Ariana DeBose on Her Favorite Long-Lasting Stage Makeup, Dream Roles and Stage Fright

Ariana DeBose on Her Favorite Long-Lasting Stage Makeup, Dream Roles and Stage Fright featured image
Courtesy of Optase
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Ariana DeBose, star of stage and screen, is many things—singer, dancer, actor, Academy Award winner, Tony Award host and nominee, and, most relatably, a contact-wearer. She recently teamed up with Optase to celebrate their new Sensitive Eye Makeup Remover ($17), which has made removing heavy stage makeup and keeping her dry eyes hydrated much simpler. While she was in New York, we caught up with her about her favorite long-lasting makeup, what’s next and more.

Optase sensitive eye makeup remover

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On her eyes…

“Most people don’t know this about me, but I’ve worn contacts and glasses since I was 12. I just started wearing glasses publicly, which has been really fun. It’s like another level of my styling and glam that I’m starting to play with as opposed to having to hide it.

I think anyone who is a long-time contact-wearer knows that it can be really challenging to not feel like your eyes are dry or just tired all the time. So I’m always searching for products that are helpful in protecting my eyes and helping them feel moisturized and nourished.

I’m an actor, I started on stage, so there’s so much stage makeup and eyelashes, and it’s the same on set and on red carpets. So when I find a product that works, I talk about it because I want other people to have access to it, and that’s how I feel about Optase.”

On Optase Sensitive Eye Makeup Remover…

“It’s such a beautiful product specifically designed for people with sensitive eyes. For me, it’s like a two-for-one. It protects my skin. My skin does not feel irritated when I use it, and my eyes feel moisturized and nourished, and it’s gentle, and that’s the whole name of the game.”

On makeup products that stay on through a whole show or red carpet…

“For the longest time, I used Make Up Forever products, especially the translucent powder ($39), which actually just looks like a white glove. With that stuff, your makeup will not move on stage, which is fabulous.

BUY NOW – $39

I do love a waterproof mascara. I’m currently using an Essence product ($5), which I kind of love because you can get it at a drugstore, but it’s amazing and long-lasting. I use it for films, carpets and stage makeup—on top of the lashes though, you’ve got to put it on top of the lashes.

Essence mascara

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On her dream theatre role…

“There’s quite a few. I mean, I’ve made no secret that I would love to play Roxie Hart or Velma Kelly in Chicago one day. I think that’s not going to be for a while, but that’s a dream. I loved Aida for such a long time, like come on, that’s classic, but it’s quite a big sing, so I don’t know about that, but the dancing honey, the dancing is fabulous in that show.”

On the character she’s played that’s most like her…

“I’m probably most like Asha in Wish. I think I have very strong conviction like she does, and I really do believe in helping people. I’m the type of person where I know, for a fact, I am not always right, and I don’t always have the best idea in the room, but when I see that someone else does, I will move heaven and earth to try and help them make that happen if I can. But I also acknowledge I have my own pitfalls, and I work really hard to be able to acknowledge those, own them and then find another way to move forward. And I do still wish on stars, and I do—I don’t have a baby goat as a pet—but I talk to my animals.”

On what’s next…

“I just wrapped making an action film with Ke Huy Quan called With Love. It’s from the British company that brought your Atomic Blonde and The Fall Guy, so that was a really cool experience. It was so different. The character I play is very different and quirky. I got to do my own action sequences, so that was a really fun new thing for me, and I would like to do more work like that. It plays to all my strengths when I get to act and also be physical—I really enjoy that kind of work.

I have a bit of stage fright at the moment. Eventually, I would like to come back to the stage. The stage fright comes in when I have to perform live because all bets are off, and it doesn’t matter how much you prepared—anything can go wrong.”

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