Chloe x Halle are truly grown now. Two albums in — and with their latest, Ungoldly Hour, making the Billboard charts — sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey, once known as Beyoncé’s favorite teens, are now her favorite Gen-Zers. The singing duo are now the newly minted faces of Neutrogena and the first-ever musicians to be signed by the brand.
Even over Zoom, the sisters are full of twinkly, bright energy, starting the interview with a hello and a compliment. The Cut talked to them about the connection between mental health and beauty, the time Twitter freaked out about their skin-care routine, and their favorite sunscreen.
Where are you guys right now?
Halle Bailey: Right now, my sister is in Los Angeles and I am in London. We’ve been in separate places for about three months.
Chloe Bailey: It’s so sad. It is the longest we have ever been away from each other. It’s super weird.
How is your pandemic going?
HB: It’s going good, I think. This year and last year have been crazy. It’s been blessings upon blessings. This pandemic has brought a lot for us — we have been able to release music, be close with loved ones, and be grateful for what we have and love. We are forever grateful that we were able to release our album, Ungodly Hour, do a lot of TV performances, and do things like this with Neutrogena.
CB: [At the beginning of the pandemic,] I just wanted to pig out, lay out, and have fun. Now I am feeling more focused, more driven, and I miss my sister to pieces, even though we can’t tour because of the pandemic. Still, we were able to visually show the album, thanks to the live appearance on our tennis court. So more recently, I have been very creatively inspired. I’m happy that we had an outlet where we were able to get that feeling out. Right now, I am vibing and going with the flow and just seeing where life takes me.
People love seeing other people’s skin-care routines, and Twitter recently jokingly freaked out over your old routine, which was primarily coconut-oil and rosewater based. What do you think when you look back at your routine now?
CB: Well, as with everything, there is evolution. Being young Black girls, coconut oil was a staple for us, as well as shea butter. It kept our skin moisturized and locked in. I’m not knocking coconut oil at all. I’m still grateful for it, and still, sometimes, I use it to help me remove my makeup. But now, we just added some extra things to give us that boost, i.e., Neutrogena, hello!
Did you ever feel like you struggled in your relationship with beauty and how did you overcome it?
HB: I feel like I had to find myself in the land of beauty. Ever since I was younger, I haven’t really been a huge glam or makeup girl. But as I was growing up, I started doing lots of performances and was going on tour, where we had to do our own makeup. I realized, Wow, I really have to step it up. You see our faces up close sometimes. I had to find what my beauty was in makeup and in natural beauty. I really enjoyed my journey. It taught me a lot about self-acceptance, especially when we were touring. My skin would break out so bad on the road. I never knew what the problem was. I was still growing, I was a teenager, and it was just just hormones and everything. It taught me how to take care of my skin and get a consistent routine. I’ve grown in learning to accept everything that I have and take care of what I’ve been given.
I know that you both have mentioned skin inclusivity is important to you. Where do you hope it goes from here?
CB: I would love products by everybody in the beauty industry to be open and inclusive to women of all shades, all colors. One of the reasons why I am proud to be an ambassador for Neutrogena is because they are taking active steps to make that possible. I really, really love the sunscreen. It’s invisible, it doesn’t leave a white cast, you don’t look ashy when you put it on, and it gives you glow.
Even with being a Black woman, I get discoloration sometimes when I get pimples. I notice my skin tone evening out because of what I’m doing and how I’m taking care of my skin. It’s important for all of us, including women of color, to wear sunscreen because “Black don’t crack” but we want to keep it that way. That’s why sunscreen is my best friend.
How do you see the connection between mental health and beauty?
HB: Mental health and beauty go hand-in-hand. We live in a world where sometimes you’re shown images so pristine and perfect that you look at yourself and think, Why am I not like this Photoshopped photo? Why is my skin not this flawless? But that’s not real. That’s fake.
To embrace who you truly are within includes your flaws, which are what make you beautiful. Everyone is different in their own way. That’s what really makes you stand out. When I’m getting low about myself, I think, You know what? I am beautiful; I am here for a reason. Sometimes, beauty and doing the simple steps of taking care of your skin can change your mental state and make you feel better. It can be doing that routine, using certain products that make you glow from the inside out. All this affects your brain and mental health and makes you feel better about yourself. This is me, and this is who I am.
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