Katie Stevens is mastering the complicated art of slowing down. After nearly five years as the plucky Jane Sloan on Freeform's acclaimed (and adored) show The Bold Type, the series comes to a dramatic and satisfying end this month. But after more than a decade in the public eye, countless plane rides, press tours, scripts, and shoots, Stevens is more than happy to reflect on the experience from the comfort of her couch and husband's embrace—add her beloved pup Winnie for maximum happiness.
This focus on presence and mindfulness is a new one, she tells me from her home in Nashville, as she's normally plagued by the nonstop "but what if..." thoughts all over-thinkers are familiar with. As fans of The Bold Type anxiously await the fate of their favorite characters, Stevens is taking ownership of her own story. And this summer, she knows that'll mean time with friends, family, and one seriously lush Tennessee garden.
Ahead, Byrdie talks to Stevens about The Bold Type's series finale, her favorite on-set memories, the beauty products she's obsessing over, and why Target will always be her sanctuary.
On Finding Joy
"I'm watching The Flight Attendant, which is bringing me joy—I'm really enjoying that. I love to cook, so last night, we had a few of our friends over, and I cooked dinner for everybody. We had a family dinner around my dining table, which brought me tons of joy because I love to host and be around my friends.
"My husband and I had a little date night the other day where we just sat on the couch and watched Stand By Me and cuddled. It's little moments like that. I find joy in creating memories and in people's company."
"There's a skincare company called Skin Pharm that a girlfriend of mine started. It's medical-grade skincare, but it's in pretty packaging, and it's women-founded. It's founded by women clinicians, created for their clients having acne problems, fine lines, or wrinkles. They created all their products based on feedback they got from clients about day-to-day life.
"The two products I use the most are Clarifying Pads ($50), which have salicylic acid—good for acne and breakouts. They're like the toning pads that many people used, but they actually have stuff in them that helps regulate and prevent your breakouts. So, I use that morning and at night after I wash my face.
"And in the morning, I also use the Youth Serum ($115), which is a hyaluronic acid serum. I think that's what really gives me my babyface glow. Hyaluronic acid makes you look so youthful, and it plumps up your skin."
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"I really care about skincare... like a lot. It's taken me a really long time to feel empowered and confident enough to feel beautiful without makeup. I think that every woman, man, child—whoever—deserves to feel good about themselves in the skin they're in.
"And you know, I don't hide it. I have breakouts! I woke up this morning with a giant pimple on my chin, and I'm doing press. And I'm just kind of like, "Who cares?" We've got to stop trying to be perfect all the time because we all deal with stuff."
On the Final Season of The Bold Type
"We shot the pilot in 2016, almost five years ago. And it's crazy, I've been on shows that have ended, but they ended before we knew that they were supposed to. Faking It got canceled after three seasons. It is really special to wrap up the stories and know it's ending.
"I always talk to my mom about this: about how there's always a 'last time' you do something. You know, there was the last time my mom held me on her hip or the last time I had a sleepover... I think that there's something so crazy about knowing it's a 'last time.' I was experiencing those moments as 'This is the last time I'm going to say a line as Jane' and 'this is the last time I'm going to do a scene with this person.' To be living in that and be intentional with everybody is a really trippy, cool, but also an emotional experience."
Her Favorite Memories from Set
"So many. I developed more favorite memories this season with my scary videos! (LAUGHS) I've been scaring Meghann (Fahy) and Aisha (Dee), which brought me joy at least! (LAUGHS)
"Also, the delirious trips we would take to New York after we had been working all night, slept two hours, and then had to show up somewhere and do a full press day. Once we were at the airport, Meghann bought this ratty-looking banana at Starbucks and then didn't eat the banana. But the banana traveled with us everywhere, and then we started using it as a prop. And so now, suddenly, bananas are our inside joke. It's a delirious, funny memory."
Her Travel Essentials
"I always have to have Chapstick—like, any kind of Chapstick—especially after being on a plane. I feel like I'm always so dehydrated, and my lips are the first thing to become crusty. When I'm doing overseas flying, I'll normally make sure that I pack a face mask to put on.
"I would also say the most important thing when I travel to have in my bag is a massive bottle of water. I'll bring my own container and fill it up at the airport because we don't realize how dehydrated we get when we're flying. When we don't have access to our own kitchens, it's easy to forget to drink water. lt makes me feel better when I land, and it'll make me look better when I land."
Beauty Lessons She Learned from The Bold Type
"I am always asking for foundation advice because there are so many different kinds of foundation—so many. And the type of foundation that you use on-set isn't necessarily what you should be using in real life. When you're on set, you want something that's more mattifying so you're less shiny. When you're in the world, you don't mind having a little bit of a glow. I really love the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64). That's what I use in my day-to-day life unless I want to go more natural, in which case I'll use a NudeStix CC Cream ($36)."
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How She Unwinds
"I'm in sweatpants! And I'm laying on the couch with a snack, and my dog is laying on my lap and my husband's laying next to me, and we are just binge-watching movies or TV shows. When my husband and I have time off, we will start watching a show. We'll finish the first episode—and we totally intended only to watch one—and then we give each other a look and click on the remote to hit the next one. (LAUGHS)
"But I also think that now that things are opening, I want to have 'Katie Days' that are more active. Over the weekend, I gardened. I went to the store and got plants, and I sat for hours gardening with my mom. My husband and I are planning a day tomorrow where we're going to go on a hike that leads to a waterfall. It's doing things to get out in the world and be in nature. Sharing moments off of our phones and doing something together."
Her Future Goals
"Moreso than anything, I have a tough time being present sometimes. I'm always thinking, 'I have to do this thing tomorrow,' and 'I have to do that.' I want to make it my goal to be in the moment, as simple as that sounds. Especially now that the show is over and I'm looking towards whatever is next. I want to let it come to me. Not being so wrapped up in 'I didn't hear back from that audition' or 'I didn't hear back about this other opportunity' and doing my best with each thing that comes. Be present with all of the people and experiences in my life—and what's meant to be mine will follow."