Megan O’Neill has been featured on E!, NY1, and ABC’s Strahan and Sara as a beauty expert and has starred on Netflix’s The goop Lab. She comes to goop from a long career in content at both Lucky and ELLE magazines. Currently goop’s senior beauty editor and a cohost of goop’s beauty podcast, The Beauty Closet, she writes the column Megan Tries It. She loves food, beautiful clean skin care, and cold (and hot) showers. This interview was told to Rachel Krause and has been edited for length and clarity.
8 a.m.: It takes me a few seconds to remember who I am. Every night I drop into something that’s more coma-like than deep slumber, and when my alarm shrills in the morning it always takes me a beat to place that I’m Megan O’Neill, a girl in Brooklyn with a job and sh*t to do. I run to the bathroom and pee, then linger at the mirror, bleary-eyed, inspecting my skin.
I’m always battling acne on some level. A special kind of hell! My poor husband, Jesse — I usually spot treat my blemishes with a face mask, dabbing it all over right before bed, and I can’t imagine sleeping next to that is a turn-on. I have a lot of masks (I have an ungodly amount of potions, many of them wild splurges, because I have to try everything skin care as part of my job; you will never hear me complaining about my job), but I especially love the sulfur one from Goldfaden MD. It’s this kickass blend of pure sulfur, zinc, and a ton of skin-clearing oils that tingles the second you smooth it on and literally shrinks breakouts overnight. I either use it as a face mask and leave it on for about fifteen minutes before rinsing, or I use it as an overnight treatment so it can work its magic while I sleep.
8:15 a.m.: Before washing my face, I oil pull. If you don’t know about oil pulling, you must get on the bandwagon. It’s a common ritual in Ayurveda— the ancient Indian system of medicine that brought things like turmeric and yoga to western culture — and it involves swishing botanical oils around in your mouth for fifteen minutes to detoxify, freshen breath, and support gum and overall health. My mom swears by it — she does it with pure organic sesame oil — but whenever I’ve tried it, it felt onerous... until I started doing it with the oil from Uma, an Ayurvedic skin-care line that’s one of the most beautiful brands in existence. It’s a mix of clove, sesame, coconut, and turmeric oils, and your mouth feels pristine, like it’s been exorcised, after.
While I’m swishing it around in my mouth (the fifteen minutes flies by, and doing it sort of feels like a gum massage), I massage the face-oil cleanser from Wonder Valley onto my dry skin. I discovered the brand because they have a gorgeous olive oil that makes the best holiday gift for impossible people in your life (gave it to my truculent minimalist brother and super-chill minimalist bro-in-law last year). It’s this olive oil, honeysuckle, and jojoba oil infusion that’s thick, skin-clearing, and moisturizing. I can’t get enough oils into my routine; they’re especially balancing for breakout-prone skin, even though that sounds counterintuitive. I rinse it off and swipe on some Schmidt’s Jasmine deodorant — if you have sensitive skin, this is baking soda-free, smells like heaven, and truly works — and get on my yoga mat for a Humming Puppy online class.
1 p.m.: I’m obsessed with face mist — it feels sooo good. I keep a bottle of African beauty water from 54 Thrones next to my kitchen-counter laptop setup and spritz myself all day long every twenty minutes, like a freak. It leaves my skin instantly dewy and refreshed and revives me from staring at my screen, plus it smells like an explosion of wild roses and jasmine. I met 54 Throne’s founder, Christina Tegbe, over Zoom a few weeks ago, and her skin is poreless and astounding. She’s gorgeous! A walking advertisement for her gorgeous brand, which is inspired by the beauty rituals of her Nigerian family. Just looking at her makes me want to try everything she makes.
11:30 p.m.: I can’t stop watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. (I was instantly ensnared: a chess-prodigy orphan, pill addiction, the stylized backdrop of the 60s, flirtations, sex — what a setup.) I watch two episodes, and when the second one is almost over, I work in some hair oil. It’s the thing that makes the biggest difference in shaping, smoothing, and defining my curls and keeping them silky. I rotate between the Castor Oil - Light from Kreyol Essence (a next-level moisture boost) and the jasmine hair serum from Ranavat (a bit lighter and more like a hair perfume — it smells intoxicatingly of jasmine). I section my hair into five braids and bobby pin them into individual little buns all over my head, like haphazard Bantu knots. On mornings when I wake up and the knots aren’t too disheveled, I keep them in as my style for the day.