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Ziwe on Big Brows, Her New Book, and the Blush Trick She Learned from EmRata

It's easy to associate Ziwe with the word “iconic.” After all, the comedian and author built her following by inviting “iconic guests" on her Instagram live show during the pandemic, which eventually led to two seasons of her own Showtime talk show Ziwe.

Ziwe still interviews guests from time to time (her YouTube special with disgraced former congressman George Santos has over 1.8 million views) and has since published her first book, Black Friend: Essays. She's also a bona fide fashion girlie (she's a regular during fashion week, and BFFs with model Emily Ratajkowski) and is now taking her talents to an equally iconic beauty brand.

Urban Decay has tapped Ziwe to star in its Big Bush brows campaign, a new line of eyebrow gels and pencils for the fluffiest, biggest brows of your life. Like most beauty-loving millennials, Ziwe's first Urban Decay product was the iconic Naked eyeshadow palette, which she discovered through a friend.

“I thought that she was the best makeup artist in the world because there were these three colors—bronze, a darker bronze that was kind of copper, and the black—and she'd put it on her eye and it would be so dimensional and chic," she tells Glamour. "I got to try the palette, and I fell in love with it. I think that was the first eyeshadow palette I ever encountered.”

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Ziwe still loves a good eye look (more on that later) but considers her eyebrows equally important for a good face beat. “I do my brows first before foundation,” she says. “But sometimes I change up my order, so maybe I'll do foundation and then brows. I like to shape the brow because that's how I know that everything else is aligning. What's nice about the Big Bush Volumizing Tinted Brow Gel is that you really just put it on your eyebrow and then shape it and you're done. It's really, really easy, so you don't have to be an expert. It's for anyone who's interested in makeup.”

As for her signature brow look, Ziwe is a fan of a statement laminated brow. “Like a Brooke Shields brow," she says. “I have really large eyes and smaller brows, so I usually do that just because it helps me get shape. So I look like a Disney character.”

Another brow muse? “Eugene Levy, he has great eyebrows,” she deadpans, before noting other icons (beauty and otherwise). “Naomi, Zendaya, Taylor Russell, Coretta Scott King. Those are my beauty heroes.”

Ahead, Ziwe shares her tour skin care secrets and favorite ways to unwind, plus the blush trick she learned from her model bestie.

Glamour: Congratulations on your book, Black Friend: Essays. What was the best part of writing it and what was the most challenging?

Ziwe: The best part of writing my book was honestly finishing. I felt such a sense of achievement, knowing that I completed a book, I didn't quit. And I was able to really thread the needle of being funny and also thoughtful at the same time. The hardest part is being vulnerable and recognizing that a book exists forever and that the words you can't edit in real time. But I think that's part of the challenge and part of the success that I felt when I finished is knowing that I was happy with the words that I put on the page, and I could walk away with my head held high.

Black Friend: Essays

$16.00, Amazon

What does your skin care routine look like on tour? Do you stick to a full routine or do you try to simplify things?

No, I am actually even more stringent about my routine on tour because I'm putting on so much makeup. I'm working the whole time. I have a show every night. And so my skin care routine is very robust. I use a face wash, CeraVe? I don't know how to say that. And then I'll do a bunch of serums, an eye retinol usually, or eye cream. And then I use Glow Recipe for my face cream and my night mask. I like to be really hydrated, really dewy. Micellar water to get my eye and brows off. I do facials once a month. But really, it's about using quality products. That really helps with my process.

What's your favorite beauty look that you've done?

Ooh, I like to experiment with the eye. I really love doing a bronze, copper moment. I like to use a bronzer on the edge of my eye, I just love that. I think that's really ‘90s. So those are my favorite moments. But if I'm thinking about a specific fashion photo, it'd probably be when I'm in Paris for fashion week. Those are my favorite face looks.

Do you have any beauty fails?

Nothing comes to mind. Even if I try something and I didn't love it, I take it as a learning moment, honestly. I think the hardest moments are when you show up to event and it's like Getty Images and you're like, "Oh, my gosh. This lighting has my under eyes looking wild." But I've learned to figure out those moments.

When do you feel most beautiful?

I'm really fortunate because I get to make art for a living. And that allows me to travel the world, it allows me to wear clothes from all over the globe and to get to do these really eccentric and exciting makeup looks and eye looks and brows. And so I think that that makes me feel the most beautiful is when I'm doing the work that I love while I also turning a beating.

Have you picked up any tricks from makeup artists or any of your friends?

For sure. It’s also probably annoying to do my makeup because I ask 100,000 questions. "Why are you using this product, why is it a cream, why is it not a powder?" I am constantly trying to find the newest, hottest products. That's really where I get my sense of strength and makeup from. But the recent thing I've been doing is blush on the nose, the tip of my nose, blush on the little shoulders. That's been really fun to give myself a sun's kiss. And I got that honestly from EmRata. She’s good at it.

What’s your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?

I love nature. I love really enjoying the peace and serenity of being outside. I love hiking. I have a dog, I love my dog. I wouldn't say he loves me back, but that's just his personality. His name is Celine Dion. He is a boy, yes, but he doesn't conform to the rules of society. That's how I feel the most grounded. It is really just taking a moment to appreciate that the world is so big, and I am humbly a part of it.

What’s the most recent social media rabbit hole you went down?

I'm very into Housewives, so I've been following the dissolution of Kyle and Mauricio's marriage very closely on Reddit. Very closely following his beautiful veneers, very closely following her five tattoos. Yes, those are my passions. I watched the season premiere of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and it was very abundantly clear that they maybe weren't on the same page. But I wish them well. I've been watching them on TV for 10 or 15 years.

Ariana Yaptangco is the senior beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her @arianayap.


Originally Appeared on Glamour