Telsha Anderson is the founder, owner, and buyer behind t.a. New York, which opened this past year. In an era when cool, fashion-forward boutiques have been closing across the city, t.a. offers a counterexample: a brand-new Meatpacking District boutique with brands like Barragán, Rosie Assoulin, and William Okpo. It could feel like a throwback, but it doesn’t because Anderson’s taste is so modern and wide-ranging.
Her approach to skin care is equally eclectic. Ask about her routine, and she’ll tell you about the many different, smaller routines she relies on throughout the day. There’s her “get out of the door” and “take your a$$ to bed” routines, both two-step plans devised to pamper herself as quickly as possible. Then there’s her “treat yourself” and weekend routines, designed for those moments when she has more time on her hands and can sneak in additional steps like decadent body oils and face masks.
Anderson says she spent years cycling through different skin-care phases. “I dove heavily into the ‘wash-and-go’ phase (when I used Cetaphil and nothing else), the ‘I’ll use whatever my friend is using’ phase (which forced me to run through Neutrogena makeup-wipe packs weekly), and the ‘This is cheapest’ phase,” she says. “I think phases are important simply because they build an understanding of what doesn’t work.” She has finally arrived at the point where she knows how to take care of her sensitive skin, which skews dry during the winter and oily during the summer. With a wedding ahead of her — she got engaged in December — she says she plans to double down on the products she already loves.
Her biggest struggle these days is being mindful of her diet. “I love ginger ale and other fast-food options, so wherever I indulge and give in to whatever craving I’m having that week, a blemish will find its way to my skin,” she explains. “The biggest learning curve was honestly the importance of incorporating fruit, vegetables, and water into my lifestyle because it truly does help balance your skin and replenishes it from the inside out.”
Below, a look at the products she loves, including the $5 body lotion that has helped with her stretch marks, the tool she learned to use from Tracee Ellis Ross, and the spot treatment that hasn’t failed her since she was 18.
For the Body
The Body Wash
“If I’m not using Dove Soap Sensitive Skin Bars, I like Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower Body Wash. It smells like a flower arrangement and leaves me cleaner than most body washes. It was in a gift basket I received over the holidays. I typically don’t indulge in body wash because I have sensitive skin, but I couldn’t resist the smell.”
The Body Oil
“After the shower, I’ll use either the Cowshed Replenish Bath & Body Oil and/or my new favorite, MUTHA Body Oil. It was gifted to me a month or two ago, and I haven’t been able to put it down. My favorite thing about the body oil is its consistency and texture. Luckily, it’s also hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin, which, to me, is worth every penny. MUTHA Body Oil is packed with essential vitamins and 100 percent botanical seed oils, and there’s nothing better than throwing on a fresh layer of body oil after a long day and a good shower.”
The Body Lotion
“I’ve been using this since I came out of the womb. My mom used to lather me up in cocoa butter every night before bed, and it felt like I was putting on a fresh pair of silk pajamas. I know everyone in my family uses it. And surprisingly, it has also helped a lot with my dark marks and stretch marks.”
For the Face
“I continue to find myself using this cleanser because it includes clove, eucalyptus, hops, and Egyptian chamomile. The mix of the ingredients creates an incredible smell and feels great on my skin. It also softens and brightens my skin unlike any other cleanser I’ve used.
“I’ve been using Eve Lom products for three years, and I still have no complaints. When I was working in public relations prior to opening t.a., I worked for the company that represented them. Like everyone in the office, I tried the product and fell in love with it. I remember walking into the office and hearing different women from varying backgrounds and with varying skin types and tones raving about the product. It was exciting working closely with a brand that I wanted to use daily and working with women who felt the same way.”
“When my skin isn’t cooperating, I use Éminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser for a few weeks straight, and it helps brighten my skin and rid it of any major blemishes. The Éminence cleanser is a cream-gel for oily skin, which is my skin type 50 percent of the year. I stole the cleanser from my sister a few years back and haven’t given it back. When I initially started using the product, I was intrigued by the color (it’s purple) and smell, which I believe has something to do with the cucumber juice that’s in it as a main ingredient. I don’t have acne-prone skin, but when I do get a blemish, it attacks it directly and quickly.”
“I’ve used a variety of toners over my lifetime, and my ultimate favorite is the Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner with saw palmetto and mint, which reduces shine and removes excess oil. I hate when my face looks extra shiny, especially on a hot summer day, and this gives my skin a matte look. For a while, I wasn’t sure of the importance of using toner, but a few years ago, I learned that toning removes the last traces of dirt stuck in the pores after washing your face. Ever since then, I’ve used it in the a.m. and p.m. with a fresh cotton pad.”
“After a deep face wash and toner, I use Dr. Sturm’s Darker Skin Tones Hyaluronic Serum. I first learned about Dr. Barbara Sturm because she had a pop-up brick-and-mortar in Soho. I was hesitant for a while about using serums because I was unsure of how they’d work on my skin, but Dr. Sturm’s put all my fears to rest. It’s on the expensive end of beauty products, but I believe in beauty investments, and this is top on my list. I frequently use it, and it’s helped tremendously with the dark marks on my face from past blemishes.”
“As for moisturizer, I’ve been hooked on the Active Restorative Moisturizing Cream by Circumference. As we entered the colder months of the year mid-quarantine, my skin dried up. I began searching for a product that had both a rich and heavy texture, and this cream was heaven-sent.
“I was introduced to the brand by an old friend who freelances for them. She gave me the cream and raved about how incredible it was. The jar has lasted me about four months — it’s larger than you’d expect. It provides instant, long-lasting relief for dry skin and uses a blend of bioactive botanicals, including prickly-pear-seed oil, marula oil, and snow-mushroom extract.”
The Face Oil
“Face oils also help me in the colder seasons of the year. My best friend and I have an ongoing debate on if face oil goes on before or after the moisturizer, and I’m convinced it goes on after. I keep trying to tell her that face oil goes on last because it’s naturally the heaviest product in a daily skin-care routine. This one by Eve Lom is not only thick but has an amazing smell and gives my skin the daily boost through shine it deserves.”
The Face Masks
“I’ve had the Eve Lom Radiance Mask for a while and am still astounded by the effectiveness and consistency of the product. I also lean toward all things Eve Lom because it’s a brand I’m comfortable with and it’s shown me proven results.”
“I’ve used Origins since I can remember, and they have the Active Charcoal Mask, which remains undefeated. I’ve been using it since I was in college, and it dries up any last-minute blemishes — I usually apply the charcoal mask all over my face for 20 minutes before rinsing it off. A good skin-care enthusiast can’t survive without his or her tools.”
The Jade Roller
“A few Christmases ago, I bought my mom a gold jade roller from Estée Lauder, and she never used it. Since then, it’s been mine, and I’ll use it at least two-to-three times for about 15 minutes per week while I’m checking emails. I first noticed jade rolling was a thing when I saw Tracee Ellis Ross using one in her Instagram stories while on the set of Black-ish. I screen-recorded her story and saw she goes in varying directions but mainly up and down, starting on her cheeks, and now I do the same.”
The Spot Treatment
“When it comes to spot treatments, I use PowerSpot Blemish Lotion from m-61. It’s incredible, and I’m convinced it has the same magical powers from when I was 18 years old.”