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This Is How Kaya Scodelario Feels About Skins' Effy Stonem Make-Up Revival

kaya scodelario beauty interview
Kaya Scodelario On Her Old Hollywood BAFTAs BeautyZoe McConnell for Lancôme

Boasting an impressive career catalogue, from blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean and the unsettling Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, to figure skating series Spinning Out and classics like Wuthering Heights, Kaya Scodelario is nothing short of a shape-shifter. The British actor, who ascended to stardom at just 14 years old for her role as Effy Stonem in Skins, has a look that can transcend time itself. It's unsurprising, therefore, that history's most famous beauty moments can be found tricking down into her personal style.

'If I could have been born in a year, it would be 1969,' the 31-year-old actor revealed down the phone to ELLE UK, the sound of hairspray subtle in the background as she prepared for the 2024 BAFTAs red carpet. 'I just love that year.'

Her passion for the decade is clear as her red carpet transformation is underway, the sleek and timeless Elizabeth Taylor at the forefront of her beauty ensemble.

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Ahead of the BAFTAs, we spoke to Kaya to discuss self-image, pre-awards beauty rituals and how she feels about the Skins grunge revival...

kaya scodelario beauty interview
Zoe McConnell for Lancôme

How did your early career shape your relationship with beauty and self image?

'Being 14 years old and suddenly being super aware that the world kind of has an opinion on how you look is quite scary. I think when you're that age, you feel very self conscious anyway, but I was lucky in that it was kind of just before the era of social media. I learned very quickly that the best thing for me was to not Google myself or read comments or anything like that because I think it's hard enough being a teenage girl. Having that pressure on top of it is quite dangerous.

'But I was really lucky in that it taught me about a really good skincare regime from a young age. It taught me about the artistry that goes into make-up and what a skill it is and how fun and creative it can be to work with different people. It broadened my horizons on beauty more than it would have done if I was still experimenting with, like, Superdrug make-up.'

How has your relationship with beauty changed throughout your career?

'It's definitely kind of developed over time. For me, beauty is mostly focused for when I'm at work. When I'm in kind of normal everyday quiet life, I'm very much a moisturiser and mascara girl and that's it. But I really enjoy having fun with make-up creatively with my characters now. It's almost like step one when I build a character, what is her beauty look like? What is the hair? What is the makeup? What does she do with her nails? How does she carry herself publicly and privately? I think that says a lot about people. I've kind of really learned to use it as a tool creatively as well as in my personal life.'

london, england february 18 kaya scodelario attends the ee bafta film awards 2024 at the royal festival hall on february 18, 2024 in london, england photo by iona wolffbafta via getty images
Iona Wolff - Getty Images

You've played characters from throughout history, what decade inspires you the most?

'I absolutely adore the Sixties. I love that it was this breakthrough moment for women, where we decided that things could be short and they could be fun and they could be feminine, but they could be sexy as well. I've got gorgeous pictures of my grandmother and my aunt from the Sixties and, you know, seeing them just looking so free and relaxed and gorgeous and happy and, yeah, I'm absolutely obsessed.'

Tell us about your BAFTAs beauty look...

'We're doing a Liz Taylor inspired look today. We kind of wanted a mixture of Old Hollywood glam, but still kind of edgy and young and cool. We're in London, but we're also, honouring the BAFTAs and the history that comes with that. We've played around with a graphic eyeliner but not so fashion, more kind of beautiful and timeless. We didn't want it to look like a specific era.

'We're using the Lancôme Idôle Ultra Precise Waterproof Eyeliner. which is great because I will be crying at some point, and the Hypnôse Waterproof Mascara, which I actually love in everyday life.'

kaya scodelario beauty interview
Zoe McConnell for Lancôme

What are your pre-show beauty rituals?

'I did a Face Gym session before the BAFTAs which was amazing. I literally felt alive afterwards. I try to just get a good rest the night before and stay hydrated. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have said any of this. I would have rolled up out of McDonald's straight from a night out, but I learnt my lesson. I've been told off by everyone I've ever worked with for not taking care of my skin, and so I do. Just trying to feel as like confident in myself as possible, making sure I've had a good rest and I've watched something nice and easy the night before. I'm watching One Day, which is beautiful, but I know the ending is gonna make me cry.'

What is the best beauty advice you've been given?

'So, in the Nineties, my mum would not let me pluck my eyebrows. All my friends were plucking the sh*t out of them had one little line. She refused, she would threaten my life if I touched them. I always felt like I had these horrible bushy eyebrows compared to everyone else, but I'm very, very glad that I did not over pluck in the nineties.'

How do you feel about the iconic Skins Effy Stonem make-up making a comeback?

'It's really cute. It's really interesting. There was a Youtube video, it was one of the first make-up tutorials before that was even a thing, that a young girl did during Skins. That was the Effy eye make-up. She's just put it on Youtube and I remember that it was such a big deal at the time and everyone knew about it, even though beauty tutorials weren't really popular. I think that eye make-up has always been quite iconic for people. I love that it's having a little resurgence and for me, it represented that sort of Kate Moss, Camden Town, "cool girl", easy London vibe.'

'To see it come back around again is great, but I just want to warn the girls, don't do what I used to do, which was light the pencil eyeliner with a lighter and then smudge it on your skin. That's not a good idea.'

What inspires you beauty-wise today?

'Living in London really influences my sense of fashion, North London particularly. There's like a really nice movement at the moment where we're stripping things back a little bit more. I've never been particularly good at contouring or liked the feeling of having too much makeup on my face. I always like to feel like I can breathe and that I look like me. That's really important to me.'


Get Kaya's Old Hollywood Beauty Look

'Our inspiration for Kaya today was old-school Elizabeth Taylor. We wanted the look to emphasise the eyes, so I kept the skin really fresh so you could see her freckles,' celebrity make-up artist Vincent Oquendo told us. 'For the eyes, it was all about liner; we did a dropped liner and a top line, but I didn’t connect them at any point because I wanted it to be really “bright eyed”. We used the Lash Idôle Liner. I created my shape first, and then I used the Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara, on top and bottom and layered quite a bit of mascara. I then feathered some false lashes individual on the top lash line.'

Read on for Vincent's beauty essentials for achieving Kaya's Old Hollywood BAFTA beauty look...

Lancôme is the official beauty sponsor of the BAFTAs 2024.


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