The writer, actress, and editor tells us her take on beauty and confidence on behalf of Clinique’s #FaceForward campaign.
Here’s the thing about Tavi Gevinson: She just puts it out there. And, quite often, she gets exactly what she wants back. How does she do this? Well, besides being insanely articulate, she exudes a confidence and vision that genuinely inspires others. People of all ages have felt moved by Gevinson’s work—be it her truthful point of view on style, feminism, or growing up. As a face of Clinique’s new Face Forward campaign, the unstoppable young woman sat down to talk with The Sephora Glossy about staying true to yourself, being in control of your look, and making your dreams come true. KELLEY HOFFMAN
How does it feel to be part of Clinique’s new campaign?
It feels good to be part of a beauty and skin care campaign that I feel reflects the role beauty basically plays in my own life and daily routine. For me, fashion was a lot about self-expression—and beauty is really about being comfortable and taking care of myself. I like experimenting sometimes, but usually keep it pretty simple. And Clinique products are really perfect for that.
I know you recently turned 19. What advice do you have for your future self?
Well, I really hope I won’t need advice. If we’re going back in time there’s lots of things I could say. I just think it’s good to remember your talismans. The things that bring you back to your self. And what you really care about. Sometimes for me it’s like a movie or a friend relationship. I don’t have a very clear picture of the future but I think it’s good to remember to come back to those things.
Do you have a philosophy or mantra regarding your skincare routine?
Just to not be lazy and gross. It’s so tempting every night to go to sleep without taking it off, but I know that doesn’t do me any favors. I think it’s also just that I feel a lot more refreshed and ready to face the world when my skin is not dry. Or when it’s protected. Or when it can be more of a canvas for more creative makeup.
Do you think that’s a powerful feeling to have your complexion in the place you want it to be?
For me, I like being in control of how I look and the image I’m projecting. Sometimes I don’t—I go through phases where I don’t look in a mirror, where I wear the same thing every day because I feel really focused on a project or I just don’t want to be thinking about it. Right now, the thing that makes me really excited every morning is the outfit I’m going to wear, and how I’m going to present myself outside, and how I’m going to feel walking down the street. You dress like the person you want to be and then you actually become that. I feel that with makeup and hair.
Are you drawn to Clinique’s aesthetics?
I like anything that basically looks like it would be the makeup on the vanity of a film still. It’s so classic. The yellow lotion is so iconic. On my simpler days, I’m trying to capture a vibe that’s, like, ‘90s Clinique ads or fresh-faced happy people in turtlenecks. I just love the way these things look on my dresser. It’s honestly very pretty.
What are your beauty basics?
Really just skin stuff. Not being dried out, and then also evening the tone. And you know, concealing things, but I’m usually just too lazy and I feel worse if it looks like I’ve concealed something—I’d rather just be, like, “there’s a pimple there.”
This campaign is about inspiring people to achieve what they want in the world—and you’re someone who seems to really do that. What are your tips for getting things done?
To-do lists. I have two kinds of to-do lists. I have long-term goals and then I have every day ones of what I’m going to do. So, every day I can take something from the long-term list and try to break it down and add it to the short term. If Twitter’s the first thing I look at in the morning, I don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve learned that I can’t wake up, reach for my phone, turn off my alarm, and stay on my phone. I think those things are motivation suckers for me or they make me insecure about whatever I’m trying to do or they make me think about some nebulous audience, or critical voice, and so I just think it’s important that you make a safe space where you can be productive and where you can trust your instincts. That is my living room or an office space or it can just be in a library if I feel protected enough. So, taking your needs seriously.
I know it’s easy to say, “I’m not going to check my phone,” and then fall back into old routines. What advice would you give to help someone really break the habit?
Turn it on airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi off. That’s for writing. I think it’s just that I know how miserable—I’d rather just get all my stuff done and then get to really relax, instead of having one foot in each place. It’s not fun—I don’t like to be on iChat while I’m doing work. Get your work done and then you can actually relax instead of getting your work done really slowly while kind of enjoying the conversation.
It really is just more logical when you put it that way. Why did you decide to become part of this campaign?
Well, I already used a lot of Clinique’s products, and it felt like an organic thing for me in that way, and I also just like being part of something that’s about skincare and feeling motivated and confident instead of necessarily about fixing your flaws. Which I think a lot of the language around beauty products can feel that way. I like that when we did the video shoot I was getting questions about staying inspired and stuff like that and I don’t think that feeling like a confident or strong or self-assured young woman is mutually exclusive with all the ways in which I also want to take care of my skin or the way I look or experiment with makeup.
What are your top confidence boosters?
I just think about the people I admire and how they also probably have self-doubt, and it’s just part of the ebbs and flows, but it’s not the truth. I think it’s just trusting that time passes and everything that’s up comes down and everything that’s down comes up. I just try to remember it’s temporary, and that it’s probably in my head, because I’m not, like, a murderer.