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“I was obsessed because it felt like an ode to my ancestry.”
Welcome to Legends Only, a look back at the best beauty moments from our favorite celebrity legends.
When Tracee Ellis Ross launched her haircare brand Pattern Beauty, her dream was simple: “It was also so difficult for me to find products that worked for my hair type growing up, and I wanted to close that gap.” Ross’s now two years and more than 20 products and tools deep into the haircare industry—and is taking the Pattern global through Sephora today. “I’m proud to play a role in this major moment with Sephora as they continue to collaborate with Black-owned businesses and take the necessary steps towards creating a more inclusive beauty industry,” Ross told me over the phone. (Pattern is also launching a new product, the Styling Custard, on September 13th to celebrate.)
Next, we chatted about what makes a “Tracee Face” aka iconic beauty looks with her hallmark style: bouncy curls, dramatically lined eyes, and a bold lip. “My philosophy when it comes to beauty and red carpet dressing has not changed since the start of my career,” Ellis says. “The only thing that’s changed is I have more help.”
“I didn’t use a makeup artist for red carpets at this time, but I did have somebody do my hair. I didn’t quite understand my hair at the time, so I was not courageous with allowing my hair to just be—instead, we supported my curls with an iron. But this is a typical Tracee look, a large hoop earring, a lot of browns, nudes, and earth tones on my face, and the NARS highlighter in Ibiza” [editor’s note: this product is sadly discontinued.]
“This was for Time’s Up, so we were all wearing black on the red carpet, but I wanted to also be true to myself. This Marc Jacobs look was pants under a dress and came with a turban, and I was obsessed because it felt like an ode to my ancestry. This is a very ‘Tracee’ face, which is eye-covered in khol and a bold red lip. I have been wearing the same red lipstick since high school—it’s M.A.C Ruby Woo.”
“This was not an ideal hair moment. It’s one of those times that it looked amazing in the mirror, but I look at it now and say ‘I don’t know if that’s the best version of me.’ I did my own hair and makeup for the event, and I’m wearing a bold pink lip, which I love. This is my natural hair. Araxi Lindsey is the only person I’ll let cut my hair, she was our lead hairstylist on Blackish. I have taught her how to trim my hair because there’s a specific way I like my hair trimmed and cut, which is: I like my hair in its natural curl pattern, dry, brushed out. So naturally dry, brushed out or combed out, and cut like a topiary. I have about five different curl patterns in my hair, so you literally have them follow the way each curl dries, not the way it looks when you pull on it.”
“I’ve always loved dressing up and get to do it quite a bit on the set of Blackish. I dressed up as two iconic women in this episode—Beyoncé and Cher in the same episode, which was so amazing. The hair and makeup department and wardrobe team on Blackish are incredible. My closet has always been my happy place—I have a lot of characters that come out of that. I would love to do Lucille Ball next.”