While she's the mischievous star of the hit Netflix series Ginny & Georgia, Brianne Howey exudes girl-next-door energy. When she signs onto our Zoom call, I immediately notice she's glowing (literally and figuratively). Her skin looks radiant and her joy feels palpable even through a computer screen. The actress has plenty to be delighted about right now: Our meeting was on the heels of her wedding day, and her hit Netflix series Ginny & Georgia received the green light for season two.
Howey's undeniable talents as an actress and genuine spirit have attracted a loyal fanbase of over one million followers (and counting) on Instagram. On social media, Howey strikes a balance between sharing the highs of her life and shedding light on important topics like mental health. In an industry and world that likes to mainly showcase highlight reels, Howey's complete candor and relatability are more than refreshing. Ahead, Howey opens up about the mass appeal of Ginny & Georgia, her simple beauty routine, and the importance of setting social media boundaries. Keep scrolling to read everything she had to say.
You recently got married. Congratulations!
Thank you so much. It was such a journey getting there. It totally surpassed all expectations we had. It was such a tough year. We postponed it a few times because no one's been gathering. So, I really underestimated how overwhelmingly special it would be to be with my whole family and friends. It was really amazing.
The fact that Ginny & Georgia is coming back for season two is also exciting. Why do you think the show has resonated so much with people?
I think it's super authentic. There are timeless themes about love, relationships, and coming of age in the show. I also think the actors really grounded everything in their own truth. I bought everything I was watching, and I cannot picture anybody else playing any of these characters. And the music, of course, I think has really hooked everybody in.
What made you want to say "yes" to the role of Georgia?
There's a lot of my mom in Georgia. I grew up with a super young single mom. She had me at 21, so we had a similar relationship. She wasn't stealing money from my school or anything like that [laughs]. But, Georgia is a survivalist. And that's something I relate to and something my mom related to. It's not something I see on paper a ton, especially for such a young woman who already has kids and lived such a life at 30. She's wild and cute, so I wanted to throw my hat in the ring for this role and just see what happened.
Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to develop Georgia's beauty look?
Georgia's extensions were more of a last-minute decision. It was something that the show creator, showrunner, and I talked about a ton. I'm so grateful that we pivoted and added them because the second those got put in, I was like, Wow, here's Georgia. As far as makeup, it was fun because we really got to experiment, especially because this character is from the South and probably never had her makeup professionally done. So, the makeup looks we created are things she would probably do based on tips from magazines she read growing up like Seventeen. We just wanted her makeup to feel as authentic as possible.
What are some of your go-to beauty products?
I try to keep it pretty simple. I love Kosas' 10-second Eyeshadow ($28). It's the easiest thing in the world and my favorite thing. I'll do a quick brow using Anastasia Beverly Hills products and then apply some under-eye concealer. I'll also use an easy mascara. I just started using one from Pacifica. And then I'll apply a little chapstick.
What are some of your skincare favorites?
I love using Osea, especially during wedding prep. They have this amazing body scrub and all of these great oils that feel so luxurious. They also have a great face wash. I started using Cocokind as well and love their products. Everything just feels so clean and washes off so easily too. I also have a hydrating serum from La Mer that has been helpful.
I'm sure many of your fans are also aspiring actors and actresses. Do you have any advice for them?
It takes time. It's not a linear career or industry. I started by auditioning for one line. Then, it turned into a few lines and then one episode. After a little while, one episode turned into a few episodes. Then, recurring guest star roles eventually turned into being a series regular. But it takes so much time. I feel like nobody talks about the time where you're auditioning, and your wheels are going, but you feel like you're going anywhere. But that's your foundation. The more rooms you get into or the more tapes you do, it all does pay off.
That's a really good piece of advice. You provide candid insight into your life on social media and shed light on important topics like mental health. What do you hope people learn about you from your social media accounts?
I hope they feel they can relate to me. It's so easy to feel the pressures of social media and everyone wanting to look a certain way. It's kind of exhausting, and I don't think that it's that real. We all fall into it a little bit, but I think it's super healthy to limit your time on social media. I have a 30-minute timer on my Instagram, and I try not to be on longer than that. When I'm on Instagram more than that, I don't always feel as good getting off of it.
Social media can be a true rabbit hole because you can just scroll endlessly and become consumed with watching what everyone else is doing. And that can cause you to start comparing yourself to others. So, I love the 30-minute timer idea.
Yeah, it's been so helpful. Also, I didn't grow up with social media the way my four younger siblings did. They've had Instagram since they were in elementary school, and it's all they know. They're so comfortable with it in a way that you can only be if you've grown up with it. When I was in high school, you had to have an actual .edu email address to have a Facebook. It was a whole different world. And I'm so grateful in a lot of ways for that. You have to have thick skin for this industry, and you've got to have even thicker skin for social media. I don't know that I even could have handled it growing up.
What are some other ways you protect your mental health?
I've been in therapy for so long now. I try to do it every week. And even when I'm on set, I will do phone calls with my therapist. Having healthier tools and being able to unwire certain mindsets that we attune ourselves to growing up has been the biggest game-changer. Being physically active also helps start the day more positively. Sometimes that means just playing with my crazy hyper dog. I also miss in-person workout classes and the motivation you get from doing something in a group. But I've been doing lots of floor mat workouts at home.
Another thing I noticed from your Instagram is that you love to read. Do you have any book recommendations?
I just finished reading The Nightingale. It takes place during World War II. It's about two sisters and the sacrifices they make and the responsibilities they feel concerning their country and their family. I have never cried so much while reading a book. It also made me miss my sister because we're super close. I would highly recommend reading it. It's a really beautiful book, and they're making it into a movie, which I'm very excited about. I also recently finished A Gentleman in Moscow and Untamed. Anything by Brene Brown is wonderful. She has written beautiful books about being authentically ourselves. And on a mental health note, I find them incredibly helpful.
Stylist: Andrew Gelwicks
Hairstylist: Whitney Colleen
Photographer: Tina Turnbow
Makeup: Tina Turnbow