The One Thing
Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.
Ella Balinska has the exact beauty routine you'd expect from one of Charlie's Angels—sophisticated, badass, and with a bigger mission at top of mind. The English actor recently joined Clé de Peau Beauté as a brand ambassador, and for her, this new role isn't just about luxurious beauty products (though that certainly doesn't hurt).
Truthfully, what attracted Balinksa to Clé de Peau Beauté was the brand's philanthropic mission—well, that and their concealer (apparently, it's a must-try). In 2019, the brand launched the Power of Radiance program, defining it as a "multi-year philanthropic commitment that honors inspirational women from around the world whose advocacy for women and girls’ education has led to positive long term impact on lives."
It's a program that is right up Balinksa's alley. In 2020, she established the Ella Balinska Scholarship at her alma mater, Guildford School of Acting in London, to provide support for first-year students from the global majority as they learn their craft.
Yet this joint philanthropic mission is not the only thing Balinska has in common with Clé de Peau Beauté. They also share an appreciation for the finer things in life, a dedication to self-care, and the belief that makeup is a form of artistic expression, to name a few.
Eager to know more, Byrdie caught up with Balinska to hear all the details. Lucky for us, she was willing to dish.
The One Concealer She Can't Live Without
"When I first came into the industry and started attending events and going to fashion shows, I’d have a whole glam squad getting me ready. The one consistent in every makeup kit was the Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($75). It was a product that became like home to me, even if working with someone new, they’d always have that same concealer!"
The One Step In Her Routine She Never Skips
"No matter what day it is, no matter what time of the day it is, always (always!) do your night routine. If I'm on set, and I've just done a full day of shooting, there's dust, dirt, glycerin, special effects, and all of this [stuff] that goes on your face. Not to mention, the lights and the long hours.
"No matter how tired I am, I always wash it all off, I always drink water and I always do my night routine."
The One Makeup Tip She Swears By
"Foundation blending. My make-up artists, Vincent Oquendo and Emily Cheng, never really use just one shade. It’s always an incredibly concocted mix of slightly different shades to create depth to bring out my natural tones."
The One Cause She's Always Supporting
"Being a Brand Ambassador for Clé de Peau Beauté enables me to stand up for what I think is one of the most incredible and important things: female empowerment. What really speaks to me about the brand is that it not only champions high-quality products but also a global philanthropic mission that empowers girls to find their voices through education.
"This is something I want to be a part of and spearhead with Clé de Peau Beauté. I love doing anything I can to help children get the opportunities that they so need and deserve—giving everyone an equal start to be able to get where they want to go."
The One Serum Her Skin Loves
"The Clé de Peau Beauté Serum ($295) is incredible. It goes on light and makes my skin feels moisturized and polished. It works amazing just after cleansing and is a perfect base before moisturizer. I love feeling a little dewy."
The One Makeup Philosophy She Lives By
"The world of beauty and makeup are exciting to me as I see it as art—a way of expression. There is no wrong or right way of doing anything, so, in that sense, it is very personal and freeing.
"For me, beauty is not only accentuating your personality, but it is also the memory of stealing your mum’s makeup brushes. It’s not just a way for me to mold into a character on set but it’s also a reminder of the first time I saw Kabuki theater and was blown away by the makeup, the expressions, and their meanings. It’s not just showing the world who you are but a reminder to take care of yourself."
The One Way She Turns Makeup Into Self-Care
"I always feel most like myself whenever I really play on how I am feeling that day. I like to be authentic to myself. If I’m feeling super confident, I might be a little bolder with my look, or really accentuate my features with a color I wouldn’t usually try.
"On the flip side, if I’m having a day where my energy is more intrinsically focused, I’ll really look after my skin by doing a long version of my skincare routine, as extra preparation to take on the world for the day. Self-care is key!"
The One Habit That Keeps Her Happy
"Me-time is the best way to decompress! Whether it’s inventing a makeup look whilst listening to music at full volume, indulging in takeout from my favorite restaurant in sweats, or watching a movie with a friend over FaceTime."