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The Skin-Care Routine Cardi B Used to Mask Getting Only 2 Hours of Sleep Before the AMAs

Before hosting the American Music Awards on Sunday, the rapper turned to an impressive lineup of skin-care products from Algenist. 
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When Cardi B stepped on the red carpet ahead of her first-ever hosting gig at last night's American Music Awards, she turned heads in a stunning black gown by Schiaparelli, a sheer black veil, and a vibrant gold mask that covered her entire face. (Talk about taking the COVID-19 precautions to the next level 👏🏻.) Of course, she only continued to turn the style and beauty game up to 100 for the actual show, rocking a total of eight outfits — all of which she accessorized with a clear, radiant complexion. (Related: Cardi B Drinks Alkaline Water to Promote Hair Growth — Can That Help?)

But with so much excitement leading up to the event, the newly-minted mom of two told People that she was running on just two hours of sleep. So, you might be wondering how Cardi B achieved such a bright-eyed glow with only a couple of Zzz's. Her secret? A few superstar skin-care products.

Prior to applying any makeup, Cardi B's makeup artist, Erika La'Pearl turned to a handful of heavy-hitter items from Algenist, the sustainably-sourced skin-care company also beloved by star Peloton instructors and Shape editors alike. The buzzy brand's creations are built around the dermatological power of algae (yes, algae). So, before getting into the specifics of rapper's Rolodex of products, it's important to know a little bit about the aquatic ingredient. Along with other marine-based extracts such as spirulina, algae has gained attention in the beauty world thanks to its ability to hydrate, soften, and soothe dry, irritated skin. It's also been shown to help naturally protect the skin barrier without requiring the use of synthetic ingredients or chemicals — a win-win for anyone looking to clean up their beauty routine in more ways than one.

Now, back to Cardi B and La'Pearl, who started with the Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum (Buy It, $72, sephora.com), which she notes in a statement is "great for brightening the complexion." This Vitamin C-rich serum also has spirulina, aka blue-green algae, that's packed with skin-loving vitamins, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B3 (aka niacin), and iron — all of which work together to help enhance skin's tone and texture.

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La'Pearl then turned her attention to Cardi B's peepers, applying the Algenist Triple Algae Eye Renewal Balm (Buy It, $68, sephora.com), which La'Pearl says "really helps moisturize while reducing puffiness before priming the rest of the skin." Featuring a whopping three different types of algae (red, green, and brown), this nourishing product also contains alguronic acid, the brand's patented algae-based ingredient that, according to Algenist, improves overall skin health, minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and firms and smooths skin. The acid is also supposed to help boost the efficacy of other ingredients in the product. So, in the case of this Algenist eye cream, you can expect it to keep skin feeling soft and supple, while reducing dark under-eye circles, puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet.

As if these two powerful products didn't do enough, La'Pearl then used two more Algenist goodies to further amp up hydration and reduce the look of surface oils and shine, which, let's be honest, are inevitable when you're running around hosting a show as big as the AMAs. More specifically, she called upon the brand's Algae Niacinamide Moisture Veil (Buy It, $65, sephora.com), a lightweight liquid moisturizer formulated with nourishing niacinamide and the company's signature alguronic acid, and GENIUS Anti-Aging Cream (Buy It, $75, sephora.com), a replenishing moisturizer that "that leaves the skin super soft, but not greasy and can be used under makeup," according to the Atlanta-based makeup artist.

Finally, La' Pearl turned her focus to her famous client's pucker, using the Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen Lip (Buy It, $35, sephora.com). This collagen-rich treatment helps lips look plump and full with regular use thanks to ingredients such as microalgae oil and alguronic acid. (FYI: Here's why you should be using lip oil instead of lip balm.)

The end result, of course, was a stunning look fit for a host as iconic as Cardi B herself on one of music's biggest nights of the year. Whether you're looking to give your skin a little more oomph after a few sleep-deprived nights or simply up the ante on your current routine, odds are you can't go wrong with these powerful plant-based essentials.