Why Melissa Barrera Thinks Good Skin Should be a “Human Right”

Makeup has always been a thing for Melissa Barrera. The Mexican actor, who starred in 2021’s In the Heights and 2022’s iteration of Scream, has been working the stage since childhood. It was in those early days, at one of her dance recitals specifically, that she remembers the first makeup product she became obsessed with. 

“I remember it so clearly. It was that little green Clinique compact with a brush and the blush was the most beautiful shade of pink,” she tells Allure over a Zoom call. “It was like a Mexican pink: fuchsia, bright pink. My mom used just a little bit on me because I was a toddler. Then, she’d put on a little lipstick and maybe eye shadow or something. But after she was done, I would sneak back in and put more blush on.”

Fast forward some decades, several dance recitals, and some major acting credits later, and Barrera is back to her roots, still loving Clinique, this time as a brand ambassador. She just got done shooting a campaign for the brand’s new Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation. “For the longest time you would hear, ‘Oh, you wear makeup to cover your imperfections.’ But that makes it worse because it’s clogging your pores and not letting your skin breathe,” Barrera says, explaining how the foundation suits her minimalist makeup routine (more on that later). 

Through our chat, we find that Barrera, glamorous as she may be once she steps out, has quite a low-key approach to beauty which we find relatable. From her skin-care routine to her magnificent, lush eyebrows, Barrera shared a few key details on how she keeps herself looking so damn good.

ALLURE: What’s one beauty tip or trick you learned performing as a kid that you still stick by today? 

Melissa Barrera: Growing up, we always had an aloe leaf on our table. Someone would cut a piece of it and it would be there for anyone that needed it. We would use it for everything: rashes, cuts, burns, scrapes, breakouts — we’d use it as a mask. I feel like I have such a personal relationship with aloe plants. I genuinely think that they’re magic. 

ALLURE: How do you like to apply your foundation?