Drew Barrymore Gets Real About Makeup-Free Selfies & Photoshop

Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Image.
Drew Barrymore attends Beautycon Festival in L.A .in July.
Hollywood is a land of benchmarks: A starring role in a feature film. Recognition from the Academy. A lucrative beauty contract. But when you're Drew Barrymore, who starred in E.T. at age seven, was nominated for almost 90 awards, and created her own cosmetics line called Flower Beauty, measuring success gets a little more novel.
For example, Barrymore had two songs named after her over the past year, although she's not totally sure why. "I don't know why I'm on the brain!" she tells Refinery29. "I love SZA. It's my favorite song ever and I have it on constant repeat; I'm even in the video for a nanosecond," she says. (Scroll down and fast forward to 2:15 to spot her. We'll wait.) "The song is so good, but SZA's is also easier for me to play because it doesn't say my name, so if I play [Bryce Vine's Drew Barrymore] I'm like, you know..."
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But the eternally humble Barrymore is quick to steer the conversation away from her and onto her brand's first skin-care product: a glittery, purple oil that was inspired by her sweaty face after a workout. If that sounds unusual, it's because it is, but so is Barrymore — in the best way possible. Naturally, we had some questions, and she spilled all the answers, ahead.
This is the most expensive product from your drugstore line — what makes it so special?
"I would never want to be an elitist at an elite store; it's not who I am and it's not how I shop. This new elixir is from this prestige Korean lab and there was no way we were going to afford it unless we did it exclusively for Ulta Beauty and charged $15.99. But I said, 'I don't care – we have to do this! Women need this product!’"
Photo: S. Granitz/Getty Images.
Barrymore rocks matte makeup and body glitter on the red carpet in 1998.
What inspired the formula and how do you use it?
"I was all for matte in the '90s; I would even put loose powder on my lips. But now I am obsessed with dewiness and how I look after I work out and how to put that into a bottle. What I like about this [product] is that you don't have to put it on in any specific area; you can just kind of slather it all over. It gives you that dewy shine and fresh, plump, baby skin glow that is like nothing I've ever used in my life. You can use it like a primer, but it also works alone."
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You've posted a few makeup-free selfies lately — is there any meaning behind them?
"I live in the beauty world, so I'm either up to my nose in pigments and samples and products or I'm in a makeup chair and working for 18 hours a day with makeup on. So I rebel on my time off and I just want to let my skin breathe. There's this entire category we ignore on social media called real life, and in my real life I don't do any of the things I do for work."
A lot of brands want to make beauty campaigns feel more "real life" by limiting retouching — how do you feel about that?
"You know, I really don't care. I think that when it gets too real, people don't like it and when it gets too fake, people don't like it, so you have to find the middle ground. If something is retouched to the point where it's no longer attainable, you've gone too far. If it's people sitting around with cellulite and pores, then people are like, 'Woah!' No one is ever satisfied on either end of the spectrum, so I say, Make it beautiful, make it feel fun and aspirational and full of joy, and I think we'll strike that perfect balance."
Flower Beauty Supernova Celestial Skin Elixir, $15.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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