Mindy Kaling's $666 Skin-Care Routine Only Takes Her Two Minutes
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If you read this website on a regular basis, you're probably that one friend in your group who everyone goes to for beauty advice — the one who knows how to make eyeliner last all day, what order to apply skin-care products in, and what trends are about to be huge. Mindy Kaling is that kind of friend, too.
"I have so many friends from before I went into 'the business,' and I think they prioritize beauty and products a little bit less than I do," she tells Allure. "I've always been obsessed with all the new stuff that's coming out in terms of cosmetics, so I feel like I'm the person that's telling them, like, 'Oh my God, there's this new device that tightens your eye skin' and stuff like that."
Why? Because it's fun, dammit. "The things that I collect now that I am lucky enough to have disposable income are bedding, stationary, and face cream," Kaling jokes. "And I think the great thing about cosmetic products is they're not invasive; they're much less expensive than getting treatments done at the dermatologist's offices."
You could guess at this point that Kaling's skin-care, hair-care, and makeup routines are pretty important to her. And they are, albeit a little less intense than they were before she became a mother of two and created the hit Netflix series Never Have I Ever (which has recently been renewed for a third season. Yay!). Those two things alone, on top of Kaling's numerous other writing and acting projects, tend to keep her too busy for hour-long primping sessions. "Just because I'm a little bit busier now, I am not that person that can have the 35-minute nighttime routine," Kaling explains. "I want to be able to do everything including brushing my teeth and be done in six minutes."
Drunk Elephant Slaii Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
La Mer The Oil-Absorbing Tonic
That relatively quick skin-care routine — which Kaling has developed specifically for oily, acne-prone skin — still includes its fair share of editor- and esthetician-approved products and tips. In fact, Kaling says she's learned a thing or two about skin-care simply by getting facials from Joanna Vargas. This tip from the beloved Hollywood facialist is one of Kaling's favorites: "I take a wet washcloth, put it in really hot water, wring it out, and try to take off the first layer of makeup — no product at all on it, just a hot washcloth — so that when I use a cleanser, it's not just getting wasted as a makeup remover."
At this point, there's usually a little makeup left on Kaling's face, which she'll "loosen up" with Drunk Elephant Slaii Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser before exfoliating with Tatcha's The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder. "I get that into all the nooks and crannies of my nose, my eyebrows, and my jawline," she says. Then, it's time for La Mer The Oil-Absorbing Tonic, followed by SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator Serum and Joanna Vargas Super Nova Serum at nighttime. Her last step is always a La Mer moisturizer. "It seems like a lot of steps, but I can do that in two minutes at this point," Kaling says.
SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator Serum
Joanna Vargas Super Nova Serum
On an average day, her makeup routine is even simpler. "In my normal life, I'll just do concealer and do my brows and mascara, pretty much — but when I am going out, I love a little blush," Kaling moons. "One that I've used forever is Nars Angelika; it has the tiniest bit of flecks of something." (Angelika has been discontinued but the bubblegum-pink shade Thrill is quite similar.)
And Kaling's hair routine, in her own words, is "pretty unexciting." She has naturally wavy hair that's constantly getting heat-styled, so she sticks to Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Magnificent Volume. One of the only other products she uses in her day-to-day is Sachajuan Hair Mousse because it's a tried-and-true for her fine hair.
Clearly, the product recommendations Kaling has been giving her friends all these years are wildly valuable — and it doesn't even compare to the advice she and her inner circle trade about life, love, work, and everything else. Having a support network of women to give and receive widsom from is a big priority for Kaling, which is why she partnered with T.J.Maxx to launch The Change Exchange, a program that pairs women together based on mutual experience so that they can exchange letters (physical or digital) and create new connections.
Oribe Shampoo for Magnificent Volume
Sachajuan Hair Mousse
As Kaling explains, having a new person to talk to in a tumultuous time can be a big relief. "I've gone through so much change in the past year and a half: I had a baby during COVID, and I've been trying to run my two businesses," she says. "I have a lot going on, and it just feels really wonderful to be able to share what our challenges are."
At the very least, there's one thing Kaling will likely never need help with, and that's picking the right products in the skin, hair, and makeup aisles. But even if that changes, she'll always have people to lean on for advice – what more could a person ask for?
Learn more about T.J.Maxx's The Change Exchange program at maxxyouproject.com. The service is free of charge and sign-ups last until September 20.
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