Celebrity Beauty

Niecy Nash-Betts' Best-Kept Beauty Secret Involves Concealer & Nose Contour

The true crime queen spills her makeup tips and can’t-live-without essentials.

Originally Published: 
Niecy Nash-Betts on her holy grail beauty products.

True crime girlies know: Whether she’s playing a deputy in Reno, Nevada, alerting the feds about Jeffrey Dahmer’s suspicious activity, or solving murders on Scream Queens, you can count on Niecy Nash-Betts to take care of business. The actor has been gracing your screen with her signature humor and detective skills since the ’90s, and her latest project is for the beauty lovers.

In a short film called Cosmetic Criminals, Nash-Betts stars as the deputy director of the F.B.I.’s CosCrime Taskforce (CosCrime short for Cosmetics Crime, naturally) who’s in charge of investigating ongoing “elf-pinching” — aka the phenomenon of family members stealing each other’s prized e.l.f. products. A true wrongdoing.

While you might be more familiar with Nash-Betts for her investigative expertise in your favorite true crime shows, the actor is actually a big-time beauty aficionado. Here, she chats with Bustle about her go-to makeup look, her best beauty hack, and the skin treatment she and her daughters swear by.

What’s your overall approach to beauty?

I like to find what works for me. You could see a lot of things on a lot of people, but it may not be right for you.

How has your relationship with beauty changed over the years?

It’s become more of a love affair. I loved makeup when I was growing up. Every Halloween, my parents would buy me a costume that came with a little mask that had a string on the back, and I could cry. My mother would say, “Well, what do you want to be then?” I would always say, “A lady,” meaning I wanted her to put makeup on me and make my hair look nice.

Now that I don’t have to beg anybody, I can just wear what I want, how I want. I love experimenting.

What is your everyday makeup look?

More than likely, it’s soft glam — an effortless look. But when I have to hit that red carpet, I like doing old Hollywood glam.

What does your soft glam look entail?

First, no matter what, I’m always going to use a primer. The Liquid Poreless Putty Primer from e.l.f. is my jam. Then I may do a sheer foundation, a little mascara, and a lip gloss.

What are some of your other holy grail beauty products?

I always start by making sure I’m wearing SPF. I’m using the [e.l.f. Suntouchable] Whoa Glow right now. I also love having highlighter on my cheeks. The e.l.f. Halo Glow Beauty Wand gives you a nice sun-kissed, shimmery look — those two are my must-haves.


Out of all of the characters that you've played on TV and in movies, which character had your favorite beauty look?

Probably Desna. She was my character on the TV series Claws on TNT. She worked in the beauty industry as a nail technician. Her glamour was so fun and broad that she couldn't go wrong with anything.

What is the best beauty hack that you've learned?

How you can make your nose different shapes with concealer. I thought that was so interesting — I learned that you can change what your nose looks like without having to go under the knife and having a black eye for weeks. I think it’s the best-kept secret.

What have your daughters taught you about beauty?

What have my daughters taught me? My daughters tried to talk me into lash extensions, but I tried to talk them out of it. I'm like, "If you have the right mascara, you don't even need that."

We all did end up being fans of steaming our faces at home. I just love the glow you get after, and how clean your skin looks and feels. Then, when you follow it up with your favorite products — man, it’s like a one-two punch.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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