Glamorous as She May Be, Zendaya Prefers Being Makeup-Free

Glamorous as She May Be, Zendaya Prefers Being Makeup-Free featured image
Getty Images / Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

Zendaya consistently dazzles on the red carpet, yet it sure sounds like she gravitates towards embracing her natural, makeup-free self, as unveiled in her May cover story for Vogue.

In the cover story, published Tuesday, April 9, readers got an insider’s perspective into the 27-year-old’s life behind the scenes. Both Zendaya and those close to her spoke about the actress’s stardom, and what that looks like off-camera.

Among them is fashion stylist Law Roach, who has worked with the Disney Channel alum for 13 years since 2011, per Vogue. Roach reflected on Zendaya’s career, noting that from a young age, getting glammed up “gave her this real confidence, like, ‘Okay, let me put it all on and go out there and give this to the world, and then let me come home and take it all off and become myself again.'”

“It’s so funny,” he continued. “People were like, ‘Oh, she’s so fierce.’ And, yeah, she is, on the inside. But she’d rather be at home, with her hair down and no makeup, with Noon, her dog, watching a movie, probably Harry Potter. […]The funny thing about that little girl is that she has always been the same person.”

Roach isn’t the only one to speak to Zendaya’s preference for going makeup-free. Amy Pascal, who produced all of the actress’s Spider-Man films alongside Kevin Feige, admitted to Vogue that they “didn’t know who she was” during her 2016 audition for the Marvel film.

“She was wearing no makeup and she was just dressed like a regular girl, and we were like, ‘Oh my God, she’s amazing. She has to be in the movie,’ said Pascal. “And then we found out she was a totally famous person, and felt really stupid.”

All of this highlights Zendaya’s commitment to authenticity. However, she acknowledges the constant need to switch into performance mode. Reflecting on Paris Fashion Week, she confessed to Vogue, “It’s one of those things that I’m like, Oh, shit, I haven’t done this in a second.”

“When I was younger there was less pressure,” Zendaya tells the outlet. “I got to get into a zone of being that part of myself, which is definitely not a thousand percent natural.”

When the outlet asked if she had this dream for herself growing up, or what those might have been, she said: “It’s something that I’m figuring out now. I don’t know how much of a choice I had. I have complicated feelings about kids and fame and being in the public eye, or being a child actor. We’ve seen a lot of cases of it being detrimental.… And I think only now, as an adult, am I starting to go, Oh, okay, wait a minute: I’ve only ever done what I’ve known, and this is all I’ve known.”

“I’m almost going through my angsty teenager phase now, because I didn’t really have the time to do it before,” she continued. “I felt like I was thrust into a very adult position: I was becoming the breadwinner of my family very early, and there was a lot of role-​reversal happening, and just kind of becoming grown, really.”

She thought she had to be this “this perfect being, and be everything that everyone needs me to be, and live up to all these expectations.” Now, she’s coming to realize that simply being her authentic self is more than enough.

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