Maya McHenry, Publicist | Into The Gloss

“I bring in partnerships for our roster of talent and brands at Skai Blue Media, a full marketing agency. That can look like anything from speaking engagements, to collaborations, to campaigns. I feel really lucky to bring brands like Versace and people like Marley Dias, the founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, together—Versace celebrated Marley at their Icons Dinner. I also loved bringing Justina Miles’ social partnership with Pattern Beauty to life. She is the first deaf Black woman to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. She’s amazing.

I took a mental health break from work a couple of years ago when I lost my sister, Lyric. I moved back to LA, where I’m from. During that time, I brought up the idea to start a foundation in my sister’s honor at her alma mater, Stanford University. While Lyric was interning, she noticed systemic barriers that prevented others from interning. Most internships are still unpaid, and Lyric used to say to me, ‘How can people get through the door if they can’t even get to the door?’ So through the Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship, we help fund those opportunities. It’s very near and dear to my heart.

It’s funny to talk about this now, but I had a short stint on reality TV when I was on ‘EJNYC’, which was a spin-off of ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.’ The show focused on my friend, EJ Johnson. I never imagined doing a show, but EJ is like a brother to me. I was on it with my sister, too. But as you can imagine, it is a very dehumanizing space. You’re exposing your life to the world, which can be uncomfortable, and people feel like they know you just by what’s on screen. I was still in school when the show aired, so I would go to class and people would stare at me. It’s hilarious to look back at it now, but I’m so happy that I got to do it with my friends. I don’t necessarily see myself doing that again, but never say never.

I take a shower in the morning, but I never wash my face in the shower because the water is too hot. When I get out, I use Retrouvé’s Baume Ultime Body Oil while my skin is still a little wet. I douse myself in it. Then I immediately put on Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. I love Retrouvé’s priming pads, which lightly exfoliate, as well as the Eye Concentrate and Nutrient face serum. I use it mostly on my cheekbones but also my neck—don’t forget about your neck! Depending on the day, I might use Retrouvé’s face oil or Intensive Replenishing moisturizer for more hydration and glow. Oh, and the Eye Concentrate is really great as a lip balm, too. I clearly love Retrouvé. My skin can be pretty dry in some areas, and I find that it really loves that brand. Also, I love the brand’s airless packaging. A lot of skincare companies use plastic bottles that let tons of light and oxygen in, so the products don’t last as long. I love finishing off the morning by misting myself with Heritage Store’s rosewater. I’ve used it since I was a little girl. It keeps my skin so hydrated and it’s good aromatherapy. Sometimes I’ll spray on a layer of Topicals’ Faded mist if I feel like my skin needs it. I need to get better with sunscreen, but when I do wear it, I like Neutrogena’s Clear Face SPF 30.

I rarely wear makeup throughout the day, so I don’t feel like I need to do too much in the way of cleansing at night. I use Neutrogena’s makeup remover wipes before using another priming pad to make sure I got all the sweat and dirt off my face. Then it’s mostly the same as my morning routine, although I might throw in Retrouvé’s Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream on any areas that are especially dry, like little patches behind my ears. I love Beautology Lab’s cryo toning tools at night, too. I keep them in the freezer, rinse them off with some lukewarm water, and massage my face. They make me feel like I’m at a spa. I even use them on my neck and back.

When I want a mask moment, I switch between Activist’s Mānuka Honey Mask and Fenty’s Cookies N Clean Clay Mask. Since it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, the Activist mask is so good around the time of my period, when my chin can get a little irritated. You can put it all over your face or spot treat with a little Q-tip. Fenty’s mask doesn’t actually smell like cookies and cream, by the way. It doesn’t smell the best, but it’s good when you need a deep clean. Oh, and I struggle with dry lips—I have a bunch of Chapsticks around me at all times—and every once in a while, I use MAC’s Lip Scrubtious. It’s so gentle but gets all that dead skin off.

