I can’t explain it, but my palms are sweating and my heart rate is steadily increasing as I ride the elevator up to the 39th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC to meet Margot Robbie and chat about her new role as the face of Calvin Klein Deep Euphoria. It doesn’t help that I get lost walking around the massive (and superbly glamorous) building en route to see one of Hollywood’s biggest It girls of the moment. Once I finally make my way up, I stand outside her suite, pause for a few seconds to collect myself, and ring the bell.
I guess my anxiety branches from the fact that Robbie’s got an unparalleled allure. She’s a complete chameleon. For us Americans who weren’t aware of her roots before The Wolf of Wall Street—when she really catapulted into stardom, it was as though she actually was her character. To us, she was the Duchess: a striking, ultra-feminine blonde who could volley with DiCaprio in her tough Brooklyn accent while capturing the unwavering attention of every breathing being on the planet. But beyond Wolf, she’s an outdoorsy Aussie who enjoys beer showers and—hockey?
“Yesterday I had work until about 4 p.m., but then I had the rest of the day off, so I went over to my friend’s place—she lives in Brooklyn—and she was putting up her Christmas tree,” she tells me, barefoot, curled up on the couch of the hotel suite. “So I got to eat cheese and drink cider and put up her tree with her and then went to a Rangers game after, and I was like, This has been the best evening ever! Christmas tree and hockey.”
Instantly I’m eased by her presence. She’s got a relatability that’s 100% genuine; she’s not trying to prove she’s “one of the guys” or “just like everyone else.” Conduct a quick Google search—“Margot Robbie hockey game”—and you’ll see her cheering like a maniac when her team scores and keeled over in pain when they don’t. This isn’t a façade—she likes sports, eats dairy, drinks alcohol with calories, and is stunningly beautiful, without even knowing it.
“One of the things we report on a lot at Byrdie is your hair color, because it’s always perfection,” I tell her, assuming she’ll thank me and proceed to explain how she maintains it. Not so.
“Oh, my hair color?” She’s visibly shocked. “Oh! I often feel like I have a terrible, like, yellowy hair color because if I’m wearing a wig for a job, I don’t want to ruin my hair with highlights or something because my hair’s so fragile because of all the shit that it goes through, so they just put like a tint on it and then it goes into this horrible yellowy color. I really appreciate you saying that because I’m so self-conscious of my hair color all the time.”
For the record, at the time of our meeting, her hair is flawless. It’s a beige-blond color I’d like to personally re-create. But it turns out she’s not as unaware of her beauty as I’ve made her out to be, quickly adding, “Right now, I just had it done and I’m feeling good, because you know when you just get your hair done and you’re like, Oh my god, it looks fuh-resh?”
But just as she acknowledges this, she resigns back to her previous unassuming carriage when I tell her that in a recent Byrdie interview, Hailey Baldwin listed her as her top celebrity girl crush.
“Really? Oh my god, I think she is stunning. Oh wow. It’s really weird when I hear that, when someone knows who I am. Because I assume I’ve heard of everyone, and you never think it’s reciprocated. Oh, that’s weird.” She looks around the room as she takes this all in, like it’s a complete impossibility. I’m equally shocked at her disbelief.
Mirroring Robbie’s modesty is her aesthetic. Her makeup is simple: tinted lip balm, a bit of glitter liner above her mascaraed lashes. It’s clear she’s a minimalist—she doesn’t need much at all. In fact, she insists against all of it.
“In my case, I’ve got such harsh features that if I have tons of makeup on, I look like a drag queen, and if I wear outfits that have too much stuff happening or they’re too frilly or whatever, it ends up looking cheap, whereas I feel like that exact hair and makeup look and outfit on someone else can make them look stunning.” She lets out a big sigh. “I don’t know—it doesn’t work on me, so I always end up wearing more monochromatic, natural looks.” Drag queen is a stretch, and if she’s got harsh features, then I’m a Picasso painting.
But she’s earnest in her sentiments.
So what are her go-to products for creating a simplified, classic look? They come from a brand I’d actually never heard of before. “Suqqu I’m using a lot at the moment. You know that brand? It’s like S-U-Q-Q-U.” I initially laugh, thinking she’s missing some vowels and consonants. “It’s a Japanese brand. Their concealer is really good. And their foundation is amazing as well. Really, really good coverage. I wear that and go out and can party all night, and I come home and I’m like, Oh! I still have a face on. I didn’t sweat it all off."
But even after a long night of partying and sipping her favorite drink—Hendrick’s and tonic—she’s “pedantic” about removing her makeup. “No matter how drunk I am, I don’t go to sleep with makeup on. As soon as I get home, I scrub it off. I use Johnson makeup wipes. I also use Dr. Lancer’s cleanser. When I’m traveling on a plane, I’ll take my makeup off with a wipe and then I’ll use Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Correction Pads. I honestly stumbled across them, and now I can’t live without them. Your skin is better after.
They’re really strong. And then I’m all about spritzes. Aesop has really good facial mists that I have in my bag all the time because my skin gets so dry.”
As I’m taking all of this in, it’s clear to me why Robbie was chosen as the face of Deep Euphoria—she’s euphoric in every sense of the word. While we talk, her blue eyes light up in tandem with her mile-wide smile. She’s happy-go-lucky and easygoing. Though, to be fair, she was quite picky until ultimately partnering with the brand.
“I’ve kind of been waiting for the right brand to come along. There were a few very wonderful offers before, but they weren’t brands that I necessarily wear, and I didn’t want to have to do things like press days like today and not genuinely say, I actually wear this stuff and I love this brand. So when this came along, it was kind of perfect because I do genuinely like Calvin Klein—I do genuinely love the perfume, and it’s also one of those brands that’s iconic over the years, and it’s not something that’s gonna be like, a fad, you know?
It doesn’t read too young or too mature or too anything. I feel like it’s just kind of like a beautiful scent.”
Pared-down scents, minimal makeup. You’d think Robbie is classic in every facet of beauty. But know this: When it comes to treatments, she’s game for anything.
“The funniest thing was last year backpacking in the Philippines, my best friend, Soph, and I were getting these treatments where we were in this hut being absolutely slathered in clay, and we got wrapped up in banana leaves and essentially left there for three hours. And after a while, the whole situation was so ridiculous that we looked like Tutankhamun mixed with a fruit bowl, like it was just the most absurd thing, and we had an absolute laughing fit. I had like, cucumbers sliding off my face, and the banana leaves were ripping, and I was just like, What is going on? And where has everyone gone? I can’t move—I’m wrapped up like a mummy.
I ask her the obvious: “But did it work?”
“It felt really nice afterward, but I was like, I don’t know what just happened.”
We’ve neared the end of our conversation, and a woman makes her way over to the couch to tell us so. I cautiously wipe my palm against my pants (in case there’s any residual anxiety sweat) and shake hands with Robbie. “Lovely to meet you,” she tells me. I grin from ear to ear. Euphoria—it must be contagious.