Former beauty editor Chloe Hall has always loved makeup. “I went to Catholic school, where we were only allowed to wear lip balm,” she says. “But I interpreted lip balm loosely and wore MAC Lipglass day and night.” Today, Chloe lives with her partner, Cam, and their baby boy, Otis, in L.A., and works behind the scenes for companies like Starface. Here, she shares her favorite Black-owned beauty brands, what it felt like to interview Rihanna, and her foolproof nude-based makeup look…
What’s your morning skincare routine?
At 6 a.m., I bring our eight-month-old son from his crib into our bed and get 10,000 slobbery kisses. It’s good to start the day with hydration! Once he’s down for his first nap, I get myself ready. I always wash my face with CeraVe. I’ve gone back and forth trying every bougie cleanser under the sun, but this drugstore staple has taken on all challengers.
Next, I’ll apply First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. Supergoop is lightweight, silky, and completely invisible, so I never have to worry about a white cast. My dermatologist — Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a king — recommends I use Vitamin C; when I remember that step, I use BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner, which is very powerful.
During pregnancy, what products did you swap in or remove?
All I wanted during pregnancy was to feel hydrated. I was lucky that pregnancy gave me great skin (in exchange: wretched morning sickness), so I could keep it simple. I revamped my skincare to include mostly Black-owned brands, and the Hanahana Body Butter was my moisture savior. It turns any surface into a Slip ‘N Slide.
Every night, I rubbed my big belly with Bio-Oil Skincare Oil. It’s a pregnancy cult favorite that helps prevent stretch marks. Because so many expecting moms love it, I felt like I was joining a community of those who came before me.
Do you wear makeup?
Yes, I love makeup for meetings, going out, or just to feel alive. But the pandemic changed my relationship with makeup in a good way. Before 2020, I would wake up and do my makeup every morning like a cast member of Love Island. (For those who don’t watch, picture a destroyed bathroom sink daily!) Now, I use concealer; brow gel; a lip stain that doubles as blush, and a few swipes of mascara.
Can you break down your glam look?
I have a foolproof nude-based full makeup look that I wear to pretty much everything fancy. I do the same routine for my mom — it just works for our faces. For foundation, it’s Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte in 330; then I use Makeup by Mario Master Blade Brow Pencil and Glossier Boy Brow. For eyes, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow and HudaBeauty’s Double-Ended Mascara. Then I’ll do the blush NARS in Sin. For lips, I’ll use a nude from Sunnies (they have such good colors) or MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl.
What’s the perfect red lip color you’re wearing in the pic above?
The lipstick is MAC’s Ruby Woo, the OG favorite and best red of all time.
After watching Euphoria, I decided I immediately needed more colorful makeup. Are there makeup trends you’ve had fun with?
Solange posted this Shrek-green eye look, and I have taken so many photos of me trying to rock it. I have yet to nail it.
What’s your bedtime skincare routine?
Celebrity esthetician Joanna Czech gave me the sound advice to start my nighttime routine early, so I can relax and let it get to work. I use Bioderma Sensibio H20 micellar water to take off my makeup, and wash with CeraVe again. Then I use the First Aid moisturizer again. I love it; I won’t shut up about it. It’s a bit heavy, but it calms any irritated skin, and I wake up feeling much more hydrated.
How do you wind down at night, if that’s even possible with a baby?
Otis hates sleeping because he has intense FOMO. His dream is to stay up 24 hours a day laughing, cracking jokes, and scaring people. (He loves to scare and be scared!). But we finally got him on a bedtime routine. Just before bedtime, we have dinner and take a nice long walk. I love walking; it’s the ultimate wind down. Cam jokes that I am the queen of “just one more block,” “one more loop,” and “one more time around the river bend.” Oats goes to sleep at 7 p.m., so then I’ll have red wine or sparkling water in a fancy cup. We also have a fireplace, and I love watching a movie in a face mask. I live like it’s winter year-round in hot, hot Southern California.
What about hair care?
I like to do something brand new every three to four months. That’s the great thing about Black hair: it’s so versatile. For braids and twists, Pattern Beauty has a hydrating hair mist that I really like. For straight styles, I grab Oaui’s Hair Oil for shine, shine, shine. For curly hair, I feel like the bigger, the better. I like Briogeo and Cantu Curling Cream.
What has it been like to be a Black woman working in the beauty industry?
On the positive side, I feel like Black girls in beauty have a built-in alliance. We all have the same goal: get more Black and brown faces anywhere and everywhere. Not so great is the tokenism and othering that is constant at historically white institutions. I looked at my former position as ELLE’s beauty director as a platform for others. I was always asking myself: How can I ensure communities who have never been in or written for ELLE are amplified and uplifted with the power I have in shaping beauty coverage?
You’ve also interviewed a lot of celebs. What’s that like?
You hear horror stories about celebrities being major divas. But I’ve realized that the more famous the person, the kinder and more professional they tend to be. Jennifer Aniston was kind and hysterical; Kim Kardashian was relaxed and chill; and Cardi B gave me my favorite interview of all time. I still have the audio recording on my phone. She was babysitting a bunch of kids alongside her daughter during our interview and she kept pausing to tell them to stop bothering the baby. She’s working hard for us all.
Who are your beauty inspirations?
Rihanna will always be my north star. And when I lived in New York, this skateboarder took the same train route as me; she wore exclusively bright yellow and looked very cool skating off into the distance. Lastly, my son has flawless skin and perfect curls, so I’m inspired by his constant (unattainable) glam.
Can you tell us about meeting Rihanna?
I was shaking like a leaf. When she walked into the room, belly-first, the energy truly shifted. She’s even more glowing in person, which doesn’t seem possible. On top of that, she was so kind. She was excited that I’d just had a baby and full of compliments. She’s proof that you can meet your heroes.
Did you watch the Super Bowl?
Yes! As someone who was pregnant not that long ago, I was in awe of her performing on that stage while pregnant with her second baby. It’s hard to be pregnant even on a normal Sunday when you have the day off and can just lie in bed all day feeling sick. To perform at the Super Bowl is superhero stuff. Also, so many hits. How many people could stuff that many hits into 12 minutes and still leave fan favorites on the cutting room floor? Bring her back next year so we can hear ‘Pon de Replay.’
Finally, what do you hope to teach your son about beauty?
I hope he learns to see beauty in everything. I’m going broad here but I really believe that every experience, person, and encounter has beauty — even the most painful ones — so I hope he embraces that and sees how beautiful the world can be.
Thanks so much, Chloe!
P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, including Japanese Breakfast singer Michelle Zauner and author Samantha Irby.
(Photos courtesy of Chloe Hall.)