The term “beauty secret” has a bit of a negative connotation. People share everything from their homes to their rides, to pictures of their lunches. In a city like New York, where you and another gal are always angling for that same promotion, that same seat on the train or even that last tube of Boy Brow, it’s tempting to think that competition drives ambition in the Big Apple. But another woman’s beauty doesn’t take away from yours, so rather than begrudge a gal for her swag, ask her to share her secrets.
When it comes to beauty, those in the know get that knowledge is power—and sharing is not only practical, it promotes sisterhood. So, with that in mind, here are hacks from 13 New York women, as well as some key trends that break down beauty in the Empire State.
1. Beauty hack: “Everything in moderation.”
You don’t have to give up all your vices if you detox with replenishing sheet masks (at least in theory).
2. Beauty hack: “Massage coconut oil into your face.”
Natural products like charcoal, sea salt, and coconut oil are key trends in a New York woman’s beauty kit, proving that even in a cosmopolitan city, natural products are a must. Follow this tutorial on how to massage coconut oil into your face.
3. Beauty hack: “Be authentic.”
Sukari Webb, an accessories design major at the Fashion Institute of Technology, says she’d like to see mainstream media publish beauty tips from women of color, like costume designer, creative director, and author of Effortless Style June Ambrose, and the “Puerto Rican Pixie,” model Aalexis Jae.
As for Webb’s own beauty secret: “Fun glasses [like the ones from] Coco and Breezy.” I second Webb’s beauty hack—ladies, if you want to prevent crow’s feet, stay on top of your vision. Squinting causes wrinkles. I also adore pure hyaluronic serum for the eye area, which I seal in with Eau Thermale Avène, a French pharmacy fave, for extra hydration.
4. Beauty hack: “Wear bright lipstick to draw attention away from tired eyes.”
Culture Trip’s food and drink editor, Kathryn Maier, saves time on her look by hitting up sample sales on the regular to stick to a fashion uniform. This hack helps you get more sleep in the morning, so you don’t spend time wondering what to wear. This is the city that never sleeps, so you might still have tired eyes.
5. Beauty hack: “Tinted moisturizers because I’m not into heavy foundations. Minimal works for me.”
6. Beauty hack: “Flaunt your natural hair.”
Demi Grace, the first woman of color with locs to land a major beauty campaign, making history by starring in Pantene’s Gold Series campaign, encourages all women to embrace their natural beauty.
7. Beauty hack: “Honey- or snail-based Korean sheet masks.”
Since New Yorkers have access to some of the best dermatologists in the world, New York women follow their advice, which falls in line with a trend towards keeping it real. “My dermatologist told me to only use water based serums and products in general so I’ve been following her recommendation, and it does wonders for my skin,” says Yana Toyber, a photographer based in Chelsea. “I even use Bare Minerals Water Based BB cream and I love it. I also use rose water with glycerin spray several times a day.”
8. Beauty hack: “I am not a fan of wearing makeup. I make sure my hair looks decent and eyebrows are gelled at the edges.”
You can match your brow gel to your hair color. Of course, if you want to play with different shades, that look also works to keep your brows on fleek.
9. Beauty hack: “I’m always on the go so I’m a big fan of Dry Bar for a last minute blowout.”
Can’t make it to a Dry Bar? Invest in Dry Bar tools for a DIY salon look.
10. Beauty hack: “Aspire to be a Bond Girl.”
Because, why wouldn’t you? Here, Blair takes her look to the the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center.
11. Beauty hack: “I just don’t give a damn.”
Of course, part of adulting means you do you, and own your no-fuss style.
12. Beauty hack: “Innisfree at Union Square has really cheap Korean beauty products. I load up.”
Can’t make it to the flagship? Korean beauty favorite, Innisfree products are available online.
13. Beauty hack: “Make friends with your colorist. You don’t want just anyone touching your hair. (I’m not a natural blonde.)”
In between salon visits, keep your blonde from going brassy with Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow toner. Not only is this product vegan, it doubles as a super intense conditioner.