Allison Williams, the gorgeous 24-year-old brunette who plays the lovably uptight Marni on HBO’s hit show “Girls,” flew into the spotlight two years ago when the show premiered. Now, she’s gracing best dressed lists (and best of beauty lists) everywhere, and she recently signed on with Simple Skincare to be the spokesperson for the brand – cementing her rightful place as a beauty ambassador. We caught up with the young actress to talk about her hectic lifestyle, and how she manages to keep her skin in check even when she hardly has time to so much as stop and wash her makeup off.
Along with spilling the scoop on her best skincare tips and makeup tricks she’s learned on set, Williams let is in on some scoop from the upcoming third season of “Girls” (premiering in January) as well as why she just chopped 6 inches off of her hair!
Beauty High: Love your hair! Is it shorter?
Allison Williams: It is shorter! I just got it cut on Saturday, I cut like 6 inches off – I cut it for fall, and my stylist told me to [laughs]. No, I decided it was time for a change, I had done justice to the long, brown hair thing and decided it was time for a change.
You obviously have a crazy schedule, how do you keep your skin in check?
I think the most important thing is to remember to take your makeup off at the end of the day. I think it’s absolutely tantamount and somehow I know so many people who don’t take their makeup off at the end of a long day at work. And, since I’ve been working with Simple Skincare I’ve learned a lot about all of their products, but I’ve always been using their wipes because you can be really lazy, just grab a wipe, wipe it on your face and go to sleep.
But, it’s all about keeping it clean and moisturized as far as I’m concerned. And, only using ingredients that are only good for your skin and aren’t going to irritate it and you don’t want things that have dyes or harsh chemicals. And Simple products are really good in that sense – they’re filled with things that will be kind to your skin – I have really sensitive skin and a lot of times I try out a new product and my skin will reject it, but I’ve never had a problem with Simple products. I love the Protecting Light Moisturizer because it has SPF in it and I’ve finally found an SPF moisturizer that you can wear under makeup and it doesn’t look weird and cakey. I love the Revitalizing Eye Roller because it wakes me up in the morning, and I’m obsessed with the wipes.
If a problem does pop up on your skin, what is your go-to fix?
Generally I first try to tell myself to calm down, because it’s always stress-related and it’s always hormonal, and then I get a pot of boiling water and I just sort of throw a towel over my head and steam my face to open my pores and let everything out a little bit, and I’ll exfoliate a little bit. But the temptation is always to dry it out, but in the process of drying it out you can often irritate everything more, so you should really just keep going with what you do, and keep everything clean and moisturized and hope that somewhere, in the heaven of post-production there are retouchers who will be kind.
Obviously you wear a lot of makeup for work – how do you keep that from affecting your skin?
Again it’s about removing it as fast as you can, this season I had the wipes with me on set, so I could remove my makeup right when I was changing out of my costume, because every second it’s on my skin it’s like a ticking bomb. It’s like math, every day in a row that I have heavy makeup on for the show, I’ll break out. I have to just be vigilant about taking it off.
Do you have any great makeup or hair tricks you’ve learned from set?
I’ve learned so many. Julie Harris does my makeup, and I’ve learned a lot of tricks about highlighting and contouring, which feels like magic for me. I sort of thought you get the face that you get and that’s kind of it, but with shading and contouring you draw people’s attention to different places. So if you put a little bit of highlighter in the corners of your eyes you can make yourself look a little bit more awake than you are, if you put some highlighter on your cheekbones, you get kind of a dewy effect, if you put a darker, almost bronzer, type stuff on your cheeks you can give yourself some cheekbones. There are all kinds of tricks you can do and I just watch Julie work and I’m mesmerized.
Benoit Moieyaert does my hair, and he does all kinds of stuff that blows my mind. He is the first person that recommend to me that I use deep conditioner in the shower. I thought you had to get out of the shower, dry your hair, and then put it in. He said, you can just shampoo, rinse and then put the deep conditioner in, do the rest of the stuff – shave your legs, armpits, whatever else you do – and then at the very end rinse it out. But, you have to rinse very carefully, there have been so many times that I’ve sat down with him and he’s been like “You did not rinse enough!” but that’s a great tip that I’ve learned from him.
You’ve been pretty experimental on the red carpet. What is one look you’re dying to try out?
I really want to try things that are a bit more edgy, and sexy, but within my comfort zone. In terms of beauty, I haven’t done a strong lip in a long time because I have a terrible fear of having lipstick on my teeth, which is a very understandable fear that happens to people all of the time – there are terrible Buzzfeed articles about people with stuff on their teeth – so I’m probably due for a strong lip soon, and those are very in for fall. This stuff is so fun, it’s all we talk about – as I always say it’s not world peace or matters of state, but it’s like playing dress up and we’re grown ups.
And finally, can you give us any clues about what’s to come on season 3 of “Girls”?
There is a little clue to what happens, because Chris Abbott left the show so Charlie is not on the show, but generally speaking all of the girls are making a real effort this season to self-improve. So they are all sort of setting out to really make things better for themselves and they are making gestures and taking strides toward self-improvements. And of course that is mostly unsuccessful, but I’m hoping it’ll be fun to watch and very relatable. But, I have so many friends that right about now – and I’m the same age as our characters on the show – that we’re all kind of like “You know what, from now on” and you fill in the blank and it lasts for two weeks, so it’s fun to try to mirror that on the show.
Photo via Monica Schipper/FilmMagic