Welcome to Take the Edge Off, a series that breaks down the beauty and self-care routines of influencers, CEOs, experts, and celebrities. Find out how they unwind and decompress, while taking a closer look at the holy grail essentials they’re currently raving about.
Whether you know of actress, producer, and writer Quinta Brunson’s comedic talent through her early work at BuzzFeed (which has since spawned a TED Talk and dozens of viral Internet memes) or her Emmy-nominated sitcom, Abbott Elementary, you know she’s a singular talent—and one who has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
Brunson is also making Emmys history as the first Black woman to receive three comedy Emmy Award nominations in the same year, scoring noms for best series, lead actress, and writing for a comedy series. But it’s still a bit surreal. “I don’t know, that part I’m not interacting with yet. You know what I mean? Like, I’ll just think of that later,” she tells BAZAAR.com of the accomplishment.
A post shared by Quinta Brunson (@quintab)
“I really wanted the show to be nominated and that representation for all the people who worked on it,” she continues. “I wanted my whole cast to get nominated, but especially Sheryl [Lee Ralph]—I don’t think she’s been appreciated fully in her career, so I was excited to see that. But the part about being the first Black woman to be nominated in these three categories is really important to me, for other Black women. I can’t think of myself in that moment, but seeing how many other Black women are encouraged by it is where I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, that is just so incredible.’ And I’m happy that people feel more ceilings are being broken for them, because that’s important.”
In addition to breaking glass ceilings and helping to creatively guide the ship on hit shows like Abbott and A Black Lady Sketch Show, Brunson is underlining her already meteoric shine as the newest face of OLAY’s Retinol 24 + Peptide Night collection, the best-selling line from a brand she’s loved since childhood. “I am so excited to partner with OLAY; I could not believe this big, iconic brand was reaching out to me. OLAY has been in my house my whole life—my mom always had it in the bathroom,” Brunson says. “I also really appreciate the work OLAY does with schools, like with their ongoing STEM program. Those kind of things matter to me, too—like, what are the initiatives that are happening outside of just marketing beauty products?”
A post shared by Quinta Brunson (@quintab)
After testing a number of products over the years, Brunson now opts to keep her off-camera routine fairly simple, with the rotation of just a few key products from the brand: face cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and eye cream.
Here, BAZAAR.com further catches up with the star shortly after her historic Emmy Award nominations to learn more about her OLAY favorites, love for the scent of eucalyptus, and favorite romance novels.
What are you reading these days?
I’m reading this book right now called The Catch Me If You Can, about this woman who traveled every country in the world, which I find fascinating. I also plan on reading Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola, who’s this really great romance writer, and I love that genre. Lastly, there’s a book about racism in the wellness industry that I’m really excited to get by Fariha Róisín called Who Is Wellness For? because it’s something I’m very curious about.
What are some of your go-to bath and/or shower products?
In my bathroom, of course, I have OLAY—I used to use their Ribbon Body Wash when I was younger, and I still stick with OLAY body washes because of that. But in my bathroom right now, I have their Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter. I keep it pretty simple; a good body wash and I’m ready to go.
What beauty or self-care products do you use on a regular basis to help combat Zoom fatigue?
It’s going to sound like I’m plugging OLAY here, but it’s just the truth. My writers’ room is half on Zoom, half in person, and I’m in the writers’ room a lot, and I don’t like to wear makeup while I’m there. I wear so much makeup on set and for events that I like to let my skin breathe when it can. OLAY has a brightening line that I use in the morning, which I just think really helps, especially their eye cream.
At the end of the day, I look tired—I’m doing a lot, and I get tired—and I have these big, huge eyes, so I get these big, huge bags. And that’s what I need, products that make me feel like I can be fresh faced and face whatever’s coming in my day.
Do you have a favorite hand sanitizer, soap, and/or cream right now?
I really love just about all of Mrs. Meyer’s products, but especially their hand soaps.
Do you ever light a candle or stick of incense to decompress? If so, what are some of your favorites?
I light candles all the time, I love candles, and I have so many that I guess I don’t technically have a favorite. But I’m also a little more into diffusers now. Any eucalyptus scent is my go-to to freshen up the house—I just love it. I’ll start the day with a eucalyptus oil in my dressing room, in my office, at home—it just feels like a wake-up smell. Oh, that’s a weird shower thing I do: hanging eucalyptus in the shower. I just love the scent around me.
What was the last beauty product you put on today?
OLAY’s Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Moisturizer. The brand also gave me a light tease for a new product in the collection they have coming out that I’m really, really, really, really enjoying. I can’t say anything about it yet, but I am using and loving it, and didn’t expect to.
Are you into bold makeup, no makeup, or no-makeup makeup right now, and why?
I’d say no makeup right now—I might do my eyebrows and maybe a little mascara. But I really like taking the opportunity to let my skin breathe, because it really needs it with all the makeup changes.
What’s the last fitness class you streamed or attended in person?
I don’t know, I don’t do that. Maybe I’ll start.
What’s one piece of self-care advice you’d recommend to our readers?
To rest—I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I know it’s hard, because we’re in a society that promotes working a lot and working yourself to the bone. Hustle culture is still very much alive, but I think people need to schedule time to sleep, rest, and do nothing—which includes not being on their phones and having their brains going a mile a minute.
But solace with no distractions, no television, because I think our brains need rest too. And we’re so used to our brains being fed at every moment, thanks to social media and so many things to watch on TV. But I think it’s good to be able to give yourself a turn-off really. Find out what you find out in the quiet.
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