Zendaya Coleman is looking at her latest career move — the role of Lancôme’s global ambassador — as the next step in a new phase for herself both personally and professionally. “I guess you could say I’m growing up, and I feel like I’m coming into my adulthood,” she said.
She’s starting with the brand as the face of its Idôle women’s scent, then will front Lancôme’s makeup and skin care. The singer and actress talked with WWD about scents, the beauty business and red carpet hacks.
WWD: What does fragrance mean to you?
Zendaya Coleman: I feel like scents are immediately attached to emotions and are immediately attached to memories. I don’t know what fragrance my grandmother wears, but I can smell it anywhere. If I smelled somebody with my grandma’s perfume I’d be like, “That’s my grandmother’s perfume. You smell like my grandma.” But in a good way, because that’s the smell I’ve grown up with and it feels like home for me.
WWD: What were some learnings you took away from the scent project?
Z.C.: There’s so much more to it than “Oh, let’s name it this.” There are a 1,000 lawyers involved in naming something like this. It’s not like, “Oh, let’s name it Doorknob.” Someone, somewhere has a fragrance already named Doorknob. So it’s very difficult. It’s interesting. You also forget there’s a business aspect to it, too, so I’m learning about that as well.
WWD: How do you define beauty?
Z.C.: I always say there really is no definition of beauty. We should always create our own definitions for what that means to us. I think that’s the coolest part about the word, and I feel similarly to the word “style,” you know? Where, really, it’s more so however you define it. Whatever you want to create and believe it is for you.
WWD: What are some red carpet hacks you’ve picked up?
Z.C.: When it comes to red carpet events, overbook [preparation] time. So if you think you’re going to need an hour, always double it to two. If you need two, give yourself four just so you’re not stressed out because that ends up being an absolute disaster. So give yourself more time than you need.
WWD: How experimental do you get with red carpet makeup?
Z.C.: It’s somewhere in the middle. I enjoy having fun with makeup, but I also know what I like and my go-to products. Every now and then, I’ll switch it up and do a different color or a bolder lip. But I think all of us who do our own makeup have a comfort zone and we have our little things. I like my [eyeliner] wing to be this certain degree. I want my eyebrows to go this way and then go this way. It’s always been trial and error for me. I’ve had some questionable makeup experiences in my lifetime and I’ve grown from that and I’m a wiser person because of it.
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