Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Sergio Necoechea, Retailers
On the Beauty Group, a Facebook community co-founded by the Cut and the Strategist, people chat all day long about the products they love — the ones so good they’ll make you hit that little “auto-refill” box at checkout. Below, we asked one of our favorite beauty pros to share her own selections.
On the day that Lana Condor Zoomed with the Cut, her fingernails looked like pastel M&Ms, a range of pink, purple, yellow, green, and blue. That morning, “I woke up feeling a little sleepy, and I was like, ‘You know what? I need to really bring some color to my life.’” Luckily, as a newly minted ambassador for nail-care brand Dashing Diva, the X-Men and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before actress had plenty of material to work with. She grabbed a set of semi-cured nail strips from the brand’s Glaze collection in “Candy Village” and had a full manicure less than ten minutes later.
If you had told Condor before the pandemic that she would one day collaborate with a nail company, she wouldn’t have believed you. “I was a very big nail biter,” she remembers of her then-“biggest” insecurity. “I would meet people [with my hands clenched] because I didn’t want them to see my nails.” She only stopped because COVID-19 forced her to reconsider the habit. “I realized germs have major, major consequences, and my chances of contracting an illness are much higher if I’m biting my nails. Anthony, my boyfriend, was like, ‘There are billions of germs under your nails, Lana,’ and that’s what I needed to hear.” Cute manicures are just a good perk.
Below, the actress shares more of her go-tos, including the foundation she wears on screen, the gua sha she uses every morning, and the fake lashes she stocks up on — plus her trick to getting them on easily.
“I told the Dashing Diva team this the second time I spoke with them: I was like, ‘This is a genius product.’ It’s a gel at-home manicure that comes in semi-cured nail strips. They’re really thin, and once you size them, you press the strip down to your nail, cut it (I use scissors) and then cure the nail for 45 seconds (I use its LED Mini Lamp), which cures the strip all the way. Then it rises and creates that dome effect you get at a nail salon. I’ve applied a whole set in seven minutes. You know, I don’t have two hours to sit in a salon, so this is really convenient and easy. Dashing Diva has a ton of different styles, literally something to fit every mood.”
“I’ve been using this foundation on camera forever. It’s a lightweight, barely-there foundation, and it really looks like skin. You don’t need a lot of it. I like to show my skin — I don’t want to cover it — and this really works for that.”
“In the mornings, I love using this serum, because I wake up typically fairly inflamed. It really de-puffs and freshens my skin up for the day. It has centella asiatica, hyaluronic acid, and menthol, so you feel it kind of buzzing a little on your skin, and it helps me wake up.”
“I’m obsessed with these lashes, and I know it can be hard to put them on. Pro tip: Apply the thinnest layer of glue, let it get tacky for maybe 30 seconds and then use tweezers — you have to use tweezers, okay? Hold a mirror below your eye line and then with the tweezers place the fake lashes right on your eyelashes — not on the skin but on the actual lashes. You have a little bit more control with the tweezers, and while you’re looking down, you can get better placement.”
“I love Dashing Diva’s Cuticle Oil. I keep a pen in all of my bags. I’ve been finding myself just randomly applying it. Like, if I’m in the car, if I’m on set, and I’m just waiting, I find myself absentmindedly putting it on. I mean, I wash my hands so much, so my cuticles are pretty dry, and the pen has a little roller ball that’s so convenient.”
“Yina is a wonderful, wonderful brand. The founders, Angela Chau Gray and Dr. Ervina Wu, are amazing. Their products are based in Chinese medicine, and they developed a gua sha pretty recently, within the past year I think. It is incredible. I am a really tense sleeper so when I wake up, I kind of have a locked jaw and chin. I have TMJ, too, and so I love gua sha in the morning because it unlocks everything for me. I use it, I swear to God, every morning before work. It also helps me de-puff and it brings circulation and blood into my face so I look more awake and my face feels more elastic.
To me, this is almost a medication now. If you start the day taking care of yourself, that really sets the tone for the rest of your day because then you’re like, Wow, I deserve to be taken care of. I deserve good things.”
“This pencil is really easy to use. Eyebrows are a real journey, but I’m getting better at doing them, and it’s really because of this product. I was gonna say you can’t really mess up, but that’s a lie, you can — it’s just a lot harder with this pencil because it has a very, very fine point. My eyebrows are black, but if you get a lighter color than your actual brows, you can kind of hide mess-ups a little bit easier.”
“This is just a classic. I have combination skin, and this cleanser is tried and true for me. I’ve been using it forever. Before the pandemic and emerging out of it, I did quite a lot of traveling, and I’m the type of person who always forgets face wash when I’m packing — I hate this about myself — so I always rely on this one because you can get it anywhere in the world.”
“Sunscreen is really important, and you have to wear it. I especially like this one because it is very moisturizing. I found it through my boyfriend. He is a very big advocate for sunscreen, and he was like, ‘Try this one,’ because I am very picky. It feels more like a moisturizer and less like a sunscreen, and it didn’t leave a white cast. It also performs really well throughout the day and under makeup.”
“I’m adopted, so I’m just assuming that this is hereditary, but I have very dark under eyes, and they get darker and darker the more tired I am. Plus I do a lot of night shoots. I really love these eye gels because they actually do help with dark circles and give the appearance that you’ve gotten better sleep than you did — you just look more awake. They’re also great as a base for concealer.”
“These are basically the same wipes as the ones in the blue package that everyone has, but they’re specifically to prep you for bed and for a great night of sleep. My No. 1 priority in life is always sleep, so I take all of these precautions in the hopes that I have a good night’s rest. The wipes have a really nice scent that’s also very calming. I think they feel a little thicker on the skin than the original makeup-remover wipes, which I personally like. I always carry some with me in my purse to set.”