In 2009, Desi Perkins debuted her first YouTube video showcasing her talents with special effects makeup. Now, the Mexican-American makeup artist, vlogger and influencer has amassed more than 3 million YouTube subscribers and 4 million Instagram followers. And today, she launches her first-ever skin-care brand called DEZI SKIN, which debuts with one product, a vitamin C serum. I had a chance to speak with the entrepreneur about her inspirations, her creative process, and of course, the beauty trends she’s currently loving.
What inspired you to launch skin care specifically? I think a lot of your fans would have assumed makeup.
“I’ve actually been working on DEZI Skin for about two years now, so this is really a long time coming. I think the reason I started to really focus on skin care instead of makeup is become artistry has always been first in my career. And before I started doing makeup, I was also a painter and I would do sketches. And then my YouTube career came along, and that’s when I started to use my face as my canvas. And after doing all these makeup looks over the years, I realized how important it is to take care of my canvas, so skin care is something that struck such an interest in me and I started to learn more and more over time. I thought it was time that I brought my skin-care line to fruition.”
Would you say vitamin C is your favorite skin-care ingredient?
“Vitamin C is definitely tried-and-true and a staple in my skin-care regimen. The reason is because it’s one of the most studied and proven ingredients in the beauty industry and I really wanted my first product to be something that will truly change someone’s skin. As a Mexican woman, I have struggled in the past with hyperpigmentation and dark spots, and with an audience of people who primarily have melanated skin tones, I heard their concerns of these issues too, so I thought this was the best product to launch with.”
Are there any other Latin-specific concerns you’re taking into consideration as you formulate?
“It’s really the hyperpigmentation and dark spots. I wanted to make sure the product would fight against the copper in our skin and stop skin from producing those dark spots. We made sure to use the best, most stable form of vitamin C, which is THD, and this one is particularly expensive to formulate with and a lot of brands out there price their products with it at more than $100, but I wanted to create a formula that was also affordable.
We also have a complex in our formulas called Youth Juice, which is actually a little piece of me and my heritage. There are so many fruits that I had growing up, especially in Mexico, and they have so many antioxidants, so I wanted to pay tribute to that [Mexican plum fruit, dragon fruit, acai berry, tamarind, mango, soursop, guava, and avocado extracts]. Also, my husband and I have gotten really big into gardening and we grow all of our fruits and vegetables in our backyard. We’re so adamant about fresh produce and how good it is for our bodies and healing from the inside out. What’s important to note about this, too, is that a lot of times companies will have blends or complexes in their formulas that are more of marketing thing, but our ingredients in the blend are at active levels, so they’re actually going to work for your skin.”
I love the name of the product, Claro Que Si Vitamin C Glow Serum. Will all of your product names have a Spanish component?
“Oh thank you! I’m so happy you love the name; I’m so happy with it. I think there will be touches of it throughout the brand, but Spanish won’t necessarily be in the product names every time.”
What other skin-care ingredients do you love?
“There are so many great ingredients out there. I’m a huge fan of chemical exfoliants—I love AHAs and BHAs—but I’m also really known for hydration and glowing skin. So, for the next couple launches, you can look forward to something in that realm. I wanted to make sure to launch things slowly to not overwhelm people and also so they really have time with one product and can really see if in fact it works for them, as opposed to a whole skin-care line where maybe you weren’t sure which product was really working for you. You can expect to see some really amazing releases this year.”
What does your personal skin-care routine look like?
“In the past, I found that I used to layer so many different acids, especially when my skin would act up. A lot of times I felt like applying more and more product would make my skin better, when in fact, layering too many actives was always bad for my skin. So, I try to keep my skin-care regimen fairly simple and make sure that I only use one active at a time that focuses on whatever skin issue I’m dealing with at that time. I primarily use a face wash and then a toner or an essence, and then a serum and moisturizer. I also use SPF in the morning if I’m going outside.”
Do you only use products from your own line now?
“I definitely use multiple brands—I think it’s unrealistic to assume that someone only uses one brand. But, I will say that I have been using a lot of my own stuff. For the product types that I don’t currently have in my line, I’ll use other brands, and as an influencer, I’m still testing products from other brands all the time because it’s part of my job.”
Are there any brands you love that you’ve used as benchmarks while creating your brand
“When starting this process, I most definitely took several brands’ products and laid them out on the table and I went over with my team exactly what I liked about each one—the texture, consistency, the fragrance—and didn’t like so I had a clear outline of what was missing. That’s actually how I started off. Then afterward, we created this amazing formula using all these raw materials and it ended up being better than even some of my favorite products.”
Are there any beauty trends you’re loving right now?
“One I’m loving is that consumers are understanding now with all the information out there—they’re very smart—that they can lessen their skin-care regimens. I think before people would want to apply so many different actives to their face and try different things, but I like the idea that people are simplifying their routines. I’m loving that.”
Are there any trends you don’t like?
“Thank god for TikTok because they really show you the trends you may not like too. And there’s one going around that I saw where they were doing full-face waxing. They actually put one whole sheet of wax on the face and then rip it all off at once. This is usually done with men like in barber shops or things like that, but I’ve seen them say that it removes blackheads and it’s an exfoliant. And I wish that would go away because I think pulling on your skin that aggressively when it’s so fragile is just damaging and I wouldn’t want to do it. I think that trend can probably go.”
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