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How This R&B Singer Keeps Her Skin So Perfect

We got Ella Mai to spill all of her secrets.

ella mai
Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@ellamai

It’s as easy to get lost in British songstress Ella Mai’s music as it is her Instagram page. It’s filled with videos of a bare-faced Mai’s living-room recordings of her favorite cover songs. These at-home videos are what caught the eyes and ears of DJ Mustard’s label, 10 Summers. “Sometimes I have to step back and pinch myself because everything’s happening so quickly,” she says. “I’m learning a lot quickly, and having Mustard around is like having a mentor who has done it all before—he’s been in the industry for a long time. It’s been really exciting.”

As Mai lays it all bare (in the metaphorical and makeup sense) for her 500K+ followers, we asked her to give us her confidence and skin-care secrets.

She has a strong sense of self-confidence:

“[Self-confidence is] loving yourself, knowing your worth, and not letting anyone come in and take that away from you or strip you of what you believe in. I was raised by a single mother, and she taught me a lot about being a strong woman because she had to do it by herself.”

Moving from England to L.A. caused her to switch up her routine:

“[L.A.] is so much hotter than London. In London, I was using more face oils because my face gets dry in the cold, but in L.A., it get so hot, so I use a lighter [moisturizer] so I don’t feel oily.”

As for her cleansing regimen:

“Cleanserwise, I use Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser. It’s really light, and I think it has cotton extract in it. I can’t have anything on my face that’s too soft, and I can’t have anything that’s too thick, so that cleanser is the best one I’ve used, ever. Moisturizerwise, I use the same line—a Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream, which is really light also, but it does the job.”

She counts on a face oil when her skin gets too dry:

“I alternate [my products] every other day or two days, depending on what the weather is outside and also how my skin feels. Sometimes if I eat differently, my skin reacts differently. Jurlique [has] a skin-balancing face oil, and on the days my skin feels a little bit dry, I use that as a moisturizer. They also have a balancing rose water I use.”


Cocoa butter is her hero travel product:

“I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter [when I travel]. It’s quite heavy—everyone is like, ‘How do you use that on your face?’ I don’t know if it’s because my skin is used to it since my mom’s been using it since I was a child, or what it is, but it seems to do the job for me.”

If she does put on makeup, it’s lip gloss:

“I hardly ever wear makeup unless it’s for a video or a photoshoot. The most I’ll have on is lip gloss [laughs]. I’m really bad at makeup. Fenty lip gloss is what I wear. It’s an everyday lip gloss, I love it.”

The advice she would give to young women looking to gain more confidence:

“I definitely think it starts within yourself. Do things you like to do and things that make you happy. For me personally, I like to color. If I’m ever feeling a little bit down, I color. Also make sure you have positive people around you because negativity definitely loves company.”

Keep an eye out for her debut album this year:

“I put out three EPs in the last two years. Right now my main focus is my debut album, so I’m working on that.”

Part of the series:

My Beauty Mo

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