Michaela Jaé Rodriguez on the #1 Beauty Tip She’s Learned From Charlotte Tilbury

MJ Rodriguez for Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury

The One Thing

Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez enjoyed a massively successful year in 2022. The actress joined the cast of Apple TV's comedy show Loot—playing no-nonsense nonprofit organizer Sofia Salinas—alongside fellow powerhouses like Maya Rudolph. But, most notably, Rodriguez earned her first Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama due to her moving portrayal of Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista on FX's Pose. Her win was a monumental personal achievement and a history-making one as well, as she became the first transgender woman to win a Golden Globe. 

Rodriguez ended the year on another high note, landing a partnership with Charlotte Tilbury. "I am a trans woman, and opportunities like this don't often happen for us," she shares. "The fact Charlotte Tilbury allotted this space for me is a feat on its own, but the fact that she's also aligning with a bunch of other women [for this campaign] makes it feel even more powerful. Charlotte's main goal is to support others and give light to people. I wanted to be a part of that." Ahead, Rodriguez opens up about her relationship with beauty, the products she swears by, and what she's looking forward to this year. 

The One Beauty Memory She Has From High School

"My first introduction to makeup was when I was in high school. I was about 14 years old and started experimenting with mascara because I knew it would enhance my eyes. After that, I started using pencil eyeliners, too."

Charlotte Tilbury and MJ Rodriguez

Charlotte Tilbury

The One Beauty Tip She's Learned From Charlotte Tilbury

"You must always go through a skincare routine before layering on any makeup. Charlotte is very specific about this. I make sure I use her Magic Cream Moisturizer ($64), Magic Serum ($80), Collagen Superfusion Firming & Plumping Facial Oil ($80), and Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir ($40) before lightly applying foundation."

The One Thing That Transformed Her Makeup Routine

"The Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter ($48). Charlotte is the queen of glow. Every time I saw that woman on set, her skin was glowing. So, I like to use this as a finishing touch to make sure I have a natural glow."

The One Thing She Uses to Create a Bolder Beauty Look

"If I want to do something bolder, I'm going to use the Matte Beauty Blush Wands ($42) in Dream Pop or Peach Pop."

The One Product She Never Leaves Home Without

"The Beauty Highlighter Wand ($42) in Peachgasm. I love something that will illuminate my cheeks and bone structure."

The One Beauty Trend She Loves

"I love a glossy lid. I feel like it's a trend that has resurfaced."

The One Place She Gets Beauty Inspiration

"I'm always looking at magazines, but I also look at supermodels like Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista."

The One Thing She Does For Self-Care 

"I try my best to visit spas as much as possible. I don't get a chance to go often, but when I do, I make sure it's an extensive spa day. It helps me recharge and heal myself. This industry is busy and a bit chaotic, but you have to find space for your mental health, and I think spa days are the best."

MJ Rodriguez

Charlotte Tilbury

The One Thing She Loves About Playing Sofia on Loot

"Sofia has much more tenacity, grit, and a little more sass. It's a role that challenged me. I was never a comedy girl. I was always a drama girl, and I wanted the world to see me in a different light. I wanted them to take me more seriously as an actress and artist. The only way I felt they would do that is if they could see that I can transcend different genres. Drama is my field, but now I realize comedy is also a space for me."

The One Thing She's Most Grateful For 

"I'm most grateful for being at the forefront and an example for LGBTQIA individuals. Working with Charlotte Tilbury is also one of my greatest accomplishments. I shot this campaign at the end of the year, and it came out at the beginning of the year. I never thought in a million years I would do a beauty campaign."

The One Thing She Hopes Will Happen This Year

"This year, I hope my relationship with Charlotte Tilbury continues. There are also so many things I want to do to make sure young individuals from all walks of life feel comfortable. I want them to see me and know that it's possible to do anything they put their mind to."

Related Stories