Five Questions for Maya Roget, the Beauty Encyclopedia

By Julissa James

Maya Roget by Jamie Nease.

In the Instagram age of monotonous beauty trends, San Francisco-based hair and makeup artist Maya Roget’s perspective — and origin story — are refreshing. “I work with a lot of different ethnicities, skin tones and eye shapes,” she says. “I think you start to really appreciate the uniqueness in everybody.” She believes strongly in celebrating her clients’ diversity and, of course, in the sheer power of lipstick. Her first brush with makeup’s transformational properties came as a kid, when Roget’s mother, who was disabled, used it as a way to uplift and motivate herself. “[My mom] would buy loads of makeup on QVC and was always putting it on and teaching me how to use it,” she remembers. “I think it was a way for her to really feel good about herself even if she wasn’t going anywhere.” This early experience informs Roget’s beauty motto today: The idea that seemingly simple extrinsic things — like the right eyeshadow shade or haircut — can make a drastic change in someone’s inner world. On top of understanding that there are levels to the concept of beauty, she’s an encyclopedia of tips, tricks and recommendations. Naturally, picking Roget’s brain for the Beauty Issue was a no-brainer.

Your skin has a really healthy glow (seriously, it’s otherworldly). Can you breakdown your daily routine? I wear sunscreen every day. I particularly like Elta MD, which was recommended to me by my esthetician because it has chemical and mineral sunscreens. I like to use vitamin C. I’m also a huge fan of dermaplaning, which is essentially shaving your face — it sounds really crazy, but they make tools for it now, or you can get it done by a professional, which I recommend doing first to see how it’s done. I use differin gel, which is a form of vitamin A prescription that goes on at night. You can buy it on Amazon, and it’s great for people with acne-prone skin. It’s also good at boosting collagen and preventing aging since it’s similar to a retinol.

San Francisco’s cold weather can be harsh on people’s hair and skin. What are some ways to combat the dryness? Use a hydrating serum, like hyaluronic acid, to increase water content in your skin. Keep a hydrating facial mist on you for an extra boost throughout the day. Do a hydrating hair mask a couple times a month, and use an oil and/or leave-in treatment to smooth and protect your hair, like Davines OI All in One Hair Milk or OI Oil. Use a humidifier at night. Drink lots of water!

For those who don’t have time to do a full face, what are some simple things that can make a big difference? Use a tinted moisturizer, because you can apply that really quickly with your fingers. If you have a lipstick shade that you like, you can [also] put it on your cheeks and eyes. And I think a good highlighter can go a long way. If you’re doing some-thing super quick, adding color on the cheeks is huge, doing mascara, a little bit of eyebrow pencil or eyebrow gel and a highlighter goes along way. It makes you look really fresh and awake.

What are some of your favorite at-home beauty recipes? I make my own [vitamin C] with L-ascorbic acid powder, as it is the most active form of vitamin C (which you can buy online or at a health food store), and spritz it on every morning after cleansing. [The recipe is] one tablespoon of distilled water, one table-spoon of rose water and one teaspoon of L-ascorbic acid powder. Combine ingredients into a dark-colored spray bottle, [and] store in the fridge for two to three weeks. Sea salt hair scrub [is] great for balancing the scalp, promoting circulation and stimulating hair growth. [It] conditions the hair and just feels great. Mix together sea salt, coconut or olive oil and a couple drops of rosemary oil (found to prevent hair loss — also great added to your shampoo) and massage onto the scalp. You will need to shampoo well, possibly double shampoo, to remove oil residue.

What’s your best beauty advice? Wear sunscreen every day is the number one. Clean your makeup brushes and your beauty blenders. People don’t do that often and it can really change how your makeup goes on. Keeping your skin clean and healthy is really important — don’t touch your face! If you’re having a break-out or something, just leave it be. (I wish I were better at this.) But if you have the self-control, that’s probably one of the most important things that you can do. Also, wash [your face] every single night no matter how tired you are.

What’s in Your Makeup Bag?

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Salma: “It’s a really nice semi-matte ‘just bitten’ berry shade that just adds a really nice flush to the lips. I think it works great with literally any makeup look.”

Eyeko Brow Gel: “It’s a universal shade, like a sheer brown, but it has a little bit of a metallic shimmer in there — which sounds weird but it helps it define each individual hair. Every time I use it I always get compliments. It just gives you that really nice bushy-brow look.”

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara: “It’s the only mascara I’ve ever used that doesn’t leave marks under the eyes and that won’t bleed. I will never useanything else.”

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