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Yasi Salek’s Beauty Routine Includes Tretinoin and Beef Tallow

Yasi Salek does the lord’s work, and by the lord’s work, I mean providing exhaustive, hilarious, insightful background on cult bands and artists so you never have to pretend listen to a hinge date explain Radiohead or Weezer ever again. If, heaven forbid, there is even a whisper of “Pinkerton” you will be armed with enough knowledge to run circles around your suitor (hopefully, on your way out the door). Maybe this is just a problem in Bushwick, Echo Park, and certain pockets of the Midwest, but regardless, Salek’s podcasts Bandsplain and 24 Question Party People are worth a listen. Go to Bandsplain for hours-long discography deep dives on artists like PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Blondie, The Cure, and Joni Mitchell, and 24 Question Party People for informal, conversational interviews—recent guests include Sleater-Kinney, Orville Peck, and Kurt Vile.

Between rants about Morrissey and musings on the nature of rockstardom, Salek is known to drop a few lifestyle, beauty, and fashion tidbits, to be enjoyed by the (hopefully decreasingly) rare listener who isn’t a straight, elder millennial or Gen X man. Here, she expands on her style preferences, explains the allure of shopping at Brandy Melville, and describes the many benefits of adding beef tallow to your beauty routine. — Maraya


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5 X 5

5 Things Yasi Salek Is Currently Into Based on the 5 Senses

👁️ Sight 👀

Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz: When I'm not reading music books for work, I use what I'm reading to set the tone for my vibe, and right now I'm trying to be fun again after a long spell of being not fun (a lot of Kierkegaard) so I'm re-reading Eve Babitz's Slow Days, Fast Company. This is a very basic answer but at least it's honest.

🎧 Sound 👂

crushed, Badvril, and Many More: Listening to old music is my job but listening to new music is my passion. JK, imagine if I actually meant that. I do love a lot of new bands, like the duo crushed (lush, ascending, I'm the main character when I listen to dream-pop) and SF band Badvril (v 90s, v vibey, v good) and so many more. I have a playlist called yasi-core, where I stick all the (mostly) contemporary music I like, in case this is an appropriate venue for not very subtle self-promo.

👅 Taste 😋

Steak: I'm really into making steaks at home lately, rib eyes to be specific. I use a cast iron half-stove half-oven method I found by googling "Gordon Ramsay perfect cast iron rib eye" because I trust that guy even though the website I landed on seems absolutely not endorsed by Mr. Ramsay himself and may have nothing to do with how he makes steak. I get really good cuts of thick grass-fed and finished rib eye at my Farmer's Market and season with just salt and pepper, some rosemary, and garlic in the pan, and I use beef tallow for cooking fat. At the end, I let it sit for five minutes with a pat of raw butter on it (I recently worked my way up from two minutes but refuse to go the full 10 that I guess you're supposed to because it gets cold!) and then I squeeze some lemon over it. Sorry to my haters but clearly I am thriving over here.

👃 Smell 😶‍🌫️

Odile: I just got my hands on Odile, which is a new scent from Marissa Zappas and Courtney Rafuse under the moniker Guamamina. I fucking love it so much, I think it's because of the strong rubber note? I did not previously realize I loved the smell of rubber so much but I've always preferred sort of off-kilter scents (I'm not like other girls, etc) and this one also has blood orange, dark chocolate, star anise, musk, and suede, and it makes me feel both super feminine and sort of menacing. Plus the bottle is gorgeous, it's topped with a black swan which fits perfectly into my new obsession with feng shui (I won't get into that here, let's just say we are finding new ways to cope babe).

🤌 Feel 🤏 

Beef Tallow: I recently started putting beef tallow on my face (not the same one I use to cook my steak though you could do that) and it's honestly been life-changing. Beef tallow is super hydrating and full of vitamins like D, A, E, and K plus antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids all of which are very easily absorbed by our skin because it's an animal product? I don't know babe I'm not a scientist okay, I just know my skin is fucking glowing. The one I use is from Meraki Medicinals and also has methylene blue in it which, yes, is used in fish tank cleaner but also has been shown in studies to basically age skin cells backwards so let me live bitch!! Apologies to vegans.


Almost all my clothes are vintage or second-hand from The Real Real or eBay. Since I work from home hunched over a laptop for hours at a time like a gargoyle, and in general have shut-in tendencies, and I'm a double Taurus, what I actually almost exclusively wear is comfortable loungewear. I've stepped it up to matching sweatsuits because I feel more put together (the bar is low babe) and I can just put my hair up and put on some hoops and some lip liner and feel like I did something with myself. It's really hard to find full cotton ones though and after being tricked by my beloved Ohio-based Lebanese TikTok influencer into buying 50% polyester sets from Amazon, I turned to Skims, who makes really good ones. I also like the ones from Brandy Melville, and I especially like going in to buy them and breezing past the teens deciding which one tank top to buy with their allowance money and getting whatever I want because I am basically a teen but with an American Express.

 When I don't wear sweatsuits and like you know, go outside, I do tend toward "rocker chick" (casualty of the job I guess) stuff like band t-shirts (I name three songs for a living) and these Acne boots which are like what if a classic basic but a little different and three times as expensive (which I also am a sucker for). My secret third aesthetic is gothic (sometimes dangerously close to steampunk if I'm not careful) hoe and this Miaou corset is just the perfect romantic slightly slutty super femme top.

Shop the Essentials: Skims Sweatsuit, Missoni Robe, Sci-Fi Fantasy Hoodie, Acne Studios Leather Buckle Boots, Miaou Agnes Corset


Yasi Salek’s Beauty Go-To’s

I don't wear a lot of make-up (see above about not going outside) but I am pretty psycho about skincare (see putting beef tallow with fish tank cleaner in it on my face). The SkinMedica growth factor stuff is super expensive but actually seems to be doing a lot. Literally who can say though. I think there was some controversy around it but I refused to look into it because sometimes my vanity trumps all. But honestly, I think the best skin care is really simple—just Tretinoin ($11 with a prescription) and beef fat. Also making your skin glow from the inside (sorry to be a bitch!) with your diet and supplements, like this Agent Nateur collagen, which makes my hair and nails grow at a frankly insane rate and also makes my skin noticeably better. Plus it's marine collagen and has pearl powder like beauty dust. If I do wear make-up it's usually just lip liner. Mac Stone is the only one I wear because it's literally perfect—it's so hard to find a brown that's not warm. I have like 20 of them, one in every purse, around my house, in my car. Emotional support lip liner. The Maybelline lipstick with the horrible name is similar in shade. 

Cult Classic: MAC Lip Pencil in Stone 

All Time Ole Reliable: Tretinoin 0.05% Cream


“Polyester is a low-vibrational fabric, sorry!!!” – Yasi Salek

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