Quarantine has inspired many women to embrace their greys, natural hair texture, and bare skin, but some are using the time to pick up new skills, too — and we're not just talking about baking banana bread. For Lucy Hale, having the privilege of staying at home to maintain social-distancing has meant plenty of free time to work on her makeup expertise.
"I've been playing around and having fun with makeup. I'm not great with eyeshadow, so I'm always trying to master a smoky eye," Hale tells Refinery29 in a phone interview. "I also definitely need to master a cat-eye. I'm not good at that at all."
While she's still putting her makeup brushes to good use (and planning to try the tape trick for her cat-eyes), the Katy Keene star is also enjoying having time off from heavy makeup and hair dye. Hale says she's already starting to see her natural brunette colour come in for the first time since she was 15. "My roots have grown in so much," she says. "I've just embraced that, and I've let my hair air-dry after years of putting heat on it every day."
Because being away from filming means a break from the daily makeup use that comes with it, Hale's newest partnership as the brand ambassador for Almay comes at the perfect time: She's making a point of treating her sensitive, acne-prone skin to only the right products that won't cause clogged pores or breakouts. "Throughout most of my twenties, I had really bad, painful cystic acne, and every once in a while, I still deal with that," she says. "It's about letting my skin breathe when I have the time, and finding products like Almay's that I can layer on that my skin likes and agrees with."
One thing you won't catch Hale doing during quarantine is the extensive bathtime rituals other celebrities are showing off on Instagram. "I always try to like [bathtubs], but I get too claustrophobic. I'm too anxious to sit still," she admits. Instead, she says she'd much rather put on a hydrating sheet mask or set the mood for a mindful moment to chill out. "I'll wake up every morning, and before I even touch my phone, I'll sit with my coffee and do my gratitude journal for a couple of minutes," Hale says. "You should start [the day] with what you're grateful for, not comparing your life to others."
You also probably won't catch Hale buzzing her head or touching her eyebrows at home during this time: Not only is she committed to keeping her brows untouched, but she also has a major DIY hair regret in her past that she doesn't want to relive. "When I was maybe 13, I had baby hairs on my forehead, and I shaved them off," she recalls. "For months, I had a tiny section of bangs that was an inch wide, and there was no way to hide it."
With no micro-bangs planned for the near future, Hale is looking forward to getting back to work once shelter-in-place orders are lifted. But for now, she'll take advantage of her downtime learning new skills and embracing natural looks — just, as she says, "taking it day by day."
Below, Hale shares a few products she's loving right now.
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