Cosmo caught up with the A-list actress and hair of Herbal Essences to talk co-stars, cosmetic surgery, hot hairstyles and the beauty requirements of a Hollywood hottie
Dressed in a luscious leather mini with leg-lengthening shoeboots, Leighton Meester nailed the London look when she jetted to our capital in her role as global ambassador for Herbal Essences. It was only a matter of time before the picture-perfect Gossip Girl was snapped up by a big brand and we couldn’t wait to know her beauty ethos, inspiration and top tips…
Which celebrity’s beauty style would you most like to steal?
I really admire Drew Barrymore – she can go from different colours and cuts for her hair and just looks completely different all the time.
What’s the first hairstyle you ever wanted to copy?
It’s funny that you should ask because my hair today is like my mum’s when I was growing up. She had brown permed hair – I always thought it was very glamorous. But I always wanted red hair and I’ve tried different shades of red. It’s tough to maintain but it’s a very fun colour.
If you weren’t a brunette what colour would you be
I think it has a lot to do with your personality. When I’m a blonde I feel like a blonde, when I have red hair I feel more fiery. I think brunette matches my personality the most, I’m pretty laid back, like low maintenance and it’s probably the lowest maintenance colour for me.
Is brunette your natural colour?
My hair is a dark blonde – when I go in the sun it brightens up a lot.
Which celebrity would you most like to give a makeover?
I think there’s appeal in a natural look like Kate Winslet’s. She’s beautiful, wears natural makeup, and even when she’s glammed up she still looks herself. I don’t really want to name names as that’s not really nice, but I do notice sometimes people overdo it and a lot of the time it’s a beautiful women and I’d like to see a fresher version of her.
Out of all the actresses you’ve worked with whose beauty look do you love the most?
Gwyneth Paltrow – she’s got incredible style and impeccable taste. She’s a natural, beautiful, very young-skinned, young looking woman.
In your forthcoming film Country Song with Gwyneth Paltrow you play a beauty queen turned singer. What’s your view on beauty contests?
[It’s] a lifestyle that I don’t get at all – it’s nothing like what I do! I would never just stand there and look pretty, but that’s part of a culture that my character came from and its part of her personality – it doesn’t make her not smart or not deep and then she actually ends with a lot of depth.
Do you feel under pressure to look your best and stay a certain weight?
I’ve become more aware, especially in the last few years of this extreme judgement of women and their weight and how they look from the outside all the time. And I think people don’t focus on what they should be which is beautiful on the inside and I think that shows through. Judging someone based on their weight is not good. Personally I’m a healthy person and the weight that I am fluctuates like anyone else. I’m a real person. I don’t really feel pressure but I can understand where it comes from.
Would you ever consider surgery to enhance your youth?
I haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll let you know in 15 years or so!
What do you see as your best feature and what you do to accentuate it?
I wear heels a lot. Not only does it make you look more confident and walk with bit of a strut (plus I’m obsessed with shoes), it makes your legs look long and forces you to feel confident even if your legs aren’t your best feature – wear heels and they become your best feature! It’s about playing up not just your best asset but loving what isn’t perfect.
What’s your biggest beauty crime?
I used to get my eyebrows waxed a little too thin – not even really intentionally you just get a little bit obsessed!
What’s an easy up ‘do that you can do on yourself?
I do French braids all the time in my hair – when I exercise a lot but somehow afterwards it falls in all the right places and looks like you intentionally did it! I’m not really sure how to do it on other people, but I can figure it out on myself!
Do you still do your own hair and makeup on a daily basis?
I’m out of practice because I always have professionals doing it so whenever I do it myself I’m like ‘this doesn’t look right!’ so I very rarely do my own hair – but a lot of the time I’ll let it be from the day before and it looks good. As for makeup I’m pretty minimal – I use a bright lipstick so it looks like you put the effort in, curl my eyelashes and a little bit of blush.
Do you ever fake your tan?
What tan?! I don’t, I tried it a couple of times but it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve just started embracing how my skin is naturally – if my skin soaks up a little sun great, if it doesn’t then I like the way I look fair as well.
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings?
I have a tattoo on my wrist of a flower and my ears pierced. I’ve had my belly button and other weird ear piercings but I really like not having piercings now.
Leighton Meester’s beauty tips
Cosmo met Miss Meester to grill her on her top tips for tresses, makeup must-haves and bargain beauty buys
What beauty product has changed your life?Dry shampoo’s good if you want to keep the look a couple of days! I really like Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Serum (£4.99, boots.com) ‘cause you can use it if you don’t want to wash your hair everyday too. It’s not going to weigh your hair down, you can use it in the morning to set your style, be shiny and smells great and then later it basically refreshes your hair and makes it look healthy like at the beginning of the day.
What do you do on a bad hair day?
I usually just go to Charles (picture), my hairdresser ‘cause he lives in my building and say “can I have a little help here?!”. Or put a hat on!
What’s the best bit of beauty advice you were ever given?
Brush your teeth before bed, wear sunscreen and take care of your skin and treat your hair like a silk garment – something that you wouldn’t scrub or put detergent on, just be gentle.
What top tips have your learnt for hair?
My hair stylist told me when I first met him I had a lot of hairspray build up so he said to shampoo it when it was dry because the water can sometimes act as a barrier and it will keep the shampoo from penetrating your hair.
Don’t kiss anyone – but what fun is that?! I drink through a straw when I’m on set and I can’t mess up my lips, that helps.
What is your clutch bag must-have on a night out?
I like blotting sheets, we use them on the set all the time – they make you not so shiny and you don’t have to put more makeup on.
How to do transform tired eyes?
Cooling eye masks under your eyes straight from the fridge are refreshing and de-puff you. Also an eyelash curler goes a long way!
How do you take care of your skin in the sun?
Yeah, I use sunscreen. I wear face makeup every day at work which always has sunscreen in.
And the Country Strong OST is now available for pre ordering on Amazon.
You can find it HERE