“Arrow” Star Katie Cassidy Models ’90s Beauty Trends, Spills Worst Beauty Mistakes

Rachel Adler
“Arrow” Star Katie Cassidy Models ’90s Beauty Trends, Spills Worst Beauty Mistakes
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Actress Katie Cassidy has certainly shown she can take on whatever role is thrown her way – from a manipulative schoolmate as Juliet Sharp on “Gossip Girl,” to a legal wiz as Laurel Lance in her current role in the DC Comics based CW show “Arrow.” The gorgeous actress has found her footing quite comfortably with the young, prime time audience, and has cemented her place as one of today’s fashion “It” girls, not only sharing all of her obsessions over social media, but most recently venturing into the blogosphere with her own site.

As for her current role as Laurel Lance, Cassidy makes us all envious of her drive and ability to go after what she wants and believes is right – even if she gets a little bit too feisty at times. But, what all of the fans of the show are of course waiting for is how Cassidy will transition Lance into the Black Canary – a development that is long-awaited by the original “Green Arrow” comic book fans. Nothing gets viewers more excited than a good old fashioned character transformation, and we’re sure Laurel Lance’s will be one for the books.

Although the 26-year-old is currently filming the second season of the hit show in Vancouver, she made time to stop by our studios to fall back into the ’90s – a genre that was perfect for the actress, considering her tomboy tendencies. Cassidy fully embraced the ’90s theme, rocking everything from a bold burgundy lip to perfectly-tousled locks—as well the requisite flannel and overalls, of course. (If you have flashbacks of “My So-Called Life” and “Empire Records,” we happily take the blame!)

Read on to find out what products Cassidy really uses on her skin every day (we actually rifled through her makeup bag!) plus the details on her all-new blog, Tomboy KC.

Beauty High: What beauty products do you keep in your purse at all times?
Katie Cassidy: Clinique Chubby Sticks. When I’m traveling, I keep Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Cream, eye drops and Benefit. They have a tiny Benefit mascara that’s travel sized that I like to keep in my purse, because mascara kind of just makes everything more fabulous. Mascara at all times. Usually some sort of chapstick, and that’s probably about it, as far as beauty products go.

And we know you’re obviously traveling all the time for work, so what’s your skincare regimen on the road?
[At this point, Cassidy actually pulls out her bag for us to look through.] Garnier Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes, deodorant, La Mer The TonicMoroccanoil Body Soufflé, which is so delicious. Clarins Lift[-Affine] Regard—it’s for your eyes, eye drops. Oh my God, I love this stuff, this eye cream, Perricone, so good. Then we’ve got some Band-aids, blister treatments, blister protection for the stilettos, Kate Somerville 360 Tanning Pad for your face—it’s so good. But I love St. Tropez, it would be unfair to choose. Tide To Go, some more La Mer products, the Regenerating Serum. I think that’s kind of it. You got a glimpse into my bag!

What trends are you most looking forward to for fall?
Well, I have to say, I’ve always been into like flannels, the button-down, long-sleeve, slouchy, sort of boyish look. That’s sort of how I’ve always been. But I’m excited to get back into that, the long sleeve, and fall’s the best season to dress for, I’m so excited about it. I’m so excited that I’m in Vancouver, because I get to feel the seasons change.

What kinds of beauty trends are you looking to try? There’s so much happening right now!
A burgundy, wine lip! I love the burgundy lip, so definitely that. I think the heavier eyebrow, no eye makeup, and burgundy lip will be cool to rock. People in Vancouver don’t do that, so I’ll definitely stick out like a sore thumb, but it’s fine.

We’ve all made beauty mistakes that we regret over the years, with hair or makeup. Have you ever had one that sticks out, that you remember and you’re like, ‘Oh my God?’
Oh, yeah. I’ve had more than one that sticks out that I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what was I doing?!’ I want to say it was at Women in Film. The hair was very messy, I didn’t love it, but then I was super pale and my eyes were black. And it just looked a little like a raccoon or something, just was not good, and I look at it now and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I wish someone would’ve been like, ‘Um, you probably shouldn’t go out like that.’

MORE: Jenna Dewan-Tatum Sports Fall’s Hottest Looks, Dishes on Beauty Must-Haves and Past Mistakes

Our shoot focuses on ‘90s beauty—is there a ‘90s beauty trend that you remember seeing that you wish would come back?
I don’t know if it was the ‘90s, this could be any generation, but I’m into the beat-up jean jacket. Pop the collar. I don’t want to say crimped hair, but a little grunge, I guess. I think early ‘90s, I would say. I love grunge, and I do think about a lot of the nail trends back then—the long, acrylic nails that people used to have, the red ones. Those are totally coming back, 100 percent. Have you seen Rihanna? I mean, she’s like 1991, I love it, it’s sick. And obviously the high-waisted everything, high-waisted stuff is amazing.

