Skin care expert and celebrity esthetician Sonya Dakar is the secret weapon behind some of our favorite celebrities’ faces. Not only is she the first person many stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence turn to when they want to get their skin glowing, she also has an amazing skin care line filled with life-changing products. (If you haven’t tried her new eye serum yet, it is TO.DIE.FOR.)
Sonya has passed her beauty knowledge through to her family, as her daughter Mimi is the Vice President and Creative Director of the Sonya Dakar Skincare brand. We decided to ask the charming mother-daughter duo about the beauty advice they’ve shared with each other over the years, and what products they always have to keep on hand.
HelloGiggles: Mimi, What was the first beauty tip you learned from your mom, and do you still follow it today?
Mimi: I can still hear my mom’s voice reminding me to do this nightly: ”Never go to bed without washing your face!” When I was in my teens and began experimenting with makeup, she would always make sure I washed my face before bed and did a proper nighttime skincare routine. To this day, I can’t get into bed without washing my face and applying all of the products in my regimen.
HG: Was there any kind of beauty/health-related advice that your mom tried to give you that you fought her on?
Yes. “Stay out of the sun!” I clearly remember spending many high school weekends laying out with my friends at my house, or theirs, really anywhere, trying to “tan” (which, in my case, always ended up in a burn). Let’s just say that this did not sit well with my mom. I would be so nervous for her to see me burnt or super tan, because I knew how much she disapproved. She would always tell me how bad it was for me and my skin, and the long-term effects, to put on sunscreen and to get out of direct sunlight.
For reasons that are obvious now, I’m very grateful that she was so strict about this! I actually do not even like the feeling of the sun rays on my face anymore, so I always sit under an umbrella, with a hat on, slathered in SPF whenever I’m at the beach, out by the pool, or doing anything outdoors. This is something that I’ve in turn passed down to my little toddler boys. You are NEVER too young to protect your skin.
Sonya, has there been anything beauty-related that you learned from Mimi?
Sonya: Mimi is constantly teaching me new makeup tips. I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup (I believe that good skin IS the best makeup). She thoughtfully always buys me little gifts, like a new mascara or brow pencil, or she will buy me a new lipstick that she just fell in love with. It’s fun to experiment, and Mimi’s always in the know of the latest trends and must-have products.
HG: When it comes to taking care of your skin, what is the most important thing you have stressed to Mimi?
Sonya: Firstly, I taught her how to be consistent with her skin care routine, meaning she needs to follow a good regimen, A.M. and P.M. Mimi had a phase during her teen years where she battled breakouts. I had to teach her then how important it was to stay consistent, come in for regular facials and ALWAYS take really good care of her skin. I think that’s when she had her “a-ha!” skincare moment. And of course, I always preach SPF30 daily!
HG: How would you both of you describe your signature beauty look?
Sonya: Fresh, radiant, dewy skin. Which comes from daily exfoliation (I love my Flash Facial because it’s so gentle). I don’t like to wear much makeup, but I do love a light lip gloss, and dark eyebrows and a little mascara to frame my face.
Mimi: I always start with clean, hydrated and exfoliated skin. I love dewy skin, so I pile on the face oil (Sonya Dakar Organic Omega Booster), and I love a full eyebrow and bold lip.
HG: What is the one makeup item you always keep in your purse?
Sonya: I keep a few different beauty items in my purse: dental floss and Colgate Wisps. I am really into dental hygiene and like to keep things clean and fresh. Especially in my job, working with clients and talking all day, it’s very important. A hair brush is also always in my bag, just in case I need a touch up. Lip gloss in a light, sheer, pinkish shade, that just makes you look fresh.
Mimi: Lipstick (I always have a few on hand, some nudes and some poppy reds). I like to touch up all day, I feel more put together. My mom also taught me a cool trick that lipstick can double as a blush, and even eyeshadow if you are in a pinch.
And I always keep a bottle of Daily Shield SPF30 and Organic Omega Oil too, because I reapply sunscreen on my hands every time I get in the car, and I always love to dab a little oil on my face if I’m refreshing my makeup.
HG: What was the last thing you bought online?
Mimi: New maternity clothes on ASOS.com. I am constantly growing out of my clothes and ASOS has a cute and affordable selection. And I bought my mom’s Mother’s Day gift (don’t tell her!): a new Dyson blowdryer, because a good blowout is essential.
Sonya: I love to run daily (both outdoors and on my treadmill), so I bought the new Nike Roshe shoes that I am in love with!