When did this incredibly personal decision become everyone else’s business? Eleven women share how they made their choices
My beauty priorities There used to be certain standards and expectations of what beauty meant – a certain shape, nose, hair – but as a culture we have evolved and become more embracing of the truth that beauty comes in a lot of shapes, forms and colours. We have a long way to go, but it is better. My hair MO I use a lot of heat on my hair when I’m working, so when I’m off duty, I just use a leave-in conditioner and wear it natural. Hollywood and society is way more accepting now of natural hair! My role models When I was growing up, you had to choose whether you wanted to be smart or pretty; you couldn’t be both. We’re really lucky in this generation because we have role models like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Michelle Obama, who aren’t afraid to be both. They’re super fashion-forward and successful, and they aren’t going to apologise for it. My best de-stressing tip My mother’s a retired professor, and she’s very elegant, but she wasn’t into beauty rituals except a weekly manicure. It’s how she was good to herself, less about the beauty world and more about ‘me time’. My brow and nail philosophy When my eyebrows and nails are done, I feel good about myself whatever I’m wearing. I talk a lot with my hands, so nails are important to me. They’re also a character decision for Olivia: when she got kidnapped, I stopped doing manicures because I thought, as part of her PTSD, she couldn’t take care of herself in the same way. When she was empowering herself again, I started wearing bright polish. My power fragrance When I was playing Anita Hill [in HBO’S Confirmation], I asked her what she wore at the time; it was Lancôme Trésor. It really put me in that time and in her conservative elegance.