29 beauty questions with...

Emira D’Spain’s Wash Day Routine Skips One Crucial Step

Photo: Courtesy of Emira D'Spain.
Welcome to 29 Beauty Questions With…, where we grill the coolest celebrities, influencers, and personalities on the ins and outs of their beauty routines.
Emira D’Spain is a New York City-based TikTok star who garnered her fanbase of over a million followers on the platform through her comedy-infused “Get Ready With Me” videos. Born in Dubai and raised in Dallas, the transgender model and internet personality has parlayed her following into a platform to offer tips and insights on beauty and fashion from an authentic, unfiltered point of view. D’Spain, who recently became the first Black transgender model to work with Victoria’s Secret, talks to her fanbase of “C*nty Barbies” about the realities of transitioning, her dating life, friendships, and life in the city. 
D'Spain not only commits to her Barbie aesthetic to the nth degree, but has a breadth of knowledge about skin care and makeup, too. She knows how a product should be used and why it makes sense for her and her routine, and encourages her audience to remain informed rather than going along with what they see trending day in and day out. Here, D'Spain walks us through every moment of her daily routine, including her trick for "mesmerizing" eyes, her dedicated Starbucks order, and the shocking step she skips on wash day.
The following interview was told to Amanda Mitchell and has been edited for length and clarity.

1. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

I immediately whip out my phone and order my Venti Coconut Milk Brown Sugar Iced Shaken Espresso from Starbucks before I scream “Alexa, play ‘Good Days’ by SZA.”

2. What’s your morning skin-care routine?

My morning skin-care routine is actually very simple: First Aid Beauty Cleanser, Tatcha The Essence, Glow Recipe Niacinamide Dew Drops, Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, and Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Cream. Okay, so maybe it isn’t simple, but it works!

3. Do you have a favorite facial sunscreen? Which one?

Hands down, the Live Tinted Sunscreen is my favorite. White cast from sunscreen just isn’t cute and this one is so perfect for my complexion. It also sits beautifully under makeup.

4. Are you a shower or bath person? AM or PM?

I know it sounds crazy, but I shower both morning and night. I just need to kickstart my day by belting Ariana Grande at the top of my lungs to my bathroom Sonos, and before bed I must take a steamy relaxing shower followed by slipping into my silk jammies for a night of rest.

5. What's your favorite complexion product?

Concealer is definitely my favorite complexion product because there are so many uses. On the days that I don’t feel like doing a full beat, I'll use my more natural concealers for that “oh my god, she actually got 8 hours of rest” kind of look. Then, when I want to slay, I use a full-coverage concealer to hide all my sins.

6. Do you have a go-to lip (or lip combo), and what is it?

My go-to lippie is what I call “Barbie lips”: a combination of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk 2 Medium Lip Liner, YSL Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick in 44 Nude Lavalliere, and Patrick Ta Major Glow Lip Shine in She’s Expensive. It’s my most complimented lip combo and so bubblegum Barbie — I’m obsessed. 

7. What's your brow routine?

Brows are tricky to me — mine naturally give third cousins, not even sisters, let alone twins. I also naturally have really dark, bushy brows, so I love the fluffy brow look. I start with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze, followed by Dipbrow just on the ends to fill them out. To clean them up, I use a little foundation on a flat detail brush.

8. You have five minutes to do your makeup — what are you using?

I am convinced that I’ve perfected the five-minute makeup routine. After the aforementioned skin prep, I use a light amount of the Kosas concealer under my eyes and the Youthforia pH color-changing blush on my cheeks and lips. I also love using the Freck pen to give me natural-looking freckles and camouflage some of my blemishes. Then a little NYX Control Freak on the brows, Pat McGrath Mascara, and Kosas Cloud Set for any areas that need some mattifying.

9. What is your favorite makeup product that costs less than $20?

The Sephora Collection Rose Gold Eye Pencil. She’s $14 and will transform every look. It makes your eyes so mesmerizing.

10. What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a beauty product?

Probably the RéVive Intensité Volumizing Serum Targeted Skin Filler. At $600, she is pricey but worth every penny. I am convinced this serum plumps your skin from the outside in.

11. What part of your beauty routine makes you feel most confident?

Probably putting on mascara or lashes! Nothing makes me feel like a baddie like a fresh Lilly Lash in the Rome style.

