By Marianne Mychaskiw
Updated Mar 21, 2016 @ 6:15 pm
Shay Mitchell
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Knowing what we know now, there are a few pieces of beauty wisdom we'd like to give our younger selves if given the chance, with "don't pull out your eyebrows," at the very top of the list. Shay Mitchell's advice to her younger self is slightly more impactful. "I would tell myself to celebrate the fact that I was different, and to embrace what made me different and unique," the star tells us. "Growing up a different race in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood, all of my friends had fair complexions with blonde hair and blue eyes. I look back on my photos and I'm completely different. I dyed my hair lighter, I wore color contacts, I didn't want to be out in the sun." Mitchell, who is half-Filipino (and is a second cousin of Lea Salonga's, NBD), admits that she doesn't regret any of her past expierimental beauty looks—after all, they did make her who she is today. Her mother in particular taught her at a young age that makeup should be used to enhance what you have, rather than completely changing your appearance, and it's pretty safe to say that things have come full circle. "If I said anything to myself back then, it would have been, celebrate who you are. The fact that you're different is going to help you in the future," says Mitchell.

When she moved from Toronto to Los Angeles early in her career, Mitchell started putting a larger emphasis on skincare when she noticed her complexion reacting to the different climate. Working on the set and having to take off the heavy makeup required for the camera prompted her to develop a proper regime, making her role as Biore's celebrity face all the more appropriate. "I do like to do a lot more face masks, like Biore's Self-Heating One Minute Mask ($7;, because I'm always in hair and makeup. It doesn't matter if you live in a warm climate," she says. "My skin can get dry with the amount of makeup I wear on set and taking it off all the time, so I'll do a mask a few times a week, and will exfoliate once or twice a week." Mitchell tells us that when she has no makeup on whatsoever, that's when she feels her best, and the extra care she gives her complexion has an impact on how everything else. Basically, she's comfortable in her own skin in every sense of the term. "I know I used to compare myself to a lot of girls in magazines, but after being in the industry, you realize that there is a lot that goes into these photos. I'm not against it by any means, but you do need to realize that the images out there have been Photoshopped and edited by professionals, so don't come down on yourself too much if you have a stretch mark here and there," Mitchell says. Even something as fleeting as the selfie shouldn't be taken seriously. "The secret to taking the perfect selfie? Take five thousand," she adds, laughing. "I'd be lying if I said I got them all on the first try—I wish!"