The $13 Concealer Kerry Washington Swears By


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We at Byrdie HQ tend to think a lot about beauty as a tool for female empowerment—in fact, it's kind of our M.O. And it's hard not to see that intersection personified in Kerry Washington, especially after meeting the talented actress in person at a recent Neutrogena event: She's poised, disarmingly friendly, and—it must be said—absolutely stunning. And as a vocal advocate for women and equality, she's living proof that contrary to misguided popular belief, beauty and feminism are not mutually exclusive. Really, she reminds me, it comes down to rethinking our traditional definition of beauty.

"So, what do you think beauty actually is?" I press her. Washington pauses, taking a moment to marinate on a very abstract question. "It's hard to define," she says finally. "But I do think it's kind of owning what makes you 'you'." 

This idea that we're inherently beautiful certainly speaks to Washington's longstanding partnership with Neutrogena, because in an industry that largely capitalizes on a societal need to alter our appearance, it's kind of a radical notion when a brand tells us that we're already enough. "I like working with a company that's about bringing your best self forward, not trying to be somebody else," Washington says. "[You're not] creating an illusion of yourself." In the age of the perfectly curated Instagram feed? Imagine that.

"Beauty is hard to define, but I do think it's kind of owning what makes you 'you'."