Nine years ago, Desi Perkins posted her very first beauty tutorial on YouTube. She was known for her special-effects Halloween makeup, which gained her viral stardom and secured her major makeup collaborations, like her very own Dose of Colors eyeshadow palette. Perkins, who is known as one of the OG “It”-girl beauty influencers, went on lavish beauty-influencer trips before TikTok dropped its jaws at trips, like Tarte in Dubai. Now, at 36 years old, she’s amassed more than 3.34 millions YouTube subscribers and 4.4 million followers on Instagram. Her content has evolved from special-effects makeup and GRWM videos; now, she’s showing her followers a completely different side of herself. The mom and businesswoman basks in motherhood moments, like bath time with her and posting outfit photos alongside her “little hype man,” a.k.a. her son, Ocean Perkins, 2.
In 2020, she launched a sunglasses brand, DEZI, and in 2022 followed it up with her skin-care brand, Dezi Skin, after years of being in the beauty industry. When she isn’t juggling two businesses, she finds tranquility in her daily walks with her daughter, Harley Reign Perkins, 7 months old, during which she holds her in a baby carrier and singing to her. She doesn’t listen to music or check her phone. Daily walks with her daughter are her “peace” moments of the day, not her workout. She actually gets a workout in as she wakes up. Two workouts a day while being a mom and running two businesses? “Essentially, bodybuilders could not keep up with me,” she says, laughing. Somehow, Perkins makes it all work without putting too much pressure on herself. “I don’t even have a balance, I just do the best I can,” she says.
In the midst of it, she also finds time for skin care, but a long, drawn-out routine doesn’t fit with her current busy lifestyle. She’s spent years testing products and sacrificing her skin, so now she likes to keep it simple, which includes a few staples from her brand, mixed in with other hero products for the ultimate glow.
Here, Perkins’s routine:
She doesn’t use a cleanser in the morning. Instead, she prefers to just rinse and cleanse her skin with water. Immediately after that, she applies her vitamin C, a green-plum-infused serum that energizes dull skin while evening out any imperfections.
Next, she applies her moisturizer, a gel-based formula with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. The lightweight cream leaves her complexion dewy and hydrated — her community loves to wear it under their makeup.
Whenever she gets a pimple, she turns to Zitsticka’s micro dart patches, which work overtime to reduce the appearance of blemishes.
At night, she’ll occasionally apply a face mask to relax after a long day. She loves Ole Henriksen’s Cold Plunge Pore Mask because of the cooling sensation. The AHA and salicylic-acid mask purifies pores and controls oil on the skin’s surface.
On having a balance:
Perkins’s busy life doesn’t have much of a balance, but she’s okay with that. “It’s important for me, as a mother and a business owner, to prioritize things on a list in order of importance. If I only get the most important task of the day done, I feel accomplished. I can’t do it all, and I can’t beat myself up about that.”
On her insecurities and taking her power back:
For years, she would never film YouTube videos without having her eyebrows done and drawn on; she wouldn’t even let people see her without them. Her dad saw her in recent years without them and asked her what was wrong because it was a face he wasn’t used to. But one day, she went on camera and told everyone, “I have no eyebrows, and I’m going to show you how I create them.” “I found it so freeing and beautiful to share my insecurities. If you show people yourself as you are and make that the norm, you’re taking control of your power,” she says. She’s found beauty and confidence through vulnerably sharing her insecurities with the world.
On what she misses about beauty-content creation:
Before there were crazy TikTok trends and viral products every other day, a different type of content creation existed. Influencers like Perkins filmed longform lessons on how to perfect cut creases and the must-have product of the moment, which usually lasted for more than one week. Perkins admits to missing the educational aspect of what social media used to be and hates how fast trends move nowadays. “Trends never really give anybody a chance to appreciate the products they currently have because everyone’s thinking about what’s next,” she says. “Back in the day, we’d do makeup tutorials and use the same palette until we hit the pan. I don’t even think people are hitting the pan anymore because they’re just jumping to the next best thing.”
On her Mexican heritage:
All of Perkins’ Dezi Skin products are infused with inspiration from her Mexican roots, from their custom blends of fruit ingredients, like Mexican plum fruit and tamarind, to their names. Her culture has played a huge part in her fondest beauty memories. “My family is huge on remedies,” she says. “If I have problems with hair growth, my mom is outside getting guava leaves and rosemary to boil to put in my hair. She also boils guava leaves for acne flare ups. All of these rituals I watched growing up are so sacred and family is still so important to me, and we have dinner together almost every night. My mom lives down the block from me, and she’s usually the one cooking. We’re super-close, it’s embedded in us.”
On aesthetic treatments:
“Laser facials are superior. There are so many different lasers that take care of the skin without you having to do anything super-crazy or out of the box, and it helps with everything from fine lines to acne and dark spots. I love that there are lasers that tighten the skin too, which are great alternatives for Botox and filler, which I’m totally not against, but it’s a great option and it’s what celebrities always recommend to me. I haven’t gotten a lot recently because of my back-to-back pregnancies, but I want another one because I love how it tightens my skin.”
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