Ciara Bravo of ‘Red Band Society’ Talks Beauty Tricks, Why Eating Disorders Can Be Taboo

Rachel Adler

Photography by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

Ciara Bravo, the 17-year-old star of Red Band Society, is definitely one to watch. Ciara rose to fame playing Katie Knight on Nickelodeon’s hit show Big Time Rush, and was then cast as Emma, a teen battling an eating disorder on Fox’s new dramedy, which airs it’s fall finale tonight at 9/8C. The show centers around a group of friends (the “Red Banders”) who are all suffering from a life-threatening illness that has brought them together to stay in Ocean Park Hospital in LA – and while they deal with sickness, they also deal with the drama of being a teenager.

Ciara stopped by our offices to chat everything from beauty tips she’s learned along the way to trends she wants to try – and on a more serious note, what she hopes she’s able to portray through her character about eating disorders, so she can teach others. Read on to find out more!

Beauty High: Since you’ve been acting for quite some time now, are there any beauty tips you’ve learned from your makeup artists on set that you would have never discovered on your own?

Ciara Bravo: I’ve learned a lot about the cancellation of different colors so if your under eyes are dark, use more of an orangey color to cancel that out and use your skin tone shade on top of that, and if you’re red you use green. Also always bringing your makeup with you so you can touch it up during the day.

What about hair tricks?
I am still not very good with hair! But a toothbrush with a little hairspray on it to comb down the flyaways is a  really good one.

Ciara Bravo

Photography by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

What products do you always need to put in your bag before you leave the house?
I always have my chapstick or lipgloss with me, and some powder.

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And, we have to know – what is that favorite chapstick? 
It’s the Burt’s Bees Pomegranate – it has the perfect amount of color in it too.

Are there any beauty trends that you’re dying to try out? 

The colored liner – but I’m very afraid – but, I like the black and then a line of blue or gold on top.

Your hair is absolutely gorgeous. How do you keep it so healthy?
I don’t do anything to my hair! I don’t use a lot of heat on it when I don’t have to and that helps a lot from keeping it from getting too frayed. Shampoo and conditioner always, but I just use drugstore brands. I like Tresemme, Nexxus, or Dove, but to pick them out, truthfully I go to the store and smell them, and I buy whatever smells best!

Would you ever do anything crazy to your hair, like chop it all off?
I have been wanting to cut it off into a long bob but I’m terrified. I’m going to wait until I get to my mid 20’s and chop it all off I think.

Ciara Bravo

Photography by Tiffany Hagler-Geard

Alright, let’s talk Red Band Society. You play someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, which is obviously a hard topic to portray. What do you hope to show people who are actually struggling with this in real life?
I hope to show to them that reaching out for help in the end will 100% be a good thing, despite how difficult it may be to admit that you do have a problem and you are fighting these monsters within you and admitting that to people is always incredibly difficult, but in the end it will pay off and being honest with yourself and those around you will benefit you, and it will make you so happy and you will feel healthy in the end and it’s a struggle, but you will reach it eventually if you want to.

Also, I just want to enlighten people on the topic because its not something that is talked about much, it’s very taboo and very scary so I want people to realize how dark and terrifying it can be to go through something like an eating disorder.

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Do you have a group of friends you consider your own, real life “Red Band”? What are your tricks for staying in touch even with your hectic schedule? 
I would say my camp friends, because roughing it in the disgusting showers and weird food at camp you really do create a bond with people.  Obviously I don’t believe it’s as strong as if you were suffering together, but there’s something very special about cleaning toilets and cooking food with people. And texting and social media is huge for me. And going back to visit as much as I possibly can.

You seem to be a Twitter and Instagram junkie (like us!) What are your tips for taking great selfies? 
That’s something I’m still learning. Good lighting is crucial, overhead lighting can be rough so something direct, and then you gotta find an angle. I feel like up a little bit is good but it depends on your face shape. Just take a bunch, mess around, see what you like best and stick with that.

And finally, what’s next for you career-wise?
Nothing that is official yet, so I’ll keep people updated via Twitter and Instagram, I guess we’re in this together, so we’ll find out together!

 To find out more about Ciara, visit where she answers “Fishbowl” questions!