The Brit beauty Lily James on Disney princess hair and why red lipstick just doesn’t work when you’re kissing your boyf…
It’s fair to say your hair for Cinderella involved a few extensions…
‘It took hours every day, just me sitting there with four people using tweezers to glue hundreds of Swarovski crystals into my hair. For ages afterwards I’d find them all over my flat in Peckham. To pass the time while they were doing it, I watched loads of Disney films.
My favourite was 101 Dalmations. Next time I dye my hair I might try half black, half white like Cruella De Vil.’
The best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
‘When I was 14, I was in a play at the Young Vic and the director, Rufus Norris, said, “I think you should grow out your eyebrows.” At the time, I’d plucked them so much they were basically one hair thick. When they grew back I was like, “Jesus, this is so much better.” Now I never touch them.’
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We heard you did your own make-up for Romeo And Juliet on stage…
‘I decided on a very natural look with a 50s twist for her, so I did loads of mascara and really defined eyebrows. I’m a bit haphazard when it comes to make-up, so I don’t actually wear much day to day.
I do love contour sticks though – I’ll draw it on like war paint to fake killer cheekbones and Burberry Kisses lipsticks are my new love. I’m all about nude pink and berry-toned lips at the moment. I’d love to do a red lip more often but I hate not being able to kiss my boyfriend!’
You’re the ultimate English rose. Are you ever tempted to shake off that image?
‘I grew up obsessing over Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley, so I’ve always suited being an English rose. Although, in my recent film The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, my character is Dutch and Jewish so I’ve got a short black bob, which is slightly different. I cut and dyed my actual hair instead of wearing a wig.
My granny was like, “Oh Lily, what have you done to your hair?”’ My hair is naturally really dark so it’s pretty damaged from dyeing it blonde so often. To give it a bit of pampering, I drench it in Kérastase hair oil and sleep with it on overnight.
Any weird beauty routines for getting into character?
‘I pick a different perfume for every character I play. It’s part of my ritual for preparing for a job. I wore My Burberry Black when I was doing Romeo And Juliet - the heart of it is rose so it’s really sensual and seductive. I’ve got to find the right scent for the role – perfume is so personal.
I went travelling to India after I finished drama school and wore the same perfume every day. Now, every time I smell it, it instantly takes me back there. I’d try that for my wedding day too; it’s a great way to preserve memories.’
Any other beauty obsessions?
I’m really into hydrating face mists right now. Ren does a really cool anti-pollution one that I keep in my handbag and spritz in my friends’ faces.
Salma Hayek once told me the secret to her amazing skin is using only hot water, so now I always try to take off my make-up, even if I’m drunk. I’ll cleanse then moisturise using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream.