No one gives a natural, radiant beauty look on the red carpet quite like Kerry Washington, so her brand ambassadorship with Neutrogena is in perfect alignment with her aesthetic. Today, she releases her second makeup collection with the brand called Force of Nature Palletes. Each palette features five shades of deep, warm, and rich earth tones, a more dramatic selection than her previous collection of essentials, and are available at Ulta for a limited time.
ESSENCE caught up with Washington to discuss her inspiration for the collection that is aimed at celebrating the beauty of nature; the beauty tips she wants to share with her children; and how she has learned to define beauty on her own terms.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to create this collection with Neutrogena?
Kerry Washington: “This is my second collection with Neutrogena. The first was more of an essentials collection, and I’m obsessed with it still. I literally have it in my purse everyday, but it was a pallet for everyday, a natural look. Like just popping up your natural beauty with those essential tools that you can go day to night.
But for the second collection, I was like we gotta find a little more drama. People always think about Neutrogena as being a line that puts health and wellness at the forefront, so there’s a commitment to natural beauty in everything that we do. But there’s also a lot of drama in nature. So we started looking for more deep and warm and rich earth tones, so that the look is a bit more dramatic, yet still feels natural.”
ESSENCE: The names of the shades and the collection itself are so powerful. How did you come up with those?
KW: “The names are really inspired by our customers. I’ve been so lucky through the years to spend time with the people who are using our products. The people who are drawn to Neutrogena beauty are people who are drawn not only to beauty rituals, but also drawn to the innovation and commitment to health and wellness. I wanted to utilize shade names that represented who we are at our best.
One of the things that I love about Neutrogena is that we’re committed to the idea that we want you to look and feel as beautiful when you take the makeup off, as when you put it on. I wanted to find names that really were about who we are when we bring our best self forward and the power of embracing what’s beautiful about ourselves.”
ESSENCE: How have you learned to define beauty on your terms?
KW: “I think it’s an inside job. I’ve learned that the voice that I hear in my head when I look in the mirror has less to do with the actual image. It’s more a reflection of my self talk. So if I look in the mirror, and I’m unhappy with what I see what that tells me is that I’m unhappy with who I am. And I have to come to the mirror with a sense of self love.
I really try to come to the mirror with conscious sense of loving myself, and saying how can I be the best version of me today? Because I don’t want to be anybody other than me. Where I start is I am enough, I am beautiful, but also I can love this work of art that we all are. I’m not saying that I myself am a work of art, and nobody else is. e can all choose to look in the mirror and say wow I’m so blessed to wake up in this body this morning, how how do I adorn this body as an act of self love? And to celebrate who I am, to bring best self forward.”
ESSENCE: What beauty tips are you planning to share with your children?
KW: “With my girls and my son, I don’t even know if I talk a lot about it. I think the most important thing is to lead by example. I’m learning that in parenting. That it really doesn’t matter what you say, it’s really about what you do. So, I’m trying to make the best choices for myself around drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and using SPF when we’re all hanging at the beach and the pool. I try to do those things and teach by example.”
ESSENCE: What is your daily beauty routine?
KW: “My everyday routine changes. I really do like to let my skin breathe a lot when I’m not working. Because when I’m filming I have so much makeup on, and you’re cooking under the lights for 16 hours, so I do tend to have a light hand with my day to day. But what that looks like changes all the time. I like to change up my lip colors, and a little foundation where I feel like I need it day to day, or where I feel like I want it.
Mascara, sometimes shadow, I love this lip palette because I love every one of these colors, and to have it in my bag I can just play each day. But it’s the little details. Sometimes it’s a pop of mascara. We have a new hydro boost mascara that I’m obsessed with. We always think about hyaluronic acid for skin, but also for the hair in your lashes, it’s plumping. I like to play, but I like to play with a light hand when I’m not working.”