Karrueche Tran on Her Favorite Beauty Hacks and the $4 Lashes She Buys at CVS


Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh beauty series where you'll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favorite celebrities. They'll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute-routine product lineup they can't live without, the one good-skin tip they'll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy. 

Up next, we're learning everything about Claws actress Karrueche Tran. She’s a true beauty lover, so we talk about everything from her skincare routine to her real-life nails (outside of playing a manicurist on the screen). Enjoy!


(Image credit: @karrueche)

If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few staple beauty products that you would apply or bring with you?

There [are] so many questions going on in my mind because I’m like, where am I going, how long, what have I put on my face yet? My Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum, my Tatcha Dewy Serum, my Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, Kiehl's Deodorant, Dior Capture Totale Moisturizer, ChapStick, Skyn Iceland Under-Eye Patches that I always keep in my little beauty section of my bathroom, and eye drops. 

Can you walk me through your skincare routine?

I’m a shower person. Even if I showered at night and I’m going to the gym in the morning, I’ll do a quick shower in the morning. So I’ll wash my face with Tatcha Rice Wash. Let’s just say it’s a regular day, and I’m not doing a photo shoot or anything like that. I’ll use the Dior Capture Totale Serum and the moisturizer together. That’s kind of it! 

What about for nighttime?

I’ve been using these handcuffs. You know when you wash your face in the sink and the water drips down your arms? For me, that’s like stepping in water with socks. It’s the most annoying feeling. So I use these cuffs, which I love and I can travel with as well. I’ll wash my face with the Dior Capture Totale Face Wash or Caudalie Foam Wash, which is a little bit more of a stronger face wash. Caudalie has this essence, which is like a soft toner—I’ll probably put that on. I’ll use the Caudalie serum, and then I’ll use Cosmedix Revitalizing Night Cream 


(Image credit: @karrueche)

In Claws, you play a manicurist. Are your nails important to you in real life? 

Absolutely. And I feel like ever since I’ve been on the show, I have to make sure my nails are on point. It’s happened so many times where I’ll be in the airport or just wherever, people will be like, "Girl, let me see your claws.” Sometimes, they’ll be done, but other times, if I’m traveling while we’re shooting, we have to wear our nails natural because we do so many nail changes. So people are like, "Let me see your nails,” and I’m like oh my god, they’re really ugly right now. Even if I’m not wearing long fake nails, I’ll make sure I have a nice manicure. My go-to polish for a neutral color is Kiss the Bride. That color is life-changing and the easiest color. Now, the season premiere [of Claws] is coming up soon, and I’m doing all this press. Before I left L.A., I made sure to get my nails done. I have to represent for the show and have really cool nails. I went to my girl Michelle. There’s an artist, Yayoi Kusama. We did nails inspired by her. They’re super cute. They’re yellow with black dots. 

I wish I could see them. They sound super cute. Moving on to makeup a little bit, I know you’ve collaborated with ColourPop in the past. What’s your makeup philosophy? What can’t you live without?

I love makeup. Going into Sephora is like [being] a kid in the candy store for me. My two go-tos that I’ll kind of switch up are bronzers and lip glosses, but I’ll always do the same kind of nudey-pinkish gloss. I have so many slightly different shades, but I don’t know, there’s something about lip gloss that I just love. Every time I go into Sephora, I’m like, What new lip gloss do they have now? And then I’m like, Get me out of this store! I just end up buying things that I don’t need. I love a good bronzer too. For me at least, there are not as many options for good bronzers. I think the best right now that I love is Fenty. She has really good bronzers in a lot of different colors, which is great. 

I feel like I’ve gone through a roller coaster with makeup. I’m so particular with makeup now, especially working with makeup artists, because I’ve gone through all the trials and tribulations of working with different makeup artists. I always bring my own makeup just in case they have something that I don’t like. Hourglass has the best setting powder. I’ve used so many different ones. I’ll get on the carpet, and my photo will get taken, and there's flashback, and I look pale. I always bring my Hourglass setting powder. It’s the best. 

In the sense of how I like my makeup, I like concealer under the eye in that kind of triangle shape, so it brings out the shape and structure of my face. I like more of a sculpted look with the contour and the bronzer, like contouring the nose and the cheeks, and I don’t like a heavy lash. I’ve had the craziest lashes put on me, and then I have my photo taken, and I look absolutely crazy, so I’ll bring lashes. Ardell has the best lashes to buy at CVS. They’re the best for a little extra pop. It kind of looks like your regular lash, but it just gives it a little more volume. It’s a full strip, but they’re not too long and they’re not too heavy. You know how some lashes have that black band that’s so thick and heavy? I can’t. It really bothers my eyes. 

Do you have a go-to lip gloss? 

Girl, no. There are so many to choose from.  

If you had to pick three. 

Dior has a lot of great lip gloss. [I like] the Maximizer Lip Plumper. I have a couple with me now. There’s a brand called Iconic [London]. They have a really good kind of clear gloss that has a little tint of color. Fenty is good too. [Rihanna] has good glosses.


(Image credit: @karrueche)

Also kind of in the makeup realm, do you have a favorite beauty look of Virginia’s in the show?

Ooh. You’ll have to wait and see in the fourth season. I think in the fourth season, all of us kind of tapped into our wardrobe and our makeup looks. It really kind of leveled up, and that kind of goes with the show, with what’s happening. We’re leveling up as well. I have some really fun makeup looks coming up. The thing that I love about playing Virginia is that in my real life, I don’t really like to play with heavy makeup or too much color on my eyes. I like a lot of nudes and neutrals. But Virginia, oh my god. We’ve had so much fun with color. Different colors—pinks, purples, oranges. We did a lot of, what do you call different designs on the face?

A graphic-eyeliner type of deal?

Exactly, yeah. We did a lot of that with neon pens, a lot of rhinestones, a lot of face jewelry. All the face jewelry. Things I normally wouldn’t do on the regular.

Is there anything about your beauty routine that you think would surprise people?

I did a "get ready with me” for the DFTAs a couple weeks ago, and I did one of these tricks that I usually do when I’m getting ready for a photo shoot or an event. After I wash my face and I dry it, [when] there’s nothing on my face yet, and I take an ice cube and just rub it all over my face, on top of my eyelids, under my eyes, because I can get puffiness under my eyes sometimes. It just feels good to my skin, it tightens the pores, and I feel like it kind of wakes me up a little bit. I posted it online and it got a lot of responses. People were like, "Oh my god, I want to try that.” I think that’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you know, you know. 

This is my last question, and I’ll preface by saying you can definitely add some context, but what is your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or fewer. 

Learn your skin type. That is the number one rule when it comes to skincare. That’s the foundation to skincare. I can tell you all the Chanel serums and the Dior and the Tatcha that’s good for me, but it might not necessarily work for you. So I think the important thing for people to understand is learning about your skin type. Is it dry? Is it oily? I think once you understand that and once you understand your skin and know what your skin likes and needs, then you can go from there and find products for whatever condition or whatever type of skin you have. It’s a learning process, too, you know? It took me a while, but go to Sephora or wherever, get little testers, try things out. My skin is very different in New York than it is in L.A., so it’s all just really understanding and listening to what your skin tells you.

Shop Tran's Unfiltered Beauty Edit

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.