I Spent 7 Minutes in Beauty Heaven with Zoë Kravitz and Her New YSL Lipstick Line
“Is there anyone cooler?” “I have the biggest girl crush on her.” “Jealous — I loveeeeee her!” These are just a few of the reactions I got from my friends and colleagues when I told them I was interviewing Zoë Kravitz.
She comes by her It Girl status naturally: Daughter of rock royalty Lenny Kravitz and multi-hyphenate star Lisa Bonet, Zoë was literally born this way. And she’s carved out her own unique path as an actress and millennial muse.
So it’s no surprise that YSL Beauty tapped Kravitz as its global beauty brand ambassador back in 2017. Fast forward to now, and the star has developed an exclusive limited-edition six-shade lipstick collection with the brand, hence why I got to bask in her aura while swatching lipstick shades on my wrist on a recent Monday morning at NYC’s Plaza Hotel.
Sorry, everyone who was jealous of me, but the 30-year-old Big Little Lies star lives up to the hype: That lit-from-within glow you see comes from her cool, kind and humble personality – and she’s a boss when it comes to beauty, too.
Below, the highlights from our chat.
There are shades named for your grandmother, godmother and even dog – why was it important to pay tribute to those in your life?
I wanted them to feel personal, and I want these colors to bring inspiration to people, and these are women and people and pets who inspired me. It was really important for me to pay homage to the women who led the way for me.
It’s funny — when we were first thinking of names, a lot of names are taken, which was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to be more creative and make it even more personal.
There’s one named after your mom Lisa Bonet! Tell us about that shade.
“Lale” is my mom’s nickname. This shade is a strong, dark red and has a shimmer finish. It’s a really sexy color, and it’s also kind of earthy. It reminds me of her.
Do you have an early memory of getting into your mom’s makeup?
My mom loves beauty and she would let me go through her makeup bag, and I remember sparkles were a big deal when I was a kid. She had all these sparkly eye shadows, and I would put it all over my face. Sparkles were the gift that kept on giving.
What shade would you gift your Big Little Lies character Bonnie?
She’s very minimal with makeup, so one of the nudes: Either Arlene’s Nude [a rosewood nude named after Zoë’s grandmother] or Honey [a rose nude named after a nickname for Zoë’s godmother Cree Summer, who starred on A Different World with her mom Lisa Bonet].
What shade would you wear for a girl’s night out?
Scout’s red. [A bright red with orange undertones named after Zoe’s dog, who wears a bandana around his neck the same color.] It’s just such a bright, beautiful color. It’s super playful and it feels really youthful.
What’s your go-to way to style your red lipstick?
It’s great with a black dress, or something really simple like a white tee-shirt and jeans. Adding that pop of red color is just so chic and beautiful.
Where do you find makeup inspiration?
I love to go online and look at references. Usually, the references are older — I tend to go backwards rather than forwards. I love looking at the way people did their makeup in the ’50s and the ’60s. It sparks some beautiful, creative ideas.
What’s your approach to self-care?
Self-care really starts from the inside. I think it comes from feeling good about yourself, and your life, and who you are, and how you spend your time, and also making sure that you make time for yourself. That you sleep, that you drink water, that you sweat, that you go out and have a night with your girls and drink three bottles of wine — it’s all about the things that make you feel good and feel alive. That’s where it all starts.
Where do you seek out style inspiration?
I find it everywhere. I find it walking down the street. Living in New York, there are so many cool-looking people everywhere. I find it watching movies and reading books and looking at old magazines. I tend to get really inspired by just the things that I’m watching. I recently watched Cabaret, which I hadn’t seen in the longest time, and next thing I know, I’m wearing gold and sparkly black sequin dresses. Those things kind of creep into my subconscious.
What’s your reaction when you hear people refer to you as a “style icon”?
I think it’s an honor. I always say that I hope that I inspire people to not try to look like me, but to look like themselves. I think there’s a lot of pressure to look one way in this industry and in the world, and I work very hard to try to remain truthful to who I am, so when people respond positively to that, it feels good. It encourages me to continue being myself.
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