Zoe Saldana: Red-Lipstick "Instigator"

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It's a really good time to be Zoe Saldana. Well, let's rephrase that. We always want to be Zoe Saldana, but right now especially. As the newest face of L'Oréal Paris and the star of the upcoming remake of Rosemary's Baby, it seems she's hit a point in her career where everyone wants to see her face in everything, all the time. We're not complaining — with talent, brains, and to-die-for beauty, Saldana is the kind of celeb we love to cheer for.

What do we love most about Saldana? Everything she does, she does for the best reasons. Take her partnership with L'Oreal, for example. Her favorite part of the brand isn't their high-quality, affordable products, but their feminist politics. "L'Oréal is one of the oldest brands and has consistently supported women," she told us over the phone from Paris. "It has always encouraged women to be outspoken, not just now but throughout the decades, during times when women's roles were evolving in government and in different countries."

Speaking of women being outspoken, that's one of the cornerstones of Saldana's own philosophy — especially when it comes to her style. She comes across as effortlessly chic, which she says is the result of dressing for herself: "If you're dressing for others, you'll compose yourself for others, too, and worry what they think of you. But, if you feel super sexy in the tightest jeans you own, don't worry about it not being appropriate for daytime. Wear whatever you want." She adds that she firmly believes one can never be overdressed, saying, "If you accidentally steal the show because you have the best outfit on, then, oh well!"

But, Saldana doesn't just steal the show because of her fabulous outfits. Between her glowing skin, signature red lip, and undone hair, it's really hard to look at anyone else when she shows up. So, what's her secret? She relies on some basic beauty rules (she washes her face twice a day and swears by everything Kérastase makes), as well as some not-so-basic tricks, like washing her face with flaxseed oil. This is particularly relevant to the last few roles she's played, during which she's had prosthetics glued to her face and needed an all-natural, soothing way to get all that stuff off. She also sprays her hair twice a month with a homemade concoction of water and vinegar to balance the pH levels of her locks, leaving it in for five minutes and then rinsing it out.
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As for that red lip? Not only does Saldana wear it like nobody's business, she wants the women around her to do so, too. "I'm a huge instigator for women to wear red lipstick around me," she says. "I think it's so sexy and powerful. It gives you confidence and makes you feel beautiful, strong, and bold." While she uses too many different ones to pick a favorite, she leans toward blue-based reds and says that hue works best with her skin tone.

In addition to supporting women wearing red lipstick, Saldana's also an admirer of androgynous women. When we ask her who her beauty icons are, she exclaims, "Tilda Swinton, for the love of god." She adds, "I really love an androgynous essence, not only in a woman but also in a man." As for the other women whose beauty she admires? Audrey Hepburn, Diane Keaton, Bridget Bardot, Chloe Sevigny, Anna Wintour, and Grace Jones all made the list — basically, all the best people.

Saldana is wrapping up her work on Rosemary's Baby, an NBC miniseries that might make us reconsider our personal ban on things that are scary. Though she admits to having been nervous about stepping into such an iconic role, Saldana says that every morning she reminded herself that she wasn't doing it for anybody but herself. And, she says: "I was very blessed to work with our director, Agnieszka Holland. She's legit, as we say in New York... She's an intellectual, an artist, a soldier, a captain, a true leader, and a woman."

It's not just the role of Rosemary that's iconic: It's the pixie 'do Mia Farrow had for the film. As for whether or not Saldana would ever get that crop? "I would absolutely consider it," she says. "My mom has always had a pixie cut. I've never seen her with long hair, and I've always loved it. Maybe I'll cut my hair — you never know what could happen."



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