Ana de Armas beauty interview

Time may have stood still for many of us in 2020, but for Ana de Armas things couldn’t have moved more swiftly. Since her show-stealing performance in 2019’s Knives Out – no easy feat, considering the weight of the A-list cast – the Cuban-Spanish actress has landed perhaps the two most anticipated female roles in Hollywood right now.

In October – after the pandemic pushed back the original release back by over a year – de Armas will finally hit the big screen as the first Bond woman of our post-Time’s Up era, and the last to star alongside Daniel Craig as the famed secret agent.

If No Time To Die presents de Armas as a Bond woman for the 21st century, her next role will surely cement her reputation for bringing a welcome depth to typically glamorous roles. Due to land on Netflix later this year, Blonde will see the actress transform into Marilyn Monroe for a biographical recount of the original bombshell’s rise to fame.

This month, de Armas also dips a toe into the beauty world, becoming the latest ambassador for Estée Lauder. Here, she speaks to Bazaar on Mrs. Lauder’s inspiring legacy, the beauty standards of LA, and how she’s hoping to twist the glamorous trappings of the traditional Bond woman.

On the Cuban attitude to beauty…

“There is a massive difference in the attitude to beauty in Cuba, compared to in LA. Growing up in Cuba, we did not have products in beautiful jars: it was more a case of putting things in a blender and making your own cucumber mask or honey and sugar scrub. It was ‘do it yourself’ beauty – things you’d learn from your mother. I think beauty was more about enhancing your own natural beauty and taking care of your skin – we always stayed out of the sun – rather than make-up and things like that. We just didn’t have access to the products.

“In a way, I think it was kind of refreshing, not paying too much attention to it all. We also didn’t have beauty magazines or commercials on TV or anything like that, so everyone was free to be beautiful in their own way. I definitely didn’t grow up with this ideal of beauty or people comparing each other or things like that. It was very healthy mentally, I suppose, for a young girl growing up.”

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On her go-to skincare…

“The new Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix is incredible. I have been shooting this movie [The Gray Man] for five months already, and we’ve had long, long nights, so I tried this new serum and I’m a big fan. I use it every day, and my skin just feels very happy: the puffiness and dark circles are gone.”

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On her backstage beauty hack…

“I very much enjoy putting my eye creams and serums in the fridge – and face rollers and things like that. Besides feeling amazing, I just think my skin appreciates it so much. When you use your cold product with a rose-quartz roller, or whatever you have, it feels like your whole face gets turned on – the blood is flowing, it makes me wake up, and I feel like I’m ready.”

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On facials…

“I do like going for facials. It’s one of my favourite things to do, because I can take that time to just stop thinking about everything. It’s kind of like my meditation – one hour with someone just touching my face. Usually I go for a super hydrating treatment, something that’s very gentle and refreshing.”

On her recent hair transformation…

“The new haircut was for this movie I’m doing right now. It’s been a lot of fun. (The hair is) very appropriate for the character and very comfortable too, because there’s a lot of movement and a lot of action going on. So this haircut is very practical, as well as quite cute!”

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On working with Estée Lauder…

“Oh my gosh, it’s truly an honour. It’s such an iconic brand, and it’s a pleasure to be working with this group of people that are continuing the legacy of Estée Lauder. It’s a brand that I was using on a daily basis already, and one that aligns with my own ideas of beauty.

“When you learn about Lauder’s story and how everything started, it’s so inspiring. This is a woman that was clearly ahead of her time, creating and building a massive company in a time where women were supposed to stay home. Her vision and the way she wanted women to feel beautiful and confident is something that I really believe in.”

On preparing for No Time To Die

“I tried to have a training plan! My preparation for No Time To Die was not as long as I would have liked it to be. I was shooting Blonde, and I had only a few days to train, so I went straight from Blonde to shoot for Bond. I didn’t have the time to actually commit to any kind of diet or workout or training because my schedule just didn’t allow for it.

“Those few days that I did have some training – I had the gun training and learned the choreography for the scenes – were very intense, for sure. It was a short but really intense immersion into the Bond universe, so I quickly transformed into a CIA agent.”

On re-writing the role of the Bond woman…

“Paloma is actually a really complete character. Cary [Joji Fukunaga, director] created her from zero and he asked me if I wanted to do it. It was very appealing from the very beginning, when he was telling me what he was going to do with the character. I was very excited, and I did feel like she was different, unique. She’s definitely something else that I don’t think we’ve seen in other Bond girls in previous movies. She’s a lot of fun – very active, very badass!”

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On returning to the red carpet…

“Oh, my gosh, fingers crossed (for a Bond premiere this year). We’ve been waiting for so long. I get very, very nervous on a red carpet for some reason – like I’ve never done it before. But I adore my team – the hair and make-up artists, and my stylist – and it’s always beautiful to wear these incredible dresses and do something special with my make-up.

“I like to go with a very delicate, subtle make-up, very clean, and then do a bold red lip. It’s always a classic. It goes with almost anything. That’s one of my favourite looks.”

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