Whatever June Ambrose is doing to her skin, we want *in*. That was our first thought when the mega-watt, iconic stylist (and Cov-alum!) strolled onto set one sunny day in May. If the name’s familiar, you might know her work best from, oh, just about every single classic, formative R&B and hip-hop music video of the 1990s and 2000s (including “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and Missy’s epic “The Rain”) or her recent work as Jay-Z’s wardrobe stylist (no. big. deal!!!!).
While at least some of Ambrose’s ageless appearance can be credited to good genes (womp-womp) and her endlessly sunny, energetic demeanor (she didn’t stop dancing and cracking jokes from the moment she arrived, and kept at it through 12-plus-hour shoot days), the more attainable answer is simple: a killer beauty routine. Ambrose has always prioritized self-care and wellness—she recently went vegan—and preached the power of products. As for the go-to in her arsenal? Simple: La Mer.
As it turns out, she first came across the cult-classic line over 15 years ago, with their iconic Crème de la Mer. To this day, she slathers it on any rough spots, right down to her elbows, and even coats herself before cryotherapy sessions. And while Ambrose is no stranger to skin struggles (shocking, we know), you would never suspect, thanks to a disciplined and dedicated regimen. Below, we discover all of her skin-care secrets, from her in-flight tricks for hydrated skin to protecting the décolleté as you age.
On her beauty philosophy:
“My philosophy for beauty is really simple. It’s a time that I care for me, and I make it a priority. Indulging in beauty treatments is how I unwind and how I take care of myself when you have a career and always have to cater to other people. I also love wearing makeup, so it’s like taking off the mask, stripping down, and then adding back all of that beautiful moisture. You realize your skin is your largest organ, and you have to care for it like you would with your hair or your clothes.”
How she’s always had an interest in skin care & beauty:
“Coming from a Caribbean family, we would use natural resources [for skin care]—aloe plants, coconut oil, all of those natural things. I would see my mom use those, and her skin was incredible. As I got older and traveled the world, I became fascinated by and loved the compliment of someone saying, ‘You have such nice skin’, or ‘You have such a beautiful glow.’ That’s just as much of a compliment as someone saying, ‘You have such a great outfit.’ So I just kind of became obsessed with wanting to look and feel young and expensive. [laughs]”
Her skin looks amazing, but it isn’t immune to challenges:
“I used to have acne-prone skin, and I still treat it like I have acne-prone skin. If you’ve ever struggled with acne, you know that one really bad cyst or pimple can scar tremendously, and the recovery is so much longer.
“I’m concerned about fine lines, scarring, breakouts, and tone. I’ve been working on even-toned skin for probably over a decade; I’m so obsessed with the tone of my skin I could not tell you. Serums and stuff really help me with the tone, and the right moisturizer helps with the glow. Hydration is really important to me.”
Yes, you need to show love to your hands, too:
“I also enjoy using all of my face serums on other parts of my body, like my hands. It’s like my trade secret. We use our hands a lot, being in fashion; [it’s an] occupational hazard. I’m always handling things—I’m scratched by steamers, or I’ll get pinched by a zipper. I’m on television, I’m talking with my hands; if I’m taking a photo, I’m posing with my hands. So all of the products I use on my face, I use on my hands.”
Don’t forget the neck!
“The neck and the hands are very telling for someone who is aging up. So I always say, don’t take any part of your body for granted, especially the ones that you can’t cover. I love showing my cleavage at times; I love an open neck line because I’m vertically challenged, and an open neckline makes me look taller, so that area of my body is typically exposed. It makes you look longer. I want to make sure that area of my body looks believable.”
How she preps her skin for her hectic travel schedule:
“I’ve literally been on a plane every two days, and it was extremely taxing. It takes a toll on the skin, so hydrating is super important, and [that’s] not just drinking a lot of water. Skin care became my faith. Especially when you’re on the road, it’s that one thing you can [do] to unwind, and it’s easy to travel with. It was my happy place.”
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How wellness has become a part of her beauty routine:
“I meditate. I believe in having that time to reset, close the tabs out, and then I start my to-do list. Knowing that I’m prioritizing the things that are important, and the things that don’t serve me or that aren’t a huge priority, I start to eliminate, because that really helps me with stress management and self-care. I’ll also take a nice walk or I’ll do the elliptical. I’ll find a sauna wherever I am and I’ll just sweat it out—it releases endorphins. It’s just a nice release of the heat and the warmth on your bones.”
Her pre-cryo beauty trick:
“Cryotherapy is also great for inflammation and the skin. Think about it—when we’re out in the cold, our cheeks are rosy and our skin is tight and shrunken. Before I even get my cryo treatment, I’ll make sure I put on my La Mer cream to protect [my skin] as an extended layer, and then I indulge in those kinds of treatments.”
What she would do on a fantasy night in:
“I would take a nice hot bath; I never get to do that! I have two kids, so when I’m not working, a bath is a total luxury. I love the idea of just vegging out. I love sappy love movies—romantic comedy is my utmost favorite thing. And I love the idea of not having to cook, because I always have to cook. Literally just bumming around in a robe all day, going out on the balcony and just balling out. I wanna do a crossword puzzle, you know what I mean? [laughs] Then, also have a cheat treat, like a vegan brownie or something like that, that you don’t have to feel bad about.”
Her first La Mer product:
“I would always have dry lips, so the Lip Balm was one of the first things that I really loved. I love that it’s like a conditioner, because I don’t like shiny lips. And their facial oil was the first one I ever used. I got it at a luxury department store, and I remember the product lasted me a really long time, because you didn’t need a lot of it. It’s so rich, a little goes a long way. This was maybe 15 years ago!”
Why their classic Crème de la Mer is a staple in her routine:
“What I like is that all you need is a pea-sized dab of it. I like it after the sun. I used it while I was on acne medication, I use it as a beautiful base for my foundation, and then [I] use it to dilute my foundation. It’s so concentrated. I also use it on my elbows, on my lids if I’m wearing an eyeshadow that needs a little pop, or along the crease of my nose. A little definitely goes a long way.”
Her best beauty advice:
“The best advice I ever received was from my mom. She’s like, ‘You have to sleep!’ Sleep is free, but it’s really hard for some of us. You feel like you’re missing out on something, or you’re wasting your life, but it preserves you. And always make sure you [apply] lotion. It’s the last thing we want to think about, because when we’re running around, we’re like, ‘Oh, my skin’s fine,’ but it takes you two seconds.
“Take time to take care of yourself, your skin, your body. It’s the only one [you have], we don’t get to trade it in; we don’t get to exchange it. This is something you have to live with until you leave, so it’s your home. So maintain it and renovate it as you see fit. [laughs]”
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