Photo-Illustration: The cut; Photo: courtesy of Dezi Skin
Although she’s become popular for her mastery of makeup, beauty influencer Desi Perkins has more often diffused the metaphorical micellar water to share what’s going on underneath. Whether it’s revealing her depression after a miscarriage or filming the pimples hidden under a full beat, she isn’t afraid to share content that isn’t always pretty.
“I uploaded a video years and years and years ago covering my acne, and I gained so much power from that video because I wasn’t sure about it. But once I downloaded it, I got so many comments from viewers; so many people could understand the situation, ”says Perkins. “That’s really when I realized people wanted to see the real deal. A lot of the things we see online are so perfect, but people want to see blemishes and imperfect skin because they don’t want to feel alone. “
Perkins launched cosmetics and still finds time to sculpt the faces of Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian West, but she knew she wanted to make her own mark in the skincare category ever since she shared the skin in which it is. Shortly after the birth of his son, Perkins hailed the arrival of Dezi Skin, his two-year skincare line. Like many women of color, she’s familiar with the ongoing battle with hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which sparked the creation of her first product, Claro Que C, a powerful brightening vitamin C serum that combines the ingredient Featured at Dezi Youth Juice, an antioxidant cocktail of Mexican plum, dragon fruit, acai berry, tamarind, mango, soursop, guava and avocado that any skin will be happy to sip on. The Cut caught up with Perkins to talk about meditation, Instagram filters, and vaginal spraying.
Do you think of beauty as self-care?
100 per cent. I also think it depends on how you see beauty. For me personally, when I take the time to do something for myself, it helps me mentally. Whether it’s skin care or my makeup, something about it makes me feel like I’m putting myself first in the day, and I think that’s really important.
Did your way of thinking about beauty change during the pandemic? How? ‘Or’ What?
I think it showed me that there is so much superficial beauty. Once you remove all the glitter and glamor, you realize what’s really important. Not going to events, not preparing myself, made me focus more on myself internally – on meditation and things like that, instead of doing those crazy, glamorous looks that I used to do almost every day. days before that. I think I will always be different. I think it will be more exciting now to come out. I think it will be a more authentic experience. I used to go out to serve looks, take pictures, but now I think my going out experience will really be connecting with people and having authentic moments and authentic conversations with people in person, and I’m excited for it.
What do you want more people to understand about what you are doing?
I wish people understood that my career is about more than doing makeup in front of the camera. This is probably what a lot of different people will tell you. It sounds so easy, but we’re actually so pressed for time, especially when I started my career. I had no idea what I was doing. I was my own cameraman, my own editor, my own makeup artist, my own producer, my own manager and my own assistant. I didn’t have anyone to help me, so when I got emails from brands I just pretended to be my own representation. It’s just a lot of work, and I love doing it, but I really wish people didn’t play it down, because it’s definitely a workload.
What was the biggest “no” you heard in your career and what did you get
learn from it?
I will never forget him. I was in a boardroom and had been working with the company for so long. I was asking for a renegotiated contract because I knew it was worth it, and I remember being really spoken to in the room because I was a woman. The exact quote was “That’s a lot of money for a little girl,” and eventually I was told no. It was a huge turning point for me because I realized it was going to push me to do my own thing, and I should do my own thing. I’ve been wanting to launch my own brand for so long, and that’s what I really needed to hear, I will start tomorrow. I’m getting up. I do that. And I did. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the best “no”.
What’s the hardest part about starting your own skin care line?
The formulation takes a lot of work. I’ve done several collaborations in the past, working with chemists on beauty products like makeup, and with makeup obviously you get instant gratification. You can really test and wear a product and quickly see if it works and if you like the formula. While with skin care there is so much to do – so much education on the raw ingredients – and then the trial period to test a product to make sure it works is much more. long. We went back and forth, back and forth, trying different products, and it felt like an eternity.
What was one fan experience that stood out for you?
