Zendaya’s Beauty Philosophy Is Predictably Laidback
The Euphoria star, singer, and new Lancôme ambassador talks experimenting with beauty with no regrets — except the one time she left a brow place in tears. Plus all about how she gets that glow, and the products she can't live without.
Rumor has it that you sometimes do your own hair and makeup for the red carpet. True?
It is true. More so with makeup. It’s always been a kind of hobby for me. Makeup is an experimental thing. You can literally wipe it off. I’m not going to have this mullet forever — [the wig] will come off when I get home. I’ve made my mistakes. I’ve had questionable moments. But it’s always about the freedom of expression.
So you don’t believe in beauty regrets?
You’ve just got to own it, you know? Though I’m thankful I was never allowed to get my eyebrows done when thin brows were poppin’. Once I started caring about mine, I always wanted them to be big. I remember the day before seventh grade started, I was going to get my brows done. I left the place with one eyebrow more square and one more round. They looked superthin, and my heart was broken. I cried, which is so dramatic, but it was the day before seventh grade. That’s a big deal! And I was pissed because my 13th birthday was coming up. I was like, “Mom! The lady took off my eyebrows!” She said, “They grow back, Zendaya. Relax.” But I was not wanting to listen.
Can we talk about your skin? You’re practically glowing in your selfies.
It’s all about the sun. Get in front of it and let the rays hit you. That and also be heavily moisturized.
And how do you keep your skin fresh in real life?
Wearing SPF is No. 1. Everybody, wear your SPF! And I find it therapeutic to give myself a facial and do all those extra steps: cleansing; cleansing with another cleanser; toning with, like, eight different things; then a spray; a sheet mask; a clay mask. It’s a little self-care.
The term “self-care” gets tossed around a lot lately. How do you define it?
Everyone has their own thing, like a form of meditation or whatever. Me, I find it very hard to just sit there and clear my brain. People say I’m crazy, but I watch Harry Potter, like, once a day. It’s just calming to me, so that’s my thing. People are like, “Oh my god, Harry Potter again?” I say, “Don’t come over to my house if you don’t want to watch it, because it’s going to be on.”
You recently moved into a new home. Are you in a nesting phase right now?
Yeah. People will ask me, “Oh, do you want to go on vacation and relax?” No! I don’t want to get on another plane. I just want to stay in my house. It’s nice to have your own space and control the energy that comes in and out. I’m all about lighting and the essential oils in the air. I also spent the last few days organizing my makeup. I’m in this [moment] where everything should have a place. All my Lancôme lipsticks are lined up in this little lipstick holder with all the [caps] facing up — they’re supercute.
It’s been so fun to watch you come into your own on the red carpet. Has confidence ever been an issue for you?
Confidence takes time. A lot of people would be like, “Why don’t you just love yourself?” or “Why don’t you just feel better?” That stuff is much easier said than done. Growing to understand and appreciate yourself takes time. And we’re all figuring it out. My mom did it at 50. I call it her butterfly moment. She became confident and got more in touch with who she was at 50. It can happen at any point in your life. Just don’t rush that process. Let yourself feel things and know it’s OK to be a little slower than others.
Zendaya's Must-Have Products:
Lancôme Idôle eau de parfum, $96/50 ml
"I'm very particular about smells. I like that this fragrance smells fresh and light. If this passes my test, it must be good!"
Miss Jessie's Multi-cultural Curls, $16
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, $15
Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Ruby in 473 RubieZ, $32
Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother, $8
For more stories like this, pick up the September issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download now.