Eye Creams & Lash Extensions Are Just A Few Of Lana Condor's Favorite Things

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
We may have met Lana Condor as Lara Jean Covey in To All The Boys I've Loved Before, but in reality, the 21-year-old actress is nothing like the timid high-schooler that she plays onscreen. Condor does share Lara Jean's earnest, genuine nature, but these days, you'd see Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine IRL before seeing Condor in Covey's signature girl-next-door ponytail.
While there's a lot to admire about her breakout character β€” Lara Jean's big heart and intelligence are just two things we wouldn't mind borrowing β€” there's even more to love about Condor. Not only has she landed edgier roles since, starring as Koyomi in Alita: Battle Angel and Saya Kuroki on SYFY's new series Deadly Class, but she's proved to be the budding beauty icon we never expected from the lead in a rom-com that's about a teenager who still writes love letters.
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During a pit stop at the Refinery29 offices while on a press tour for Alita, Condor talked to us about her new blue highlights, her long-time love for eyelashes, and the two things she'll never do for a role. Turns out, she's willing to take risks Lara Jean never could β€” well, you know, not until her little sister made her.
You've been rocking so many fun looks lately, like fake bangs and now these blue highlights. What's inspired you to try so many new hairstyles?
"I've have been promoting Alita: Battle Angel for a couple weeks now and my character in the movie has purple hair, so I spoke to my hairstylist Matt Fugate and said it'd be cool to bring some of the color from the movie into real life. He pulled a bunch of extensions and dyed them all different colors. We ended up choosing a purple extension that I wore in L.A. and now I'm wearing this silvery, blue tint. It's Matt's mission to show that you can do fun things with short hair, not just long hair."
You had super-long hair for awhile, right?
"My hair was so long. I didn't notice how long it was until I saw it on camera and was like, 'What?!'"
Were you nervous when you found out you had to cut it so short for Deadly Class?
"I was on a plane headed to Vancouver for the shoot, but it wasn't until we landed and I turned on my phone that I saw an email telling me to go to the studio for a camera test where they were going to cut off all of my hair. I just said, 'Screw it!' I'd rather cut it than have to wear a wig for the run of the show. I like it, I really do. Short hair is easier and it saves money."
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You've been maintaining the short hair, but what's going to happen when you start shooting the To All The Boys I've Loved Before sequel? What's the fate of Lara Jean's hair?
"I'm probably going to have to wear extensions because her hair is such a big part of her character. She just had such long hair in the first movie that I think we have to keep it long."
I'd love to see Lara Jean cut her hair!
"I know! I was talking to the producers about that, like, what if she gets a haircut? I don't know, we'll see. I haven't gotten a concrete answer yet."
If you could control Lara Jean's look, what would you have her change about her signature ponytail?
"She wears her hair up when she's insecure, so I'd tell her to wear her hair down more. I'd be like, 'Girl, put your hair down. Live your life!'"
Now we know you're not afraid of going through a physical transformation for a role thanks to Deadly Class, but do you have any character deal breakers?
"I have two deal breakers right now. One is I have to have eyelashes. That is an ego thing of mine, but it's a deal breaker. Everyone on everything I've worked on knows that. I have to have extensions, or strips, or individuals. I love eyelashes so much. The second is I don't know if I'd ever shave my head for a role at this point, but that could always change."
Saya's tattoos on Deadly Class make her look so badass. Does that make you want tattoos in real life?
"Kind of. I have full sleeves, a chest piece, and full back tattoo on the show, which you haven't seen yet, but it's down to my butt. I don't want a full back tattoo in real life, but there was a moment when I wanted a half-sleeve and then very quickly thought my mom would kill me. Saya's tattoos are just so big. I might get a little tattoo. If I did, the only thing I'd get right now would be my birth name because I'm adopted. My brother has a tattoo on his chest of the date we were adopted. That's sort of something I'd do."
You spend hours turning into Saya for the show. Is there a part of your beauty routine you're religious about doing when you're off set?
"I'm so into skin care. It is very rare if I fall asleep with my makeup on. I have to be desperate for sleep to do that. I also always do under-eye stuff. I have discoloration under my eyes and major bags because sometimes sleep isn't really a thing for me, so I do a lot of patches, serums, and creams under my eyes. I'm that girl that will wear masks in public β€” on planes, taxis, Ubers."
What about nails? Are you committed to getting frequent manicures or trendy nail art?
"I'm not really rigid about having my nails done unless it's for press. In Deadly Class, I have really gross nails and I love it. I'm actually a nail biter; it's the biggest comfort to bite them. Now I have these long nails on, so I can't. Sometimes I'll be running from shooting the show straight to New York for something else and still have my gross, bleeding nails from the show and I love it. But I also love red nail polish. I've never tried nail art. I would try it, but I love red."
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