Voices: A Modern Brown Girl's Beauty Routine

Gabriela Garcia

I run ModernBrownGirl.com, a lifestyle site for a new generation of Latinas. We launched in 2015 to fill the gap of positive Latina representation in the media. I used to work in the entertainment industry as a talent agent, representing actors and actresses in film and television. During my time in Hollywood, I learned that there are very few women of color who are the main decision makers, who have the authority to green light a project, and who create the content that becomes the movies and television we watch, and the books and magazines we read. Our goal at MBG is to promote the narrative for women of color, and to create and foster content that positively reflects who we are.

As a wife, mom of two kids, and chief editor at MBG, my days are pretty packed. I don’t have time for a routine that takes up too much time. Skin care is more important to me than an overly complicated makeup routine.


I’m a sucker for all things skincare. I could (and do) spend way too much time in Sephora. I love to test different products to see what works and doesn’t for my skin. At MBG, my beauty editor and I get sent a lot of products to test, so we’re privy to the latest trends. Lately, my routine has remained the same, as I’ve found tried and true products that work well for me. Most mornings, I wake up at 5:30 am, apply Dickinson’s Witch Hazel on my face and neck with a cotton ball, dab on some Kiehl’s lip balm and leave to workout, either at a class or in my home. At 6:30 am I’m in the shower and I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub over my face and neck. Then it’s serum, sunscreen, and moisturizer. My current go-to’s are Bliss Triple Oxygen Radiant Serum, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen, and Créme de la Mer moisturizer

In the evening, I wash my face with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and I go over my face and neck again with Dickinson’s Witch Hazel. Before bed I apply Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and a thin coat of Créme de la Mer again to my face and neck.

Once a week, I’ll use Kiehl's Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate and I love experimenting with different types of face masks I find at my local drugstore.  


I have long, thick hair so washing it everyday is a pain. I usually wash it at night, 3 times a week, with Living Proof shampoo and conditioner. I comb it out with a wide-tooth comb, apply some Moroccan Oil to the ends, and let it air dry while I’m watching TV with my husband in bed. By the morning, it’s dry. It’s cut with a lot of layers so that letting it air dry will bring out the natural texture. When I’m feeling extra, I’ll put in old school hot rollers while I’m applying my makeup. But most days, I don’t have time for all that. In between washes, I use Living Proof’s dry shampoo. I color my hair every three months and trim up the ends. I started going grey when I was in my late teens/early twenties, so I’ve experimented with every type of brown hue imaginable. I’m not really sure what my natural color is anymore!


I don’t like the way makeup feels on my face, so I try to wear as little as possible.Most days, I apply Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer just a tiny bit of Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation and Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. I line my upper lids with Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Plum, curl my lashes and apply a very light coat of mascara. You can’t go wrong with Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. It’s a classic. On my cheeks, I swipe on Tarte’s Amazonian 12-hour Blush in Paaarty and for my lips I absolutely love Mented’s Pretty In Pink. It gives off such a polished and natural look.


I use Neutrogena’s Body Oil after I shower. I love the sesame scent and the way it makes my skin feel. I struggle constantly with keeping body hair in check. Shaving, waxing, threading, you name it, I’ve done it. To ward off ingrown hairs, I use Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish a few times a week in the shower. It exfoliates so well and makes your skin baby soft. I’m a sucker for massages and mani/pedis. My husband gives the BEST foot massages and I love getting manicures once a month. I usually do a bold red on my feet and a neutral color for my nails. Again, Mented makes amazing neutral nail colors. I accidentally left my bottle of Pinkish at the nail salon, and I haven’t seen it since.

Photo Credit: Brissa Hanzel