Her resume reads actress, singer, dancer, model and brand ambassador—she’s the face of both Wet n Wild and Caress—but 26-year-old Kat Graham is ready to take on more. We caught up with The Vampire Diaries’ star to find out all about her latest projects, personal beauty secrets, favorite products and more.
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NewBeauty: What are your can’t-live-without beauty products?
Kat Graham: For hair, I’m partial to argan oil–based products. For skin, I like Wet n Wild Photo Focus Setting Spray. It’s made with aloe, so a spritz midday cools my skin down and helps avoid melting makeup. For fragrance, I find I’ll spray perfume and the scent will be gone shortly after, so I like Caress Enchant Forever Body Wash because the fragrance in the body wash is touch-activated and lasts for up to 12 hours. For lips, my go-to staple is Carmex. Always.
NB: How did your partnership with Caress come to be?
KG: I have not only been familiar with Caress, but I’ve been using it since I was young a girl—it’s always been in my home and in my shower. I told my mom when I was little that if I was ever going to become famous, I wanted to work with brands that were accessible; I wanted to be a people’s artist. I also really appreciated the messaging of Caress’s campaign for its new body wash and groundbreaking technology. The hashtag is #ForeverQueen and its all about girl power and finding and unleashing your inner queen, which I can totally stand behind. I’ve always been an artist who’s about being fierce and fearless and I try to bring that into my work and everything that I do.
NB: What beauty trends are you most excited about right now?
KG: I love a highlighter glow—I love to use it on my nose. Strobing is great too, but it depends on the outfit. I love that people are paying attention to brows because im a big eyebrow girl. I’m all about the brows. I could spend an hour on my brows and just be happy as a clam. And I’m also seeing a lot of matte liquid lipsticks, which I really like too.
NB: What do you do to stay in shape?
KG: As an actress, musician and dancer, my daily routine can be physically demanding, so it’s essential that I eat right and work out to keep my energy up. I’m always looking for opportunities to get outside and I love to run, but I’m careful to switch up my routine so I stay motivated.
NB: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for the sake of beauty?
KG: I love to play with beauty products to express how I’m feeling on a particular day. If I’m feeling bold, I’ll go for an orange lip or smoky eye, but if I’m feeling more low-key, I’ll keep it simple with a tinted moisturizer, cream blush and clear lip gloss. As for the craziest…making the decision to go sans glam squad and do all my own makeup has been one of my biggest. For me, I know what I like best and I’m most confident when I look and feel like myself—no one else can channel your inner queen like you, so you have to rock it!
NB: How did you learn to do your own makeup?
KG: Practice! If I’m doing something hi def, like a TV show or photo shoot, I use different foundations. I’m careful about touchups and lighting. What looks dewy and glowy in one room may actually look oily in the next room under different lights. It’s about finding the right mix within the light and constantly being aware of it. I also need to consider what image I’m trying to put out and how natural I need to be. There has to be a good balance—it also affects my hair too. My skin is important too—I work hard to take care of it and keep it looking good, which ultimately makes my makeup look better.
NB: Who/where do you get beauty tips from?
KG: I learn most of my beauty tips from my drag queen friends—they’ve taught me amazing, important, beautiful things.
NB: What projects are you working on right now?
KG: I just wrapped filming the Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez On Me, playing the role of Jada Pinkett. I also am very passionate about my work with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), traveling the world visiting refugee sites and bringing awareness to surrounding global issues.
NB: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
KG: Mark my words, it is a total understatement when I say I’m obsessed with taking bubble baths. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day. It’s the ultimate therapy for mind and body!
NB: What is one thing your fans might be surprised to learn about you?
KG: I’m actually very superstitious. If someone says something is bad luck, I get nervous!
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