The One Thing
Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.
Quinta Brunson has had quite the year. Her new show Abbott Elementary—on which she writes, produces, and stars—was a smash hit both with the critics and Twitter users alike. The show, an Office-style mockumentary set in a Philadelphia elementary school, not only stole viewers' hearts but earned Brunson three Emmy nominations, making her the first Black woman to earn three same-year nominations in the comedy category.
Now, Brunson has added another achievement to her ever-growing list: her very first beauty campaign. As of August 1, she's the new face of Olay's Retinol 24 + Peptide collection. As it turns out, Brunson's relationship with the brand runs deep. "It was a brand my mom and I always trusted," she tells Byrdie. "She used the moisturizers and body and face washes, so it just came back to Olay for me. I was stunned and overjoyed when they asked me to be the face of their campaign."
"I just couldn't believe it; it felt very Kismet because Olay is always in my bathroom," she continues. "It's a brand I trust, and many people trust it. It feels good to be a part of a campaign where I can say I use the products."
Ahead, learn more about what gets the multi-hyphenate's day started, her must-have skincare products, and how she stays grounded.
The One Thing That Changed Her Skincare Routine
"My relationship with skincare is interesting. It's super important to me, and I love to take care of my skin. But it's also important that I'm not using a bunch of crazy products—of which there are many. I feel like there was an explosion of products about ten years ago. There was so much to choose from; you ran around the beauty stores finding these super expensive products and trying them all, which I did. But it came down to me going back to basics, which is what my relationship with Olay is."
The One Skincare Step She Never Skips
"I never skip the most important thing, which is washing my face. I cannot believe people don't. You have to wash your face, especially people who wear makeup and go outside and fight the elements. After that, I love to apply moisturizer.
"Specifically, the Night Moisturizer ($30) from the Olay Retinol 24 + Peptide collection, and they have the Retinol 24 Night Serum ( $30) that I like to use before putting that moisturizer on. I never skip those steps. The Retinol 24 + Peptide collection has been perfect for me. It's a line of products I can use in a row before I go to sleep. They recharge my skin while I sleep, so I wake up feeling fresh-faced. It's just super important to me because I like not to have to do too much."
The One Hair Brand She Swears By
"I love Bread Beauty Supply, and their entire line works for me. The shampoo, the conditioner, it just all felt like it was built for me. But then I found out that many other girls felt that way too. The branding is fantastic, and [I love] the hair oil too. That's my go-to. I always ensure I have the whole line, and if I'm running out, I kind of panic a little bit."
The One Product Always In Her Purse
The One Thing She Always Has On Set
"Okay, it's going to sound corny and like I'm plugging this brand I'm working with, but I keep a moisturizer on me. And it's because when I'm getting my makeup taken off at the end of the day—which could be at 11 am or 5 pm—and I get my makeup wiped off, I need to have a moisturizer. I can't go with that dry skin feeling. So I will keep a moisturizer in my bag because I don't have to apply an entirely new face of makeup to go out to dinner with friends or something. When I put that moisturizer on, I feel safe to face anything after the day."
The One Fragrance She Keeps Coming Back To
"I always like to sprinkle on a light perfume. Marc Jacobs Daisy ($86) is my favorite. I carry a little sample pack, which is how I started liking that scent. Now because I travel so much, I'll carry a sample size in my travel bag, so I always have that perfume."
The One Makeup Tip She Learned On Set
"I'm not the biggest makeup person, but watching my makeup artist, April Cheney, on set helps me pick up things. Like you know how to apply blush, right? I didn't know it was doing wrong. [She said I should be] brushing outward and inward, instead of in a circle like a cartoon character.
"Eyebrows are a big one for me. My eyebrows continue to be the struggle of my face. It's a focal point of my face, and I am very expressive. So knowing that there are different ways you can do your eyebrows helps tone them up or down. That was something I learned that I never thought about."
The One Thing That Keeps Her Grounded
"My family. I like to keep in touch. I talk to everybody in my family at least once daily, including my partner. I think the people in my life help keep my feet on the ground."
The One Thing She Does Every Morning
"It's quite easy. I wake up, and I wash my face. I like to give my face a fresh start with a serum and a nice moisturizer. And that's pretty much the routine. It varies daily with how much makeup I have to put on if any. But those are the steps I take to prepare my face for the day."
The One Beauty Look She Can Always Count On
"A natural look is my signature. It was what I had time to do most days and what I felt most comfortable in. I often don't feel comfortable in a ton of makeup, and I know I have to wear it for events, TV, and red carpets. But I often feel most comfortable with moisturizer, a light tinted moisturizer, a good eyebrow, eyeliner, and mascara. That's pretty much it, and that feels very good to me."