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“At the end of the day, you are what makes you beautiful,” says the former Vampire Diaries star, 28, who posed without a stitch of makeup for PEOPLE’s annual World’s Most Beautiful issue. “Your personality, your aura and who you naturally are.”
Dobrev also isn’t afraid to step out bare-faced. “I absolutely feel comfortable going out in public and being on social media without makeup,” she says. “It’s real. When I have a lot of make-up on, that’s usually work. At home, I just let it breathe.”
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Just like many other girls growing up, “I don’t think I was always comfortable with myself,” she admits. “But as I get older, I start to care less. I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin now.”
Dobrev — who stars in the upcoming drama Flatliners — frequently swaps makeup and clothes with her tight-knit group of girlfriends, including BFF Julianne Hough (“We have a very open, awesome, giving relationship“) and her longtime hairstylist Riawna Capri (“She is definitely my secret weapon”).
As for her favorite beauty tip? “Audrey Hepburn has this quote that happy girls are the prettiest girls,” says the star. “I believe that to be very true. Your smile is your best accessory, and I try to wear it every day if I can.”