Leighton Meester is one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, and the latest to sign a beauty deal that will put her long, flowing locks in the spotlight. Herbal Essences has tapped Meester, who is actually a natural blonde, to be a global ambassador, appearing in print advertorials and on its web site and Facebook page. Fresh off of filming Gossip Girl, in which she stars as the devilish Blair Waldorf, Meester has had little time to rest: she can now be seen alongside Steve Carell and Tina Fey in the comedy Date Night, she will play Rebecca in the upcoming thriller The Roommate and she just wrapped filming Love Don’t Let Me Down, a country music drama with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Mcgraw. In between all of this, the 24-year-old, who has also released an album, took time out to talk about her fresh-faced beauty evolution and why she leaves red-carpet beauty choices to the experts.
WWD: What do you consider your best beauty asset? Leighton Meester: Versatility. I try different looks and I’m happy that I can achieve them and not look like a clown. I like to have fun with hair and makeup.
WWD: What was your prior experience with Herbal Essences products before signing with the brand? LM: My first memory is those iconic commercials back in the day. My mom used it, too—the kind with the clear bottle with the flowers. Now it has a new look and everything is different. I started using it because Charles [Baker Strahan, Meester’s hairdresser] uses it and he [is Herbal Essences’ spokesperson]. WWD: Do you mix and match drug store beauty brands with prestige brands? LM: Because of my show, I get to sample everything. I try the best of the best. My bathroom can look like a drug store! I like tried-and-trusted brands, especially since my hair gets a lot of damage because of all the hair spray and irons.
WWD: Do you have any daily beauty Rituals? What about for the Red carpet? LM: Being in New York and L.A. a lot, I use Evian’s [Brumisateur Mineral Water] Spray as much as possible and also Lancôme’s eye-makeup remover. I try to have a clean face and stay without makeup when I am not working. I look back at the years when I went for auditions with hot curlers and everything. Now, I switch it up—I like being as natural as possible, and for my hair, to treat it well and not appear over the top. To achieve a look, you have to use heat, but I like a look that is free and easy and I let the clothes and my attitude make the statement. When it comes to hair and makeup [for the red carpet], I leave it to the experts.
WWD: If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be? LM: You can get used to getting your makeup and hair done all the time and then you don’t love what you look like naturally. So I try to embrace that. I learned to love the way I look without makeup and how my hair dries naturally. It took me a long time.
WWD: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three beauty products could you not live without? LM: I would need [Herbal Essences] Tousle Me Softly. That is one of my favorite [products] and it’s really a look thatI love since my hair is stick straight. Sunscreen is something that is totally underrated and hugely important, and most smart people will tell you that you should be wearing sunscreen. Last but not least, Rosebud Salve.
WWD: Is there a celebrity you admire for her/his beauty? Why? LM: Celebrities in general are beautiful people. I love Julianne Moore. She embraces her natural beauty. She has fair skin and red hair and her smile is natural. I also love Helen Mirren. She is definitely a natural beauty. She embraces her age.
WWD:Do you have a signature scent? LM: I do! There’s a place in New York that has all different types of essential oils and you choose which you want and they put them in these long-lasting roller-ball applicators. They’re all natural. I think mine has white tea, fig and vanilla. The store is called Sniff, just off of Third Avenue and Seventh Street. I also like Chanel No.5, Yves Saint Laurent Elle, Angel by Thierry Mugler and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. WWD: Does being a role model as well as a style icon to so many young women influence your style choices? How do you handle the pressure that comes along with so many looking up to you? LM: I’m lucky because expressing my personal style is fun and I have fun with it. Everyone should love their own look. Don’t copy; do your own thing.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye