Words by Corey Chalumeau
Photograph via Chuck Hodes/FOX
This past season, FOX’s hit TV show ‘Empire’ took the world by storm. Taking note of the quality portrayal of the four male leads of the Lyon family we decided to catch up with Karen Accattato the skincare specialist tasked with keeping Lucius, Jamal, Hakeem and Andre looking ever so dapper as they worked to build their Empire.
Bevel Code: So Karen, our first question is in regards to the character Jamal. How do you manage to keep his eyebrows looking so natural?
Karen: When it comes to eyebrows it’s important to focus on grooming them in the most natural shape possible. So we do the scissor over comb technique, where we comb out the long eyebrow hair and then use scissors to slice away the long hairs. We then use tweezers to get the few, unwanted hairs. I know some guys go into waxing; let’s just say I’m not a big fan of the waxing. One, because it looks too manicured, two, because the lines are too severe, and lastly, waxing over time actually breaks down the collagen in your eye area. Not a fan, just keep it natural.
BC: Got it. Let’s talk Andre, the clean-shaven, All-American type. How do you keep his look consistently sharp for every episode?
Karen: Well the actor who plays Andre in particular has very sensitive skin, as so do several of the men on Empire. A lot of the time we’ll put a moisturizing cream on first, before we shave them, to protect the skin. My trick is that after shaving them, I take a hot towel that’s loaded with fresh rose water and place it on their face as this helps lock in moisture when applying a moisturizer after a shave.
BC: When it comes to cleansing, what are the differences when you’re talking about an individual who’s younger like Hakeem and someone slightly older like Lucius?
Karen: Everyone’s skin is different which is why it’s important to find a product that meets your skin’s specific needs. For the younger men, I recommend the Dove Men+Care Sensitive+ Face Wash as it is milder and gently cleans the skin while also replenishing moisture. I would also recommend the Dove Men+Care Deep Clean+ Face Scrub, which is made with pumice and will clean the skin while not stripping any essential proteins from the face. Younger skin will benefit from both of these as it is more prone to breakouts and oil. For older men, I would recommend the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash as when your skin gets older it needs the hydration to replenish moisture.
BC: With Hakeem having the baby face, it seems like there’s no shaving involved, what’s his grooming regimen specifically?
Karen: As with any man, it’s very important to wash and moisturize one’s face daily and the same goes with those who don’t shave often. I always remind my actors how important it is to moisturize and I always recommend a gentle and lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t leave a greasy feeing (editor’s note: The Bevel Restoring Balm is a great option here.). It’s also very important to use a moisturizer with an SPF to protect against the sun. Hakeem is no different and is actually very diligent with his skin care routine. Once he washes his face with a cleanser I use a hot wash cloth to remove the substance from the face. Then, I will use a witch hazel toner before adding the moisturizer to lock it in and keep his skin healthy.
BC: So we’ve talked about the skin care products, what about foods. Are there any in particular you recommend to the guys on Empire to keep their skin nice and clear?
Karen: Absolutely! You are what you eat. I recommend drinking lots of water it’s so key to great looking skin. You have to stay away from refined sugars and flours, it’s not going to help your skin. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh vegetables and fruits in every single color, the purples, the green, the reds. That’s really how you’re going to maintain healthy skin that glows!
Want to ask more specific grooming questions to Karen? Go ahead: @Klamakeup