Aja Naomi King on Makeup, Motherhood, and Making an Impact

Photo of actress Aja Naomi King

Storm Santos / Design by Tiana Crispino

The One Thing

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Aja Naomi King and L’Oreal Paris have developed a powerful partnership over the last five years. Since joining the brand as a spokesperson in 2017, the actress has used her position to celebrate diversity in beauty and uplift women. She's become particularly passionate about L'Oreal Paris' longtime initiative, Women of Worth, which recognizes the philanthropic achievements of 10 women each year. "I feel so lucky to participate in the Women of Worth initiative," she says. "I love what L'Oreal Paris has done by highlighting these causes and supporting these women. They not only give each honoree a $20,000 grant, but they also provide mentorship and access to other organizations to help amplify their cause." 

This year, King even had a hand in selecting the upcoming class (which will be announced in October). "Before, I was just able to be in the presence of these incredible women and learn about the impact they're having," she shares. "This year, I got to sit on the final judging panel. This class includes a diverse array of women who touch on impactful issues, like mass incarceration, child abuse, and mental health awareness." 

Over Zoom, King beamed with pride as she discussed her involvement with Women of Worth. Women empowerment is a subject she'll happily talk about for hours; however, the actress was equally game to discuss her relationship with beauty. As you can imagine, working with L'Oreal Paris has made her an even bigger makeup and skincare enthusiast. Ahead, King discusses her beauty routine, practicing self-care as a new mom, and the best career advice she's received. 

The One Skincare Product She Uses Every Day

"Taking care of your skin is so important. I am obsessed with the 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($19). A makeup artist taught me about massaging your face, so I'll apply that serum and massage my skin."

The One Makeup Product She Plans to Use Forever

"An OG favorite is the Voluminous Original Mascara ($9). I have used it forever and will never part from it. We're still wearing masks a lot of time, so applying mascara makes you feel like you did something. I also love the True Match Foundation ($11) and Colour Riche Lipstick ($11)."

The One Way Motherhood Has Changed Her Approach to Beauty

"It has deepened my relationship with beauty and wellness because you never know what's going to happen or how much time you have. Carving out these moments for myself is significant because I can't be the parent my child deserves if I'm not taking care of myself. I love spending time with myself in the mirror—using my favorite skincare products, doing my makeup, and making myself feel special."

The One Thing She Does to Overcome Self-Doubt

"I start my day by telling myself, 'Today is going to be a great day.' Regardless of what happens, I'm living this one life and want to savor every moment. Any time those self-doubts come in, I start listing them. Self-doubt will make you feel like you don't have this and will never be this. But, I remind myself I am smart, capable, kind, and worthy." 

The One Project She's Excited About Right Now

"Right now, I'm working on an Apple TV+ show called Lessons in Chemistry with Brie Larson. I was very excited to work on this project. The book was so astounding, and the character I get to play is going to move a lot of people."

The One Piece of Career Advice She'll Always Remember

"The women I've crossed paths with in this industry have shared a lot of amazing advice. I've watched how they show up in a space as their true selves. They ask for what they need to engage in this craft. They understand art is a beautiful opportunity to show people who they are and can be. These women have taught me how to bring my full artistic self into spaces and engage from a place of power and belonging."

The One Thing She'd Tell Aspiring Actresses 

"When I think about what I want to say to them, it makes me think about the 10 women in this year's Women of Worth class. Regardless of their circumstances, these women knew who they were and believed in themselves enough to understand they deserved better. So, I want to impart what I have learned from these women to other young women. Regardless of what career trajectory you see for yourself or the circumstances you come from, your existence is proof that what you want to accomplish is possible."

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