For some, a lipstick is just a lipstick. But for others, it's a source of strength, creativity, and expression. In our series Power Faces, we'll explore the relationship between strong women and the makeup they choose to wear — or not. Our latest subject is breakout star Tati Gabrielle, who plays Prudence Night on Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. This story was told to Rachel Lubitz and edited for length and clarity.
Growing up, I was always very much a tomboy. Even now, as a 23-year-old woman, I still look very young. People often think I'm a lot younger than I am. When I do my makeup, it makes me feel more womanly and strong. That's not to say that I don't have other ways of feeling that way, but every time I put on a full face of makeup, it makes me want to strut and snap my fingers and be like, "Yeah, this is me."
Connect The Dots
My first memory of makeup is when my mom bought me a MAC eyeshadow palette in the 10th or 11th grade. For some reason, I liked doing gold eyeliner on the top of my eyes using eyeshadow and a brush. That and some mascara was enough for me.
As the years went by, I stuck to my mom’s regimen. She’d just do mascara, blush, eyeliner — but just on the bottom lash line — and then some lipgloss. Still to this day, I don't wear foundation, but I do wear mascara, bronzer, and a little bit of highlighter because I like that glow.
Then I like to do these two little black dots underneath my eyes with eyeliner as opposed to a line. A friend of mine did it a few years ago, and I was like, "I think that looks really cool." I tried my own rendition of it, and now it’s become a staple for me. Every time I do my makeup, I put those little dots there.
I always like to tell people that in regards to makeup, yes, it makes you feel and look beautiful, but don't ever feel like you have to rely or depend on it. Your natural face is the most beautiful thing that you were given. Learn to appreciate that as well, which makes the makeup that much more exciting when you put it on.
I had really good skin when I was younger, but now I feel like I’m going through a second puberty. I get little breakouts here and there and it’s something I’m learning to manage. Sometimes it does affect my confidence.
On the days when I don't wear makeup, I’ll look in the mirror and remind myself of the things somebody else would see. If I have a small pimple on my cheek, of course I'm going to see it. But if someone is talking to me, that’s not something that draws their attention. Everyone gets acne. It’s not anything to be ashamed of and nothing to feel bad about. I trust that my personality and beauty will shine through this pimple, so that little thing shouldn’t make me feel shitty.
I have really sensitive skin, so I use a lot of natural products. I wash my face with Dr. Bronner Castile Soap and water, and then I'll go over it with Lush's Ultrabland cream cleanser and Tea Tree Water toner. I use a lot of Lush face masks — especially Cup O' Coffee. I love the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil spot treatment and it works really well. I can tell the difference when I'm on a good routine and when I'm not.
I would describe Prudence's look as very witchy. I feel like a witch when I get that makeup on because it’s very vampiric with dark eyes and dark lips. The first time I saw Prudence in the mirror, it was like an epiphany. In my previous roles, I often still look like myself. Prudence was a total 180.
Now every time I put on a dark lip, it makes me think of Prudence — it is a bit harder to separate the two. A dark lip makes me feel instantly edgy, but I guess I tend to not move towards darker colors as often because of her. Dark reds I like a lot, but purples and blacks remind me of Prudence, so I try to stay away from them.
The makeup that makes me feel the most powerful is a blood-red lip, and keeping the rest of the face somewhat simple. Not too much on the eye, maybe a little brown eyeliner all the way around — that's my jam.
Behind The Buzz
I was doing my character Prudence's finger waves myself, but after a while, it was just tiring. I had to be on set a lot earlier than everybody else. Prudence went through a big twist in part one, and so I wanted to physically demonstrate that, and I also wanted to save time.
I had always liked the shaved blonde look. That was something I wanted to do in high school. But then the day came where I was going to get my hair cut and I freaked out. Like, What if my head is a weird shape? What is this going to look like? Is this a mistake?
After getting it done and looking at it, I was like, No, I actually really like this. It’s liberating. I just got more comfortable with my face. It’s a self-esteem and confidence booster. Now I suggest all women shave their head at one time or another — just to try it out.