On the game-changing TV show Scandal, Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, was known for (among other things) her impeccable style and her signature white hat. In real life, Washington has been wearing many hats since the historic series ended in April. She has her ongoing role as mother to two young children, plus she’s been busy running her production company, Simpson Street, working as a co-writer and director for the Showtime comedy, MILF, and prepping for her lead role in American Son, a Broadway play debuting in October.
This week, Washington is juggling yet another one of her jobs: ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She just introduced two new makeup products, Force of Nature Eye Palette, which features six earthy-yet0sexy shadows, and Force of Nature Lip Palette, a well-edited range of creamy colors that go from barely there to bold — and yes, Washington has a favorite shade. She revealed that to me during a phone conversation where we talked about strong women, self-care, makeup and more. Read on for Washington’s nuggets of wisdom.
Her inspiration for this launch:
“The first palettes that we did last season were essentials. It was the anti-stress palette with everything you need. But I feel our girls deserve a bit of drama as well, and I wanted to give them that this time around. I’m so inspired by our consumers; by all the multitasking, badass women who are courageously driving toward their dreams. I wanted to create a palette to acknowledge that power in our consumer — and I mean both men and women.”
"In times when we’re being bombarded with things that are stressful,
it’s important that we pick rituals that make us feel good."
Why the palettes have an empowering theme:
“One of the things I was thinking a lot about with the shade names for these palettes is the commitment to the whole system — not just beauty but also health and well being. We shouldn’t be wearing makeup because we feel less-than, but to enhance our natural beauty and our natural strength. Makeup is a tool that helps you to be the best version of yourself. It’s about how you take control of your body as a beautiful work of art.”
What the beauty world is currently getting right:
“Just seeing everybody and understanding that everybody deserves access to these tools of makeup and skincare technology. These tools shouldn’t belong to only one population because they’re a particular color or socioeconomic group, so I love what we do at Neutrogena because it’s affordable. The stuff we’re doing with hyaluronic acid has been in luxury products for a long time so to offer it at this price point makes me proud because wellness and beauty should be for everybody.
"I know a lot of other companies are putting their focus on pigment, and we’re working on a lot of innovation to improve our shade range, and we’ve done some great expansion there. One of my favorite things as a consultant is that I get to play with so many products, so I see the importance of that, but I’m also proud of the other work we're doing in skin health.”
Her advice on how to stay confident in an image-conscious world:
“Part of it is taking a philosophical approach. I try not to wake up in the morning and say ‘I need to put on makeup because I can’t let people see the real me.’ I try to do it with the approach of self-love; that philosophy of 'I am enough, I am beautiful, and I don’t need to do anything other than to be me and walk out the door.' When I choose products, I’m doing it for me and the benefits they’ll give my skin as opposed to feeling like I won’t be attractive without them.
"Part of what’s great about beauty rituals is that it’s something we do for ourselves. The Neutrogena Hydrogel Mask is insane, and I do that mask for me. I put it on and lay in bed for five minutes. I feel like in times when we’re being bombarded with things that are stressful, it’s important that we pick rituals that make us feel good.”
"I love that we’re playing on that idea that you can
turn up the volume on what is natural."
Her favorite shade in the Lip Palette:
“I love Rapture because it’s just so sexy and beautiful. For me, we’re pushing the envelope a little bit with these new shades. People associate Neutrogena with a very natural aesthetic, so I love that we’re playing on that idea that you can turn up the volume on what is natural. These colors can all be found in nature, but these are the more raw, visceral, and powerful colors that nature presents.”
The beauty habits she’s passing on to her daughter:
“My mom taught me to drink lots of water so we drink a lot of water in my house. It’s partly why I’m drawn to the Hydroboost line — I want to hydrate on the inside and on the outside. Sleep is also a priority and SPF, SPF, SPF!”
The Neutrogena Force of Nature Eye Palette and Force of Nature Lip Palette by Kerry Washington are now available for $13 each online and in stores.
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