Transition, change, and ambiguity defined 2021. In fact, the only constant was everyone (and we mean everyone) went through ups and downs during this wild ride of a year. But, for each moment of uncertainty, there were also glimmers of joy, hope, and necessary conversation to keep us afloat.
This permanent state of flux has left many of us raw and vulnerable, and, as a result, more open with each other than ever. Routine, connection, and self-care held us at Byrdie together, and the celebrities we talked to felt much the same. From candid talks about therapy to skincare revelations, we learned plenty of lessons from celebrities about the inside-out nature of beauty (and got plenty of juicy product recommendations in the process).
Ahead, we pulled together the best beauty advice from zoom dates, skincare deep dives, and beauty chats we shared with celebs in 2021.
Jamie Chung Modeled How to Step Into Your Power
"I never thought of putting my story first until now." Byrdie caught up with cover star Jamie Chung at a critical moment: she wrapped the role of a lifetime (Ji-Ah in Lovecraft Country) just as calls to #StopAsianHate rang out across the country. The resulting interview covered Chung's valuable insight on power, perspective, and finding a "bigger purpose" in life.
Jennifer Hudson Shared the Best Multi-Use Moisturizer
Jennifer Hudson swears by Olay's Regenerist Whip ($30), which is both an SPF and hydrating moisturizer. According to the singer, it "works so well with my skin tone. It doesn’t change my complexion or sit on top of it. I like the lightness; it feels natural. It feels like my skin can breathe, and it works well with makeup." She added that "being a mother and someone who is always doing several things at one time, I like that everything is packaged, and it’s one thing."
Simone Biles Showed Us How to Set Boundaries
After withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles made a powerful statement about the importance of prioritizing mental health showing that boundaries are a sign of strength, not weakness. "I say put mental health first. Because if you don't, then you're not going to enjoy your sport and you're not going to succeed as much as you want to," said Biles in a statement to the press. "So, it's okay sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are—rather than just battle through it."
Jessie Mei Li on Giving Your Skin a Breather
Jessie Mei Li understands the power of makeup, but likes to be minimal day-to-day. "I often will just go for a bit of eyelashes and a bit of Eminence Citrus Lip Balm ($24). I love makeup so much. It's so much fun, but I do think everyone looks so beautiful without it as well," Li shared. "So I try to give my skin a rest. I think she appreciates that."
Kate Hudson Told Us How She Keeps Her Skin Hydrated
The secret to Kate Hudson's signature dewy glow? "Drink water and get sleep! Whenever my skin is not feeling great, it’s usually because I’m dehydrated. And it really won’t matter what you put on your skin if you’re not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep."
Victoria and David Beckham Shared Their Favorite Moisturizer
Victoria Beckham broke down her skincare routine with us, citing her line's Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer ($95) as her most-used product because of its versatility. In fact, she and David Beckham both love the formula. "My husband doesn't wear makeup, he doesn't even wear a tinted moisturizer, but he will wear the golden—just because it feels nice on the skin. It looks great. It doesn't feel like he's wearing anything that is any more than moisturizer," said Beckham.
Chelsea Handler Opened Up About the Importance of Therapy
The comedian and TV host shared her most valuable life lesson "to not react," which she learned in therapy. "Once I was given the information that everything is a reaction, like if you really sit with information when you receive it, more than, you know, two minutes, more than 20 minutes, and actually sit with it and digest it, it is true that most often times you won’t want to send that [reactive] email."
Cindy Crawford on the Hair Advice She'd Give Her Younger Self
For Cindy Crawford, hair is a part of her identity, and while she's learned plenty about hair care over the years, there's one thing she wishes she'd understood sooner. "I knew my skin would age and that I would get gray hairs, but it never dawned on me that my hair is actually aging, too, and needs to be treated differently."
Teyana Taylor Takes Long Showers as Self-Care
As a busy mom, Teyana Taylor swears by a long shower to take a moment for herself. "Everything is dewy, and your pores are open. You get to make sure you shave, do your scrubs, and wash your hair. It's just that feeling of doing all of that in the shower and being able to step out and feel beautiful, feel clean, and smell good. It's super refreshing. Because you know, once you get out of the shower, you're back to reality."
Taraji P Henson Has a Love-Hate Relationship With Working Out (Just Like the Rest of Us)
Like many of us, Taraji P Henson has feelings about hitting the gym. But working through them is important to get to the other side. "I hate working out! I mean, I love it, but I hate it. I hate getting prepared to go work out, but once I’m in it, I love it." She later added, "you gotta love the pain!"
Ashley Graham's Makeup Philosophy Is Charmingly Uncomplicated
Ashley Graham describes her approach to makeup, as "Simple, but there." Like many of us, the Revlon ambassador and new mom doesn't often have time for a full face, so she falls back on a few standby techniques. "I love a brushed-up brow. I love a filled-in brow. I do love a lip liner and a natural, pinky lip. A bit of a contour. I color in my mole with a brown pencil. Concealer is my friend on the days I haven't really slept because Isaac woke up at 4 a.m. to feed."
Ciara Dropped Her Favorite Date Night Fragrance
As half of one of the hottest couples on the planet (and a huge star in her own right), Ciara knows a thing or two about creating a mood. Her favorite sensual fragrance is R&C Fragrance. "It has a sexy, signature, irresistible smell that your lover will remember," says Ciara.
Hailey Bieber's Unexpected Skincare Secret
"My standard when I go to bed at night is that if I'm not getting into bed looking like a glazed donut, then I'm not doing the right thing," says Hailey Bieber of her routine. And I think we can all agree, looking like a freshly coated Krispy Kreme is one lofty skincare goal. "Find yourself a moisturizer that helps you look like a glazed donut at the end of the day," she added. Her favorite? Cream Barrier ($95) by Biba Los Angeles.
Meagan Good Defines Self-Care as Freedom
For Meagan Good, turning 40 was a transition "mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually." She was set on entering the next decade as the best version of herself, which required plenty of self-care. "I've been valuing time with myself, whether that's journaling, praying, reading, or going to the gym, but it doesn't have to be the same every day. The beauty of caring for yourself is finding freedom. It's your day, and you can do what you want to do to feel present."