Crazy-Pretty Uzo Aduba Spills Her Beauty Secrets

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IMG_1349 (1)Photographed by Isa Wipfli.
Spend your weekend in a black hole watching the entire second season of Orange Is the New Black? You've likely got binger's remorse: Those 13 hours at Litchfield Penitentiary were predictably incredible, but now, as you owlishly blink your eyes and head into a dreary Monday, you're feeling a bit bereft. You've been waiting a whole year for this, and in one fell swoop click of your remote, it's all gone.

While we can't turn back the clock and give you those episodes back, we can provide you with a little something to make the pain go away. No, it's not a pharmaceutical — we're delivering a healthy dose of Crazy Eyes, a.k.a. the lovely and talented Uzo Aduba, who brings everyone's favorite cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs character to such multidimensional, emotional, flat-out-awesome life. Also, she can really chuck a piece of pie.

On a recent photo shoot with the star, we couldn't help but notice that Aduba's got a stellar beauty game. But, thanks to her, shall we say, pared-down beauty look on OITNB, we don't see nearly enough of Aduba in full-on-glam mode. That simply will not do. Attention, Hollywood: Please make this gorgeous, hilarious, and brilliant woman a regular red-carpet fixture. (Also, an Emmy would be nice.)

Ahead, we got Aduba to dish on all things beauty, including the products she loves, the on-set hair secret she swears by, and why Denise Huxtable was the start of it all for her. Read on and prepare to be thoroughly charmed and captivated by this amazing lady — and then try not to fall into a deep depression when you finish reading and realize we've got a very long wait until season 3.
IMG_1392 (1)Photographed by Isa Wipfli.
The makeup on the show is so minimal — it's like real life but worse because they try to emphasize the eye bags and skin issues. Does that make you really want to go all out on the red carpet?
"I like strong anything: strong choices, strong voices, strong makeup, strong looks, strong women [snaps]. You know what I mean? I like strong plus a noun — that’s my thing. Red carpets are an opportunity to really dress up. It’s like being able to go to the prom all over again. I like the collaboration because there are so many different departments [collaborating], making the stuff. That is what theater is. That’s what Orange is. It takes a lot of us to come together and make a good thing.

"I also think that you can, through your clothes and your look, tell a great story. That’s why I like to make strong choices like that. Jessica Smalls, who does my makeup, she likes to try new things and push the edge a little bit. I like to push the edge, too."

Since you really like doing bold makeup colors, what are some of your favorite makeup brands for that kind of look?
"I love Make Up For Ever. I love Illamasqua — their foundation. I love colors on the lip; I just started doing red. That is new to me. I love berries and juicy colors. I love skin-care products, too. Is that weird?"

That’s definitely not weird. The way some people buy a new pair of shoes to be a new person, I buy a new face wash. I think, This is going to change everything.
"Well, let me give you something that is going to change everything. I absolutely love Dr, Hauschka products. They are so clean and so light. Specifically the Moisture Mask. It will change your life. You do the Cleansing Milk, which I love, then the toner and the scrub. Then, you put the mask on…It is my favorite thing.

"They give you this cloth that you put more water on and then you dab it off with warm water. It makes your skin so dewy, moist, and gorgeous. Then, I put their moisturizer on after that. I love their products. That’s my daily routine. You should try it. It just keeps your skin alive. I’ve loved skin care forever. I know it comes from my mom. She is huge into skin care; she is a Lancôme lady. I would go into her bathroom as a kid, and it was just covered in Lancôme products."

Who is your beauty icon?
"Denise Huxtable [Lisa Bonet] is up there — she's incredible. Naomi Campbell is up there, too. She is fierce. Beyoncé, of course. She is slaying it right now; she is slaying the kids. Unbelievable."

Let's talk a bit about the bantu knots your character Suzanne wears on the show.
"I used to wear my hair in the bantu knots. I was doing a show right before Orange, and I was wearing my hair like that and then I had the idea to wear it to the audition. I thought that since the show is set in prison anyway, the knots work, and I didn’t think anything of it. I used to wear them [in real life], but I had to stop wearing them because that attention as Suzanne made me want to stop. I take them out when we finish shooting."

I talked to Maddie Brewer (Tricia), and she was telling me how intense the hair routine was for her. Is it a similarly crazy process for you?
"It is a full-out job. The hair seems to be a very strong element on Orange, across the board. That hair chair is an event. My hairstylist on Orange is Dierdre Harris — DeeDee. Love Mama Dee. She is brilliant. You get in there and she knows how to moisturize it right with the coconut oils and all of this other stuff. She keeps it hydrated.

"She is now a master. When we first started, it took more time, but now she knows what the plot is. She knows how to get them really tight and really low. My hair grows so much during shooting, because she nourishes it so much without causing any breakage. A lot of the girls notice the same. She treats our hair really well. We don’t feel like we are compromising our hair in any way."


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