For rap’s golden girl Princess Nokia (a.k.a. Destiny Frasqueri), a glowing complexion is always a given. It’s all thanks to her “goddess skin” routine, which finds the boundary-breaking New York artist pulling out all the stops to achieve a preternatural radiance. From nodding to her Latin roots with a Café Bustelo–infused exfoliation treatment to highlighting her “constellation” of freckles, here she breaks down each step of her meticulous beauty prep.
“I don’t care if I’ve been out till like seven in the morning, you best believe I’m taking this makeup off,” explains Princess Nokia, washing her face with Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap, then going in with a Clarisonic brush for an even deeper clean. Afterward she massages her face with an ice cube to lift and sculpt, paying special attention to eyelids and under the eyes, where she tends to get puffiest. “I love doing routines like this—cooking or doing my makeup—[because] it makes me feel closer to myself as a person,” she says while mixing up a batch of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. “I’m a Caribbean person, [so] anything with a bowl and spatula you can pretty much find me going.” After painting on the cult-classic clay mask with a brush, she presses on collagen eye patches and waits 15 minutes, explaining that when she’s home she typically spends this time cleaning her house, listening to salsa music, and cooking a healthy vegan meal.
“I suffer from severe skin discoloration and eczema, so my skin gets really patchy in the winter, especially on my body,” she explains. “I’m very lucky—thank Goddess and Beyoncé—that I haven’t had it on my face.” Spritzing on a duo of plant-based mists to help soothe inflammation, she then calls in the big guns—i.e. a facial steamer—to help her “snap [her] face back into cuteness.” To slough off any leftover buildup, she then reaches for the Café Bustelo bag, mixing espresso coffee grounds with jojoba oil and water before spreading it over her face. After removing the mask, she supercharges her skin with a serum and a moisturizer for a smooth, hydrated canvas. “I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or nail polish growing up, so I didn’t start experimenting with good makeup until I was about 25,” she says, applying NYX HD Photogenic Concealer under the eyes and blending Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector onto the high points of the face for a “bronzy golden glow.” As for foundation, she’s skipping it day to day. “The value of a woman is not based on her outward appearance,” she says. “So if you’ve got acne, if you have got lines—girl, I got them too! Embrace your lines. Embrace the wrinkles. Embrace the discoloration because what else are you going to do?”
After finessing her brows with a light hand, she lightly taps a brown pencil over her nose and cheeks to mimic sun-kissed flecks. “I like to highlight my natural freckles and just make them a little more visible,” she says. After tracing her pout with a chocolate lip liner and filling in with a nude lipstick, she adds a slick of translucent gloss. The final step of all? Edge control. “Listen, if you’re one of the girls, you know about Eco gel—sold exclusively at beauty supplies around the hood everywhere,” she says while laying her baby hairs with a spoolie brush. Shining bright in front of the mirror, she throws on sparkling heart-shaped earrings, reties her printed head scarf, and strikes a pose before exuberantly signing off: “Bye, Vogue!”
Princess Nokia in an Araks slip.
Director: Rebecca Fourteau
Filmed at the Standard, High Line
Originally Appeared on Vogue