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Hailey Bieber Won’t Give Up on Her Retinoid, No Matter How Painful It Is

Hailey Bieber lying in a black dress with the Statue of Liberty behind her
Photograph by Colin Dodgson; Styled by Sara Moonves.
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From her post in Los Angeles, I can hear Hailey Bieber rifling through stacks of compacts over a video call while she looks for her latest venture with BareMinerals, the beauty and skincare brand for which she’s been a face since 2018. She’s ticking off the upcoming projects she is working on with the New York-based brand: the Original Mineral Veil Pressed Setting Powder, the Mineralist Eyeshadow Palette, and the Mineralist Lasting Eyeliner “which I’ve been using all day today on set,” she adds. Bieber is nothing short of a makeup and skin aficionado—not only has she worked with some of the industry’s leading beauty gurus at runway shows and fashion shoots, she’s also taken a personal interest in taking care of her skin and experimenting with new beauty looks—especially for date night with her husband Justin Bieber. (She’s gotten him into skincare too, she says—guiding him on how to keep his face moisturized and properly hydrated while he treats his acne with Accutane.) In her Beauty Notes interview, Bieber shares her own journey with battling acne, why she regrets getting rid of her eyebrows as a teen, and her go-to products.

What are your earliest memories of BareMinerals?

My earliest memories of Bare would probably be as young as nine, 10 years old, because my mom used it my whole life, my whole childhood. I do remember getting ready to do a dance recital and her using BareMinerals blush on me and giving me a little bit of powder so that I had a little makeup on.

What’s the one product from the line you can’t live without?

For me, it would be between the Gloss Balm and eyebrow gel. I don’t know if I could choose between the two of them because they’re both so good.

You posted an Instagram about starting a retinoid recently. What’s the top tip you would give to someone beginning their own prescription retinoid journey?

Courtesy of Hailey Bieber's Instagram

It’s really funny you ask that, because I just reached out to Charlotte Palermino today to ask how I should handle it. I have really sensitive skin and I’m all about prevention. I’m going to be 25 in a couple months and I’m starting to get to the age where it’s probably the earliest I could start taking preventative steps, but I still want to. The retinoid I started using was actually made for me by a dermatologist who knew what my skin type was and made it super gentle. But it was still giving me a little bit of irritation. I don’t not want to use retinol in my routine, so I needed to figure out how I could use this and still have it be beneficial. I asked Charlotte, I was like, “My skin queen, please tell me what I'm supposed to do here.” She’s a big fan of tretinoin and all of the things. So she gave me a tip today: she said to try using a pea-sized amount on top of my moisturizer. That I have not tried yet, so I will keep everybody posted on the journey.

I started using a retinoid six months ago that had a super harsh adjustment period, but now I’m very happy with the results and glad I stuck with it.

See, that’s what I needed to know. Usually, at the two and a half week mark, I give up, because I’m breaking out and my skin is hurting. I’m going to keep it up, I’m going to keep trying—I’ll just use it less. I was doing it every other day so I think I’m going to scale back a little bit.

Was there a cringe-y beauty trend you participated in that you look back on and you’re like, “Oh my God, what was I thinking?”

When I was 14, 15, I took my eyebrows away—which, why? Also, I used way too much black eyeliner inside the creases of my eyes. It was really sad. But it was a thing—I look back, and I think we all went through the same thing at a certain point. Everybody had a bad moment with their eyebrows and too much eyeliner. I was just one of those people.

What’s your favorite form of self-care?

Self-care comes in a lot of different forms for me. I’m very big on taking care of my body, so exercising is a big one. But it could also be something like acupuncture and cupping, seeing a chiropractor—which I’m really into—keeping yourself aligned physically, too. Things that are more intricate or intense, like therapy, are also helpful. It might be as simple as taking a bath, or spending time outside. I am trying to force myself to take more walks. Or it could be a great cup of coffee in the morning.

What’s the biggest beauty splurge you’ve made, and was it worth it?

Here’s the thing. I was recently in a very big research phase when it came to skincare, and my splurging was out of pure research. I went balls to the wall and I bought every expensive cream and thing you can imagine. I was trying to understand the hype around a really expensive face cream—what is it doing that is so much more spectacular than something that’s affordable? My research brought me to the fact that it’s just a lot of marketing. I do think there are some products that are a bit more expensive because the contents actually work, and they’re more expensive to produce. But for the majority of products, there are really great, affordable options that do the same things the really expensive products do. It’s just that the really expensive products are trying to bullshit you.

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