We may be well into the TikTok age of social media, but internet culture as we know it still owes everything to Vine, the now-defunct app that introduced the world to looped-video social content when it launched in 2013. Perhaps more importantly than changing the video-sharing game, however, without Vine (RIP), we might not have Liza Koshy in our lives. With her easy sense of humor and her relentlessly sunny disposition, the Viner-turned-YouTuber and actress is a ray of light in a particularly maddening year. From her role in Netflix’s Work It to her YouTube show Liza on Demand and recent interview with President-elect Joe Biden, Koshy’s content is an instant mood-booster. (Not to mention, as a quick glance at Koshy’s Instagram will attest, that her makeup looks are mood-boosters, too.)
So it feels fitting that the social media star is branching out into a new field: makeup moguldom. One of One, Koshy’s new beauty line in collaboration with C’est Moi, is a tightly-edited collection of skincare essentials and multitasking makeup products as vibrant as Koshy herself. The name of the game? Versatility. “The whole idea of lightening your bag has been really fun for me, whether that be emotional baggage or physical baggage that you’re carrying around by having a makeup product that does two things or four things rather than just one,” she says. I chatted with Koshy about what’s in her makeup bag—as well as what’s in her air fryer, what’s on her calendar during quarantine in L.A. (California Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued a new stay-at-home order), and much more.
There she is! I love your makeup today.
I actually just woke up from a 10-minute meditation, so it’s a little crusty, but thank you! Thanks for taking the time to have a date with me.
Frankly, I'm just impressed with anyone who's still like has the will to put on makeup these days.
I literally just did a beauty tutorial for a video. That's the only reason why I have it on right now. [LAUGHS] It has been my go-to thing to do for fun lately, being experimental with makeup. I really love conceptual makeup. I follow some these awesome influencers who come up with a concept, like a buffering bar or something, and then somehow like draw that around their eye. It’s just been really inspirational to watch them experiment during this time, and be like, “Okay, if you can do that and you feel good, let me see if that makes me feel good.” And it did, so it was worth it.
I love following those insanely creative makeup accounts, but if I’m being honest, what brings me joy is looking at other people do cool stuff with makeup more than doing it myself. Because then I have to wash it off, and that’s too much effort for me.
I get you! Living vicariously is the easier and cheaper way of doing things. I personally don't go too heavy into the VFX world at all, but I loved watching it this past Halloween. I love that we're all doing it for ourselves, too.
Did you do any dress-up or at-home celebration for Halloween?
Yes! It’s my favorite—the devil’s holiday is my fave, as my grandma calls it. I absolutely love Halloween. Now that I’m back in L.A.—I was being a parasite at my parents’ in Houston for five months—but now I’m back in L.A. and doing COVID-safe shoots again, on Halloween, I actually got a bald cap put on, and since I had to quarantine for five days after that, I was like, “Oh, I'm gonna see if I can make this last.” Didn't happen. Definitely fell asleep in my bald cap and woke up and it was sliding off. I slid it back on, took a little Gorilla Glue, just went “Tap, tap.”
I mean, I used Gorilla Glue to fix my air fryer the other day, but I’m sure it’s perfectly safe to put on your face.
I just love that you had to get in that you have an air fryer. I've been saying that if someone has an air fryer, it’s the same as if someone’s vegan: they will let you know. They will mention it.
Okay, guilty as charged.
No, mine’s in the background, so I’m speaking from experience. I went through a huge air fryer phase. Everything was in my air fryer. Absolutely anything I could eat was in there cooking and frying. I have a solid recipe for stuffed mini bell peppers with goat cheese and Beyond Meat sausage—my mouth is already watering. I might make those tonight.
What else have you been doing to keep busy this year?
I mean, it’s been such an emo rollercoaster period, but the first two weeks I was like, “This is what I need. Who would have thought?” It was such a weird high of, like, Oh, we're on vacation. This is relaxing. The first month, I was like, “Whoa, a month, guys? We’re getting spoiled.” I mean, hope everybody’s okay, we’re praying, energies, energies. But then the first semester dragged by, and the things that I do in my spare time in my regular life just became my regular life. Like, okay, I'm constantly meditating. I am sleeping, but I'm also very tired. I've gotten the most sleep I’ve ever gotten this year but also been the most tired—it feels like you can't catch up. I’m cooking a lot. I really just became a home ec class, fixing things and redecorating my home. Lighting many candles. Like, I built a desk while I was drunk and almost nailed my everything to the actual desk, but it was awesome. I felt so accomplished afterwards.
