On the set of her first-ever beauty campaign, Lily James recently found herself surprisingly at ease. Sure, her new title as Burberry’s latest spokesmodel seems like a natural fit for the stunning British actress, but really, she says, it’s because shooting the ads didn’t feel all that different from her day-to-day gig. “Recently, I’ve been playing some roles that haven’t been a million miles away from me,” she tells us. “So you have to find certain parts of a character in you and enhance them. That’s exactly what I did with this—so it was similar, really.” Well, apart from the fact that she was working alongside fashion legends Christopher Bailey and Mario Testino.
James is the face of Burberry’s newest fragrance, My Burberry Black—a highly intoxicating blend of jasmine, amber, rose, and patchouli—thus joining the ranks of countless other It Brits who have fronted the label, including Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne, and Kate Moss, just to name (drop) a few. Yet another reason it’s such a great match? James is a self-professed fragrance junkie—something we can certainly relate to. Below, she chats with us about her perfume habits, makeup routine, and earliest beauty memory.
BYRDIE: Do you have a favorite moment from the My Burberry campaign and filming on set?
LILY JAMES: The rain machine was great! I just had so much fun running around on set with umbrellas—the music was playing super loud, and I was just dancing in the rain.
BYRDIE: What are your go-to tips for applying perfume?
LJ: I spray my neck, my arms, and then I walk through it, too. I do it all! [Laughs.] The walking through is great. I’m sure it’s a massive waste of a perfume, but I enjoy it.
BYRDIE: We definitely hear that. Do you have any beauty icons you look up to for inspiration?
LJ: Julianne Moore—I love her; she’s so beautiful. She just always looks so chic and warm and sexy, and I just love how she does her hair and makeup.
BYRDIE: First beauty memory: Go!
A: There are pictures of me at about 4 years old after putting on all of my mum’s makeup while she was having a dinner. But what’s amazing is I actually kind of got it all in the right places; I mean, it’s terrible, but it’s good. So I obviously always had an eye for makeup!
BYRDIE: Nude lipsticks or red?
BYRDIE: What are your beauty must-haves?
LJ: Fragrance—I wear it every day. My Burberry Black is my signature scent. Makeup-wise, it’s mascara, contour pen, eyebrow definer, and lip balm. I tend to use Burberry makeup as it’s great for a nude look.
My hair has been colored a lot, so I use a lot of hair treatments and masks. I always take my makeup off before I go to sleep. And I love skin spritzes and great moisturizer.