It’s important to have the courage to be the best version of yourself and not try to look like anyone else.
Kerry Washington wants you to feel your loveliest, so the 39-year-old Scandal star is sharing her easy advice — and helping brands create products that flatter all women.
What’s your everyday makeup look?
When I’m not working, I let my skin breathe, so I just do concealer, mascara, and a sheer lipcolor. Occasionally I’ll mix a drop of foundation into my moisturizer. I’m a consultant for Neutrogena, and I worked with them to add more shades to their Healthy Skin foundation. I tested them on set and on the red carpet—it was a real process to come up with the formulas, so I’m very proud to wear them!
What’s your best beauty skill?
I know my own lips better than anyone—at least anyone who’s putting makeup on me. I might not know them better than my husband! I line my lips with a pencil that matches my lipstick, then I slick on the color and it doesn’t bleed.
You stopped chemically straightening your hair years ago. What made you decide to do that?
I’d been relaxing my hair since I was a little girl, so part of it was just wanting to see what would happen if I didn’t. Quitting has been such a time-saver, and my hair feels much healthier now. It’s been fun getting to know my real curls.
You have incredible skin. What’s your regimen?
I’m a firm believer in double cleansing: I use a facial wipe to take off my makeup, then I wash my skin. Right now I’m pregnant, so I’ve stopped using retinol and cut back on products with salicylic acid, since that’s what doctors advise. I’m so relieved that hyaluronic acid is safe during pregnancy— I can’t live without Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel.
You collaborated with OPI on their fall nail colors, all of which have Washington, DC-inspired names. Did you help create those as well?
I did, which is every girl’s dream! The one we’re most excited about is We the Female. When I spoke at the Democratic National Convention four years ago, I talked about how the words We the people didn’t include a lot of individuals in this country — women, people of color — when they were first written. We’ve all fought to be a part of that phrase, so having a polish called We the Female felt perfect to empower women. Plus, it looks great on every skin tone.
What do you hope to teach your 2-year-old daughter, Isabelle, about beauty as she grows up?
I want to set the example for Isabelle that my mom set for me. I never felt as though she put on makeup to fix a sense of insecurity or impress others; she did it just to feel good. I want my daughter to know that she deserves to feel pretty, but then let her decide what that means for her.