Barbie Ferreira has no interest in fitting a cookie-cutter mould, and she's made that clear since emerging onto the scene in modelling campaigns and hit TV shows. The actress and model, who plays Kat in the HBO series Euphoria, doesn't shy away from pushing boundaries; whether she's discussing body positivity, promoting inclusivity, or hand-selecting the projects she devotes her time to. This philosophy is evident in her latest work with Becca Cosmetics as the brand's celebrity spokesperson.
Ferreira's first assignment as Becca ambassador was to create a campaign for its new Zero Collection. Rather than stick to the traditional casting process, the star recruited her own friends to participate in the shoot, and she controlled the narrative. "I've felt like the token fat girl many times in modelling," Ferreira tells me over the phone. "With this campaign, there were no ifs, ands, or buts about me being authentically myself."
Now, the actress is collaborating with the brand on its upcoming 2020 Prismatica holiday collection, set to release this autumn. The lineup is a direct reflection of Ferreira's unique beauty style. It includes a new face-and-eye palette, a lipgloss trio kit, and miniature highlighters outfitted in reflective multicoloured packaging — a far cry from Becca's usual sleek bronze tubes and metal compacts. "I wanted to do the exact opposite of what we typically see in a holiday collection," Ferreira says. "What's the point of creating something if you won't switch it up and give people something different?"
This philosophy prompted Ferreira to skip the traditional red lipsticks and black liners, and to lean into her favourite colours and textures instead. "I love purple eyeshadow, oranges, and shimmers," she says. "Zero Pigment was very natural, which is closer to my everyday style, but there are two sides of me, and the Prismatica colours are like the cherry on top."
Ferreira has been playing around with the products while in quarantine, and she says that her go-to style come December will be layering the purple shadow from her face palette onto her eyes. "I've been loving one colour all over the lid and layering mascara, which I've picked up from lots of editorial shoots," she says. "Before, I used to think that I needed a cut-crease with fake lashes and heavy eyeliner, but I've just been embracing different styles."
Sheltering at home has also given Ferreira a break from getting glammed up for work, like on Euphoria's set where eclectic makeup is her uniform. "I've been very low maintenance," she says. She's also used this time to focus on her mental health, which she says is directly affected by her beauty routine and work. "It's been fascinating to not be on camera consistently seeing photos and videos of yourself for a few months," she says. "It's been cool to separate who I am and how I want to be in the world from my public image and what people see."
Ferreira adds that staying home has also eased the pressure of looking perfect. "Right now, beauty has become fun rather than necessary," she says. "Overall, it's been challenging as hell, but I've learned a lot about myself."
Ferreira, who is starring in an upcoming project called Unpregnant, says exploring her character Bailey has helped her connect more to herself. "Bailey is very effervescent and silly at the same time, which I relate to in a lot of ways," she says of her upcoming role.
Taking on this new role and launching a collection in the current global climate has given Ferreira a chance to reflect on the footprint she wants to leave behind in the beauty industry and Hollywood. "I have no interest in advertising to demographics that aren't inclusive and don't embrace change," she says. "While I think the beauty industry is catching on, there are still so many conversations to be had so we don't stick to the same old inherently fatphobic, transphobic, and racist ideals we've been fed."
Ferreira is using her growing platform with Becca to continue these necessary conversations. "We all have to realise that the way things have been isn't working and change accordingly," she says. "It starts with creating a positive, welcoming space in the beauty world for others to feel seen, valued, and beautiful."
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