celebrity shopping

What Yuna Zarai Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist. Photo: Ajarina Hitomi

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 musician Yuna Zarai — who just released her latest album Y5 — about the “life-changing” cleaning product, nourishing mascara, and microphone she can’t live without.

I’m a huge fan of lifestyle stores that sell trinkets, home décor, and candles. Scented candles are my thing. I walked into one of those stores in either Echo Park or Silverlake and I just loved the way it smelled. I was like, “What are you burning right now? I’ll take it.” Now, I always have it burning at home. Sometimes I bring it on the road because a lot of hotel rooms smell like detergent or cleaning products. Southern California has a nice woody smell with some softer notes too.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love cleaning. This vacuum was life-changing for someone who lives with two cats and a husband. I use it every day and have had mine for four years now, and it still works great. It’s a very grown-up product. I have my own apartment now, and this was the first thing I invested in. It’s completely worth it.

I worked with Laneige a few years ago, and they sent me some jars of this. To be honest, sometimes I get sent stuff and don’t try it immediately. I just had these sitting for like two or three months. Finally, I tried them, and I was like, Oh my gosh. I’ve been missing out on this? I’ve been wearing it for about two years now. My lips get really chapped, especially when I’m traveling, and I have a bad habit of picking at my lips. I use this at night and as a lip balm before putting on makeup, and it keeps my lips super-moisturized. It also smells amazing.

I have Southeast Asian skin tone, and it can be hard to match. I’ve worked with makeup artists who’ve made me look orange or pink or gray. It’s really tough to buy foundation or concealers that match because they don’t have anything that’s a good blend of caramel, olive, and beige. Kulfi is a new brand made by a South Indian woman, and she really nailed it for skin tones like mine. It matches my skin perfectly. It builds nicely, too, so you can have a little or more coverage. Personally, I just dab it under my eye, on my nose, forehead, chin, and blend it in. It also feels like a really expensive product, but it’s pretty well priced.

I’m really proud of my eyelashes. I’ve always been scared to use mascara — especially waterproof mascara — because I don’t want my lashes to fall out either from the formula or when I wash it off. Because this one has antioxidants and conditioners, I can wear it every day. My lashes don’t feel thin or dried out after wearing it all day, unlike a lot of other mascaras I’ve tried. They feel really healthy. And it’s easy to apply because it doesn’t clump at all.

I’m an island girl. Whenever I go to Malaysia and then travel back to L.A., my skin gets really bad from the dryness out here. I found this when I got a facial at Heyday. I first fell in love with the mango passion fruit smell, but I was hooked because of how my skin felt. It immediately moisturizes my skin without leaving that balmy feeling. I mostly use just a little bit on my face during the daytime when I need a bit more moisture.

I’ve just started my Invisalign journey. I’ve never had braces before, so this is all very new to me. I’m particular about cleanliness, and I hate the thought of dirty trays sitting in my mouth. I have a kit that I carry around with me that has a toothbrush, toothpaste, and at one point I was using those cleaning crystals to wash my trays. That got to be too much, so I randomly found this online. It’s so much easier. I just take out my trays, leave the foam in there for like 15 minutes, and put them back in. It keeps my breath fresh and gives me peace of mind.

I go everywhere with this. I record with it, but even when I’m traveling, doing interviews, and livestreaming, I don’t go for simple setups anymore. It has to be with this microphone. This picks up my vocals beautifully and doesn’t pick up a lot of room noise like other microphones. Most of my songs from my new album were recorded on this mic. Actually, when I was on deadline for the album, I was able to use this on the road in Singapore, Malaysia, and Paris. This is like my studio basically.

I’ve tried different brands of bodysuits, but this one blew me away. The material’s sturdy but not thick. It’s nice and stretchable and not see-through, which is the most important thing for me. Being a hijabi, I usually wear black long sleeves and black pants, so this is an essential layering piece. I wear it under jackets, cardigans, sheer tops. And because it’s not too thick, I can wear it in almost every season. They really nailed it with this.

I recently started wearing hats over my hijab, so instead of stealing my husband’s, I decided to get a really nice one for myself. I’m not a huge fan of huge logos or brands over hats, but Isabel Marant is an exception. It actually look really cool, and this is my favorite to wear when I’m traveling. When I’m getting on and off flights, this is like my shield from the world.

I went thrifting at Wasteland recently for a simple windbreaker just for runs and walks. I ended up finding this for $70! It’s too stylish for running, but I wear it all the time now while I’m traveling. It’s my favorite jacket. It’s so lightweight, easy, and a fun color. I’ve always been a fan of Opening Ceremony ever since I visited the store in New York before the pandemic and fell in love with their designs.

I’m not really a snacker. My husband is, so he buys all these chocolates thinking I’d eat them too. But all I want is Kinder Buenos. I’ve been eating them since high school. It’s just the right amount of sweetness that keeps you wanting more but is still satisfying. It’s my go-to Netflix and chill snack. I don’t consume a lot of sugar in general. The only sugar I take is in my coffee and Kinder Bueno. That’s it.

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What Yuna Zarai Can’t Live Without