mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

Beauty Secrets: Charlotte Betts

Charlotte Betts.jpg

Beauty Secrets: Charlotte Betts

Words: mater mea
Visuals: Charlotte Betts

One of Chicago’s most fashionable women tells us how she and her mini-me stay so fly.

Like most girl crushes these days, our love affair with 34-year-old stylist Charlotte Betts began on Instagram. Under the handle milknhonee, the Canadian turned Chicagoan shares her sophisticated and tailored style with her followers. (It’s a look that suits her adorable 3-year-old daughter Neriah as well, as their matching outfits often prove.)

Betts has made fashion and motherhood her business. She’s the owner of Preface Agency, a personal styling company that focuses on moms. (“Overworked?” the site asks. “Tired with no time to worry about yourself? We understand!”)

“I've been helping friends, and family members dress for a while, [but] it's not until I moved to Chicago that I decided to really give it a try and label myself as such,” Betts says of becoming a stylist. “I moved to Chicago in 2007, but didn't start collaborating with other creatives and local designers until about three years after.”

With a gorgeous face and a client list that includes America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway alums, we had to know what Betts’ beauty secrets are. She shares with mater mea the product she swears by and her go-to beauty tips.

How do you learn about your favorite products?

I discover most of my products by reading magazines and social media. Being a blogger also has its perks as I get to review products that I often fall in love with. For the most part when I find something that works, I usually stick to it. As for my daughter, she has natural hair, and I can't say that I'm well-versed on the topic  because I've had chemically relaxed hair most of my life. I'm always looking for products to keep her mane moisturized. The internet has been a great resource, although overwhelming at times. Right now I'm product hopping until I find the ones that work best for her.

 

What's the best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever received?

[It] comes from my mom. She always says keep it simple and avoid "product hopping." If it works, it works. My mother has been using the same products for as long as I can remember and to this day she swears by the same. I've applied that mantra to my beauty regimen; I stick to what I know. I may feel adventurous and try a new shower gel or scrub, but when it comes to my face, I keep it simple. Although my mom would cringe if she knew that I'm jumping from one product to next in hopes of finding the right thirst quencher for Neriah's hair.

 

What do you use on your face?

When I lived in Canada, I used an African soap that was introduced to me by mother. Unfortunately when I moved to Chicago that specific product wasn't readily accessible to me and I would find myself going weeks without [it]. In an effort to eliminate my "product drought," I had to find something else. I had heard about Ambi through various sources but never used it. I tried their facial soap and moisturizer about five years ago and I've been hooked ever since. It’s oil-free! I have very oily skin and finding a moisturizer that can provide moisture without the oil is great!

I've struggled with acne for a very long time and I still get the occasional breakout, but since using Ambi my skin has been behaving and I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I've used facial products that have left my skin feeling dry and tight, [but] this product is the absolute opposite. My skin feels moisturized and, most importantly, clean. I use it twice a day, in the morning and evening time right before heading to bed.


Is there a great beauty find you’ve discovered that you can’t get enough of?

I've become a fan of pretty much anything with argan oil. Body lotions, body butters, lip balms, hair sheen—if it has Moroccan argan oil in it, I'm sold. It does wonders for your skin and hair, and with the colder temperatures around the corner, you've got to keep your skin's moisture locked.


What products do you use on a regular basis?

I use my facial wash by Ambi daily. As for my LVX nail polish, once every two weeks. It lasts a very long time. As a mom, I don't always have time to go get manicures. Their polish will last a good two weeks, and their formula is free of the five toxic and harsh chemicals found in most lacquers.

I wash my daughter's hair once a week, so whatever product I'm using that week will be used at that time. Right now for Neriah's hair I'm using Shea Moisture's Mango and Carrot Shampoo [for kids] along with their coconut and hibiscus conditioner. The results have been good so far—I don't plan on changing that for a while. I've also been using Zuri Handmade Hair and Body Whip as moisturizer, and I have to say that I love what it does for her hair, plus it smells heavenly.


If you could share one beauty tip, what would it be?

I have two actually. The first one is keep it simple. A simple routine just makes things easy. I used to pile on the makeup, now a little foundation, mascara and a red lip goes a long way—and that's only when I want to be fancy. Most times, I'm bare faced. My second tip is, wash your face twice a day. We expose our skin to all types of things during the day, washing my face twice a day is something I try to do daily. I wash in the a.m. and the p.m. right before going to bed. I don't always feel like it, but the keeping your skin clean will work wonders for you later.