For years, Ziwe earned the nation’s laughter through satirical pop cultural and political commentary, first on YouTube, then Instagram Live, and then her eponymous late-night talk show, in which she put the internet’s favorite famous people in the hot seat. In late 2023, the 31-year-old transitioned from interviewer to interviewee while touring the country to promote her first book, Black Friend: Essays, a collection of Ziwe’s wildest personal tales. “It started off deeply satirical, and then over the course of several years I started to examine… what it means to be a public woman, what autonomy that allows us, and how beauty is so encapsulated in all of that,” Ziwe tells Allure.
After her searing interviews, Ziwe is arguably most known for her glamorous outfits and her affinity for beauty — so much so that Ziwe actually “used to review makeup products” via an editorial beauty column. One of Ziwe’s favorite brands back then was Urban Decay, and now, years after her beauty columnist days, she stars in a social media campaign for the brand’s newly launched Big Bush eyebrow gel. Regarding her own brows, the comedian likes to keep things simple and now that she’s teamed up with the brand, she says she uses Big Bush and nothing else. “Simplicity is key. I am a very busy woman; I do a lot of different jobs.”
After spilling the details of her eyebrow routine, Ziwe graciously acquiesced to our rapid-fire beauty Q+A.
Allure: What’s the signature Ziwe look?
Ziwe: A bob and a 1990s supermodel beat with lots of nudes, lots of browns, natural [skin] but with a really good contour, an overlined lip, and gloss.
Allure: What’s in your makeup bag right this second?
Ziwe: Chapstick and the Big Bush [brow gel].
Allure: How long does your entire skin-care routine take from start to finish?
Ziwe: 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops.
Allure: Not to be creepy or anything, but what do you smell like right now?
Ziwe: Flowers, the ocean, and beauty. I think it’s Beautiful from Estée Lauder.
Allure: What’s the weirdest part of your beauty routine?
Ziwe: I wouldn’t say there’s anything weird. I’m glad you asked me about my scent, though, because I care a lot about my scent. So maybe it’s the fact that I douse myself in perfume in the morning. It’s probably strange, but I don’t consider it strange. I consider it part of my brand.
Allure: If your personality was a fragrance, what would it smell like?