“I think my views on beauty have changed just getting older,” Carey Mulligan tells us on the set of her Harper’s Bazaar cover shoot. “Seeing my beautiful friends, who are the same age as me, all of us getting older together, and I think they’re so gorgeous.”
As an actress, the 35-year-old knows all too well the transformative power of beauty, and her latest role as an avenging antiheroine in the Emerald Fennell-directed Promising Young Woman uses that to particularly great effect. Her character adopts a variety of different guises in order to lure men into taking advantage of her before calling them out, as a form of retribution following the sexual assault of her best friend. Mulligan was recently forced to call out a critic who implied that she wasn’t attractive enough for the role, arguing that criticism should be “constructive” and that one’s physical appearance shouldn’t be a factor.
“I feel like the idealised idea of beauty – everything we’re fed in the media and photo shoots and all these things that are massively retouched – all of that stuff can be massively intimidating when you’re younger,” Mulligan told us. “And then when you get a bit older you realise that it truly is skin deep, and the majority of people who say they’re just drinking a lot of water are actually having a lot of cosmetic surgery. It just makes you chill a bit and relax.”
For someone that spends so much of her time in front of a camera, the actress takes a refreshingly relaxed approach when it comes to her own personal beauty regime, too.
“For work, most of the characters that I play look pretty haggard,” she laughs. “So I don’t really worry too much about what I look like!”
In our exclusive video above, Mulligan opens up her beauty bag to share the products she uses on a daily basis – including the Barbara Sturm serum she swears by; the concealer she uses “on the bad bits”; the device that makes fine lines “go away like magic”; and the primer that makes “everything look better”.
The March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, starring Carey Mulligan, is out now.
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