I get facials twice a month. I see Elizabeth Grace Hand, the founder of Stallë Studios. Jami Heidegger, the founder of Retrouvé, introduced me to her. I was never big on facials until I met Elizabeth, but I’ve learned so much from her and she’s really the only one I trust to touch my face.

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I want my makeup to make me look like an elevated version of myself. Before I start, I put on Retrouvé’s Nutrient face serum and rosewater so my face looks extra glowy. I love Beautyblender’s Bounce foundation in 3.65. It’s great for dark circles under my eyes, and of course, I use a Beautyblender to pat it in. Then I go in with the Laura Mercier highlighting powder in Indiscretion, a rose gold, on my cheekbones and nose. I give myself a slight contour with the Tom Ford Soleil Glow bronzer, which I especially love on my cheekbones. For blush, I like Chanel’s Baume Essentiel in Dragée. I’ve been using it forever. It’s the perfect shade of pink.

Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols, and because of her, a cat eye is my signature. It’s so chic. I use MAC’s eye kohl in Teddy, a chocolatey brown, and MAC’s Brushstroke liner in Brushblack, which is the best ever. A lot of liners can be too chunky, but this one perfectly cinches your eye. It lays very well. I love MAC’s Big Boost Fibre Gel, too. It’s great for a feathered brow. If I’m going to an event, I might use false lashes, but usually, I just like L’Oreal’s Panorama mascara. It’s honestly so good that you don’t need falsies. Oh, and I learned from makeup artist Raisa Flowers to use Retrouvé’s Eye Concentrate on my lids for a little glossy look. It’s really, really cute. When that’s all done, I set it with Milk’s Hydro Grip setting spray.

I always do the same lip combo—MAC’s M·A·Cximal lipstick in Twig Twist, a brownish pink, topped with the Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick in Amped, which is my favorite gloss stick ever. It’s so hydrating and the color is so fun.

I used to model, and at one point, I had to dye my hair a dark black. Then I dyed my hair ombre-blonde, so it’s been through the works. I’m still trying to get it back to its natural color, and I’m almost there. It’s really thick and curly, and I have a lot of it. I wash it maybe three to four times a month. I love Pattern Beauty’s curl cleansing shampoo and lightweight conditioner. The leave-in-conditioner detangles my hair on its own basically. I put it in and I don’t have to do that much afterwards. Then I use Fekkai’s Super Strength+ repair mask two to three times a month when my hair needs some extra love.

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I’ve used Moroccanoil’s hair oil since middle school. It smells so good, first of all, but sometimes I have frizzies and it lays them down really nicely. My hair feels so silky when I use it. I will say that Zaire’s edge control is the best I’ve used. I use Zaire’s edge brush, too. Both make styling so easy.

In terms of hair removal, I get Brazilians at J Sisters, and sometimes they’ll do minor eyebrow plucking so they don’t look absolutely insane. When I go to LA, Damōne Roberts is my go-to and the only person I really trust with my brows.

I’m obsessed with chrome-everything and that includes my nails. I go to Shero Nail Spa on the Upper East Side every three weeks and get dip nails. Silver chrome is usually my go-to because it gives my nails a mirror effect that’s cool and chic. I love French tips, too. They’re really cute to me because I used to get them when I was little. Sometimes I’ll get the tip a different color, like a pink or a turquoise.

I’ve worn Laura Mercier’s Vanille since—no exaggeration—middle school, and it’s still the only perfume I use. A lot of vanilla scents can smell cheap and too sweet, but Laura Mercier’s is so soft and discreet, but noticeable at the same time. And actually, on top of my perfume, I use Kiehl’s Crème de Corps, which smells like milk and honey. The combination of the two is perfect.

Meanwhile, Madison Utendahl’s Burnout Burner is one of my favorite candles. I burn it after a long day at work, and it’s very therapeutic. It feels like a reward that helps me release the different emotions I hold on to during the day, which is a lot for a candle, I know.”

—As told to Daise Bedolla

Photographed by Alexandra Genova in New York on April 20, 2024

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