With her warm and cheerful charm, Lily James tells me all about her year-end plans as though we were old friends. “It’s quite exciting,” the 30-year-old practically gushes of her upcoming trip to Japan. “I’ve been before, obviously, but I’ve never really had the time to explore and discover, so I’m really looking forward to soaking in the sights and sounds, and just … being.”
Having come straight out of a fairy-tale village in Cinderella, jetted over to post-Edwardian England in Downton Abbey, and landing in French-invaded Russia in War & Peace, Lily James has built quite a reputation for being a jetsetter-slash-time-traveller. Talking to BAZAAR while on a recent trip to Macau, the English rose spills her biggest beauty secrets to looking radiant and rested, despite her hectic schedule.
1The bright stuff You need to master the basics. And for the actress who has played everything from a classic Disney princess and young Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, that means locking down a basic daily ritual. “My mornings always start with cleansing, toning, and moisturising, no matter where I am. As someone who struggles with the seasons, going between warm and cold weather takes a real toll on my skin, so I use products with hyaluronic acid which really hold onto moisture.”
2Re-evaluate your diet “I try to fast whenever I travel, but I always make sure to drink loads of water because the skin really dries out on the plane,” says James of her travel tips, adding that her nifty flight companion is a trusted face mist. “It’s great to just get that refreshing spritz every now and then,” the actress explains. “I also recommend using a gel or sheet mask on the plane. Or at the hotel immediately after you land. It’s quite the pick-me-up!”
3Needling in, right Another quick pick-me-up? Traditional remedies like acupuncture and earseeds. “Theatre is always brutal, but I started having difficulties with my voice and my back during my last run, and the relief it provided was immense,” says James. Nervous or in doubt? Just bring a friend along. “A colleague recommended someone who came to the theatre to do it for us, and it was such a lifesaver.”
4Make-up made easy “My signature look is quite classic and simple,” James laughs nervously on the subject of make-up, as though a little shy about how blessed she is to be able to go bare on a daily basis. “But I think it’s really important for make-up to be light and luminous, and really just let you shine through so your skin can breathe and the colour can come through if you’re blushing.” For that, the live-action Cinderella relies on a power foundation that is both sheer yet buildable. “What I love about Burberry is that they’ve always been about nurturing and encouraging your own sense of beauty, and the Matte Glow Foundation encapsulates that individualised beauty perfectly.”
5Power pout When asked about her top tip for trying out new colours, James is all in for experimentation. “Just don’t overthink it,” she says. “If you liked it when you were looking in the mirror, then who cares what others think.” Although she admits to being more of a nude-ish matt lipstick girl, she confesses to dipping into a bright gloss every now and then when the occasion calls for it. Either way, her current go-to is the Burberry Kisses Lip Lacquer. “They’ve got a great range that’s so easy to apply,” she enthuses. “I always have a few different shades in my bag because you can mix up your vibe really easily, or kind of just create a new lip colour according to your mood.”
6Supercharge with some TLC Make-up removal and self-care are pivotal for the 30-year-old, “For some it’s just cleanse, tone, and moisturise, but I love a long bath. If I feel in need of a little more, I’ll put a face mask or an eye mask on,” she shares. Nonetheless, James reveals that her own personal journey has been filled with anxiety, but she’s learned to take the time to breathe and centre herself at the end of the day, “Because as clichéd as it sounds, beauty really does come from within and it’ll shine out if you just … let it be.”
James’ Top Picks
The face of Burberry breaks down her faves from the luxury Brit house.