Tessa Thompson Is Done With Perfection

TT: I think makeup should enhance what exists. I put my foundation on with my fingers, although sometimes I’ll use a sponge. I don’t like to wear a ton of foundation in my everyday life. I wear so much makeup when I’m working, that it’s really nice to give my skin some time to breathe.

Typically, I like to use moisturizer and then mix a little foundation into it and make a little cream. That’s what I’ll use all over my face. Sometimes, I want to cover up areas of hyperpigmentation, so I’ll go in with a little foundation. Sometimes I’ll cheat and buff it in with a little blending brush, like one that you would use for eye shadow so it’s really, really blended.

ALLURE: I feel like makeup is taking a step back into the more natural realm anyway.

TT: I love no-makeup makeup. It’s been really inspiring to work with artists that operate that way. They don’t and to come in and cover my skin. They help me understand that the skin I’m in is beautiful and fine just the way it is. 

There used to be such a premium put on perfection, and I think you’d have to ask: Who sets those parameters for what is perfect and for what is beautiful? I find it really inspiring. We’re getting to a place, in beauty especially, where brands are understanding that what is actually good for the consumer is to feel like they’re okay as they are.

ALLURE: We gotta talk about skin care — it’s what makes those tinted moisturizer moments possible! I’m wondering what your routine is like.

TT: I recently learned that if you’re going to change anything in your regimen often, your cleanser is the most forgiving thing to swap out. Which was good news to me, because I’m sort of a product fanatic. 

I also used to think that if you break out or your skin is oily in any kind of way, you don’t want to use too much moisture or oils. When I thought that that was true, my skin was really dry and unhappy and actually broke out more.

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

Over the pandemic, I got so into making at-home masks. I would take goat yogurt and put turmeric in it. It stained my fingers, which was fine because I had nowhere to go. I would use that as a mask, which was amazing. I have also newly discovered how incredible apple cider vinegar is. [ed note: it’s got a ton of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties] It’s amazing for your hair, for your skin — I recently had a bunch of mosquito bites, it helped with that. I also use it as a toner sometimes.