Growing up in Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada, Tia Wood (who also has Salish ancestry) began dancing almost as soon as she learned to walk. She spent weekends performing at powwows wearing full Indigenous regalia, but at school, she hid behind colored contacts and edited her online photos to look “a lot lighter” than her natural skin tone.
But in high school, she had a revelation: “‘Wait a minute! We don’t have to do this. We’re beautiful too,'” recalls Wood. “I started decolonizing beauty standards and doing things that highlighted all my Indigenous features, like my hair and my nose.”
Around the same time, she began posting videos on TikTok educating others about her culture while showcasing her musical talent. Now, after moving to Los Angeles to pursue her singing career, she’s ready to try out an even bigger stage. These products help her power through.
“I used to have really severe acne and I tried a lot of very harsh [treatments] on my face. Then I started using Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Moisturizer and it really helped my acne clear up and even out my skin tone. I noticed that when I’m in colder climates, I break out more.”
“Milani Bright Side Illuminating Face Primer is a new favorite. I started using it because we had powwows here in Cali and it was the only primer that I could find at Walgreens. But then I really liked it. Powwows can go from noon to midnight and this helped everything stay in place.”
“I use two different shades of CoverGirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer: one that’s my
actual skin tone and another as a highlighter. I don’t wear any other foundation, just this. I use a sponge to blend it in.”
“There are some great Indigenous beauty brands and Cheekbone Beauty is really good quality. I apply Sustain Blush/Bronzer in Medium with a fluffy brush. I use one side of it at a time. I really hate sticky lip glosses, [but] their Sustain Lip Gloss isn’t like that at all. It’s shiny, not sticky. I wear it religiously.”
“I learned the powder ‘baking’ technique on YouTube and it really does make a difference [for setting makeup]. I bake with Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder where I get most greasy, like the sides of my nose and under my eyes. One/Size Preserve the Serve Luminous Setting Spray gets rid of that cakeyness you can have with matte makeup.”
“It depends on my mood, but I do like wearing makeup even if I’m just chilling or going to the studio. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 takes it off, but is super gentle on my skin.”
“My [body] also gets really dry in cold climates. So when I go home [to Alberta] I always make sure to bring a little cup filled with Lush Dream Cream Body Lotion.”
This story originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.