Why October Is Aja Naomi King's Favorite Time of Year

The actress helped pick the class of this year's L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth.

Aja Naomi King x L'Oreal
Photo: Courtesy L'Oreal

For most of us, it's a no-brainer to uplift and support the women around us. Whether that be how we speak to them or the opportunities we give them, we know that to have women support other women is key in both our everyday lives and as we strive for equality and success. Aja Naomi King knows this all too well, and thanks to her partnership with L'Oréal Paris, she's able to do so much more than that.

The pair joined forces in 2017 when King was first announced as a brand spokesperson, and they've continued to work together to improve the lives of others since then. Over the last 17 years, L'Oréal Paris's Women of Worth program has supported over 150 women and their charities, giving them each $20,000 in funding and mentorship, and this year, King deeply influenced who this year's 10 women are.

"It was so hard to pick [them]," she tells InStyle over Zoom. "And that's what stood out to me. I am so happy that this is so hard. I am so happy to know that there are so many incredible women out there doing extraordinary work on the grassroots level, in their community, trying to help people."

While the class won't be announced until October, King says the group spotlights a diverse group of causes, from mass incarceration to child abuse and trauma. "It's going to be something that a lot of people can tap into and connect with, and hopefully want to engage with and participate in to help expand the resources necessary to keep these causes going, to help these charities build even larger so that they can have an even greater impact," she furthers.

Over Zoom, her eyes light up as she speaks about the program and her involvement with L'Oréal Paris's philanthropic work. It's an authentic display of gratitude and excitement that transcends the screen as she speaks about these women and her gratitude to be able to work with them.

When she joined the L'Oréal Paris family, she joined the ranks of other celebrities such as Blake Lively and Elle Fanning. Since then, she's been involved with this philanthropic project, and she says it's the best time of the year for her. "Being able to give them something and make them feel visible and feel seen, and to know that they matter, that is the greatest gift that you can give to another human being," she explains.

King has previously and openly spoken about her journey with self-doubt, which is a sentiment many women can relate to. When talking about the famous L'Oréal Paris tagline, "because you're worth it," she shares that it's the women in her life who have inspired and reminded her of her worth whenever she feels down. "It's standing on the shoulders of such badass women and wanting to honor them by honoring myself," she explains.

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Of course, as an actress, another thing that helps her feel confident is having healthy skin. "When you have great skin, everything else you do is just going to pop so much more," she explains, adding that her go-to product is the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Pure Hyaluronic Acid. King says that after a sleepless night (she has a one-year-old son, Kian), she likes to take a minute to apply the serum and massage her skin to wake up her face — a trick she's learned from working with makeup artists for so long.

She also uses the brand's Revitalift 2.5% Hyaluronic Acid + Caffeine Under Eye Serum, which she likes to put in the refrigerator so that it calms down any puffiness by the time she applies it in the morning — "especially after a very difficult night as we transition our child out of our bedroom."

To further accentuate and highlight her eyes, she relies on L'Oréal Paris's eyeliner, which she says as a Black woman have always showed up on her skin, and the brand's cult-classic Voluminous Mascara. "It's my best friend," she adds.

Apart from her partnership with L'Oréal Paris and the upcoming announcement of the Women of Worth nominees, King has another exciting project she's eager to share with the world. "I am shooting an Apple TV+ series called "Lessons in Chemistry" with Brie Larson," she shares. "It's been an incredible process so far — everyone's just so kind and thoughtful. I'm playing an amazing character that I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to say anything about, so I'll leave it at that."

The show is based on the novel by Bonnie Garmus and follows the story of a female chemist in the 60s who doesn't get the recognition she deserves. While King is tight-lipped on details of the upcoming series, she says her character is cool and that working with Larson has been a dream. "I'm just adding her to the long list of incredible women that I've been able to be around," she adds, likely referring to some of the powerhouse females she's worked alongside, such as Viola Davis and Nicole Kidman.

The theme come full circle: women supporting women who make films about strong women. We love to see it.

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