Actress Zazie Beetz Goes Down a YouTube Rabbit Hole Every Evening
Her whole routine is night owl–friendly.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:53 AM
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We spend a third of our lives asleep—that means our bedroom is the most lived-in space in our homes. It’s the room where we start and end our days, and that’s why the rituals that happen there are extra-important. In The Wind Down, we’ll be exploring the nighttime routines of people we admire and taking their advice to make the moments just before bed feel our best.
Don’t let Zazie Beetz’s incomparable red carpet style and killer performances in Atlanta and Joker (now in theaters!) fool you into thinking that she’s not the kind of person who is game to stay up late and watch reruns of The Office. The down-to-earth actress and True Botanicals ambassador has mastered the art of keeping things totally chill.
With her unpredictable work schedule, she carves out time for herself before the day’s over (even if that means going to bed as late as 3 a.m.). Here, she dishes on all the things she enjoys doing before dozing off.
Skin saviors: I’m very diligent with my skin care. I’m never, ever, ever, ever going to bed with makeup on. I wash my face and brush my teeth, then oil my face. I like using the Clear Pure Radiance Oil from True Botanicals. That works really well for me for breakout prevention, particularly when I have my period or if I’m working a bunch and have makeup on all the time. I use it interchangeably with the Renew Pure Radiance Oil as I see fit. That’s sort of my initiation for getting ready for bed.
Buttered up: Sometimes I’ll moisturize my whole body. I make my own body butter from time to time. I’ll take a bunch of butters I have around—shea butter, cocoa butter—and blend them with oils and add some scents. I don’t like lotion as much as oil-based things. I also have vitamin-E tablets that I break open, to treat any scarring.
Mane event: Because my hair is out and natural, I’ll sit in bed and comb it out, detangle it, and braid it for an hour to an hour and a half. While I’m doing that, I’m usually watching something on the computer. I pretty much do this every night or every other night, then sleep with it in braids.
Set the mood: I light a candle before bed and I’ll make a nighttime calming tea. The candles I’m always picking up are the ones from Rite Aid, because there’s a 24-hour one down the block from me. I like coconut scents that aren’t too sweet, and also fresh scents like eucalyptus, lemongrass, and sandalwood.
Night owl: I’m a very late, late, late type of person. If I’m like, Oh, I was good today, [that means] I went to bed before midnight. I’m usually up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Between my partner and me, I’m the last one to go to sleep. It’s my own private time. I know for eight hours that no one is bothering me; that’s very calming to me.
Netflix and chill: My partner and I have been watching a lot of The Office lately, as well as Arrested Development—classic reruns.
Internet explorer: My vice is YouTube; I’m a hard-core YouTube person. My interests span vastly. I like watching Bon Appètit’s channel and baking videos from Cupcake Jemma and How to Cake It. I also love historical costume construction—there’s a channel called Prior Attire where she just makes all this medieval clothing. I like clothes; I used to sew, and I knit still. I also watch makeup videos, ASMR cooking videos, and a lot of vegan stuff. I’m not vegan, but I strive to reduce my animal consumption. And I’m very into zero-waste videos—they inspire me to do better.
The write side: I used to love writing, but I stopped. Now I’ve gotten back into reflective journaling; it clears my mind. I’m also a big list person. I have to get everything out of my head. I’ll write everything down in my planner. I can’t really go to sleep until I can say, Okay, it’s somewhere documented.
Required reading: I’ve been trying to read for at least a half hour to an hour before bed—I’m striving to find that balance. I love fiction and the classics; that’s been my thing for years. Right now I’m finishing Bad Blood, which is not a classic but is really interesting. Earlier this year, I read Cloud Atlas—that was lovely. I also started Love in the Time of Cholera and got distracted, but I love that book. I also like some nonfiction—Sapiens is great.
Best bed: I’ll spend money on sheets—I like anything that’s like cozy and warm, in gentle colors. I love flannel ones. I also like a lot of pillows, even though I actually don’t use them; I’m generally more of a flat sleeper, but I like propping them around me.
Dream home: On one of my walls, I pinned up this wash of dried plants. I want my home to feel like a boho Moroccan bazaar mixed with rococo. I love burnt oranges and earthy yellows—I’m not a minimalist by any means. I like having a decorated home with different textures and colors, lots of natural fibers; I find that physically calming.
Lights-out somewhere around 2 or 3 a.m.!
See more nighttime routines: Maude Founder Éva Goicochea Has a Pajama Problem Spicy Homemade Tea Helps Diaspora Co.’s Founder Chill Out at Night Makeup Artist Katie Jane Hughes Spends 3 Minutes on Her Nightly Skin Care