Scandal's Kerry Washington strikes a pose

What would Olivia say? Kerry Washington strikes a pose

1) Be bold

“I used to really stay away from a bold lip as I’d mostly focus on my eyes but now I play around a lot more with colour when I comes to my lips. It was actually thanks to a good friend of mine who’s a make-up artist and once I actually let her try it out on me I really loved that sense of play a bright lip can give. It's something I’ve always had in my fashion choices but I’d never really thought of make-up as an accessory before.
It’s funny, but I think another reason I was more willing to take a risk is because it’s so important for me to go out into the world as myself rather than the characters I play so I always try and look as different from Olivia Pope as possible. Olivia always wears a more conservative natural look with a nude lip so I definitely think that may have been what left me open to trying something more fun.”

2) TLC your tresses

“Deep conditioning is something I’ve really learnt to embrace especially because I use so many products and heated tools on my hair during the week. When I’m not working I prefer to let my hair be natural– I’ll stick a good leave-in conditioner on and just pull it back or let it do its thing – basically the opposite of what Olivia does with her hair. At the beginning of this last season we actually did show Olivia with her hair in a natural texture – it started out with her and Jake on an island so we thought it would be really fun to show a side of her that we’d never seen before. It’s definitely not who she is back home though - her hair is kind of like her armor – it’s part of how she defines herself and how she presents herself to the world.

3) Get to know your skin

“I feel sort of blessed and cursed that I had eczema as a small child as it meant that I’ve always had a relationship with a dermatologist whilst there are a lot of women out there who are walking into a derm’s office for the first time in their 30s. There’s so much conflicting advice out there and so many products claiming different things that it’s difficult to work out what really works for your skin. It’s actually part of the reason I now work with Neutrogena as I like the fact that they’re rooted in science and they try to help women be the best version of themselves rather than hiding behind smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day I’m also just a girl who loves good products.”

4) Be militant about cleansing

“My biggest beauty bug-bear is that I wear that make-up between 16 and 17 hours a day under baking hot lights when I’m working so I’m almost religious about taking my make-up off. I never sleep in it  (well, sometimes I might leave on a little eye make up just for fun as it looks so much better the next day)  but I always try to let my skin breathe overnight, even if I just use make-up remover wipes to take everything off - it’s so, so important.”

5) Fake it

“I wore acrylic nails for a long time and found that they weren’t the healthiest thing for my nails. I do love a gel but because I have to have such a specific look now for the show (clean, bare nails) when it comes to red carpet events I’ve been doing those press-on nails instead.  I’ll paint them a colour that I love then kind of shape them to my hand - it just means that I can have a bit more fun with my nails again.”

6) Bespoke your base

“When it comes to foundation, I think it’s important to have at least a couple of shades in your make-up bag because different parts of your face are different colours and I  know that I can look very different depending on the time of year – just make sure you blend them together well. Also, don’t be afraid to change-up the texture of your foundation to suit you – just mix some with little bit of moisturizer to create your own tinted moisturizer based on colours that really work for you.”

7) Make exercise work for you

“I would say I’m pretty healthy but it’s also because I have to be. Right before we started shooting the show I was at an event with Ellen Pompeo and I was grilling her for tips on how to handle this crazy TV world as I’d never worked in television in this way before. She told me to treat yourself like an athlete i.e. make sure that you eat well and sleep well and exercise so that your body’s capable of meeting the rigors  of the job and that’s proven to be the best advice for me. I also try to pray and meditate in the mornings because I find that when I do, it gives me a little bit of time to get centered and creates more room in my heart and mind to actually do all those things like eat and exercise right.” 



Elegant Touch nails

Elegant Touch Polished Nails in Red, £7.99, Boots (

Tom Ford Foundation

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation in Chestnut, £62, (

Neutrogena Face Wash

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash, £4.69, (

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Moisturiser

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Moisturiser, £4.99, Neutrogena (

Johnson and Johnson Makeup Be Gone Pampering Wipes

Johnson and Johnson Makeup Be Gone Pampering Wipes, £3.19,  (

Oribe Signature Moisture mask

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Oribe Signature Moisture Mask, £54, (