They say you learn something new every day. Well thanks to Canadian actress Sarah Gadon, we recently learned a whole slew of new beauty hacks to add to our arsenal—and now you will too! We jumped on the phone with the rising star and face of Giorgio Armani Beauty, who is currently promoting her new film A Royal Night Out, to talk shop—everything from the perfect holiday party look to her brilliant tip for getting rid of puffy eyes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Scroll through for Gadon’s beauty secrets!
Byrdie: In A Royal Night Out you play Princess Elizabeth in 1945. Do you have a favorite aspect of the beauty or fashion of that time period?
Sarah Gadon: I love transforming into characters, and that’s why I love doing period films, because you have this real opportunity to enter into a totally different world. Beauty and costumes and everything change from era to era, and the ’40s is such a classic time. It’s an era we reference often, and it’s a beautiful time for women. So I love the hair and makeup in the film. I actually wore a full wig in the film, and in London they make the best wigs, so it was incredible. It was really funny, because I would always come to set fully processed through hair and makeup and there was one day, I think it was the day we did the big dance scene at Chelsea Barracks, and we had a rehearsal beforehand so I came before I was in hair and makeup. I walked on set with my short blonde hair and the crew did not recognize me at all. When they realized it was me they were like, “Oh my God, I had no idea you were wearing a wig!” It just goes to show how transformative hair and makeup can be.
B: Would you ever consider going a different hair color in real life?
SG: Yeah absolutely. I’ve died my hair a number of times for projects. That’s actually why I insisted on wearing a wig, because it has done such a number on my hair.
B: You’re the face of Giorgio Armani Beauty. What do you love about working with the brand?
SG: I mean, it’s an honor. I grew up admiring their campaigns and was always drawn to their counter at the department store. And so to be asked to be the face of their cosmetics brand was a huge honor, especially because Giorgio is such a style icon himself and he’s built an incredible empire. It was like this crazy dream come true to get that phone call out of the blue, and I’m so proud to be associated with the brand.
B: Have you learned anything new about beauty along the way?
SG: Working with their makeup artist Linda Cantello, who created the line for Armani, she’s a master and has all these little tricks and things that she does. One of the things that we did in the campaign is she took the Eye & Brow Maestro Gel ($34) and she used it to fill in my brows, and then she used it on my eyelids, and then she used it to contour my face. She took this one little pot of product and transformed my face with it. It’s those moments when you realize she is a master at what she does. She also does this one thing when she’s doing a strong lip color, she takes a Q-tip and soaks it in the foundation as like a correcting tool as she’s applying the lipstick, and that’s a good tip when you are doing your own red lip.
B: A bold lip seems to be your signature on the red carpet. Do you have any favorite colors you like to wear?
SG: For me, Armani’s Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($36) in 400, their classic red, is my go-to. I just think it’s so chic to be wearing something simple and then have a beautiful red statement lip that is so indicative of the holidays. And their stuff is so luxurious and stays for so long that it’s just fantastic.
B: Speaking of the holidays, do you have a favorite party look?
SG: I’m really into the matte red lip; I think it makes the whole look feel really contemporary. And for me, I’m over eyeliner; I feel like eyeliner had its moment. I’m all about super-clean eyes, lots of lashes, and a powerful red lip.
B: What does your everyday beauty routine look like?
SG: Well I am a product junkie, so I love makeup even when I’m not working. I try to get out the door really fast, so I don’t actually do too much. I love the Armani foundations. I loved them before I was with the brand. They are incredible and kind of like an industry standard in the film world. I go back and forth, I love Luminous Silk ($62), it’s a classic. It makes you look so bright and alive. But I also really like the Maestro Foundation ($64), which has more of a dry oil feeling to it. So I use a little foundation more as spot treatment. And then I really love the Eye Tint ($38). They are so great, you just dab a little bit on your eye and they are impossible to mess up. I normally do one in a champagne hue, then mascara, and then blush. I have a strong pigment to my lips, so I don’t usually wear any lipstick during the day.
B: Your skin is flawless! How do you take care of it?
SG: I don’t actually do a lot with my skin, it is kind of a less is more situation. I really believe that skincare starts from the inside out. I eat pretty clean and I try to get a lot of sleep. When I’m traveling for work of course it’s a little harder, so I love to drink green juices. I think they are really good for your skin, anything with alkalines and that is not too acidic. In the summertime, I don’t use any moisturizer. I just wash my face and let the natural oils replenish at night. In the wintertime, I use a richer cream, because I live in Canada and it’s super dry and cold. And the Crema Nera ($385)is so luxurious, you just need a little bit of it and it goes a long way. I’m also really into just raw aloe vera. I put it on my face as a hydrating mask. It’s really incredible.
B: You’re in the makeup chair a lot for work. Have you learned any great beauty hacks over the years?
SG: Yeah tons of tricks, I love tricks. One of my favorite ones is, you know when you have mascara and it’s kind of on its last leg? A good thing to do is run the tube under hot water and it basically melts the mascara and makes it feel like it’s brand new. Another one is I keep spoons in the freezer with a little bit of eye cream, and then in the morning if you wake up a little puffy you put the cold spoon and cream underneath your eye and it calms them and feels really good too. And then another really good one is before you apply your lipstick and makeup, if you take a facecloth and run it under warm water and rub it on your lips it exfoliates them. It’s so simple, you don’t need product and it makes your lips totally smooth and plump and ready for a good lip application.
B: Who are your beauty icons?
SG: I am a big Grace Kelly fan. I love her looks—they are iconic—and people always reference them time and time again, because she was just intelligent and beautiful and poised. And so I really always kind of looked to her. And then I’m a big fan of Italian films, and I love Italian movie stars from the ’50s, like Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, because they were just so glamorous.
B: Can you tell us about your first memory of makeup?
SG: My mom is a very beautiful woman, but she is very simple in terms of her makeup. So I definitely don’t have any memories of taking my mom’s lipstick or putting on my mom’s makeup. But when I was a kid and we had our dance shows, that was when we were able to experiment with stage makeup and do each other’s makeup backstage, and it was this real moment of expression and creativity. And I think because I found makeup by way of the stage, I have such a positive relationship to it, and I think makeup is all about expression and creativity and becoming a character and enhancing your features and I just love it because of that. There’s a real drama to it.
B: Is there a trend or look you wouldn’t try?
SG: I’m all about experimentation, and I think women sometimes get nervous and scared about trying something, but I think that you should. I’m like, Go there girl, you can always come back! Personally, though, with my own face, any time I try a nude lip I always look dead, because my lips are so naturally purple that if you put on anything nude it ends up becoming this very morbid, pinkish-purple hue.
B: What do you know about beauty and health now, that you wish you knew when you were younger?
SG: I wish I knew about contouring when I was younger. Contouring I feel like is something that has come out of the woodworks in the past year, and it’s such a great skill to have and I wish I knew about it earlier.
For more information on A Royal Night Out, visit the official website!
Got your own genius beauty hacks? Share them with us in the comments below!