Posted by on January 11, 2017

Hidden Figures

The film Hidden Figures opened number one at the box office last weekend. It tells the story of a team of three pioneering women who were instrumental in providing NASA with key mathematical information to advance its space program in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s.

Starring in the film are actresses, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and singer and actress, Janelle Monae.

I of course was curious about each one’s beauty secrets.

Taraji P. Henson:

Hidden Figures 

I’ve written about Taraji before and her makeup collection:

Here’s a bit of information on Taraji’s skin care routine, shared with the Real Style Network:

I wash my face in the morning and at night. I drink a lot of water. You have to stay hydrated. I’m a health whore, for lack of a better word. I love healthy hair. I love healthy skin. I love skin that glows. That’s why I love shea butter, because I put it on and I feel like, when I go home and I go to bed I take my clothes off, I feel like I’ve just put lotion on. And I only put it on once a day. I use the cream for my feet and I put socks on at night. also published information about her skin care regimen as told to them by Taraji’s makeup artist, Ashunta Sheriff:

She has beautiful skin naturally so I just use a ProActiv scrub and Dr. Murad Anti Age SerumJergens Shea Butter Lotion gives her skin an amazing glow. And she loves Olay Oil Free Makeup remover wipes to clean off makeup followed by Dior cream cleaner wash.”

Octavia Spencer:

Hidden Figures

It was challenging finding a beauty or skin care routine for Octavia. Here’s what I did find . . . On in 2012, now renamed, Octavia stated that she uses Koh Gen Do Essence II because “it delivers so much hydration to the skin.”

 On SkinGab, I’ve stated in the “About” section, that “we also focus on inspired ideas and thoughts to ponder that go beyond skin deep.”

So, I like what Essence magazine recently wrote about Octavia in their February issue, which also included inspired words she shared:

“And though Spencer knows her worth, in Hollywood’s landscape and outside of it, proving it can be exhausting and infuriating”(Essence Magazine).

It does something to you emotionally to know that in this day and age we are still having to validate our very existence. That is humbling — it’s enraging — but you know what? Personally, I love being underestimated. When you underestimate my value, because I know my worth, it’s going to cost you.

Janelle Monae:

 Hidden Figures

As a COVERGIRL, Janelle Monae is pretty visible, however, finding more about her skin care routine also proved challenging. Some of this mystique with her, however, could be in the fact that Janelle is a bit esoteric and seems to be rather private. Nevertheless, this is what I was able to find on her skin care routine and thoughts. From a Glamour magazine interview with her:

GLAMOUR: Your skin is legitimately phenomenal. What’s your secret?

JM: I won’t sit here and say I’ve never had a pimple, but I try to have a really great diet, you know, lots of vegetables and fish. And I think stress plays a huge part too. I’m a believer that the more I’m giving, the happier I am, and the more beautiful my exterior will be.

Also with SkinGab, I think it’s important for us all to be comfortable in our own skin. When we are, our beauty, including our skin is radiant and we exude optimal grace and loveliness.

In another article, Janelle Monae tells the online site, The Fashion Spot:

“. . . Perhaps my biggest beauty inspiration comes from within. Might sound cheesy, but I am most inspired when I’m in a peaceful state. I believe that the more happy you are, the more your beauty all comes out. I measure that by how nice I am to people, how giving I am to people. When I’m happy, my shows are better. When I need a beauty fix, I try fixing my attitude, because it affects my heart, my energy and ultimately, the way I look.

I think the thoughts shared are very inspiring and teach us about true beauty and resilience, however, I do find irony in the fact that it was quite challenging to find the beauty secrets, routines and regimens of these Hidden Figures actresses, as often is the case when I search for routines of “mainstream” Black actresses in general.

An important film, no doubt, and one that highlights the real works of talented trailblazers in science, technology, engineering and math, Hidden Figures is also important for showcasing the talent and beauty of Black women who are largely “hidden” and underrepresented visibly on the big screen, even to the point of invisibility.

When I write my posts on this site, I very rarely if ever address race, as my goal with SkinGab, is to promote, celebrate and help make visible, “hidden figures” in the beauty space, many of these figures being Black women. And, as a Black woman myself, I want to make a point, visually, of showcasing Black beauty and Black excellence in order to normalize our various skin tones, features and achievements as belonging to mainstream culture rather than me blatantly focusing on and specifically calling out Black skin, Black features and Black successes as though they were some sort of anomaly, not to be considered or even allowed within the realm of beautydom.

Anyways, in the coming weeks and months, I’m hoping to be able to provide more in depth tips and tricks that celebs share about their skin care and beauty routines, firsthand information, as much as possible.



  1. Doris Walton
    January 11, 2017

    I was somewhat surprised to learn how difficult it was finding the beauty secrets of these lovely ladies. But, I guess I shouldn’t have been–after all, they are “women of color.”

    • SkinGab
      January 12, 2017

      Yes, definitely a challenge, however, my goal is to make this less so.

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