So obviously you’re on set all the time, you’ve been on a variety of projects. What are some beauty tips you’ve learned from the experts on set?
I feel like I’m the expert—I feel like they’re picking up tips from me! First off, ice is my best friend. I know it’s random and weird, but I learned it from Paul Newman, he used to ice his face every morning, and can I tell you when I wake up in the morning and have to be on set at 5 am, my face is puffy. So sometimes I take an ice pack and I’ll sort of just set it there, so it totally takes the swelling down. And it kind of like tightens your skin, I guess. Also, curl the lashes, ladies. If anyone doesn’t know that, they need to. And everybody loves a little contouring.

So “Arrow” is coming back for it’s second season on October 9th! Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming season?
There’s a lot of drama in Starling City. Obviously after the finale of season one, you saw Tommy died, and so you see we pick up a couple months later and everyone’s sort of dealing with grieving over him. Laurel, my character, has sort of been in denial I think for these past couple months, and is having a very hard time, and they’re taking her to a little bit of a darker place.

You’ll definitely see things about her, and stuff that she chooses to do that you never would’ve thought in season one. And there’s definitely some friction between her and her father, her and Oliver. Who ever knows, will they, won’t they, there’s still that dance back and forth. And no one is safe in Starling City. Everyone’s always in danger, and there’s a lot of gigantic action happening. It’s crazy.

MORE: ‘Gossip Girl’s’ Kaylee DeFer Stars in Exclusive Editorial “The Dreamer” 

Obviously one of everyone’s favorites was when you played Juliet on “Gossip Girl,” who was kind of like a manipulative genius. Was it fun playing that type of role? What was your favorite part of playing that and being on that set?
Everyone loves to play those roles. I had a blast, and it was definitely interesting to go to set and have photographers in your face while you’re shooting, and [the show] can’t do anything about it. That was weird.

I know that you have a couple film projects right now, if you want to tell us a little bit about them?
Well, I shot a movie during the hiatus between our pilot and season one, that’ll hopefully be out next year. It’s called “The Scribbler”—it’s an independent movie. I played a girl who had multiple personality disorder, a really dark psychological thriller. You won’t even recognize me, I look crazy. Gina Gershon was in it, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, Michael Imperioli. Brilliant, it was amazing. We had an awesome cast, it was a lot of fun to shoot, and it’s obviously a way different type of thing. It’s actually based on a graphic novel, apparently I’m drawn to those kinds of things [laughs]. And then I’ve been working on my fashion blog.

MORE: ‘The Lying Game’s’ Allie Gonino Takes on Neon and Neutrals

Yes! Tell us more about your blog—that’s so exciting!
Tomboy KC is what it’s called, and our blog line is ‘It’s not just a look, it’s a lifestyle.’ So it’s not just going to be about fashion, although obviously that’s the focal point. But it’s going to be about what we’re eating, to what kind of coffee we order, where we spend our Sundays, what workout we’re into. And it’s just a place for me. I was definitely a bit of a nerd growing up—I was a bit of a boy. I was very into video games and reptiles, and I always ran around in T-shirts and jeans, and my dad’s button-downs and whatever. So I know that there’s a lot of girls out there who feel the same way, and yet, at the same time, there’s another side of me when I step out on the red carpet that’s more glamorous. And there was a side of me growing up that was into Barbies at one point, and painting my nails, so it’s definitely a mixture of both.

I guess Tomboy KC is a place that you can go to interact with other people who are the same way, to share your ideas, to keep up on style, to keep up on just what’s going on in the world and our point of view on it. And I like the high-lows, this is what we’re wearing, what’s in style and what’s not, what we love, what we don’t love, what nail color you have on, what sunglasses are you wearing, whatever it might be. It’ll be me, but it’ll also be other people that I’ve been shooting around Vancouver with my Nikon, so like all over the place, and just rocking it. And hopefully people like it.

And to wrap it up,  what is one fashion trend and one beauty trend that you’re totally sick of and wish would go away?
I’m almost being contradictory because I just bought sneakers—I’m still splurging on them apparently—but those high-top sneakers with the wedges. After Isabel Marant’s came out, I hate the knock-offs. That’s what I’ll say, the knock-off Isabel Marants. [Hers] are amazing, but then you have all these other people who tried to mock it, and it was just, like, cheesy. And Isabel Marant’s, you know them when you see them, so you’re like ‘Oh, okay, those are great.’ And then every other time it’s just like, ‘Ehh.’

But, I don’t think of beauty as going in and out of style, does that make sense? I mean, I know a burgundy lip is cool and in style, but I probably would’ve rocked that years ago. It’s about what fits your face, you’re not going to be wearing something if it doesn’t look good just because it’s in style. There’s a difference between fashion and style for me. Style is something that’s personal to you, and fashion is, I guess, what’s in.

Photographer: Meghan McGarry
Stylist: Annie Ladino, The Wall Group
Makeup Artist: Meredith Baraf
Hairstylist: Christopher Naselli, Exclusive Artists
Editorial Design: Rolando Robinson

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Cassidy channels the effortlessly cool beaty look of the '90s with a low ponytail, nude lip, and subtle smokey eye. Hairstylist Chris Naselli notes, "The perfect low ponytail is all about the placement. Low and loose wins!" As an added bonus, he insists this look can work with all hair textures!

