Regina King Shares the Must-Have Beauty Products That Keep Her Feeling "Classically Beautiful"
Starting her on-screen career at 14, Regina King is no stranger to the beauty chair. From taking red carpet inspiration from the runway, to tackling adult acne in her 30s, King swears by a graceful attitude and an unbothered approach to beauty. But, like all of us, she’s got a few secret weapons in her arsenal. Here is a glimpse at her beauty journey and some influences she had along the way.
Describe your beauty vibe in a couple of words.
Probably clean, moisturized, and… What’s one word that sort of captures being yourself, you know, like an unbothered thing? One of a kind — because you should always be yourself. You can look to things for inspiration, but you should be owning what you’re doing. It should be your own. You should never feel apologetic about it.
You were 14 years old when you began acting on 227. What was it like going through your teens on TV?
I was lucky because I didn’t have severe acne or anything like that. My mother was very healthy, drinking lots of water and eating vegetables. When I got to junior high, where you could buy your lunch, I began drinking soda. I broke out, and my mother said it was from soda. I stopped drinking it and never had breakouts again until I was 30 and got adult acne.
What was the secret to clearing your skin in your 30s?
I started going to Arcona for facials and using their products; they’re more natural. Both Arcona and Koh Gen Do products feel really light on your face. I have oily skin, which for the most part is good for aging but not the greatest for on-set makeup because you constantly have to blot, blot, blot between takes.
What’s the last beauty product you bought at the drugstore?
Vaseline. If I’ve been wearing a matte or heavily pigmented lipstick, I make a lip scrub out of sugar and Vaseline. And it’s the absolute best for dry heels.
You once débuted three looks on Instagram during a single day of press appearances. Do you enjoy getting ready for the red carpet?
I have a really fun team. We’re not interested in doing the same thing; we approach it as art. [While doing press for Watchmen,] my stylist and I had just gone to Milan for the spring 2020 Prada show. The models had these awesome hairdos: When you looked at them from the front, it looked like they had bob haircuts, but when they walked by, you could see full-on ponytails. We were like, “Oh my god!” So we sent pictures to Larry [Sims, King’s hairstylist], and he was like, “Yes! We’re going to do that, but we’re going to do the black version with full hair!”
Do you feel pressure to put together “a look” every time you leave the house?
Before, I’d just throw on whatever and run to the store; it would just have to be comfortable. Now I might take a little more time to make something match. I’d like to say I’m not so concerned with what other people think, but social media has made it so that you can get “caught” in a picture. Like, if the wind blew a certain way and your shirt blew up, well, then suddenly you’re pregnant. Hopefully, I will grow past that and eventually not give two fucks. But right now, I guess I do care. [laughs]
On Twitter, your bio reads, “Classically beautiful.” What does that phrase mean to you?
Some years ago there was an outlet that [ran] a picture of Viola Davis and said she was not classically beautiful. That sparked a bit of a rage in a lot of female entertainers of color. Many of us responded by changing our [bios] to “Classically beautiful,” just to say, “What the hell does that even mean? Everybody is classically beautiful.” I decided it was never worth changing.
If you inspired a fragrance, what should it be called?
That is a good question. It would maybe be called Grace. It’s my favorite word, and who doesn’t want to lead with grace?
The brand Philosophy makes a scent called Pure Grace. Have you tried it?
Oh, do they really? I’ll have to smell it. When things calm down in the world, I’m going to run to Sephora and check it out.
Benefit Brow Contour Pro
Arcona Youth Serum
Jo Malone London Red Roses Cologne
Vaseline All-Over Body Balm
For more stories like this, pick up the June issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download May 22.