Twenty minutes on the phone with Melissa Villaseñor is a lesson in keeping it real. Then again, would you expect anything less from the woman who makes us howl with laughter over her impressions on Saturday Night Live? (Wow, wowwww!)
“I think seeing my face on TV made me more conscious of all this stuff,” the 33-year-old comedian says when I ask when her interest in skin care started. “I never had a routine until I started SNL. I honestly was just using Dove Body Wash on my face in the shower. When someone was like, uh, ‘You need a cleanser,’ I was shocked by what a difference it made.”
Like a classic ’90s makeover montage, her colleagues at SNL jumped into action. “Vanessa Bayer was so cute my first season at SNL. She was like, ‘We’re going to get you connected with hairstylists, and this new skin-care company, and this thing and that thing.’ I forget where we went, but we met on a Sunday once at some skin-care place, and the esthetician asked what my regimen was. I was like, ‘My what?’ So she just loaded me up on Skinceuticals.”
The rest, as they say, was history. Villaseñor says she became hooked on trying new products, until she settled on what she calls her “not too crazy” routine. The most important criteria she has now is that the products she uses are primarily cruelty-free.
“Even with food and clothes, I try my best to be animal-friendly,” she says. “I try not to buy leather items or anything tested on animals. I have a dog, who’s a rescue named Jenny, and a gorgeous tabby cat named Ella, and they mean so much to me. I can’t imagine them being tested on. It hurts my heart.”
So what’s made the cut for her then? Ahead of the Film Independent Spirit Awards’ airing on April 22, which Villaseñor is hosting, we asked the comedian to drop her routine. Read on for the serums she swears by, the SPF she says smells “pretty,” and the gadgets that have upped her overall skin-care game.
I’ve been changing it up with my cleansers lately. Sometimes I’ll use Tammy Fender’s Milk Cleanser, but the one I really love these days is Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser. I found Tata Harper though my mentor and friend Whitney Cummings—she’s a huge skin-care girl! I don’t know if you follow Whitney, but she’s shared so many posts throughout the years of her whole routine, and she has all these tricks up her sleeve. I think she tagged Tata Harper on some things, so I went on their Instagram and loved how the products look and that they’re cruelty-free. It’s a high price, but it’s worth it because whenever I use their cleanser, I can see the difference in my skin.
I love Drunk Elephant. Its vitamin C serum is beautiful. It makes my face nice and tight—and overall makes me look awake for the day. There’s a difference, I can tell. I swear. I also really like the brand’s B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum. I mix those together when I start the day.
I use the Mad Hippie SPF. I got it at Whole Foods and love the way it smells because it doesn’t have that overly sunblock-y scent. It just smells really pretty. Also, the artwork on the packaging is great. I won’t lie—it’s what drew me to it.
I love a face oil. I actually prefer them to moisturizers. My favorite of the moment is Josie Maran’s CBD Oil. I’ll mix a little in with my SPF and I’m ready to start my day. I also got a little essential oil roller called Love Potion from Tata Harper. It smells so good. I put it on my wrist for a little pick-me-up through the day.