kathryn newton byrdie zoom date

Zoom Date: Kathryn Newton on Her Favorite $5 Mascara and Embracing Her Weirdness

If you don't know Kathryn Newton yet, you soon will. The 23-year-old actress has already starred in blockbusters like Blockers (alongside John Cena) and played Reese Witherspoon's angsty teen daughter in Big Little Lies. Now, Newton is gracing our screens once more, this time alongside Vince Vaughn in the satirical horror film Freaky. And aside from her acting chops, it turns out Newton is just like us—she's a beauty girl at heart. Over the course of the pandemic, she's been spending time becoming one with herself (and her curls), playing with makeup, and savoring time at home with her impressive Chanel Beauty collection. Ahead, Newton shares what life has looked like during the pandemic, her favorite beauty finds, and of course some teasers for the best beauty looks from her new film, Freaky.

Kathryn Newton

What has the pandemic looked like for you?

Life is actually really good right now. I'm really enjoying being at home. I'm never home. I never get to be just in my house with my dogs. So I'm really grateful for this time I've gotten to spend at home and in my bed.

Since the start of the pandemic, I've learned that I have more time in the morning to enjoy my morning coffee. And I take a lot of pride in that time. Every project I do, wherever I am on location, I always get a little vintage teacup as a souvenir. So I'm using one everyday. I Just have more time to do that, more time in general. I've started doing yoga every morning at 9 a.m., I've made a little spot in my living room with a blanket and a pillow. It's my spot.

It's almost like we were all just told to stop for a minute, and I feel like I've gotten to know myself a lot better and I have a better understanding of what's important to me. This might sound super lame, but I'm at home with my parents, and normally I never get to see them. But they're here, and we're baking a lot of cookies and watching a lot of old movies. All of these black and white films that I would have never seen if I wasn't stuck in the house with them. So there's some good that's come out of it for me.

Another thing I've been able to do in quarantine is more skincare. I've been using Chanel skincare. It's so good. So for starters, the Sublimage eye cream is two steps, so I use [the cream], then I use this gold metal roller and it just feels so good on your skin. And I'm taking the time to let things feel good. I'll do anything I can to pamper myself. That's the silver lining—right now I have time to actually take care of myself.

Have you tried any weird or niche beauty treatments since you've been spending more time at home?

"I have many weird things that I do. This one is probably the weirdest. It's called the AU 25. So here's what it is: it's this little vessel, and you put your favorite oil in it so it gets heated. So I pour the oil into it, let it get nice and warm, and then rub it on my skin and do a little lymphatic drainage massage. Sadly, I truly don't know where you can get this because it's Korean. But if you go to Korea, let me know and I'll hook you up.

Do you feel like this is the first time you've ever had a full-blown skincare routine or have you always been a beauty girl?

I've always been in love with beauty. And I've learned a lot from being on set, about taking care of my skin. And you know what's funny? I don't do anything all day right now. But I still want to put makeup on, because that's how much I love makeup. So I've learned that makeup is for yourself. It's not to look good for anyone else, it's for you. So I like to have fun with it. I've learned how to perfect the cat eye because I have nothing else to do.

Kathryn Newton

What does your everyday makeup look like now that you're not really doing in-person appearances and spending most of your time at home?

Every morning, I always use this Cle de Peau sunscreen. I've been using it for five years, and I always have one in my purse and I always have one in my golf bag. I love this formula because it looks so good under makeup. If you look at it on my hand right now, you'd be like—that's so white, there's no way it will blend well. But it blends in and just disappears. It's lightweight and just protects against the sun, which is what I need. So I use that every morning. And then I don't like to wear too much makeup, but here's my routine: I use two different color concealers, a beige and an ivory, both from Cle de Peau, and I'll cover up my spots. I use that to start and then I just blend it all together. So that's my day-to-day, my no-makeup makeup look.