(Vivienne Westwood Lambswool Coat, $1,625, Viviennewestwood.co.uk; Free People Dress, $88, freepeople.com; Tacori City Lights Necklace, $960, Tacori.com Kurt Geiger Combat Boots, $260, us.kurtgeiger.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

The natural '90s look represented a refreshing break from the color-saturated makeup in the '80s—matte skin and nude lips took the decade by storm. The secret to the look? Skin care. Makeup artist Meredith Baraf says that "using a primer is everything." She recommends Tom Ford primer since it has a slight reflection in it, helping the skin look more alive.

(Vivienne Westwood Red Label Jacket, $1,125, Viviennewestwood.co.uk; BCBG Bra Tube Top, $198, bcbg.com; Rebecca Minkoff 'Iris' Skirt, $398, saks.com; Body chain and rings, Katie's own)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

To get Cassidy's tousled hair at home, start with damp hair and apply Rene Furterer Vegetal Mousse from the roots to the ends, giving the hair a quick rough dry (you can let it air dry too). Using large hot rollers, spray each section with Oribe Heat Styling spray, let cool, then flip over and tousle with your fingers. For added texture, apply Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

(Vivienne Westwood Red Label Jacket, $1,125, Viviennewestwood.co.uk; BCBG Bra Tube Top, $198, bcbg.com; Rebecca Minkoff 'Iris' Skirt, $398, saks.com; Body chain and rings, Katie's own)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

We all love hats (and a slouchy, knit beanie is so '90s), but hat hair is no fun. For straight hair, Naselli recommends spritzing a gloss spray on a brush and then brushing from roots to ends right after you take off your hat. If you have curls, take a small amount of pomade and massage into the top of your head to reactive your curls and add some lift.

(Citizens of Humanity Denim Overall, $297, needsupply.com; Della x Urban Outfitters Bralette, $44, urbanoutfitters.com; Uniqlo Flannel Button Up, $30, Uniqlo.com; BCBG Knit Hat, $68, bcbg.com; Jennifer Fisher Cross Cuff, $350, Jenniferfisherjewelry.com; Converse Sneakers, $55, converse.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

To update your eye look this season, try the smudged, slept-in eye that was all the rage in the '90s. It's not as bold as a statement smokey eye, but just as sexy. Baraf recommends using a pencil that is then smudged out with shadow with a blending brush to make it look diffused—instead of left over from the day before!

(Vivienne Westwood Lambswool Coat, $1,625, Viviennewestwood.co.uk; Free People Dress, $88, freepeople.com; Tacori City Lights Necklace, $960, Tacori.com Kurt Geiger Combat Boots, $260, us.kurtgeiger.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

Most of us remember a few standout trends from the '90s: Dark brows, contoured cheeks, wine-colored lips and fabulous brown shadows. Cassidy modeled all of these for us, and looked like she was straight off the set of "My So-Called Life"!

(Levi's Denim Vest, $68, us.levis.com; Topshop Daisy Dress, $92, us.topshop.com; Kurt Geiger Combat Boots, $260, us.kurtgeiger.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

To get Cassidy's perfectly contoured cheek, Baraf used a combination of Kevyn Aucoin's bronzer and Tom Ford blush in Wicked along the cheekbone.

(Levi's Denim Vest, $68, us.levis.com; Topshop Daisy Dress, $92, us.topshop.com; Kurt Geiger Combat Boots, $260, us.kurtgeiger.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

We love a good side-swept hairstyle, and this perfectly tousled, side-swept style can easily revive second day hair. Naselli recommends applying Oribe Texture Spray at the roots, flipping over your hair and shaking it out. Then, create a deep side part and pull your hair across your forehead, pinning it near your temple. Run just a bit of Oribe Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste in your fingers and through the mid-section of your hair to add texture.

(Moschino Cheap&Chic Sweater, $352, luisaviaroma.com; Moschino Cheap&Chic Printed Pants with Suspenders, $650, moschino.com; Vintage Chanel Gun Motif Earrings, price upon request, available exclusively at depuis1924.com; Maison Martin Margiela Sneakers, $395, shopbop.com)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

When you're playing with a bold, matte lip color like the burgundy shade shown here on Cassidy (Tom Ford Black Orchid), Baraf recommends applying color to your lips as a base, then blotting the color and applying more.

(Tommy Hilfiger Polo Dress, $699, for more info 212-223-1824; Tommy Hilfiger Coat, $1499, for more info 212-223-1824)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

Naselli also notes that less really is more when it comes to a totally effortless style. Keep that in mind when both styling and adding more makeup!

(L to R: Moschino Cheap&Chic Sweater, $352, luisaviaroma.com; Moschino Cheap&Chic Printed Pants with Suspenders, $650, moschino.com; Vintage Chanel Gun Motif Earrings, price upon request, available exclusively at depuis1924.com; Maison Martin Margiela Sneakers, $395, shopbop.com; Tommy Hilfiger Polo Dress, $699; Tommy Hilfiger Coat, $1499, for more info 212-223-1824)

Photo: Meghan McGarry

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