What 'Queer Eye' Taught Me About Skincare And Beauty

9 Beauty And Skincare Tips I Learned From Watching 'Queer Eye'

PHOTO: carin baer

While Queer Eye's first season was focused on giving men advice on fashion, grooming, interior design, food, and culture, Jonathan Van Ness' beauty tips are actually helpful even for women (like me) watching the show.

To tide myself over until I get to watch the next season, here are some of the best tips I learned:

  1. Ice, ice baby.

    The guys' first subject, Tom, had lupus, which gave his skin a reddish undertone and caused flare-ups on his cheeks and nose. Jonathan recommended a gel face mask that you store in the freezer: "Cold stuff removes puffiness, it invigorates the skin, and it really takes inflammation down." If your bank accounts are pretty much non-existent, though, you can also just DIY it with ice cubes from the freezer.

    And JVN isn't the only one who loves this trick: Queer Eye's culture expert Karamo Brown actually tweeted recently that the secret to his flawless skin is using ice cubes on his face once a day.

  2. Go green.

    Jonathan also helped Tom tone down redness with his go-to "green stick"—a green-tinted concealer. It sounds weird, but green and red are opposite each other on the color wheel, so layering them neutralizes the area.

    A lot of brands make green concealer sticks, but you can go the lazy girl route and blend a green color-correcting primer into your skin before foundation. Whether you go liquid or solid, start with just a little bit, Jonathan warns in episode one. "The rule with it is if you can see it, you did too much."

  3. "Spray, delay, walk away."

    Okay, this is technically a fragrance tip from OG Queer Eye for The Straight Guy cast member Kyan Douglas, but it bears repeating here, since Jonathan literally did it in episode two. Don't just douse yourself in perfume, people! Spray it in front of you, wait a second, and strut through the mist. You'll get the perfect amount of scent all over.

  4. DIY your scrubs—it's SO worth it.

    "Gorgeous exfoliants are expensive," Jonathan tells former Marine Cory in episode three. Luckily, JVN shared the world's easiest lip scrub recipe to help get all the flakes off. "Start off with half a cup of coconut oil, two tablespoons of brown sugar, a touch of honey, and any essential oil that tickles your fancy." (Jonathan went with a few drops of grapefruit oil because the acids in citrus fruits have even more exfoliating properties.) Rub it on your lips and then wipe off with a warm washcloth—now your lips are flake-free and ready for lipstick.

  5. Say no to sulfates.

    You know how most shampoos suds up nicely in the shower to get super squeaky-clean? That's because of a type of ingredient called sulfates. However some pros, including Jonathan, aren't fans: "It's just very aggressive for our hair," he tells Bobby during episode five. Which is why he recommended switching to sulfate-free shampoo brands. (FYI: While these ingredients don't strip color from your hair, they can be drying and irritate more sensitive scalps.)

    I'm not saying you have to go sulfate-free if it's not right for you—but I'd be lying if I said Jonathan didn't convince me to make the switch.

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  6. Going out tonight? Skip the clay mask.

    Jonathan says to reach for a detoxing clay mask "if your skin's feeling a little busted, or, like, needs a little moment." But, as he warned young entrepreneur Remington in episode six, don't even think about it right before a big event. "That's actually asking the stuff to come out of the skin," he says. "So this is more of, like, a Sunday thing."


    Clearly, I had been masking all wrong. 

  7. Don't neglect your nails.

    JVN taking Remington to the nail salon in episode six was a wakeup call. "These nails are important. There's really no hiding them," Jonathan said. "We're not wearing mittens in the summer, you know what I'm saying?"

    JVN recommends keeping up with your nails by going to a salon or clipping and exfoliating at home every other week. I haven't been THAT regular about it, but I definitely have gotten manis more often than I did before watching the show.

  8. Need an energy boost? Try peppermint oil.

    Peppermint isn't just for chewing gum—it's now my go-to scent around the home. That's because episode eight's Jeremy and his fellow firefighters seemed revitalized almost instantly with this peppermint oil trick from Jonathan:

    "Rub it in your palms, then sit back into your chair. Close your eyes, put the palms in front of your face, and then just take a really deep breath in your nose, hold it at the top, and exhale through your mouth."

    This isn't just some random TV magic; peppermint oil has a host of benefits, including being used in aromatherapy for its energy- and mood-boosting abilities.

  9. Take three minutes for self-care.

    When the Fab Five met episode five's Bobby, the father of six was running on two hours of sleep every night and, on a good day, had 10 minutes to put himself together before working two jobs. In JVN's words, he was "struggs to func"—struggling to function.

    "If I could just create, like, three minutes of time in your day where you get to just be here for yourself, that's kinda nice!" Jonathan told him. And if Bobby could find time for a quick skincare routine by the end of this journey, anyone can.

    This is probably the most important lesson I got out of Queer Eye: We all spend more time than we probably should on our phones, laptops, whatever. Taking three extra minutes in the day to protect and preserve your skin is actually a productive use of your time—and doubles as relaxation. "You have to create little pockets of joy in your life to take care of yourself," Jonathan echoes in episode eight.

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This article originally appeared on WomensHealth.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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