celebrity shopping

What Lena Waithe Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Courtesy of the subject

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked producer, actress, and screenwriter Lena Waithe, who recently launched a capsule clothing collection through her production company, Hillman Grad, about the bottled water she keeps in her fridge at all times, the design-y weed grinder she loves, and the sneakers she says go with everything.

Moisturizer is just something that has been ingrained in me since growing up. Always making sure you’re lotioning, always making sure your lips aren’t dry, always making sure your hair isn’t dry. I think it’s cultural, and I’m not alone in that. But you also need a little bit more help out here in L.A. because the air is pretty dry. This is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s been in my house since I was a kid. It’s one of those products that is passed down among generations. I’m grateful for it; it’s a wonderful product that, to me, has always been perfect.

Vaseline is also an old-school thing. For me it goes back to childhood memories of all the big vats of Vaseline and the tins all over the house. But the brand has been incorporating new flavors, like this cocoa-butter lip balm, and that’s really cool.

I’ve recently grown my hair out a little bit, and I don’t have as low of a cut anymore. It’s still a pretty easy hairstyle to manage, but I do use this every day to keep my hair from drying out. It’s super-simple and really easy to use.

I’m not a big face-product expert, and I’ve never really been super-into all that stuff. The fewer the products the better, in my opinion. But I love this face wash. It’s what I use every day, and it’s very light and not aggressive on my sensitive skin. The founder happens to be a queer Black woman, and she’s awesome.

I wear these all the time and I think they just go with everything. I can dress them down or dress them up, and they are comfortable, comfortable, comfortable — just super-cozy. In general I prefer Gazelles with the long tongue. But I’m also not anti–short tongue.

I’m always on some kind of a water journey, always trying to drink more water. It’s important for me to have bottles of water around to make sure I’m always drinking water. And then obviously I’ll recycle, recycle, recycle, recycle. This is the water I keep in the fridge. I know I’m not alone in loving the brand. It’s a brand I see a lot of my friends use. And it’s cool that it’s alkaline to help with the hydration.

Rarely do you see such a pretty grinder. This Stona one was sent to me in a mailer from Weedmaps and I was just like, Okay, I’ll use it. Then it turned out that I really loved it. I love the way it feels in my hands. I love the way it’s designed, and I love how compact it is. I actually take it with me everywhere.

This brand is super-exciting. Chris Ball is the CEO and founder, and he works with his cousins, his brothers, and the rest of his family growing their own cannabis. I got a chance to visit his farming plant. Everything is so organic, like, he showed me the soil and the worms moving around in it. He kept saying, “Yes, the soil should be alive.” He even took a drink of the water that he pumps into the plants and said, “If I can’t drink the water, why would I pump that water into the plants that I grow to give to you to inhale?” It was just a really beautiful experience. He is someone who was once incarcerated for selling marijuana, and now he has a license to sell legally in California. He’s one out of 100 people who got a very special license and so his story is phenomenal. I use his products exclusively. He names all the strains after characters from TV and movies. Nino Brown is obviously from New Jack City, and it’s really dope.

The Hillman Grad Capsule came about because we really loved how some other production companies do merch. And we thought, Why don’t we do something? We wanted to treat the capsule as we would a movie or a TV show that we were producing and give it that same kind of time and attention. So we were very specific that it should feel like it’s for anyone and everyone. The clothes are something you can wear all the time, but they don’t feel like throwaways. I love fashion, but on a day-to-day basis, when I’m writing or going to get coffee or whatever, I want to be in something comfortable, stylish, and very me. I’ve always loved that sort of, not a turtleneck, but a high-neck shirt. And the way this shirt falls is just very flattering. The number 84 on it is for the year I was born.

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What Lena Waithe Can’t Live Without