Lili Reinhart On Her Journey to Self-Acceptance and Confidence — "I Don't Think it Really Ever Ends"
I've been girl crushing on Lili Reinhart for what feels like forever. She's the kind of celebrity that I needed when I was young. She's unafraid of talking about the tough topics like mental health, body image, acne and more recently, the Black Lives Matter movement. She's a role model.
Earlier this year it was announced that the 23-year-old actress would become COVERGIRL's newest ambassador. At the time, she expressed that her main motivation for partnering with the beauty brand was to be an advocate for confidence and self-acceptance . . . I, like the rest of the internet, knew this was going to be more than just your usual ambassadorship.
In the middle of a pandemic and a pivotal period in history with the BLM movement in full swing, Lili took the time to have an open and honest conversation with POPSUGAR Australia about everything from her favourite products in COVERGIRL's new Clean and Fresh range to her journey to self-confidence, her mental health and the power of being expressive.
Scroll to read out interview with Lili Reinhart.
POPSUGAR Australia: Firstly, congratulations on being the new face of COVERGIRL! When you first announced the partnership, you said your main goal was to be an advocate for confidence and self-acceptance, which is incredibly refreshing. What has your journey to confidence and self-acceptance been like?
Lili Reinhart: I think its an ongoing journey you know, I don't think it really ever ends. I think that maybe there's a misconception that one day you'll be like 'Opp, I'm just a confident person', or 'Opp, I've accepted myself'. I think that's not ever really how it's going to be, or maybe that's how it is for some people, I don't know. But I think for me it's really an ebb and flow . . . Some days I feel confident and some days I don't and I think it's just a matter of just trying. I've tried different things but I've also tried not to put the pressure on myself. To put that pressure on myself is a lot.
I think I would say I'm a confident person but I'm also lucky enough that I have very supportive family and friends and I think the journey of self-acceptance is better if you have supportive people around you. It's an ongoing journey and you need to surround yourself with people who encourage you to be yourself and encourage you to embrace who you are. COVERGIRL has been such an amazing opportunity and I feel like I've been able to speak so much about things that I'm passionate about in interviews like this. I may not get to speak about these topics as much as I'd like to until someone stops and asks me, which is a result of me being a COVERGIRL, which is wonderful.
PS: We love how diverse you are with your makeup choices, you have this natural makeup look that's very dewy, fresh and effortless, but you're also not afraid to experiment with bold, creative looks, what is it about makeup that you love most?
Lili Reinhart: I think just the fact that there are so many different ways to go about it. There are so many different styles of makeup. I think some people are incredibly confident when they wear a full face of makeup, a full contour, a big cat eye or smokey eye, and that's amazing. I think for me, I feel the best when I've got a natural look and I think that's just the beauty in makeup. It's kind of like fashion, you make it your own, you make it whatever you feel best in and you just do it. So if wearing yellow eyeliner is your thing, go for it. If wearing just mascara is your thing, go for it. I think you can't go wrong with makeup, it's such a personal thing. It's also just fun and experimental.
The way that I approach makeup changes every year. The way I do my makeup has changed as I've gotten older, and as I've learnt more about makeup, and as I've started to accept myself more and become more-or-less confident. It's just a beautiful opportunity to express yourself . . . That's what I love about makeup.
PS: COVERGIRL's Clean Fresh range is about to launch here in Australia, can you tell us about your favourite products from the range?
Lili Reinhart: Sure, my favourite product is definitely the Skin Milk Foundation, I don't like thick foundation, especially if I'm not breaking out. If I'm going to wear foundation I still want my skin to breath and still have a youthful glow to it, and this foundation is really lightweight and hydrating. You can still see my freckles underneath, it's not heavy and it evens out my skin tone. It's clean beauty and cruelty-free so I feel good about wearing it. I know it's not going to make me break out and there are no harsh chemicals. I think that's what's great about the whole line, knowing that it's cruelty-free.
I usually stick with a dewy look, but I'll tend to incorporate a powder if I'm going out for a couple of hours, not that I'm doing that lately due to the pandemic, but Clean Fresh has a face powder that's really light and soaks up any oil, so I usually use that on my nose but I let my cheeks kind of stay dewy and a little shinier.
PS: You're often surrounded by expert hair and makeup artists (and are very talented with a makeup brush yourself), are there any life-changing makeup tricks that you've learnt over the years that you can share with us?
Lili Reinhart: I think I've learnt that it's almost like an experiment, it's like painting a canvas almost, and once I learnt that you can buy two foundations and mix them to create your skin tone . . . When I was on Riverdale and my makeup artist started using two different foundations, I was like 'Why did I never think of that?!' It's obviously never one size fits all. There can be like 30 shades of foundation and still not be your right skin tone, so you can take matters into your own hands and mix your own colours.
It's also a really cool way to personalise your own makeup routine and something that I've definitely taken advantage of. Now, I have the Clean Fresh Hydrating Concealer and I use a bunch of different shades on my face. I'll use a different shade for under my eyes than I would to cover up a blemish, I think it's great to have a variety of different colours to match your skin tone. It's a good tip I've picked up.
PS: One thing we (and many others) have always really admired about you is how unfiltered and down to earth you are, whether it's when you're talking about your struggles with acne, body confidence or your mental health. What drives you to be so honest about it all? Is it because it's something you wish you saw more of growing up?
Lili Reinhart: I think it's important. As a young teen I really gravitated towards celebrities that talked about their mental health. I think the first person I remember hearing talk about it was Demi Lovato and I was like, wow, that's really brave and cool of her to speak about her mental health in such a way that isn't shameful, because it shouldn't be shameful. There's nothing shameful about mental health, whether you're in great mental health or poor mental health, it's important to talk about it and talk about all the shades and colours that it comes in.
I think it's just as important as talking about physical health in school. You know, you learn about what foods you need to nourish your body and what exercise you should do but you're not taught about depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, or feelings of suicide. It's just not really talked about and I'm not sure why. I think maybe we were just part of that generation that suppressed feelings because maybe they weren't looked at as important, but I think now is the time to bring that to the surface, talk about it and get it out there. I'm just trying to add to that I guess.
PS: I first fell in love with your poetry years ago through Tumblr and soon, you're releasing your first book, Swimming Lessons. Sharing your writing feels really intimate and vulnerable, especially when you often write about love, grief and mental health. How does writing help you process the world around you?
Lili Reinhart: Yeah, I think that it stemmed from my want to have creative control over something. It was before I kind of executive produced my own movie and before I really hopped on the producing train. I wanted to do something that I had creative control over and that's where it really stemmed from . . . Doing a project that was just me, from me, from my heart and not filtered in any way. I didn't really realise how vulnerable it was to have your poetry out there until all of a sudden I had to send my collection of poetry to an editor and be like, 'OK, is it good? Do you want it? Do you like it?' It's very nerve-wracking and I'm kind of terrified to have it out there in the world.
I'm not claiming to be an amazing, incredible, groundbreaking poet, I think I'm just kind of looking at myself and using it as how I view the world. It's little stories and little snippets and a little sentence that I've created that help me process and explain a feeling or emotion, and I think that if someone can find comfort in that and in reading something I've said and been like 'Oh, damn I've felt that way' or 'I know exactly what she's talking about', that just kind of creates a sense of unity, and that's important. I'm not looking to go down in history as one of the best poets, I think I really just wanted to put my little snippet of poems out there in the hopes that maybe someone could relate to them.
COVERGIRL's Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation is now available in Australia and you can shop it below.