Jameela Jamil2-1569674749386
The actress Jameela Jamil in Los Angeles, on July 25, 2019. The outspoken “Good Place” actress talks the fun of makeup but also how she keeps a measure of control over the image she puts out there. “I want to look like me,” she says. (Chantal Anderson/The New York Times) Image Credit: NYT

If actress Jameela Jamil seems to be all over your feed lately, it’s because she is not content with just being a pretty face. A star of ‘The Good Place,’ which is back for its final season on September 26, Jamil, 33, has also become an advocate for “body neutrality,” even taking on Instagram for its policies on ads for weight-loss products. Here, she talks about the fun of make-up but also how she keeps a measure of control over the image she puts out there.

Oil treatment

I get up and wash my face. It’s pretty standard Cetaphil. But it’s anything I find, to be honest. Then I put on natural witch hazel. I get it from health food stores. Actually I mix the witch hazel with my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream moisturiser, which also has SPF in there. The truth is, I don’t really know what I’m doing with skin care! But when I mix those products, it makes my face feel tight, and I like that.

If I have a shoot, I sometimes take a cube of ice and pop it under my eyes. And I really love the Honey & Jasmine mask from the Organic Pharmacy. It smells really good.

I’m in my 30s now, and I’m paying more attention to my skin. I’d never been on a TV show before, and you have to wear so much make-up on TV. So at night I like to do something nice for my skin. I put on Drunk Elephant Marula oil. I’m so lubed up, I look crazy.

Say no to contouring

I grew up in London, in the northwest in Camden Town. London girls don’t really wear so much make-up. You’re not supposed to brush your hair. You’re supposed to roll out bed and whip on some eyeliner and get out of the house. It’s very Alexa Chung and Kate Moss.

I’m based in Los Angeles now, and I see a lot of contouring. It’s too much work. I would look like a member of ‘The Addams Family.’ Really. Someone did contouring on me, and I looked like Morticia. No shade to her because she’s an icon. Or sometimes you do it for the ’Gram, but it’s heavy in person. It costs a lot of money as well to have all this make-up. So I try not to get myself addicted to looking perfect. I’d rather get used to my face.

DYO make-up

I always wear mascara, blusher and lipstick. I really like Maybelline mascara — the Colossal Big Shot. I’ve used that every day for maybe 10 years. I use the Giorgio Armani liquid blusher. It’s not thick and powdery.

And I love Fenty lipstick. I have the one that goes on as liquid and then goes to a matte finish. It looks like paint. It stays for days! My favourite one is a fuchsia colour. I wore it yesterday, and it’s still on today. I have stained lips now — it’s so good.

I do my own make-up. I just learn off YouTube and Instagram videos. When I was about 27 or 28, a couple years into my career, people would cake my face with make-up. I rarely wear foundation, and I don’t love putting stuff on my skin. I want to look like me. Now, even when I shoot covers, I normally do my own make-up as much as I can.

Also, I don’t want anyone touching my face. That’s why I don’t get facials — I have never had a facial! If I’m doing a shoot, I do wear a bit of eyeliner, or I’ll wear Charlotte Tilbury highlighter on the top of my cheekbones. I also really like the Giorgio Armani fluid sheers. They make your face look like a baby pearl.

When I first started doing my own make-up, it used to freak people out. But now I think people actually find it quite a relief. I’ve done make-up for a cover shoot in the back of a car in 10 minutes. I’m quick, and I’m not rolling in with an entourage and being precious. It’s not my wedding day.

The only thing is, I need someone to do my hair because I have no upper-body strength. I can’t blow-dry.

In control

I use Head & Shoulders because I’ve had bad dandruff for years. Since I started the show, I’ve been using it with Olaplex conditioner. Normally I never touch my hair — I don’t curl or dry it. But on the show, it’s an assault because they’re drying it every day.

I also cut my own hair — since I was 16 — and I never dye it. I had so many screw-ups. You live and learn, and learn off the internet, and watch other people. I’m a super-self-sufficient person, and I like to be in control of myself.

Eau de soap

I don’t wear fragrance. I don’t know, I just never did. I was a classic tomboy for most of my life. Other girls were into beauty — I wore black tracksuits until I was 22. Fragrance is something no one really introduced me to. I smell of soap.

Skin from within

The thing I pay most attention to is food. I haven’t eaten gluten since I was 12. I have celiac. I think having a big food allergy as a child, you become more knowledgeable about food. Most of my skincare happens at the dinner table. I use my skin as a way to see how my digestive system is working.

I learned that through Chinese medicine. I can tell if something is upsetting my body. By the time it shows up on my skin, it’s already messing with my immune system. It may be that I need less dairy or more salmon and fats.

It’s a very, very old-fashioned way of looking at beauty. It’s part of the reason I never drank or smoked. I really do eat for my skin and hair.

Social exercise

I don’t do any workout regimen. But I have big plans to. I told my doctor I’m clinically weak. It’s not a condition; it’s just sad. For whatever it’s worth, I do think fitness is really important. But I find gym culture, which is very much LA culture, so steeped in vanity. I’m not really interested in exercising for my aesthetic. I prefer exercising for mental health.

I do like to walk, and I’ve started hiking with friends. It’s a social exercise.