12. What's your wash day hair routine?

Oh, it’s a lot, brace yourself — but remember that I only do this once a week. 
My wash day routine starts with a pre-shower detangle before hopping in. In the shower, I use Pureology Hydrate Shampoo as my first shampoo, then follow it with Kerastase Chroma Absolu Shampoo as my main cleanser. (Always double-poo!) I make sure to really massage the shampoo into my scalp. Then I actually have a custom conditioner that I use from my colorist that has my color deposit in it to help maintain my expensive brunette look.
After using a microfiber towel to dry, I sleep in two braids with Briogeo Superfood Mask in. The next morning I rinse out, use a tiny amount of K18 PH Balancing Shampoo, and then follow with Kerastase Chroma Absolue Gloss, no conditioner. Then after that’s all rinsed out, I head to my glam room to put in some K18 and blowdry my hair. 

13. How do you style your hair at home?

I’m obsessed with K18. I start with that when my hair is wet, and let it sit for four minutes before adding in the Amika Wizard Detangling Primer and Kerastase L’incroyable Blowdry Cream. I blowdry my hair straight with my Dyson Airwrap, then follow it with either the GHD Soft Curling Iron or the T3 1.75” Bodywaver Iron depending on the look I’m going for.

14. What are your favorite at-home beauty devices?

I’ve been dying to try NuFace. I don’t really use any of the at-home devices because I feel like they’re all gimmicky, but I’ve seen such incredible results online.

15. What's your body product of choice?

I love mixing Sol de Janeiro body oil into my body lotion. It makes the scent last longer and is so hydrating. I’m also obsessed with the First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser body scrub — my skin has never been so smooth. 

16. Tell us about your signature scent.

Kilian Love Don’t Be Shy, period. It’s so sexy and inviting — I always say it smells like a good time.

17. Do you have a go-to nail polish color or nail art design?

Essie Sugar Daddy Gel till the day I die. I mean, is there a more fitting color for me? Sometimes I switch it up and do nail art, but always keep the C*nty Barbie theme.

18. What’s your evening skin-care routine?

Now this is the good stuff. I start my evening with the Elemis Cleansing Balm followed with the First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser. (Double cleanse, people!) Then, depending on what night it is, I either use The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Mask or Glycolic Acid Toner, or my prescription tretinoin — never mix these on the same night. Once my face has dried down a little, I use the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, in that order. 
Since I avoid the eye area with my other products, I then go in with The Ordinary Caffeine Solution. Once that dries down I use Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Cream.

19. Where is your favorite place to find beauty inspiration?

Glam teams! I follow so many incredible makeup artists and hairstylists. I get so much inspiration from the talented individuals behind the scenes that create the trends. I also get a lot of beauty inspiration from my fellow beauty content creators. My inspiration in the moment tends to reflect how I’m feeling.

20. Which beauty treatments do you do?

How much time do we have? I could flap on and on about my treatments. Cheek filler, chin filler, lip filler, and Dysport all from Dr. Kennis at Velour Medical. They’re literally the best and come to my apartment — I get my injectables while laying in my bed, hugging a pillow. I get regular Hydrafacials, which are a godsend during the New York winter. I also love BBL facials (not a Brazilian butt lift, although I did do that too), which use broadband light to reduce dark spots and freckles. 

21. How much do you think you spend on beauty a month?

I’m lucky enough to get a lot of products gifted to me, but I’d say in the ballpark of around three to five thousand a month.

22. What's the best beauty treatment you’ve ever gotten?

My favorite treatment I’ve ever done was Evoke to help melt the fat under my chin and cheeks — definitely going to do another round of treatments soon!

23. What's the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?

24. What's the worst beauty advice you’ve ever received?

Sunscreen is bad for you.

25. Biggest beauty regret?

I used to try new products all the time without looking at the ingredients, and if something didn’t work, I never knew why. Then I would go buy something else that ended up having the same ingredients, which hurt my skin and my wallet. I really took the time to learn about what my skin needs, ingredients, and when to use or not use certain products.

26. Fave beauty hack?

That Sephora Collection Rose Gold Eye Pencil! It makes your eyes pop like nothing else and adds that final hypnotizing touch to any eye look.

27. Which makeup products can we find in your bag?

I always have my Ole Henriksen hand cream, especially in the winter. I keep my Pat McGrath Mascara, a Shiseido lash curler, Freck Pen and Youthforia PH Blush in my makeup bag that sits tucked inside my Birkin. 

28. Who is your beauty icon?

Kim Kardashian! Say what you want about her, but the way she changed the beauty industry is iconic. Jane Fonda is another beauty icon of mine, I think she is so stunning and I want to look that gorgeous as I get older.

29. Which celebrity's beauty routine are you curious about?

I’m curious to know Kim Kardashian’s actual beauty routine, sans sponsorships or family product promo. I’d want to know her actual makeup routine from Mario himself.
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