August 30 2014

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“I’m Not The Kind Of Person That Just Slops Around In Sweatpants”: Scarlett Johansson On Why Beauty Is A Daily Commitment


That Scarlett Johansson is a beauty icon is not up for debate. Her pinup curves, high cheekbones, and pouty lips have made her a huge star. There are those serious acting chops, too, of course, but we’re pretty sure it’s the former combination that caused Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce to recruit her as their house’s muse. In between movies like Iron Man 2 and He’s Just Not That Into You, Johansson has been moonlighting as the face of Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup since its launch two years ago. The job comes with its perks—makeup tips form Dolce & Gabbana creative consultant Pat McGrath, a permanent front-row seat at the designers’ runway collections in Milan—but that’s not why Johansson does it. Turns out the star of We Bought a Zoo, which hits theaters next week, is a total beauty junkie. Here, Johansson talks DIY face masks, why even trips to the grocery store necessitate concealer and some mascara, and her “me time” pampering rituals for the holidays and beyond.

As an accomplished actress, do you find the experience of starring in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup different from or similar to starring in a film?

I love the experiences that both create—I love the storytelling, and the fact that I can play a different role. I mean, for Dolce & Gabbana ,I am in essence playing myself but with the “Dolce & Gabbana woman” strongly in mind. I also love the challenge of conjuring the emotions of the ad. It’s all about the facial expressions—the eyes and the mouth—which tell the story. As an actress who is so used to having to learn lines, it’s no simple task! So when I began working with Stefano and Domenico on their campaigns, it was such a novelty. I remember my first shoot. It was strange getting used to the fact that it was just me up there, with no one else to bounce off at all. But it’s something you get used to and now I feel totally relaxed and at home.

Before the Dolce & Gabbana contract and the red carpet-caliber glam squads, were you always into beauty?

I think the first time I really became interested in makeup was watching my mother sit in front of her mirror doing her makeup. I was mesmerized by the way she applied the different products and the care with which she did so. It was enthralling to me how you could alter your appearance and enhance certain features and I think from then on I became fascinated.

And now you get to work with legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, who I’m sure has imparted a few words of wisdom…

Pat McGrath knows how much I adore red lipstick, so she showed me how to apply it to perfection. It’s all about taking your time and letting the bullet of lipstick guide you from one side of the lip to the other to create a really full and neat look—that tip has been so invaluable to me!

So you love a red lip, eh? What are your makeup must-haves?

My absolute must-have is a really rich and vibrant red lipstick. Dolce & Gabbana’s new Passion Duo range has a gorgeous shade called Infatuation, which is actually the shade Pat McGrath used on my lips for the [Fall] ad campaign. I always keep red lipstick in my bag because I never know when I might show up to an event and be completely underdressed. I feel like red lipstick is the cure-all for everything. A really good mascara is a key staple for me, too. The Secret Eyes Mascara in Black from Dolce & Gabbana creates the most flirty and glamorous lashes. I find that super-long lashes really widen the eyes and make them sparkle, and I really haven’t found another mascara that measures up to this one. A dark eyeliner is another must-have in my make up bag. Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliner in Stromboli is a great black/brown shade with delicate gold sparkles that I love to wear in the evening. Obviously it’s nice to get color without having to sit out in the sun and ruin your skin, so I also use bronzer—I even use it on my eyelids at times!

Is this more or less your everyday arsenal?

I always like to put a little bit of makeup on. I’m not the kind of person that just slops around in sweatpants. I like to feel a little more together—you never know who you’re going to see out there! If I’m just going to the grocery store I would throw on a little concealer, a little mascara. I wear foundation if I know I’m going to be photographed, but day to day I don’t wear [it].

Do you have any go-to products that you trust to keep your skin clear and hydrated?

I am a great believer in using natural products and drinking lots of water. Something I’ve discovered recently is actually using honey as a mask. I use Manuka honey. You just warm your face so that your pores are open (you can steam your face right after getting out of the shower), and then you just take a spoon and apply the honey directly to your face and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. It really adds an amazing glow and your skin is so soft afterwards. It pulls out the impurities—and it’s a nice foundation, especially if you are going to a big event where you want a great glow and you want to take that extra 15 minutes to do a treatment before you put your makeup on. It preps your skin in a really nice way.

Love a DIY beauty remedy. Do you have any other good ones?

Another great one that I like to do if my skin has been dull or has some red spots is using raw lemon. You can either dilute it with water if it’s a bit too stingy on your skin, or you can apply it directly. If you have a big event at the end of the week, do this every night before you go to bed for the five nights leading up to it and your skin is so much brighter. It’s amazing!

You obviously enjoy experimenting with different hair colors and styles. You were a redhead earlier this year; you’re a dark dirty blonde in We Bought a Zoo. What’s your go-to color?

I’m naturally blonde so I feel most like myself when I’m blonde. I’ve had a lot of different hair colors for films I’ve done, but I always go back to blonde. I do love transforming my hair color or makeup look for a role and trying something new, though. The good thing about wearing wigs when filming is that you can change your look and your hairline, which really changes your face. It is so much fun and a really big part of why I love doing what I do. Otherwise, I really like to wear updos just because I think my face looks more elegant when I wear my hair up, but it depends on the event. If you’re going to something young and fun and you want to feel sexy, it’s nice to have your hair down and with a little bit of wave.

With the holidays coming up and the red-carpet cycle calming down until awards season gets into full swing, are you looking forward to any downtime pampering rituals?

I wish I had the patience for regular treatments, but setting aside hours of “me” time always seems like a hassle. I do love a long soak in a hot bath, though. Oils such as lavender really help you to relax and leave all your worries behind. I also love doing my nails. I’ve always liked nail polish ever since I was a kid. I like red nail polishes. There’s a nice blue-red color that Dolce & Gabbana makes called Lover that’s really sweet on your toes. I usually wear either pink or nude on my nails. If you know that people are going to notice your nails—if you’re carrying a glass of Champagne or you’re talking using your hands, or you’re wearing open-toed shoes—it’s nice to have that complete look.

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

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