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 and content creators. 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 getting to know actress Kyla Pratt, who is known for her iconic role as Penny Proud on The Proud Family and, more recently, her role in the Fox sitcom Call Me Kat. Below, she’s answering all of our rapid-fire questions and sharing her favorite products, best-kept wellness tips, and more. Enjoy!
If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few staple beauty products you’d apply or bring with you?
I would have to bring some African shea butter. If I only had one choice, it would probably be that. I would also say mascara. Mascara is really important to me. I’m not a big makeup person, but I feel like if you have mascara on, it just opens up your eyes. I’ll pick up a mascara, and if it’s not doing enough, then I’ll add another one on top.
That’s a good idea! Mix up your formulas a bit to get that maximum length.
I have to because sometimes I just try random stuff, and I can’t pick one! [My favorite] is Fenty’s. But yeah, mascara, moisturizer, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pencil ($25). For ChapStick, I love Burt’s Bees, and sometimes, I use Nivea’s shimmer body lotion on top of the shea butter when certain arms and pieces are out, you know?
Yes! You have to have that extra glow going on. What would you say your everyday makeup routine looks like?
My personal everyday makeup routine looks like everything I just named. I’m not a really big “makeup all the time” person. I’m one of those people that loves to wash their face, and I just love to be moisturized, and that’s how I feel the most comfortable. That’s why I always make sure my diet is in control because if it’s not, then I’m going to break out, or I’m going to have a random something somewhere. That, or either woman stuff is happening [laughs], and that can be hard. I also like Fenty Beauty’s Blurring Skin Tint ($32). It’s not as heavy as a concealer, which is great for me because I’m someone who doesn’t want to [use heavy makeup every day]. I wear makeup all the time at work, so I don’t necessarily want to have a full-blown face [on] every day. Not even that I don’t want to, it’s just not going to happen! [Laughs] If you see me with a full face of makeup, I came from work.
I also love the Fenty Beauty Match Stix ($28). I have them for a good contour and a little shimmer. I also love Smashbox’s color corrector. I would say my only bad-skin thing would be my under-eye area, but that all has to do with sleep and nutrition. So I use that, or if you have a dark mark from a blemish, you can use a little bit of it underneath. Anything you put on top of it will help the discoloration.
Can you walk me through your morning and evening skincare routines?
I’m just a simple kind of girl. I don’t like trying different products because I feel like every time I try something different, something different happens to my skin. I’m more interested in developing my own system to share with the world because there are not a lot of products out there that fit me per se. I’m just more of a “wash your face and make sure you moisturize” kind of girl. I think my skin is drier than most people’s, so I’ll put shea butter directly on my face. Shea butter also helps get rid of discoloration and dark marks. Usually, dark marks leave me very quickly because of that. But also, you have to be careful because if you have oily skin, it could [potentially] cause you to break out. It’s not really good for everyone. In my household, I use the thick shea butter, and my man will use a different type of concoction that’s just a little softer. Just make sure you check for your type of skin. So really, you can’t take everything I say and put it on your face! If you break out, you might be mad at me.
Is there anything about your makeup or beauty routine that might surprise people?
That I barely do anything? [Laughs] I think that’s one of the things that would surprise people. I constantly am asked, “What am I doing?” And honestly, I feel like hydration is very important. There’s a lot of water out there that isn’t really hydrating us the way that we need it to. A lot of [different] water brands out there have chemicals and things in them to make us want to drink their water. You have to properly hydrate with the right type of water. I like drinking spring water. But hydration is definitely key—I don’t know if that will be a surprise to anyone. I did find this other product that I like to use. It’s called the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm ($36). When I’m on set, I have so much makeup on my face. The fact that I can put some of it on my hands, rub it together, really just wash my face, and then get a towel to see all of it just comes off—it’s one of my favorites!
Sounds like you’ve been super busy on set filming Call Me Kat! How has your filming schedule been? Do you have any beauty or self-care practices that help you stay grounded with such a busy schedule?
Yes! When I tell you this schedule has been crazy… One of my favorite things that I have not been able to do is work out consistently. It’s been difficult because of our schedule and because of everything that’s been going on. … One thing that is a part of my beauty regimen is making sure I get some type of physical fitness. I also just finished a cleanse. I’m one of those people who just knows when I need a restart. I know if I’ve been doing too much, then it’s time to do a reset. I got a little salad right here. Also doing stretching, trying to incorporate yoga, and making sure I take time for myself in the morning and at night, even if it’s just 20 minutes to get up and take some deep breaths and stretch. Stretching is so important in the morning, people. If you don’t do it, start now.