Years ago we did something called the Squad Tour where me, my husband, my best friend and her husband toured and met and greeted each other. It was a bit like a treasure hunt: we never said where we were going to be until an hour before; we would be in Arizona one day and Texas the next day. I remember the meeting was in Houston. We gave people advance notice of the time, and when we got there it was so amazing to see all the people that showed up. They had these signs, they made posters, and we were in this glass room, and all the fans were hitting the glass like we were inside. I remember starting to cry because I couldn’t believe it was something happening to me. It was very surreal that these people wanted to meet us. There was a fan who was crying, saying that our videos saved her life and helped her through the depression. I think with beauty videos you think Oh I’m just doing a tutorial to help someone put on makeup, or whatever the video is, but when you see real people and how it affects them, you just have no idea what impact you might be having. I will never forget this moment.
Where would you like to see the beauty industry from here?
I think we are becoming more inclusive, which I find wonderful. I would also like to see more real things, and I know this is such a difficult question because it takes a whole change of society to make that happen. We expect everything to be perfect, even though we know it really isn’t. You know, sometimes people ask me why I wear filters while fussing. Some days you just want to wear a filter, right? You don’t feel so good about yourself right now, and you just prefer it. And then I’m going to get people to ask me, “Why are you doing this ?!” and when I take a filter off, or when my friends take the filters off and just try to be real, people are like, oh my God, separate yourself from every little thing: if you have a rash, if you have texture, if you have pores. It’s almost like we’re so used to seeing everything so perfect that we don’t even realize the reality isn’t. It would be nice if people felt a little more comfortable with it, me included.
Fill in the blank: Unfortunately, _______ is worth it.
I feel like laser facials are worth it. I was going to say skin care and coffee, but here we are. They are expensive, but you really see the results. It helps improve the skin on a more aggressive level – with wrinkles, skin tightening, all types of different situations. I don’t get them very often, and have only received them a few times, but I know people who have them often and have seen such spectacular results that I’m blown away. Every time I go to a medical spa it’s the talk of the city. I actually just had a laser treatment on my tummy as well, to help the skin on my tummy, because after you have a baby, your skin texture obviously changes. I actually went for a lymphatic drainage massage to relieve all the swelling in my body, and she told me about VelaShape. When I posted it, a lot of people let me know that they were going on a few dates after having kids and had a lot of help with the skin texture.
What do you think is the best affordable beauty product (s)?
I really, really like the products from NYX Cosmetics. I think it’s a great, affordable brand with a good quality formula, and throughout my career – even when I started out, until now – some of my favorite products are NYX. They have great brow gels and their lip products are amazing – their lip liner and matte lip cream.
Is Eye Cream “Worth It”?
There is such a debate about eye cream. Is it worth it? Is not it? Do you need it? Not you? I think it’s worth it, mainly because I feel like the texture of your under-eye is different from the texture of the rest of your face, so it’s important to treat it accordingly. Using just a normal face cream could be way too heavy on my under-eye area and sensitive skin, and I’m just going to have milia bumps. I’m currently, you know, formulating stuff here [laughs], but I also really liked Shani Darden’s. I think this one is really, really good.
What’s the craziest luxury beauty experience you’ve ever had?
Go to a beauty spa and have a vaginal steam treatment. I know I know. But at the time, they told me it’s great for infertility issues, which I was struggling with, and I was desperate, so I was like, Ok let’s try it. But I will certainly never forget this experience. They were like, “Okay, we’re going to put you in this giant time travel-like egg machine, and there’s just going to be this hot vapor.” It was very interesting, and I took my husband with me too, and he said, “Okay… so that’s… one thing.” I must have been lying in this egg for about 30 minutes, just steaming. It was a unique thing I’m really desperate but recently had my son so I think I’m fine now [laughs]. I think I’m done with vaginal steaming.
Photo: courtesy of Dezi Skin