Wait, you made a desk? That’s so cool!
Did you get into sourdough?
I did not.
I didn’t either. I think I'm holding my pride on this one. I was like, I'm going to be different. I did cookies. And then I just gave up and I stopped baking the cookies and now I just eat the batter out of the actual mixing bowl.
At least you’re making it yourself. I just started compulsively buying edible cookie dough.
Yes! I just got into this really awesome brand called Eclipse, which is like ice cream but not actual ice cream. It's made out of oils. And when I scooped it and put it in a bowl, it didn't melt. Which is like, “Okay,” but it tastes delicious.
You’re right that for many of us who aren’t essential workers, so much of this year has kind of felt like a vacation, but at the same time we’re still working and going to school. You said you’ve been doing shoots again, and you have your new makeup collab with C’est Moi, One of One. What has it been like to shift back into an even semi-productive mindset?
Well, being able to even say the word vacation in association with this time is a privilege, I'm going to check that real quick. I was in Houston for five months with my parents and sister, and my sister turned 30 and got married in quarantine. She got married to a wonderful doctor, who is like our superhero. “What’s this? Is this COVID?” We’re constantly doing that. Oh, and I got a puppy. This is Phoebe Waller-Bitch.
Oh, that’s so good.
She’s like, “What the fuck? We were supposed to go for a walk!” I walk now; I used to run. Everything’s at a slower pace. Shoots have picked back up again, and I’m lucky to be able to do those safely. Shoutout to all those people coordinating so damn much now. We shot our one-minute spot for One of One and I'm so excited about it. I feel like people launch stuff, and I always hear them say, “Oh, it’s been in the works for years,” and I’m like, “Shut up.” But it literally has been, it’s been a long couple of years making the line entirely clean and vegan and EWG verified. It’s actually brought me joy in the middle of all this, so to have that and to be able to be creative during this time, too, I'm really thankful for. I’m really lucky I had this going on right now.
Tell me more about the line. Why did you partner with C’est Moi, and how did you decide which products were important to include?
The not-relatable story is that I received a PR package from C’est Moi, and I looked on the back. I never put anything that I don’t know what it is on my face, so when I receive these kinds of packages, I’m usually like, “Okay, cool, gonna put that as a stocking stuffer for my sister.” But I read the back and saw that it was made for sensitive skin. I’m sensitive, and so is my skin. But the ingredients were ones that I could actually say aloud and actually pronounce, which doesn't usually happen. I was like, “Oh, this feels trustworthy.” So I started a conversation with C’est Moi about, like, “I love what you’re doing and what you stand for. Let's make something together.” So then I became their brand ambassador and just started blasting the word about clean beauty and about how it is pigmented and bold and brightly colored. That’s the whole stigma that I’m excited to crash: people don’t know how bright a blue can be that's also clean and comes from nature. The line was named One of One because it was really custom-made with the user in mind. The way that I felt when I held my C’est Moi for the first time was the way I wanted somebody else to feel when they held One of One. It's what I wanted to see on the shelf as a kid with breakouts. I wanted to create an answer for somebody who might have the question of, like, “What works for my skin? What’s something that is playful and bold and beautiful, but also safe and also clean and also organic and cruelty-free?” So the whole theme around the brand is “party of one.”
Super unintentional, didn't see quarantine coming, would have told you guys. [LAUGHS] But it’s because I really got started as a party of one—I started creating content on my own and dancing around the house by myself, and what life is right now in this moment in this pandemic is what life was for me when I first started my career. With a party of one, it all starts from within. It’s the idea that you are all that you need to have a good time.
How did process of developing this line change your approach to beauty, and how do you incorporate those products into your routine?
I definitely did not have a clean routine before working with C’est Moi and learning about how unregulated the beauty industry is. That was a wakeup call to me. That's how I started cleaning up my act and my bag and being like, “Okay, this is now a priority for me,” just like my diet and what I eat every day. I have my whole line in my routine now, which is so cool, and I have Beautycounter and W3ll People, and all these different clean brands, like Biossance. The whole idea with One of One is versatility and duality, so you can work it into your routine however you want. Like, right now I’m wearing the cheek and lip tint, and if you like a glossy eyelid you can do that too. I used the Think Twice dual liner pencil for a lip liner, an eyeliner, and freckles.
Okay, hear me out: teal freckles.
Hell, yeah! There's so many ways in which you can use the products. They're meant to be used all over your face because they're all just clean, good stuff, and I’m so excited to see what people do with it. If you want to make teal freckles, purple freckles—do your thing.