Exclusive: Ashley Benson Like You've Never Seen Her Before
Ashley Benson wants to listen to Drake and dance to Beyoncé on set—and those are just a couple of the many reasons that everyone on our shoot fell head over heels for the Pretty Little Liars actress. Benson, who starred in last year’s much-discussed Spring Breakers and more recently joined the ensemble cast of HBO's adaptation of Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Benson, who starred in last year's much-discussed Spring Breakers and more recently joined the ensemble cast of HBO's adaptation of Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit from the Goon Squad, is just plain fun to have around. She was happy to break from her go-to look—smoky eye, nude lip—and let our artists and stylist play with texture for her shoot.
“Texture is one of the key components to a successful look, whether it’s on the red carpet, an editorial shoot, or in real life,” makeup artist Rachel Goodwin says. “The understanding and knowledge of textures is something we, as artists, bring to the table that most women don’t know about.” So Goodwin turned Benson’s skin matte while adding gloss to her eyes, or made her cheekbones dewy to set off a matte red lip. “That mix is really the key to sophistication.”
Meanwhile, hairstylist Richard Collins broke out Kiehl’s Silk Groom ($18) to amp up Benson’s already rich texture. “I haven’t used this product in years,” Collins says, “but when you said ‘texture,’ I thought it’d add something interesting.” Sure enough, Benson had killer second-day looking locks throughout the shoot. “I loved that my hair was so messy,” says Benson.
See all of her looks, below!
Manicurist Michelle Saunders used Deborah Lippmann’s Nail Lacquer ($16) in Flesh to paint Benson’s almond-shaped nails. “Nude really elongates the hand in a feminine way,” she says. “It’s the polar opposite of what we’ve seen, just really very pretty.”
Goodwin used Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream ($20) to turn Benson’s eyelids super shiny.
Benson wears Finders Keepers Call Me Dress ($160) in Black.
Collins sprayed a bit of Serge Normant’s Dry Shampoo ($15) in Benson’s roots for added lift. If you weren’t born with the actress’ enviable texture, he suggests sleeping with your hair in braids or a topknot: “If your hair is slightly damp when you go to sleep, you’ll wake up with instant texture.”
Benson wears Knot Sisters Walker Print Cotton Jacket ($70) in Charcoal, Hanro of Switzerland Delicate Spaghetti Camisole Top ($62) in Black, and Catbird Plain Chain 20” Gold Chain Necklace ($118) in Rose Gold.
Goodwin used Armani’s Maestro Foundation ($65) to give Benson’s skin a matte finish. “I used Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour ($57) to sculpt her cheeks and used the same shade on her eyelids and underneath the lower lashline.” Benson’s lush lashes are courtesy of Chanel’s magical Le Volume Mascara ($30) and those killer brows? Filled in with Votre Vu’s Arche de Triumph Brow Gel ($30).
Benson wears Raga Textured Pullover ($48) in Bright Pink, J Brand Leather Leggings ($794) in Black, Kristen Elspeth Arc Post Earrings ($154) in Gold, and Lizzie Mandler Spike Stud Earrings ($300) in 14k Yellow Gold.
Collins used a 1-inch Hot Tools Curling Iron ($29) to wave the back of Benson’s hair, starting from the nape of the neck and leaving the ends straight. Then he used a GHD Flat Iron ($125) to bend the pieces around her face.
Benson wears Equipment Shane Crew Sweater ($298) in Ivory Multi Modern Leopard Print, Hanro of Switzerland Pure Silk Tank ($100) in Black, Gabriela Artigas Tusk Drop Down Earrings ($185) in Sterling Silver, and Ariel Gordon Jewelry Mini Rose Cut Stud Earrings ($255) in 14k Gold and Onyx.
That thing Goodwin mentioned about texture? This is the perfect example. Benson’s slightly glossy lids and almost shiny brown lip (that’s Hourglass’ Nude Lip Stylo ($30) in #2, by the way) pop against her matte skin. And if you weren’t sure, yes, the brown lip is definitely back.
Photographer: Justin Coit
Makeup: Rachel Goodwin
Hair: Richard Collins
Stylist: Laurie Trott