B.A.B.E. OF THE MONTH: BRANDON CROSS
Every month, we're spotlighting a Badass Beauty Expert (B.A.B.E.) and picking their brain on all things beauty, wellness, and channeling your inner baddie. We hope these interviews will serve as a platform for raw and vulnerable discussion—and inspire you to step out of your makeup and skincare comfort zones.
Brandon is an actor, makeup artist, and YouTuber based in Los Angeles.
Define yourself in three words.
Creative, because I love hair, makeup and all things beauty. Compassionate, because I care about more than just myself, I think about what I do and who I support and how those choices affect our world or society as a whole. Sensitive, because I have dealt with people thinking I am a certain way and discovering, I don't have to be what other people say
I am or let their words affect me. But that's easier said than done.
What are three things you can't live without? (Beauty products can be included, but they don't have to be!)
Companionship—I love talking to people and hearing why they say what they say and
how their brains work, it makes me reflect on how I see the world. Music, whether I'm dancing giving you the whole choreography to Lady Gaga and Ariana's Rain On Me, or belting Sam Cooke in the shower, music is therapy and essential for this soul of mine. And dreams. Some are far-fetched, but some are simple. Dreaming of brighter days, when everyone can simply say that we are all Human and equality and representation matters, and that Black Lives Matter.
What prompted you to make the switch to safe makeup brands? After working in the beauty world as a Buyer for half a decade, I was constantly trying new skincare brands and not wearing makeup as much, so when I did return to my face of glam, I wanted to use cosmetics products on my skin that were cleaner, especially for the makeup that I would wear on a day-to-day. Don't get me wrong, I still love a full glam look for pictures and events, but in my day-to-day, I want to wear products that my skin loves and that really shows me, rather than the makeup.
What are your safe makeup and skincare favorites? Most definitely my CLOVE + HALLOW Conceal + Correct in Shade 10—I love the formula so much that it took over for my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Mineral Air Universal Blush in Fresh Peach, which is deposited using a small personal airbrush device. And Axiology Radiance Lip Cream (also a clean beauty brand). It gives my lips just the right amount of tint and has flecks of gold glitter that last on the lips even when the color fades throughout the day.
What advice would you give for finding safe cosmetics?
Do your research! Just because everyone is buying something, doesn't mean that
you have to also. I choose to use brands that I like and that I know work for people of a wide range of colors. I want to support those brands to further develop their lines and to always have inclusivity as a key component.
Start your clean beauty journey with just one product, see how it works, and then diversify. If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, try a clean foundation or concealer; if you get watery eyes when you apply makeup to your eyes, try a clean mascara; etc. You won't know until you try.
"I choose to use brands that I know work for people of a wide range of colors. I want to support those brands to further develop their lines and to always have inclusivity as a key component."
What do you think makes someone a badass? If you firmly believe in what you say, and can answer people as to why you so strongly believe or feel that way, YOU'RE A BADASS. Don't let others' opinions EVER change what
you know is true. You believe in you, and let that be all that matters.
How did you find your inner badass? I find my inner badass when I tell myself I'm a badass. When in doubt...talk yourself up. When I get those negative voices in my head, I tell myself,"I'm amazing," "I'm the Sh!+." You don't need a cheerleader when you lead the cheer. If you want others to believe in
you, you better believe in you.
What's the last song you listened to?
"Free - Mood II Swing Radio Edit" by Ultra Naté. Trust me, listen to it. Badass song contender.
Quick! You have five minutes to get ready to go out. What do you do with your makeup?
People would think I'd be shook. But I can do a full face of base makeup in under five minutes, and I'd definitely have time for glitter, either on my eyes or on my body.