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This DJ’s Stellar Drugstore Beauty Finds

She has glowing skin and refuses to straighten her hair.

Summer Beauty
This DJ’s Stellar Drugstore Beauty Finds
Alec Kugler

Here we are yet again, obsessing over yet another DJ crush. Our latest love affair is with Brooklyn-based DJ, actor, and student Dylan the Gypsy. Acting came first for this multi-talented woman—Dylan began acting when she was just 10 years old, and added DJ-ing to the mix (no pun intended) when she was 14. Quite honestly, we’re not sure how she finds time to do everything she does. Between attending acting classes at NYU, meeting her assignment deadlines, and DJ-ing events around the country (and the world, at times), Dylan, 21, still manages to have glowing skin and on-point hairstyles, which is no small feat. (Remember your time-management skills and priorities when you were in college?) Today, Dylan announces her latest endeavor: the Astrolomix Series, a series of mixes that are curated around the current astrological sign. Seeing as how we’re in the midst of Cancer season, her first mix is comprised of music from Cancer artists. A brilliant idea, if you ask us. We advise you to hit Play below and try out a few of Dylan’s best-kept beauty secrets while you’re at it.


She became a DJ to pay her bills:

“I first started DJ-ing in 2014. I knew I wanted to do it in high school because I’d always loved music, discovering new songs, and making different playlists and mixes. I realized, I need to find a way to pay the bills that’s not going to compromise my happiness in New York City and is also going to help me progress as an artist, and that way was DJing.”

She’ll soon be changing her DJ moniker:

“[Dylan the Gypsy] was a Twitter name I made up when I was 15. I’m transitioning to ‘Dylan Ali’ because I discovered ‘gypsy’ is a slur against their own people, and I’m very politically correct. I can’t marginalize people—there are a lot of people with ‘gypsy’ in their Twitter handle or Instagram handle that have no idea. Once I did my research [and saw that] those were the people that were oppressed, I realized, ‘Yo, these people may not have experienced the exact same pain as black people, but it’s still pain.’ I shouldn’t partake in that.”


She loves a good face mask:

“If I have a busy day ahead of me, but I’m not going out, I’ll make sure that I’m moisturized. I’ll remove all of the makeup residue off of my face first [from the night before], because that gets hella crusty. I’ll do one nice wash with soap and hot water—I’ll go over it with hot water to open my pores to get all of the oils from the day before out. I’ll use a mask afterwards—Aveda Firming Face Cream. I also use this clay mask that I have at home. It’s an Indian clay mask—I use that, like, once a week, Sundays usually. It’s the Aztec Indian Healing Clay. Afterwards I’ll put some cold water on my face to close my pores and use a spray mist.”

She’s religious about her nightly body moisturizing routine:

“Every day as soon as I get out of the shower and before I go to sleep, I moisturize. I love shea butter. Since I was a little kid, my grandma, after every single bath, would oil me down [with] shea butter. I’ll either do shea butter first and then a fragrant lotion, or I’ll use Jamaican castor oil and then the shea butter. Sometimes you don’t even need to use the shea butter afterwards—the moisture [from the castor oil] will literally be locked into your skin until your next shower.”


She has a few essentials in her low-key makeup routine:

“I am not committed to any products, [but] when it comes to my foundations, I don’t explore too much. If I’m trying to go for a more matte look, I’ll go for Anastasia Beverly Hills. If I’m trying to go for a more natural daytime look, I’ll go for Clinique—they have a really good natural, everyday foundation. I recently discovered Kiko [Cosmetics], this makeup brand in Milan, but they sell it all over Europe [and] online, too. [Editor’s note: It’s now in the US, too!] I had this super bomb foundation from there. My skin was glowing. As far as eye shadows and stuff and concealers, I go to a beauty supply store. I like to keep those pretty cheap because I’m still in college. NYX has pretty good products, I use their brow gel a lot. E.L.F. has really good cheap products for those people who like to look cute on a budget.”

She has her hair routine down to a science:

“Castor oil is really good for your hair. I am the queen of protective styles—I only do protective styles or wear my Afro. I do not straighten my hair at all. I’m like, ‘Yo, why am I going to straighten my beautiful hair when I can just straighten someone else’s by clipping it in or sewing it in?’ When I’m not wearing wigs or crocheted braid weaves, I will do this L.O.C. method. It’s leave-in conditioner [liquid], oil, and cream. You either braid your hair or put it into a Bantu knot and let it set, take it out, and your hair has this nice curl pattern. Or, when I’m doing a human-hair wig, I make sure I deep-condition it once a week and wash it every two weeks. As far as my edges, I always lay my edges before doing my makeup. By the time it’s completely set, I can apply a little bit of product around it instead of the greasy mess of gel on top of foundation.”


Why she worships Iris Apfel:

“I have always been really inspired by my aunt and my mom and her family. My mom comes from an Ethiopian background, so the jewelry there is very beautiful. My aunt was very inspired by Middle Eastern culture and the jewelry and the tribal design in the Middle East and then some parts [of] Sub-Saharan Africa. I took parts of that and integrated it into my own personal style. I’m obsessed with Iris Apfel, she really got jewelry right. That’s one thing, aesthetically, that I’ve always been obsessed with as a kid. Once I really refined it, it’s one of the things that people pointed out and appreciated about my aesthetic, I guess. I love mixing and matching prints and colors that aren’t traditionally supposed to be worn together. As long as the color coordination is okay, I’m going to take that risk. That’s why Iris is Queen to me.”

She looks for the beauty “in anything old”:

“I let myself get inspired by everything. My family. Time periods. Whatever hobbies I’m into at the time. Whatever city I’m living in. My friend group. Even if I’m walking down the street and I see a random old person. I think ageism is such a problem, especially with millennials—we really just don’t give a fuck about anything over 45. I look for the beauty in anything old. I love doing that shit. I get so inspired seeing fashionable old people.”


Part of the series:

My Beauty Mo

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