And then I've been using Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. You can get it basically anywhere—and just look at the packaging, you can't miss it. It's easy to put on, it's hypoallergenic, and it just thickens as you layer it on. My makeup artist actually showed me this on Big Little Lies. My character was a teenager, so they wanted me to use products that teens actually use. They wanted my makeup to reflect an actual 15-year-old doing their makeup. And this is everyone's first mascara, you know? And now I love this mascara and use this formula almost every day.

I'm not a big makeup girl, but I've definitely been playing around with different looks now that I'm bored at home. What products have you tried playing around with and now love?

I've been playing around with this Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow. It's so pigmented, shimmery, and almost feels like a clay. You don't have to use a lot and you can just press it right into your skin with your fingers.

I'm really into products that I can just easily blend with my fingers. For Freaky, I thought a lot about my makeup look, and I decided that I wanted it to be really approachable and easy to copy. If someone wanted to cosplay the butcher, it's a pretty simple look—I did a blood-red lip and mascara. And when I was on set, I used the Armani Eyes to Kill collection since I play a killer. It really helped me dig into my character, starting with my makeup and then going down deeper.

What's it been like to release your film Freaky during a pandemic?

I'm so happy to have this movie coming out. It's been such a hard time for everyone, and I just feel like Freaky is this really fun movie that's going to be this break that everyone needs. It's absolutely bonkers and it will make you laugh. It's just a blessing to have something else to talk about that I'm proud of—and to take a break from reality for a second.

Making this movie was genuinely so much fun. And having this down time, I think about that experience of making this movie every day. It's just something I really cherish and reflect on regularly. Do you find yourself going through old photos on your phone more often just to relish in those good times? That's what I'm doing with Freaky. I feel like I'll never take anything for granted ever again now. I can't wait to see my friends, and hug them, and be near them.

Kathryn Newton

This movie is so much fun, but it also seems like it was a challenge to film because you're not just playing a character. You have to play Vince Vaughn's take on a character.... inside of someone else's body. What was that like?

[Vince] and I were constantly collaborating. And to work with an actor like Vince Vaughn—I've seen every film he's ever made—so to have him and I creating the same character, it's something I couldn't have dreamt of in a thousand years. He inspired me so much. Even if he wasn't in a scene, I would work with him and ask what he thought the character would do in certain situations. And he's so funny, he's obviously hilarious and he kills it as me in the movie once we've switched bodies.

I'm a curly girl too and I have to say, you have amazing curls and I'm so happy that they're gracing the screen in Freaky. What's your typical curly hair routine?

I'm from Miami, so growing up it was all salt air. And I'll never forget, when I was younger I always wanted to change my hair. You never want what you have, right? But now I embrace it. I'm like this is who I am—I let it go and I let it be wild. And I've found that the more dry shampoo I use, the more volume I get. Sometimes I will use an iron at the ends to give it a little more of a polished finish.

Obviously these days everything is being done virtually, but prior to the pandemic you've had so many amazing red carpet moments. What's your favorite glam look of all time?

That's such a hard question because I love to have fun. But one of my favorites that instantly that comes to mind is when I wore this Valentino Haute Couture neon orange gown to the SAG awards. And I love that dress so much.

Hang on to your weirdness. It's what makes you special.

I feel like that dress is something Millie from Freaky would pick. Do you agree?

My character Millie is really bullied in school and she doesn't know who she is. I was totally bullied in school too. I was just insecure and a little weird and people would play off of that. It was all trial and error back then, and I am really just still that same girl. So at the SAG awards, I had this option to wear this amazing orange dress and everyone was like, 'I don't think you should, you could get worst dressed." But I just loved it, and it was all just about how I felt in it. And then everybody loved it because I loved it. So it just shows, hang on to your weirdness. It's what makes you special. And that's what happens to Millie in Freaky—she becomes someone else literally, and it takes becoming someone else to see how great she is. Everybody has that.

Freaky is available in theaters starting Friday, November 13.

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