expect. The Black-ish star reveals her beauty tips as she creates a bold, bright green cat-eye look for ET’s Unfiltered while talking about the legacy she wants to build.
“My makeup routine usually takes me — I wanna say it gives me, like, a good 30, 40 minutes just because I’m a perfectionist and I want everything to look good,” Martin tells ET via video chat from her home.
The 16-year-old, Texas-born actress and producer (she became Hollywood’s youngest producer at age 14 for her 2019 film, Little) kicks off her makeup routine by prepping her skin first with a toner spritzed on a fashionable Chanel cotton pad — a birthday gift from her “big sister” and Black-ish co-star, Yara Shahidi. She then hydrates the skin by applying the Neutrogena Soothing Clear Turmeric Moisturizer in an upward motion. (“My grandma told me to always moisturize up.”)
Next up are her beautiful full brows and eyes.
“I actually use castor oil to keep making them grow because, I mean, I like big brows,” she says.
Martin adds Kreyòl Essence Haitian Black Castor Oil with a spoolie, which she brushes up through her brow hairs. Afterward, she sweeps on the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer all over her lids with an eyeshadow brush before drawing on a sharp black cat-eye flick on her lash line with the KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner.
In addition to conquering Hollywood, Martin is an activist. With 2.6 million followers on Instagram, Martin uses her social media platform to bring awareness to social issues including police brutality, racial injustice and lack of diversity in the media. Although the teen can’t vote yet, Martin urges her fans who can to submit their ballots.
“There’s a lot of things that are screwed up in this world that we really do need to work on because we are gonna be the people who build for the next generation,” she says.
“My mom has influenced me to speak up for myself,” Martin shares. “She has actually built the humor inside of me. She has influenced me so much on just being myself and also being nice to everyone.”
For the pièce de résistance of Martin’s makeup, she takes a bright green liquid eyeliner by Fenty Beauty and carefully applies it to outline the black cat-eye she previously drew for a double-liner look. The Fenty Beauty Vivid Liquid Eyeliner has been discontinued, but we found a similar green liquid liner by NYX. She finishes the eyes by coating the lashes with the Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Mascara.
“I’m grateful that I got onto Black-ish and had all Black hairstylists and makeup artists and all that and actually working with people that really cared about Black women,” she explains.
Martin’s mother, Carol, shares with ET that she styled her daughter’s hair herself for jobs before landing Black-ish.
“I had to always be prepared with my own tools to do your hair because a lot of places, they didn’t have anybody that, and it didn’t even matter, they didn’t even care if they had someone that could comb your hair or not, so it was just always an expectation that I would bring her already ready for camera because they didn’t even care to have someone who could do anything to your hair besides turn around and say, ‘oh she looks great.'”
“You shouldn’t be able to have to focus on how you look if you have to learn your lines and all of that, so I wanna make sure that always I feel my best and look my best and I’m just ready to go,” the actress responds.
“For me, back when I was in Texas and I didn’t see young Black girls who looked like me, I just thought they weren’t allowed to be onscreen,” she says. “And I don’t want anyone to feel that way and to really use their talents for the greater good and not have to worry about what they look like and how people will see them.”
For her base, Martin uses the Revlon PhotoReady Foundation with a beauty sponge for an “airbrushed effect” and contours the cheeks with the same Fenty Beauty bronzer she previously used as an eyeshadow. She then dabs a coral pink shade of the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Cream Blush on the cheeks with her fingers and swipes on the clear version of Revlon Super Lustrous The Gloss for a hint of shine on the lips as the finishing touch.
“I feel most beautiful when I take off my makeup and I’m about to get into bed and lay down,” Martin says. “I really do like my natural skin. I even feel beautiful when I’m with my friends or family. It makes me feel proud to be who I am and that’s what comes with beauty as well — being proud of who you are and not regretting anything and really being yourself.”
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