Zoë Kravitz On Nighttime Scents, Bedroom-y Eyes, and the Exciting Unknown

Zoe Kravitz x ysl

Courtesy of YSL

London, YSL Beauty, and Zoë Kravitz all have one thing in common: they're excruciatingly chic. They're edgy and cool without trying to be, each exuding a certain je ne sais quoi. Now, combine the three together and you know something bewitching is about to happen.

We're all in London to celebrate the launch of YSL Beauty's Black Opium Le Parfum. The original Opium fragrance launched in 1977 at the height of the disco era, and since then has cemented itself in history as one of the most iconic fragrances to date. YSL has reimagined the perfume several times, and now, we're here for this iteration.

Black Opium Le Parfum is the brand's most intense and warm interpretation of the original. It balances a cocktail of coffee notes, four types of warm vanilla, and a rush of white florals. The result is intoxicating in the best way possible, leaving those lucky enough to get a whiff of it itching for more. It makes for such a good nocturnal fragrance. In fact, this nighttime vibe is why it's housed in a glossy black bottle — it's reminiscent of a couture black vinyl dress by Yves Saint Laurent.

When picking a face for the fragrance, Kravitz was the obvious choice. The Batman star has been a brand ambassador for YSL Beauty since 2017, and her laid-back, rock n' roll vibe is perfectly synonymous for the lastest version of Opium. Below, the actor talks about the fragrance, her go-to cat-eye trick, how she remembers her parents' birthday, and the up-and-coming actor she's in awe of.

InStyle: What stands out to you the most about Black Opium Le Parfum?

Zoë Kravitz: I think the balance. I love the sweet vanilla and the deep coffee. I think a lot of scents can be too much of one thing, and these notes together create this beautiful, sexy balance. It's a really sexy smell, and there's a mystery to it as well. I think it kind of goes with what I was just saying about those high and low notes — you can't really pinpoint it. There are so many beautiful layers to the scent. It kind of makes you wonder about it, which is where the mystery comes in.

Fragrance has the power to transport us places — where does this scent take you?

I can't not be influenced by the ads that we make, so all I think about is a bunch of people dancing in a dark room, in a beautiful city at night, listening to The Weeknd. But that's just because that's what we make for the commercials. But I do associate it with nighttime. I think it feels mysterious, adventurous — kind of like not knowing where the night's going to take you.

What's your favorite thing about makeup? And what are some of your favorite makeup tricks?

I love a very light winged liner. You can obviously do a bold cat eye, but the idea of just doing these kind of invisible lines is something I do every day. Even if I'm just going around the corner to the store, I'm really into brows — I love the couture brow, just filling them in and brushing them up. I think that's amazing. And lipsticks and lip liners too. l just love makeup. Highlighters, barely-there concealer. I love the [YSL] Touche Éclat and dabbing it to brighten up under the eyes and around my nose.

You are known for your cat-eye looks — what's a good trick for getting it right?

It really does depend on the shape of your eye, but for me, I like to go to the corner of my eye and almost go straight versus up because. I think it elongates [the eye] a little bit. Also, I like a sleepy kind of sexy liner versus going up. I think it just looks kind of bedroom-y and I dig it.

Choosing between doing an eye or a lip feels like a rule meant to be broken, but do you lean towards one over the other? Or do you fall somewhere in between?

I like to do both. I like to mix it up. I love a red lip but also love nudes and pinky tones. But there's something about a red lip — it's just so classic, confident, and sexy. I don't do it as often because it requires a little more maintenance, but I do love when I get to do a red lip. [And] I love the texture of the Rouge Volupté Shine. The colors are beautiful, but I think the texture is so beautiful and feels so nice on my lips.

Now, let's talk about your tattoos. Which one has your favorite backstory to it?

I don't think about my tattoos so much — I forget I have them. I don't even know the story behind all of them. I just like to think about where I was in my life when I got certain tattoos, but I don't know if any of them have a significant story. They're more about moments in life and the people and places I love. I have my sister's name and my brother's name. I have my parents' birthdays on my hands, which I actually do kind of check sometimes. So, it's a lot of things that make me think of home and people that I love and care about.

You are on so many peoples' inspiration mood boards — who is on yours?

Ooh that's a good one. I'm a huge Audrey Hepburn fan — she's iconic. Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge... I just love old school Hollywood — there's just this glamor and confidence. Even Cher, you know what I mean? Just people who really just go for it. There's a wildness to them.

Who are some of your favorite Black creatives?

My parents, obviously. My grandmother, Roxie Roker, Jordan Peele — I think he's fantastic —, Viola Davis, God, I think she's incredible. Denzel Washington. I just watched The Bear and the actress, Ayo Adebiri, is incredible. She just blew my mind. I don't know if you've seen it, but she's great. The show's great, the filmmaking, the acting, everyone's incredible. But that actor specifically, I'm pretty in awe of her.

And speaking of The Bear, what would your dream project be? Hollywood or not.

I think the great thing about great projects is that they surprise you. It's about something you haven't seen before, or a re-imagining of something you haven't seen before. For me, the hope for an exciting project is always something I didn't even think about because it's so original, exciting, different, and brave. You don't know until you see them, until they're right in front of you.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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