Nina Dobrev On Her Go-To Summer Look and Must-Have Beauty Buys

Victoria Moorhouse
Nina Dobrev Instagram

Instagram: @ninadobrev

From hanging with TV vampires (and sometimes being one) to working a high-tousled ponytail better than anyone we’ve ever seen, Nina Dobrev has long been one of our must-watch celebs. Whenever we spot a celebrity who loves to rock a bold lip or every single braid under the sun on the red carpet, we keep an eye on her. Dobrev knows how to do just that, and if her Instagram-documented road trip is any indication, she’s full of fun and adventure. We caught up with Dobrev, who just ended her 6-season run as Elena on the CW mega-hit ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ and finally got to ask her ALL of our most burning beauty (and life) questions. Dobrev gave us the scoop on her favorite eye makeup looks, her actual no makeup approach to summer beauty, and everything in between. Take a look below!

We saw your road trip pictures on your Instagram, which is basically every girl’s summer vacation dream. How was it?
It was really great, actually. We ended up going for two weeks straight. Which was a long time, and it is a long time, but it was really good because we got to really spend some time and see a lot of places that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

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What is your favorite eye makeup look to really show off your eyes?
I like to go as natural as possible. I don’t like to wear too much makeup, especially in my day-to-day life. If I want to punch it up, I’ll do a cat-eye. A cat-eye is always fun. Otherwise for the most part, a little bit of mascara, and I’m good to go.

So, people probably don’t realize that you actually wear contact lenses. What intrigued you about AIR OPTIX COLORS contact lenses to play up your eyes?
I’ve worn contacts in the past—costume contacts for shows or for Halloween—and I never really liked wearing them until I tried these ones because they breathe a lot better, they’re a lot thinner, they look a lot more natural. It’s very rare that anyone will know that I’m wearing them, or I haven’t had anyone come up and be like, “Are you wearing contacts?” Even my mom looked at me the first time I wore them in front of her and said, “Oh, did you do something different. Did you cut your hair? Something looks different about you.” They don’t look fake. I really like the contacts, and I really do feel like they enhance. ‘Your eyes are the window to your soul,’ is what people say. I definitely look people in the eyes when I talk to them, and I hope that they do the same. So if there is anything I want to accentuate, it’s that feature!

There are so many characters on ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ each with their own unique looks. Whose beauty look was your favorite?
I feel like we’re all so unique and different in that way. Caroline is a little bit more of the princess. She’s more put together. Elena is more casual. Katherine wore a lot of makeup. I don’t know. It’s hard to choose just one! I think they’re all unique and different in their own way. I like to embrace everyone’s personality and whatever they like to accentuate.

What were your must-have beauty products on your road trip?
Good question. I brought a big WEN bottle. WEN is like your shampoo and your conditioner. When you’re doing a road trip, you really want to keep things down to a minimum because you want to be mobile and easy and be able to run around and go quickly if you need to. To consolidate the shampoo and conditioner was great with the WEN products. IT Cosmetics has this thing called CC 50 SPF foundation and moisturizer. So again, consolidating both my SPF, my foundation, and my moisturizer into one bottle is always great. I really keep it down to a minimum when I’m on the road. I don’t like to wear or do too much. Being fresh, especially after coming off of a TV show where I have makeup every day, all day for 15 hours a day, 9 months a year. It’s been so freeing to kind of wear no makeup and let my skin breathe for the first time and have my hair unruly and crazy curly. I walk out of the shower and go and don’t care. It’s very liberating.

That’s summer beauty at its finest.
Oh, for sure.

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You always bring such awesome hairstyles to the red carpet. If you could only wear your hair one way for the rest of your life, how would you wear it?
Oh my goodness. One way! I get so bored so quickly. I don’t know. I like my wavy hair. I like when my hair is beachy and straight out of the shower. The wave is pretty good naturally. I guess if I had to choose anything, it would be that.

What beauty risk have you always wanted to take, whether that be a hairstyle or a spa treatment?
You know, I’ve never done it. I don’t really know exactly what it is. It’s kind of weird. There is something called a Vampire Facial. Have you heard of this thing?

Yeah. I have heard of it. Isn’t it like a facial using blood plasma?
I don’t even know how it works, and blood scares me. It’s ironic. I was on a vampire show, but I’m deathly terrified of blood and there is this thing called a Vampire Facial that I want to try. But I don’t know. It seems so weird and scary that I feel like I need to try and see what it is.

What will your summer beauty look be like this year?
Probably nothing. Minimal. No makeup. Fresh air. A smile as my accessory. Having a good time and enjoying life!