Kerry Washington Talks Pretty To Us — And We Love It

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kerry-embedPhoto: Courtesy of Neutrogena.
It's no secret that we have a thing for Kerry Washingtoneveryone from our news team to our fashion writers harbors a fierce ladycrush on the actress (and, of course, her kickass TV alter ego, Olivia Pope). We here in the R29 beauty department are no exception — we love that Ms. Washington can always be relied upon to deliver fresh, inspired beauty looks on the red carpet (green eyeshadow? Yeah, she wears it like she was born with it).

Given Washington's pretty unanimously agreed-upon status as Executive Director of Pretty in Hollywood (we would like to nominate her, please and thank you), it makes perfect sense that Neutrogena has tapped the beauty to be its latest ambassador — but, the gamut doesn't stop there. Upon meeting with Ms. Washington, it became clear that the GWU-educated actress is much, much more than a pretty face. In fact, Washington decided to become a creative consultant for the brand. That means she will be asking for feedback from her fans via social media, and will be working closely with Neutrogena's marketing team to do her part to bring new ideas to the well-established beauty brand.

We got the chance to catch up with the actress this morning, who shared how she got interested in skin care in the first place — and how she made prepping for the red carpet fun.

Tell us about Neutrogena partnership, and how exactly your creative consultant role will work. What are you hoping to bring to the brand?
"Well, my role came about organically from conversations Neutrogena and I had about working together. We just realized how much the company's values lined up with my own — this idea of 'healthy beauty,' of beauty being about finding the prettiest and healthiest version of yourself. So, this role is going to allow me to maintain my voice within the structure of the company, and be more of a service to the company, as well as to the customer, in coming up with new products and marketing strategies."

Was this philosophy of 'healthy beauty' something that you grew up with, or was it a struggle to get to that positive place?
"I was raised in an environment, both at home and at school, where the emphasis was put on developing my internal self, rather than my external self. So, when it came to beauty, I was always taught that it's something that should come from within. My mom is a very naturally beautiful woman, and she takes very good care of her skin — but I really didn't start taking an interest in skin care until I started working and wearing heavy makeup all day under hot lights. When that happened, I had to learn about the proper way to take care of my skin."

Are you a skin-care minimalist or maximalist in your own life?
"When I'm working, I'm wearing so much makeup during the day that in my own life, I try to be more of a minimalist. Another reason that my partnership with Neutrogena makes sense is that the company is so science-based. I've had eczema my whole life, so I've understood the importance of getting a dermatologist's input from a very young age. It's a big deal to me that so many dermatologists recommend products from this brand."

We love how you're always mixing up your beauty look, yet you always manage to look like yourself — even in green eyeshadow! What have been some of your favorite beauty looks that you've worn over the years?
"Well, I have an awesome hair and makeup team, and we do have a lot of fun! I don't think I could pick just one look as my favorite. It's the same with dresses — could never pick just one! All of my red-carpet looks are like their own little art projects. I'm so lucky that I get to work with all of these wonderful artists, to get together and really create a moment.

"But, at the end of the day, I have to feel great about putting together my look — it's important to me that I feel good when I walk out the door, I feel like I had fun creating that look."



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