As you get older, your body’s just going to stop doing things that you could [normally] do. I tell people it’s not about getting older because the number is nothing. It’s what you stop doing because you’re getting older. We all come here as babies in a uterus, and you’re in a ball. As babies, we’re so flexible, and we do all these things, but then we lose it because we don’t continue doing it. It’s the same thing as being a kid and practicing different sports. As adults, we get so consumed by our work lives that we forget some of the things we need to do to take care of us that’ll make us feel good physically. So stretching is very important, especially after sleeping and your body has been in a tense position. That’s something I always try to incorporate, and I wish I meditated more. I’m trying to be more on top of it because I don’t know how to shut off my mind sometimes. That’s something that I’m definitely working on. Take time to do things for you that are important for your well-being and how you feel. And ultimately, that’s going to benefit everyone around you.
You’re obviously incredibly busy, but there’s another project I’d love to talk about. We’re so excited about the reboot of The Proud Family! How does it feel to bring back one of your most iconic characters, Penny Proud?
It feels absolutely amazing. I keep telling people that fans of the show from back in the day are so excited, and we as a show family are so excited because, when the show was over, we always felt like there was more that was needed—we had unfinished business. To be able to come back and be able to play a character that you played 20 years ago, not a lot of artists get to enjoy that type of feeling and to see how you’ve personally grown, you know? I’m excited that a show like The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is around because we’re a show that doesn’t shy away from subjects. We talk about any and everything, and we’re so big on representation.
I’m happy that we got the opportunity to do it. I’m happy that people are so receptive and are enjoying it. This time around, we’re able to be recognized for the work that we’re doing and be in more conversations than we ever were before. I’m just excited to be in this position. Our show was nominated for an Emmy, and that’s a good feeling to know that people are watching and enjoying it.
Here’s a fun question for you. If Penny Proud had a skincare routine, what do you think she would use?
I think Rihanna is her cousin. [Laughs] I think she would have all Fenty everything, and I think she would probably be a little extra with her mole—she would make sure that mole was dark enough. She would also moisturize because that’s what I teach!
You’ve also spoken about being a really strong advocate for mental health. Do you have any kind of wellness practices, supplements, or daily rituals that give you a boost mentally and physically?
I feel like everything that we spoke about helps with anyone’s mental health, especially maintaining a physical lifestyle and finding time to get up and do some type of exercise. One of my favorite things that my man has always said is that it’s not a punishment for what you’ve eaten—it’s a celebration of what your body can do. That’s a great way to look at it. Having some type of physical lifestyle, even if it’s not intense, keeps your heart healthy. Drinking water, watching what you’re putting into your body. People go off of taste all the time. And don’t get me wrong. I love food. I love taste too. Food is one of my favorite things, but you also have to learn about things that come from the earth that are really sent here to nourish you and help you. I think a lot of people don’t recognize [that certain] foods are making them sick and not making them feel good.
I remember years ago, I wasn’t in the best place mentally, and I’m one of those people that does a double check. I say, “Okay, well, how can I help me? What can I do for me?” I stopped eating meat for three months, and I was like, “I need to make some type of change.” But then I stayed on it consistently, and I just felt better, you know? That’s not to say that you have to do that in order to feel better, but it worked really well for me. I think mental health is a lot of staying physical. It’s a lot of watching what you’re putting into your body. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, but managing and recognizing it and also learning how to say no, that’s a big one.
You’ve also spoken about the pressures that young women, in particular, face. What do you think we can do to help pave the way for better mental health among young women and, honestly, just women in general?
I think just talking about it and reminding people. That’s why I love talking about stuff like this because I didn’t realize for so long that people just see what they see on TV. They see this perfect face and don’t really remember that there’s a person behind what you see. We’re all human beings. We all experience crazy things. We all are going through this thing called life, and when we’re able to talk to one another and have conversations, make sure you’re talking to someone who’s like-minded and has good energy and good intentions. [We should continue to] make sure that we’re having these conversations because my favorite thing about representation is allowing people to see that they’re not alone. When you don’t feel alone in a situation, it kind of helps you fight through it and recognize, “I’m not alone in this. This is something that other people deal with and other people have experienced. I’ll be fine.” It also helps remembering that this too shall pass. Everything that’s happening in your life is only temporary. So if it’s happy, enjoy it. Enjoy the moment, stay in the moment, enjoy the moment. And if it’s sad, just know that things aren’t always going to be that way.
That’s such a great motto to live by! What is your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?
Fuck what people say—live your life!