The Beauty Product Shay Mitchell Won’t Travel Without Is Crazy Affordable

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Take one look at Shay Mitchell's beauty résumé, and you'll realize she's a girl after our own hearts — one day she's in adorned braids and dramatic cat-eyes; the next, she's faking us out with a blond wig and a did-she-or-didn't-she haircut. Beauty rut? She's not familiar. "For me, the red carpet is all about having fun and trying new things — you should never be too scared, because at the end of the day, you're just playing around with your look," Mitchell told us earlier this week. "The world isn’t fun if everyone does the same thing." We couldn't agree more, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to chat up the Pretty Little Liars actress about all things beauty, from her latest red-carpet wins to her travel skin-care routine.
First things first: We love your Teen Choice Awards hair. What's the creative process like behind your more out-of-the-box hair looks?
"[Hairstylist Christopher Appleton and I] spoke about it and about different styles we could try. It’s a collaboration between the two of us, and he’s such a genius and an artist. He gives me so many different ideas to work with that if [I] don’t like one idea, there’s always another one. He thought a braid in the front could be cool, but I suggested it in the back — then he added the hoops!"

The hair-jewelry trend that's gaining traction right now is pretty rad. Does it take forever?

"No way, I don’t think that it takes forever. If you want to do a braid or even a cool pony, it’s so much fun — you could literally braid your own hair and then pop these little hoops in. You can close them and make them tighter, or leave them loose. They’re really simple. "Getting ideas from craft stores has been pretty good [for us] — I think you can definitely play around with this trend and make it your own."
You’ve been wearing a blond wig lately — have you been having more fun?
"[laughs] Well, you really have more fun based on your attitude and the people you’re with; I really don’t know that it’s because of hair color. My overall answer to that is, you have fun no matter where you are if you’re with the right people." We're big fans of your makeup artist Patrick Ta — have you learned how to do that super-thin cat-eye yet?
"I try, but I still struggle with the eye — that’s the thing that I can’t master." We ask all celebs this: What's your secret single behavior?
"I honestly don’t know if there is anything — I snapchatted having a nose strip and a mask on yesterday, so that's out there!" We talk a lot about beauty renegades here at R29. That is, women who are more than icons — they also push boundaries and challenge beauty ideals. Who would your beauty renegade be?
"Mine would be Rihanna because she’s always changing her look up. I am always excited to see what she’s doing on the red carpet." Speaking of risks, is there a beauty look that you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t yet?
"Maybe red hair, like really red. I did that for Halloween last year when I was Poison Ivy. I'd like to do a legit red; I think that would be really fun." You travel a lot — what's your skin routine like when you're on the road?
"If I am going to be in a hotel room, I always bring coconut oil with me. You can use it for a multitude of different things — a hair mask, body moisturizer. I try to keep my skin very hydrated. I wash my face morning and night, always. I use the Baking Soda Pore Cleanser [from Bioré]." How about when you have a lot of time? What's your Sunday-night beauty routine like?
"Well, then I am putting my head over a bowl with hot water and lemon slices, and steaming my skin. Then, I will throw on the One Minute Heating Mask, then nose strips to really get all the dirt and oil out, then I’ll put some vitamin E or a face oil on." You're a Bioré spokesperson — do you have any skin advice for your fans?
"Having a good routine that you like and that works for your skin is important. I know the products that work for me, and I continue to use them. Once you get into that routine, it’s quite easy to take care of your skin. Then, [set] aside a day to really take care of yourself, [and do] masks and pore strips. The new [animal-print] pore strips are out now; they’re so cute, and now you can have a little bit more fun when you’re taking a picture of your pore strip. It really does amp up your selfie game! [laughs]."

You and your PLL character have very different approaches to beauty — what could you teach each other?
"I think Emily could play around more with lip color. [laughs] I don’t know if there is one thing that I could learn from her. I think that Emily would get her advice from the other girls, so she’s probably the one that needs the advice, [and is] not one to be giving advice. [laughs]"

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