Emilia Clarke Swears By This Blow-Dryer for ‘Low-Maintenance’ Hair
Known to millions of fans as Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has also appeared in hit films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and Me Before You, and is Clinique’s global brand ambassador. We caught up with the actor to talk about everything from jade eggs to her favorite hair tool. Read on for all her biggest beauty secrets.
On how she wakes up in the morning
My first port of call in the morning is to put my contact lenses in, because without them I am blind. Immediately after putting them in, I will do a little yoga, and then I’ll get a tea. I’ll shower, wash my face, and put on my makeup. So basically the morning ritual is to see. And I can’t communicate until I’ve done at least a little bit of yoga, because it helps me feel out the day.
On what she does before bed
[Recently] I’ve been meditating before going to sleep. I use the Calm app, it’s so good and sometimes when I’m desperate I use the Sleep Stories [on the app]. They really work, and apparently all it takes is a story about a train to send me to sleep.
On her evening skin-care routine
I take my makeup off first. I do a double cleanse, using Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm which I love, because it’s oil-based so it gets rid of all makeup. After that I’ll use a milky cleanser and a toner. Then I use the Moisture Surge 100h Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, and I slather loads of it on and take my time applying it. In the morning I’ll also do a jade face roller to find my jaw and cheekbones, and chisel this nose out!
I’ve got dry skin so I’ve done all the research I can on trying to find a moisturizer that actually gets rid of dry skin without giving you spots. I find that loads are really thick and putting them on feels like wall paint. [The Moisture Surge] formula has aloe vera in it, as well as hyaluronic acid, and what it does is magic. It encourages your own skin to create more water, which is why it’s labeled “auto-replenishing.” It’s amazing; you’re encouraging your skin to do the work to keep itself moisturized, as opposed to the moisturizers where you’re like, “just putting more Polyfilla on!” I have dry skin everywhere, so I apply it to my hands and use it as a cuticle oil, too.
On her secret to brilliant brows
Just don’t touch them! I make sure I don’t have a unibrow but that’s pretty much it. I’ve never shaped them in my life—all hail the women who do theirs because I’d be so scared to do it. I just brush them if I’m putting makeup on. The idea of applying pencil to them makes me want to cry.
On her go-to hair hero
It’s not a product but a thing! The Dyson Airwrap hairbrush. It’s a game-changer. I don’t understand the wand but all I need is the brush head and my hair is done. Suddenly, I’m a low maintenance girl. It bypasses every other product I’ve ever put on my hair.
On her approach to wellness
I’m into meditation and yoga but I’m not putting eggs up my vagina or steaming it. I’m not there yet! I’ll have a nice hot bath with some lovely bath salts, and then I meditate. I know it’s a cliché and everyone says it, but during lockdown is the only time I’ve actually really done the whole meditation thing properly. Even doing my yoga every morning—where I do the exact same routine every single day—is a meditation. I don’t need to think, I can just breathe through it. I also journal, so I’ll write all the shit in my head that’s ridiculous down on paper. [I’ll do] all of this…unless I’m drunk. Then I do none of them.
On how to make an excellent bath
It has to be scalding hot. Like, burn-your-skin-off hot. I buy my Epsom salts online in bulk and I put an obscene amount of them in the water, making sure it’s really, really hot. I light candles and get my book, and whack on some classical music. My mom gave me the best Christmas present this year—this is how old I am—one of those stands you put over the bath to put your book and tea on. This one has a bit you pop up, so you can stick your book on it. After all of that I am smug and the epitome of zen.
On how she works out
During lockdown I saw my trainer online, and we do a mix of stuff. I’ve tried every exercise under the sun—I am not a HIIT girl and don’t try and make me run. I want to do things that stretch me out as much as possible—light weights and a little bit of body weight stuff make me feel strong and aligned, but not like a “she-Hulk.” What we do is make sure everything is in the right place and my back is straight, as that’s when I feel strong and good. I also walk everywhere.
On the teenage beauty product she doesn’t miss
I would say heavy kohl. Heavy, heavy, heavy kohl—never again. I also wore my hair scraped back in a bun [a lot]. It might be in a top knot now but those days are done. I did the two little hair pieces too. Bella Hadid looks fabulous [with them], but I am not copying her this year!
On the beauty icon she’d like to be for a night
I’m torn! You’ve got Audrey [Hepburn]. But then I also would like to be someone who has the kind of beauty look I could never do myself. It’s hard but I would say Edie Sedgwick. Her look is not something I could do now, and to be her for a night would be absolutely amazing.
This story originally appeared on British Vogue.