Singer Serayah Swears By This Mario Badescu Skincare Favorite

For anyone that's on the drier skin side, this one's for you.

About Face

In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on the daily. Here they break down their beauty routines on the inside and out, as well as the highly coveted products that grace their shelves and their skin.

I was first introduced to Serayah on FOX's hit show Empire as "Tiana Brown", but she clearly hasn't slowed down on anything else that she has going for herself - and that's a Fendi fact. Since the release of her debut single "Driving Me" featuring Jazze Pha in 2017, the past three years have been nothing less than a rising success for the beautiful and talented sensation named Serayah McNeill.

As we've seen her grow into the artist, dancer and actress that she is today, the "Love It" songstress has gone into the entertainment world as more than just a one-hitter quitter on a television show. If you don't catch her between releasing new music with Blac Youngsta or making cute YouTube vids and TikTok challenges with her heartthrob bae Jacob Latimore, Serayah can be found on your radio or on a playlist across the nation and on your television screens on shows.

In addition to her undeniable talent, Serayah has enviably flawless skin. According to the California native, she owes a lot to feeding her skin what it needs. "I love natural products. Anything natural, I will try it first, but I have learned that there are some chemicals that are kind of good for your skin that keep it balanced like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. I've learned some things, but I'm glad I have because your skin changes as you get older and you try to manage it - those are some things that have helped me," she explained to xoNecole.

We had the chance to speak with the 24-year-old actress, singer and philanthropist about unwinding with wine and a good book, learning to go with the flow of her skin during the change in seasons and her growing obsession with Mario Badescu and Patrick Ta.

My earliest beauty memory...

"Stealing my mom's eyeliner - I think I was in seventh grade. I wanted to start wearing eyeliner and mascara, and I knew my mom had it. I snuck in there and I took some of her eyeliner before school, and she's like, 'I cannot find this eyeliner. I just cannot find my eyeliner!' Then she's like, 'Do you have on eyeliner?' And it was so funny. That was probably in seventh grade or somewhere around middle school."

My morning skincare routine consists of...

"It changes every once in a while because I learned that it's kind of good to not do the same exact thing everyday to give your skin a break on some products. My typical day-to-day is to wake up, try to meditate, get in the shower and things like that. For my beauty routine, right now I love the PCA [Skin Pigment] Bar. It has an exfoliator pad that it comes with and it's really, really good at getting the top surface of the skin off to be fresh for the day. Then, I've been following that with moisturizer. A good serum, a good moisturizer and good face wash is basically the three things I go for."

My evening routine looks like...

"A couple of drinks. No, I'm just kidding (laughs). No, for real - unwinding for me is wine or some type of light alcoholic beverage. Not every night, but I mean during quarantine, it's been more than usual. A bath or a night hot shower, drinks, something great on TV or a good book, and even some music to just sort of vibe out."

My skincare routine in the PM consists of...

"At night, I have more dry skin on the scale, so I tend to do the same routine, but I'll do a thicker, more moisturizing moisturizer before I go to bed."

How my skincare changes for the seasons...

"Fall and winter, I'm [into] tea tree oil, honey and coconut masks for my face and lots of masks to give moisture to my face because like I said, I'm more on the dry scale. Moisture, moisture, moisture is my thing! Anything that has great moisture without being too greasy, but it's just really moisturizing, my skin just sucks it up.

"[One of] my favorite [products] is the rosewater [facial spray] by Mario Badescu. Spring or summer, I try to carry around one of those for hydration throughout the day. Then for face wash, I try to do serums and I try to do stuff that [doesn't have] too much Vitamin C or isn't skin brightening just because the sun is out."

How I approach beauty from the inside-out...

"[I] work out, eat good, meditation, read, and journal. I'm reading - for the second time - The Four Agreements and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.

My go-to makeup look consists of...

"I do wear makeup, and my go-to is a good bright under-eye, a medium coverage foundation, a really bronzy natural contour. I go for light powder, especially during the summer, because you don't want to be cakey and sweaty during the summer. Light powder, a more cream-based foundation, and I'll do some eyebrows, gloss and a big thing for me is highlighter. I love cream highlighters, powder highlighters, anything to make me look more sun-kissed is my vibe.

"A lot of people don't like this one because most people are oily or normal-to-oily, but I really love MAKE UP FOR EVER's Cream Foundation Stick. It works perfect for me and it doesn't move. One of my other favorite things right now is Morphe's Brow Pencil because it's more on the waxy side and I like that because it gives me room to build instead of my eyebrows being so dark, and for that natural bushy brow look. Another one of my favorites right now is Glow - it's this highlighter from Patrick Ta. He has some of my favorite lip glosses and highlighters right now."

What self-care looks like to me...

"My boyfriend calls me 'Walgreens'. Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini and I can't do the same thing everyday, but I just love having many body washes to choose from in my shower. Those are must-haves and moisturizers and lotions - I love it. I'm just into it, I try all different kinds, and I have so many different ones. It's just my thing.

"My favorite scents are definitely vanilla, peony, and I like the tobacco-infused candles as well. Mahogany is another favorite of mine."

My travel beauty essentials...

"I think a really cool thing is seeing people travel with masks and stuff, but I haven't gotten there yet. My favorite thing probably in the entire world is my lip moisture or Chapstick, especially because travel makes me drier. Mario Badescu has a really good lip balm that I'm loving right now, as well as that good ole cocoa butter lip balm is my favorite. Another travel must-have is taking some sort of travel-sized face to keep my face routine up while I'm traveling because I just have to exfoliate. If I don't, then I don't feel like my makeup is right and don't feel like I feel good. If I can take some type of exfoliation pad or exfoliating face wash, stuff like that would be amazing."

My most significant beauty lesson...

"Two things that I've learned are [to] sleep with a silk pillowcase and one other one would be masks. I did masks [when I was] a little bit older. I'm really into masks right now and a lot of them help with various different things that could be going on [with my skin]."

For more of Serayah, follow her on Instagram.

Shop Serayah's Beauty Favorites: 

Mario Badescu Facial Spray



Morphe Micro Brow Pencil



Featured image courtesy of Serayah

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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