The British actress and Beauty and the Beast star talks sustainable makeup and the one hair risk she’s hoping to take.
What’s the most important lesson you learned from your mom about beauty?
My mom is a real truth teller. There have been a few times in my life when I really focused on my appearance, and she said, “You know, darling, this isn’t who I raised you to be. Your beauty comes from your creativity and who you are as a human. Of course, I can tell you you’re beautiful, but what I really want to tell you is that it doesn’t matter.” I’m so grateful to her for that. It’s easy to obsess over your looks, and it can be damaging.
You grew up in the public eye, and now you’re 27. How has your approach to beauty evolved?
I’ve been training myself to wear less makeup. People have a tendency to try to fiddle with you or change things about you, and I feel like I’ve had to become a campaigner for my natural appearance. I try to hold on to my freckles and the things that make me, me. I’ve also become incredibly conscious about the products I use. I’ve been putting makeup on my face since I was 9, and it finally got to a point when I said, “What exactly is in this stuff?” So how do you decide which products are right for you? I go down these Instagram black holes and do an insane amount of research. I assess brands based on a list of different things—whether they’re artisanal, whether they’re fair trade, whether they’re charitable. A company has to have two or more of these things in order for me to feel good about it. I also love to support young brands.
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What are some of your favorites that you’ve discovered?
There’s this company called French Girl Organics that started on Etsy. It’s all vegan and organic, and the packaging is amazing. I also love MV Organic Skincare. I have sensitive skin, so I’ve been insistent about using stuff that has less alcohol and fewer chemicals. It’s really helped.
Let’s talk hair. Would you ever cut yours short again?
Absolutely. I loved my hair short. I’ve also always fancied bleaching the whole thing blond, but every time I think I’m going to do it, I pull out at the last minute. It would be so great to land a role that would give me an excuse to go ahead.