Justin David Sullivan is a non-binary actor making their Broadway debut in & Juliet, the Max Martin pop musical, which imagines what might have happened if Juliet didn't die at the end of Romeo & Juliet. Justin plays the role of May, a non-binary character in the show. Here, Justin walks Refinery29 through a week in their beauty routine as they prepare to walk the pink carpet for & Juliet's opening night. This interview has been edited for length and clarity by Amanda Mitchell.
Because I'm in a show 6 days of the week, my beauty routine stays pretty consistent. But this week was extra special as we opened the new musical, & Juliet on Broadway! On my days off, I especially like to take the time to give my skin a little R&R. I always start with my Tower 28 SOS Spray as an all over toner, which helps calm my skin and speed up recovery. Another favorite product of mine is actually a sheet mask that comes in the most genius packaging ever: the VT Pro-Cica Masks, stored in a wipe-like dispenser box, which makes them convenient to use. I keep them in the fridge for a nice cooling sensation and I can’t live without them. They are the perfect treat and incredible value for money.
One step in my beauty routine that I never skip, even on my days off, are my brows. I am such a brow girl. Although I do have my eyebrows microbladed, I love to perfect the shape and add in definition using the Glossier Brow Flick brow pen. As an eyebrow fiend, I have tried almost every brow pen on the market and this one is just IT. I am a believer that eyebrows are meant to be twins, not sisters, and this brow pen has the perfect balance of precision and pigment to make my brow dreams a reality.
Once my brows are perfectly flicky and symmetrical, I brush them up and lock them in place using my favorite brow gel: the Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel, another GOAT product by my standards.
A staple in my show makeup look is classic black winged liner. Our hair and makeup designer for the show, J J Janas, put me on to the most incredible drugstore liner: Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Pen Eyeliner. It’s a gorgeous matte black liner with a super inky, fine brush tip, plus a smudge- and waterproof formula. The easy-to-grip packaging is also what makes this liner pen especially unique. It’s so good and so affordable. Truly a godsend.
Another staple is my MAC lip products. We at & Juliet are so lucky to have been sponsored by the brand. I use the classic Spice Lip Pencil and the Powder Kiss Lipstick in Stay Curious for the perfect, sculpted, face-brightening lip of all time. There’s a reason why MAC lip products are cult classics and if your complexion is at all similar to mine, this combo is a must.
Let’s talk about skin prep, shall we? On two doe shays especially (that’s theatre slang for two show days — days with a matinee show and an evening show) I like to make sure that my skin is prepped as best as possible. It ensures my makeup application looks fresh through 5 hours of performing and running around. A few of my staple products are the CosRX Snail Mucin Essence, the Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer, and the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. It’s important to hydrate and moisturize your skin in layers, especially during the colder months. These products, particularly the essence and the toner, are essential for achieving the dewiest, most deeply-hydrated skin.
IT’S OPENING NIGHT ON BROADWAY! The dreamiest night I have ever experienced. For our opening night celebration, we had a pink carpet with plenty of photos to take, so the category was full beat, on-camera, red carpet glam. It was an intimidating assignment, but it ended up being so much fun for a beauty lover like me. I think the key to a stunning red carpet mug is a solid base. For my glam, I used my new favorite go-to foundation to look photoshopped IRL, and that is the NARS Light-Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation. I knew it would give me the perfect soft glow and skin-like finish for the red carpet — and she delivered.
Another key element of my pink carpet glam routine was an all-over body glow. There are two products that I am fully obsessed with and are too good to gatekeep — especially for my melanated girls. The first product up to bat is the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Oil Mist. If you are looking for an affordable way to give your legs and shoulders the glowiest, most juicy glossy sheen (and smell divine) look no further.
For special occasions, I like to bust out my secret weapon, which is what glimmery shoulder dreams are made of: the REFY Body Glow Highlighting Serum. Just trust me, you need this.
It's Friday night and the feeling’s right! The Danessa Myricks Colorfix Eye Paint will spice up anyone's Friday beat, particularly the shades Milky Way and Nebula. These are essentially liquid glitter paints that sparkle and twinkle with a stunning gold metallic finish. These are gorgeous on the lid or on the inner corners. They also come in a ton of other incredible, shifty duo-chromatic colors, but I am most fond of the classic gold.
The next product is my new favorite way to take any eye look to the next level and they are half lashes from Tatti Lashes. Half lashes are like a push-up bra for your eyes. They offer a somewhat natural, lifted effect and I am just obsessed with them. I also love that half lashes don’t take up much space on the inner portion of your eye, so if you’ve got an incredible eye look going on, these won’t cover it up. My favorite styles are Angel Energy and Artisté.
There are a handful of sensory things which make up my beauty routine. One of my favorite songs to sing in & Juliet is "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry. We all know the iconic cherry Chapstick line and being the silly goose that I am, I decided needed to use a cherry-scented lip product for the show. So on top of my MAC lip combo, I use the Fenty Skin Cherry Treat Lip Oil which smells like delicious cherry candy and leaves a hydrating, non-sticky finish. Perfection!
Next up is fragrance. I recently started to add more feminine fragrances to my collection, and not only have they been gender-affirming, I am also just obsessed with how wearing different scents can affect your mood. My favorite everyday scent is Maison Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk. Being a Southern California native, the one thing I miss most as an NYC transplant is the beach. This scent gives me the salty breeze and laid back energy in every beautiful spritz. When I want to feel like a rich b*tch shopping down Fifth Avenue (which is quite often), I reach for Burberry’s HER London Dream.
Sunday is our final performance of the week. I believe beauty starts from the inside out, so I am constantly finding little ways to boost my self-care. With seven shows down and one to go, I’ll take all the help I can get. I start every morning by brewing up an iced vanilla oat milk latte complete with Vital Proteins collagen. I can’t promise that it does anything, but it does add a pep in my step to know that I am intentionally taking care of my body and mind.
The first thing I do when I get home from any performance is remove my makeup. It is so important to take off your makeup, so if you're reading this and have a habit of sleeping in it, this is your sign to cut it out. My favorite way to remove my makeup is with a cleansing balm. Currently, I use the Naturium Purple Ginseng Cleansing Balm followed by the Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash to make sure that there is no trace of makeup left behind. And with a clean face, I am ready to enjoy my evening and my day off.
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