Exclusive. “You” Star Elizabeth Lail on Skincare and Instagram Stalking


You remember that stuff didn’t work out especially well for ingenuous Elizabeth Lail, for those who binged Lifetime’s soapy suspense sequence You into an overnight Netflix rage (just me?). True spoiler alert: Guinevere Beck, her innocent, literature-loving heroine, experiences a horrific fate at the hands of her stalker-murderer buddy Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgeley’s so-scary-it’s-almost-hot (or so-hot-it’s-almost-scary?).

Offscreen, I’m glad to say that Elizabeth Lail, 27, looks a lot more radiant than her character You, at least in part because, as it turns out, the actress is totally obsessed with skincare. “This year has been a major skin care year for me,” Elizabeth Lail gushed to me on the phone earlier this week when we spoke about her deep infatuation with serums and peels (which rivals Joe’s infatuation with Beck as far as I can tell). (She’s one of us!) “It’s getting somewhat out of hand.”

Now that her character You has bit the dust, Elizabeth Lail (also identified as Once Upon a Time by ABC) reflects on her next lead role: it’s another terrifying one, this time in the form of the Countdown horror film. But Elizabeth Lail somehow takes the time to care about her complexion despite the hustle of shooting. Keep reading to find the $18 anti-redness mask for which she can’t survive, what’s on her makeup wish list, and why she’s a “stalker” of beauty herself.

So… tell me how your skincare fascination has grown.

Ok, I’ve slipped into the rabbit hole of skincare on Instagram. I find that for me, diet is replacing it. Like, I go out and buy a bottle of serum after I have had a particularly stressful day.

You, I see you. Your Saturn Return rolls back, and all of a sudden it’s like my coping strategy is serum!

Right. Right, right. And it never fixes the underlying problem, of course.

Sure. Oh, sure. But, anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have good skin! What are some of your new obsessions with your product?

I really do love Pai. I’m striving to bring more pure elegance to my routine. But I want anything, more than anything, that performs. So, I just enjoy Murad as well. Their eye cream is incredible. As well as makeup, when I put so many on, I sound like a clown, so I like to keep it easy. With Clé de Peau concealer, I just spot right. And then I use Beauty counter a lot because it’s a brand of clean beauty. I got their mascara, brow gel, and stick with the sunscreen, which is great on the go. I’m just constantly buying the next thing on Instagram that I see… for better or for worse.

It’s so funny that Instagram (Elizabeth Lail) stalking is your beauty shopping method of choice.

Ok, I’m gifted stuff occasionally and that’s how I find them, or a makeup artist uses everything I appreciate for me. But on Instagram, I began following estheticians and I noticed that that’s where a lot of my information comes from. Honestly, and Byrdie. Via Instagram, I found Byrdie and thought it was such an amazing resource.

I love it! What are some of your favorite estheticians?

Ok, Shani Darden…

Yesterday, I just had a Shani facial!

Uh? From her?? Oh god of mine. Oh, MY dream.

Next time you’re in town [from New York], you can head to her new studio in Beverly Hills. It’s astonishing. She’s got this bed of LED light treatment. Did you attempt one of those?

Not yet, but I saw it, and I’m so fascinated. The reality is, I mean, I’ll try something.

Also read: Alexa Demie on Her Beauty Icons & New MAC Collection

You gotta. The LED is intended to assist with immunity, acne, fear… Anything. I swear I felt like I’d spend 100 years in cryogenic sleep when I got off that stuff.

Fantastic. I’m still trailing this lady from London called Jasmina Vico. Jasmina was a large girl called Skinceuticals. She is on my dream list of estheticians to see as well. My two favorites are Her and Shani. I picked up Shani’s iS Clinical and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel sheets. I’ve honestly come to the stage that I need to chisel it down to the necessities and get so much skincare. Skincare has been too pricey for me. But then you buy something too pricey, and you’re like, was it worth it, really? I know not.

Well. Yeah. And then you deceive yourself into thinking that it was worth it, and then you see all these phantom consequences that make you want to buy the pricey thing again. Beauty goods will play mind games on you for sure! Are there some cheaper goods you’ve used that will certainly say work for sure?

Birchbox has launched pop-up corners in Duane Reade, you see, in New York. And through that, I noticed this awesome company named Huxley. It’s a brand of Korean skincare. They have these sheet masks that hydrate insanely. And I was still an Aveeno moisturizer follower.

Also read: Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo on Revolution, Therapy and Her New Puppy

If, but for five items, a You-esque skincare stalker came to your house and robbed your whole product line, what would you hope they left behind?

Nice issue. Definitely the sunscreen Supergoop. I use it very religiously. Chapstick by Burt’s Bees. The colour of the pomegranate, and I like how it offers a natural flush for my lips. Then maybe the Texture Reform of Shani Darden while I’m using retinol. And I also like the First Aid Beauty Ultra Fix Moisturizer, which is something that I first got in college years ago and still go back to. And you know what I want, then? I have allergic skin so I use Mario Badescu’s Azulene Soothing Mask. I use it at night while I’m shooting. It’s one of the products I wake up with, and I see the difference. My skin gets angry and red quickly, and this keeps it cool and calm. But that will be a top mask of mine.

Why have your skincare requirements improved when you grew older? I’m also 27, and I was shocked by how much my skin has improved over the past year?

It’s funny because I still sound like I’m lying to myself. Like I’m going to say myself, no, my skin was always this way. That’s how it’s handled, so I don’t need a product like that. But I also had to face myself to be like, really, my skin actually breaks out more than it’s ever done before.

SAME. Yeah.

I don’t want to confess that there is something that is going on. And it’s so wrong, because I’m the healthiest guy I’ve ever been, and I take better care of my skin than ever before. But it’s shifting all the way, with the seasons too. But I’m trying to get to a point where I have ample understanding of skincare, science-wise, to consider what my skin requires when it evolves. That’s a fantasy of mine.

Wellness-wise, what are certain stuff you do when it is very hectic to keep yourself balanced?

Above all else, I prioritize sleep. So I sort of have to risk my social life in order to become a safe human being happy to work. Ultimately, it’s worth it because I can fly and have a break when the project is done, but I essentially have to come home from work, call the people I love, get into bed, read, and sleep. Sleep is the greatest self-care I would possibly do for recovery. And every night, I wear a mask. But I’m careful not to have so many outlets come in for me. I strive not to take too much of a peek at my phone.

No shopping on Instagram before bed: a firm guideline.

I drink tea every morning as well. That has become a practice of meditation. It sounds so simple, but the tea comes from the soil, so it’s really grounded. And it’s something I can do on any set, wherever. Have a cup of tea with me.

Also read: Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo interview on Therapy, Lifestyle & Pets.

What is your go-to tea and what are you reading at the moment?

Earl Gray of the Teapigs. Typically, I placed in almond milk. For certain people, I’m sure that’s a huge no-no. Tea is a very unique medium of art for certain people, but it’s about fun and time for me. And right now, I’m reading two things. I’m re-reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and I only picked up Women Running With the Wolves, as well.

That’s a favorite of my near friend’s novels!

I had only recently begun it. But it was one of those books that kept coming up and I kept reading about it, so I felt it had to be the moment to read it. I’m very much a proponent of like, when you need it, the text comes to you. You’ll pick up a book often, and it won’t resonate at all, and you’re thinking, this is my bible in another season.


Makeup Artist and Photographer: Tina Turnbow

Hair: White’s Rheanne for R+Co

Maison Mayle Styling and Jewelry:

Fired at the Hotel Williamsburg



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