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Lily Collins Reveals the Five Products You’ll Always Find in Her Handbag—And Her Biggest Beauty Secrets

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

Fresh from the second season of Emily in Paris – and with the Netflix hit show newly announced for seasons three and four – British-American actor and Lancôme ambassador, Lily Collins, shares her secrets to that joie de vivre glow and her positivity philosophy.

Do you wear makeup every day? Are you a fan of a polished look or are you more about going au naturel?

I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup. I have opportunities to go full force, whether it be a red carpet event, a Met Ball, a photo shoot, anything like that, and I look forward to them. But during my regular day-to-day, it’s ‘less is more.’ The Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation illuminates my skin without feeling like too much coverage. I do always wear mascara, and I love Lancôme Hypnôse. I like to give my eyes a little extra love, especially while we’re all wearing masks. As an actor you emote through your eyes first. It doesn’t matter what you say‚ as long as you are present and awake and emotive through your eyes, then anyone can understand the state you’re in and the emotion that you’re feeling.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation.

What makeup items would we find in your handbag most often if we took a peek?

I’d probably have Lancôme UV Expert sunscreen. I’d have my Burt’s Bees chapstick. I would have hand cream because I’m really big on soft hands. My grandmother always used to say, “Make sure that your hands feel soft”. I would probably have the Sourcils Styler clear brow gel to make sure that my brows always stay looking fresh. And I would definitely have a lipstick in there, like L’Absolu Rouge. Just in case.

Is there a beauty trend that appeals to you in particular?

Nail art is something I love, but unfortunately due to my job, I can’t always have kooky, crazy, awesome nails. But when I can, I try to, even if it’s only for a few days, because it makes me happy. It brings me joy. I love looking at different people’s nails. They’re little canvases. I also love seeing people being super bold with color on their face. Like, taking their fingers, putting them in orange, or whatever, and smudging the color on their eyelids and being like, “I’m done.” I find that fascinating because it’s true self-expression. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to do that. But I love watching other people experiment.

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

What’s your skin routine?

I enjoy looking after my skin. I think it’s so important to take your makeup off at the end of the day, to let your skin breathe, and to start fresh the next day. I know sometimes it can get late and we think we’re going to do it in the morning, but it’s just such a nice feeling to wake up fresh and hydrated. So I always take my makeup off, I use Lancôme Bi-Facil makeup remover. It works so well. Then I’ll add a toner or serum, like Advanced Génifique serum, or maybe a mask if I really want to treat myself. Then I’ll apply the Hydra Zen moisturizing night cream and go to bed.

Lancôme Advanced Genifique Serum.

You are the face for Lancôme’s celebrated Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum. How do you work Génifique into your routine?

I love the serum and I love the hydrogel melting mask, which I use whenever I have a big job or I’ve been traveling or I just want to feel like I’m having a spa experience at my house. They’re the most wonderful things. Also, I’ve started using the Advance Génifique serum with my foundation. I add a few drops with the Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation and mix it all together. It just glides on for a very light look but with great coverage

Has your approach to beauty changed since you began working with Lancôme in 2013?

When I started, I associated beauty more with makeup and less with skincare. The longer I’ve been a part of the brand, and the more I’ve learned, and the older I’ve gotten, the more my appreciation for skincare has grown. I know now that if your palette isn’t stable, the paint isn’t going to stay on as well. When you have happy skin, you have a better base. It’s fun to play with makeup. But at the end of the day, once playtime’s over, you need to make sure that the integrity of your skin is good so that it’s ready to play again.

Lancôme Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask.

Emily in Paris was released when many people were still suffering the consequences of the pandemic and living with varying degrees of restrictions. The show provided an avenue for lightness and escapism in a very dark time. How did it feel to be part of a phenomenon during that moment in history?

I had such a magical, amazing experience filming the show, but you don’t know how that’s going to translate when it’s done. For it to have come out at a time when people wanted to escape and travel, laugh and smile, was amazing. I’m so grateful that Emily provided a sense of escapism and happiness during such a trying time. She did that for me when I was filming. Someone told me that the show reminded them of what fun felt like. So to be able to bring that to so many people was really special. Art can be so healing, whether that healing comes in the form of crying from a film like To the Bone or laughing to a show like Emily.

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

The past year has been incredibly difficult for so many people, we’ve all come to appreciate life’s simple pleasures. What’s your simple pleasure?

I realized that I’m someone who invests more in people and experiences than in things. My friends, and obviously my husband, too, have really stepped up and supported every feeling, emotion, insecurity that I’ve felt during the pandemic. They’ve talked me through things, whether it be on FaceTime, Zoom, phone, call, text message, social media, whatever. I have found pleasure in people being so open and willing to share, communicate, and help during this time. I’ve found pleasure in talking about our memories and things we want to do in the future. Lastly, my husband and I have a dog, little Redford. He makes us laugh. He makes us crazy. He makes us all those things. I’ve learned to appreciate being present to feel the good, the bad, the annoying, the exciting, everything, because that’s what makes us all human. That’s what makes us alive.

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

Is it important to you to spread positivity? How do you maintain that level of cheer in your daily life?

I just think it would be a shame to go about your everyday focused on the negative rather than the positive. Every morning and evening, I write in a journal called The Five-Minute Journal. It’s focused on what are three amazing things that might happen today, or what are the three ways to make today amazing? What are three things you’re grateful for and what are you feeling today? At night, it’s, what are three things that were amazing that happened today? What are some ways I could have made today better? It changes your mindset because you focus on things like, what good did I do today? And how do I feel about myself and the people around me? And in what ways have I put positive energy into the world? We’ve all been shrouded in a lot of darkness for the past year and a half so I think it’s really important, in times when so much is out of our control, to take control where you can, and to see good and do good and put good out there. It’s not always easy. My God, of course it’s not always easy to be positive, but I think seeing that side of life allows you to believe it yourself.

Photographer: Alexi Lubomirski
Makeup: Fiona Stiles
Style: Rob & Mariel

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