For some, a lipstick is just a lipstick. But for others, it's a source of strength, creativity, and expression. In our series Power Faces, we'll explore the relationship between strong women and the makeup they choose to wear — or not. Our latest subject is 22-year-old actress Odeya Rush, who will star in Netflix’s upcoming film Let It Snow and Harry Nathan’s music video for “Alright,” which she also directed. This story was told to Thatiana Diaz and edited for length and clarity.
When I first started going to Hollywood events, I used to wear so much makeup. It would be heavy eyes, lips, lashes, and I looked older than I do now. I thought, "I have a professional makeup artist. Let's go hard." But I’d go to these events and look in the mirror and not recognize myself. So many people around me would say, "No, this looks good." It just didn't feel like me.
Eventually, I learned it's really important to wear things that make you feel good about yourself. I don't think I'm ever going to go that hard with heavy makeup again. For me, I look and feel better with something softer and more natural paired with a statement eye or lip.
Orange makes me feel powerful. I focus on my eyes and making their blue color pop. My eye makeup goes well with my fashion sense, because my wardrobe is very colorful, too. I actually like when my makeup is something that people can talk about.
I'd love to see people experiment more. There really is no limit. It's inspiring to see a television show like Euphoria, where they let the makeup artists play and the girls' personalities shine through. It's pushing people out of their comfort zone, and that's what makeup is about. If you're not masking your beauty, you're playing, being artistic, and creating something.
House of CB Blush Satin and Feather Jacket, $195, available at HouseofCB.com; House of CB Blush Satin Tailored Trousers, $135, available at HouseofCB.com; Vex Clothing Wristlet Gloves, $30, available at VexClothing.com; Lilou Mother-of-Pearl Module Earrings with Gold-Plated Lilies, $140, available at Lilou.com
With films, you have to do things that the character would do. That's why I like to have a say when it comes to my hair and makeup, because a makeup look can bring out a certain side of you. I've worked with some awesome makeup artists who let me collaborate, and if I like something or I want to do something myself, they'll let me do it.
After I’ve been on set all day and I have the evening to myself, it's refreshing to wear an outfit that I've completely styled, that I feel good in, and that feels like me. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe can put me into the mindset of a character; it makes you appreciate your style more when you have those breaks.
I struggled with acne for a long time. I had pimples here and there growing up, but at 20 years old, I developed a face full of acne. When you're working and constantly having to be on camera, it can bring you down because a part of you wants to cover it up — but the more makeup you put on, the worse you're making it.
My acne started calming down last year, but I still get blemishes. It's about looking in the mirror and not focusing on it. Repeating the affirmation that I have clear skin has helped me. With acne, you think everybody is looking at it, but it's not as big of a deal as you're making it in your head.
It's nice when I see someone in a movie with acne. It's real, it's everywhere, and it's crazy that we're pretending it's not. We need to make it less of a big deal so that other young people dealing with acne can feel better about it. Now, before I leave the house, I give myself a pep talk and say nice things to myself like, "You have great skin." or "You look beautiful." Be your own hype man, and constantly try to catch the negative things and replace them with something positive.