Emmy Rossum may spend her days wearing smudged mascara and a messy ponytail while playing Shameless’ Fiona Gallagher, but off set she’s a sea of beauty knowledge. “When Fiona wears makeup, we’ll pick a lipstick color that’s a little bit off, or a smudgy green liner that runs down her face,” Rossum says about her character’s lack of beauty skills. The actress and singer, on the other hand, knows exactly what works. We sat down with Rossum to talk everything from skincare to red carpet makeup.
Before breaking open her makeup bag, Rossum preps her skin with Restørsea’s Reviving Cleanser ($65) and Day Cream ($150). She’s recently partnered with the brand after falling in love with their products. “I have really sensitive skin and almost everything makes me break out,” she says. After a long night of filming she uses the Revitalizing Eye Cream ($85)—cold. “Straight out of the fridge! It brightens my face and wakes me up,” she says. The actress also loves BeautyCounter’s collection of Face Oils ($175), which she adds to her moisturizer when her skin is very dry.
Rossum uses the same foundation as Gallagher for a no-makeup look: Chantecaille’s Future Skin ($73). “It’s really light and fresh,” she says. On the red carpet, the actress switches to Armani’s Maestro Foundation ($62) and Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer Makeup ($48). “Most people aren’t exactly one color in foundation, so it’s best to buy two shades and mix them,” she says.
“I find that sparkly blushers make me break out, but ones without glitter don’t,” Rossum says. She relies on Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($26) for her flush and Jurlique’s Rose Silk Finishing Powder ($36) to combat shine. “It smells like roses,” she says.
Even when she’s wearing next-to-no makeup, Rossum always tends to her arches. “Defining your eyebrows gives your face an immediate shape,” the actress says. “A darker brow adds drama and a lighter brow makes you look younger.” She uses both shades in Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Powder Duo ($23) in Medium Brown.
“Sometimes when I do a red lip, I like to keep the rest of my face really simple,” Rossum says. “That’s how my mom used to wear it when I was little. She would just moisturize, do a little foundation, and lipstick.” Her go-to formulas are from Tom Ford and Revlon, which she packs into a pill box for numerous color options on the go.
Rossum eschews liquid and pencil liners, sticking to pots of color. “Liquid liners dry too fast! By the time you’ve evened out the lines they’re too thick,” she says. Her trick to using a gel pot like Stila’s Smudge Pots ($20)? “Have lots of Q-Tips ($4) handy!”
Rossum’s signature scent is Profumi Di Firenze Vaniglia Del Madagascar ($99). “It smells like cookies,” she says about the notes of vanilla orchid and vanilla bean.
In Rossum’s bag you’ll find her favorite Burt’s Bees’ Lip Balm ($4), Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($39), Jessica’s Phenomen Oil ($16), and a bottle of vitamins. “I can’t wear nail polish while filming,” she says. “So I take Biotin so my nails are naturally long.”