Zoë Kravitz Talks Acne Struggles, Tattoos And Big Little Lies

Photo: Jared Siskin/Getty Images.
Every human being has a genetic predisposition for something. For some of us, it's acne. For others, it's anxiety. But for Zoë Kravitz, it's being inherently cool.
Just because Zoë is the daughter of Lisa Bonet, our TV style icon through the decades, and four-time Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz doesn't mean she's ever relied on her lineage to gain influence. In fact, she's earned that all on her own as the lead singer of her own band, Lolawolf, and by starring in HBO's hit series Big Little Lies and in the upcoming sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. On top of all that, the 29-year-old actress was recently named the face of YSL Beauty's fragrance Black Opium.
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In celebration of the fragrance's newest campaign, we sat down with Kravitz to talk all things beauty — including the return of her braids, her makeup, and her tattoos. Bonus: She gave us a Big Little Lies teaser that'll hold you over until 2019. Keep reading for what she had to say.
We've heard people love YSL's Black Opium so much because it's one of those get-you-laid scents, but why do you think it's so iconic?
"Wow. It is a sexy smell. I'm really picky about smells and perfumes. I feel like balance is something a lot of perfumes are missing. Black Opium is masculine and feminine, it has high and lows, it has musky smells and sweet smells. I also love the way it blends into your skin. It smells like it's apart of you. You want someone to think this is how you smell. I get why people think it's their get-laid scent."
You once said that makeup is your "war paint" when performing with Lolawolf. Do you still find that to be true?
"Even if it's not going on stage, [war paint] is how you want to be represented. How do you feel today? If you're feeling sexy and vampy, you put on a red lip. It's your war paint. It's who [you are] tonight. Especially as an actor, I'm so easily influenced by my wardrobe and makeup. It really does shift and change my personality in a way."
Is there one makeup product you carry with you at all times?
"Touche Éclat. Everything else is important, but the most important thing is for skin to look dewy and even. I like that it's really sheer. It's more about balancing things out and brightening things up, as opposed to actually covering. If you slept at someone's house and woke up in the morning, that's [the product] you'd want."
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Your braids are officially back! Are you happy about their return?
"I am! It's funny because I got them back in for [Big Little Lies], but they're kind of sticking around. They're so easy. I'm quite lazy with my hair, so once they're done I don't have to do anything."
Do you feel the same way about your short hair?
"The thing about short hair is you have that perfect cut, but then it grows out. I really feel like you blink, and it's like something weird is happening. It's actually more maintenance than I thought it would be. I always think my hair doesn't grow. But then I bleached my hair, and the next day I saw black roots, and I was like, 'No!'"
You have so many amazing tattoos, but do you remember your first?
"My first one was this little heart [on my wrist] that I got when I was 18. Then I just started adding. There was really no method to my madness. I think once you get an idea, and you keep on imagining it — like something is missing until you get it — that's when you know [you] should [get another]. Some have been a little more spontaneous than that. I go to Dr. Woo. I've been seeing him forever. He's my guy."
How have your parents inspired your beauty routine?
"My mother definitely instilled that in me quite early, like [she] wouldn't let me go to sleep without washing my face. Also I get bummed when my skin breaks out. It really affects my mood and my confidence. Obviously it happens to everyone and it's fine, but I really try to keep it under control. If I have a pimple and I know I have a shoot coming, I start to panic."
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If 18-year-old Zoë walked into the room right now, what would you say to her?
"I'd be like, 'Aw what're you wearing, babe?' [Laughs.] Just be gentle with yourself. There's so much pressure to be perfect, to be grown-up and all these things that you're not yet, and that time is so precious. They say youth is wasted on the young, but you don't really understand that yet. Just [don't be] in a rush to get somewhere else."
Do you feel like you're a grown-up now?
"No, which is hilarious because I have a job, and I still will say I'm at the kid's table. But I'm not a kid. I'm turning 30 this year. It's funny when the people who always called me a kid are the ones saying you're not so young anymore."
How important was Bonnie Carlson's appearance to you going into your Big Little Lies role, especially considering the fact that the character is white in the book?
"I didn't think a lot about how it was a switch from a white woman to a Black woman. It was more just about being a young alternative, and then you add brown skin to that, and [she] just sticks out like a sore thumb in this white, chic, conservative-ish community. Just seeing this woman, who is by nature an outsider, trying to stay zen when I'm sure she just feels uncomfortable living in this world that isn't necessarily made for her."
A lot of people say that Bonnie deserved more in the first season. Do you agree?
"I do agree with that. There's definitely more of her, in terms of who she is, and where she comes from, and why she is the way she is, in the book. I think the choice to limit that in the series was to have the element of surprise at the end. I think there was the concern that if you knew too much about her you might not be as shocked at the end.
Can we expect more of Bonnie in season two?
"There is a lot more of Bonnie in season two. It's kind of interesting the way it worked out. If there had only been one season, it would have been a bit of a bummer. It's interesting to have saved that for the second season, especially seeing what happens at the end of season one. Now [we're] revealing who she is, why she is the way she is, and why she did what she did. I don't think you will be disappointed."
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