We’re excited to continue our new series, The Close-Up, where we take a closer look at celebrities, influencers, and pop culture phenomena. You’ve read about them on the Internet and clipped their photos out of magazines—but now you’ll have the chance to get to know them personally through fun Polaroids, handwritten beauty advice, product recommendations, and so much more.
She’s fresh off an early morning jam-packed with television appearances, and Jaime King’s passion for beauty still permeates the room. She’s swapping supplement suggestions and doling out beauty tips to everyone in the room. And in a refreshing change of pace, she’s actually eager to take off the makeup she’s wearing before stepping in front of our lens. (Fine by us—let’s do this one au naturel.) So, after a few makeup wipes and an espresso, the actress and model is ready for her close-up.
From the first shot, it’s clear this woman knows how to work a camera. But once the roll of film is done, we get into the good stuff. This thing on our mind is King’s new collaboration with ColourPop, Alchemy. “When it comes to beauty, I like it to be as simple as possible, which is why I made the Alchemy kit. I had dreamed of this kit since I was a kid. The idea of having everything that you could possibly need within one kit so you never have to think about it again,” King says. Naturally, we gravitate toward the lip colors, which King designed to have you covered for day (the soft pink) and night (the cool, berry red). “That red—just so you know, the reason why I made that particular red was because I want every woman to be able to feel powerful and confident wearing red because a lot of women don’t. They are either the girl that wears the red lipstick or the girl that doesn’t or the boy that does or doesn’t. But I had—it was close to like 20 people in the room of different skin tones and different races. … For me, that was incredibly important because there’s nothing more irritating to me than the idea of something not being usable for everybody.”
After sorting through all the various ways the Alchemy eye, lip, and cheek colors can be used (and there are several—think the contour stick as eyeliner, the highlighter as eye shadow, and the blush as lipstick), we got into the real nitty-gritty: contouring. King recalls learning to contour from makeup artist Wendy Rowe, long before the “contouring craze” and subsequent backlash against it. “People think that contouring in a way is like hiding someone’s face, but to me, it’s about accentuating the beautiful structure that God gave you,” King. “Don’t be afraid to really go crazy, because it might look like nuts when you’re first doing it, but then it really creates something beautiful—your face.”
Given that the woman has been in front of the camera since age 14, gracing the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, we were curious to find out if she’d picked up any genius tips from the industry’s best. And she has. “The main trick that I’ve really learned from [makeup artists] like Mary [Greenwell] and Pat [McGrath] is using the fingers,” King says. “And people forget. People think they have to apply makeup with brushes, but skin-to-skin is a lot of the times the best because the warmth of your skins warms up the makeup. Using your fingers to really meld in concealer is a really great way to put concealer on.”
King is also a wealth of personal beauty tips. Her top piece of advice is one we can definitely get behind: Don’t wash your hair. “I think the biggest mistake you can make is washing your hair every day,” says King, who washes her hair “once a week, maybe twice.” “You know with so much on it—so much heat and all of this stuff—and I’ve had my hair worked on since I was a baby, and it’s still beautiful and healthy, and it’s because I don’t wash it. You need to have the natural oils of your hair, and people know this by now, but I think a lot of people don’t actually follow it. That’s the one thing that I can say is that it’s a real truth.”
Her second best piece of beauty advice? Don’t remove your eye makeup with a makeup wipe. “What I do for mascara that’s very gentle is that I wash my face, put the water on like lukewarm, and take my fingers and gently rub my eyelashes under the water. And then you take your mascara off gently like that,” King says. “Just gently massage your eyelashes under the water, and that way you don’t have to scrub scrub scrub that delicate skin around your eyes, which is the first thing that starts wrinkling.”
As far as the rest of her skincare routine goes, King is really low maintenance, stressing only the importance of washing your face and moisturizing. “I can’t not moisturize. I literally have the driest skin. If I don’t put lotion on my body and my face, it’s like someone has sucked all the life out of me. I’m not even exaggerating.”