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Sophia Bush on Her 'Five Minute' Makeup Routine, Trendy Toothbrush and More Beauty Truths

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If you ever imagined Sophia Bush was your celebrity spirit animal, this interview with the star might convince you. Or just make you love the 32-year-old actress and activist that much more. Bush, who has partnered with Philips Sonicare to help promote oral health awareness, spills her beauty secrets to PEOPLE. Below, the highlights from our chat with her.

Sophia Bush
Courtesy Phillips Sonicare

She felt empowered going makeup free for PEOPLE
“I think it’s such a cool thing to really intentionally send that message to women, and I’ve been talking about it to people all day about how really this is a very liberating experience for me, you know I’m used to not wearing makeup when I run around town, and I don’t wear that much makeup on the show [Chicago P.D.]. But it was sort of like, ‘Oh wow! We’re going to put this in a magazine. That’s pretty cool.’ It made me feel great.”

Her makeup routine is low maintenance
“I do my makeup by myself 98 percent of the time. Honestly I don’t like to spend that long. I always joke that I have a five-minute face routine. It’s really fast, I have a couple of things I like and that’s it. I own a ton of makeup and if it’s a red carpet event I can do a full-on look, I think it’s fun. But my day to day is super simple. I just feel comfortable that way. I’m a tinted moisturizer kind of person; I might put two drops of foundation in if I’m feeling like I want a little more coverage. I like a cream brush and an eyebrow gel and mascara and I’m out the door.”

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She focuses most on her smile — and wants you to try her trendy toothbrush
“I think having a really solid routine with the way you take care of your teeth and gums, and having a solid routine with the way you take care of your skin, becomes a way to give yourself a daily dose of self love, and what you’re saying to yourself subconsciously and through your actions is that you’re worth that effort — that you deserve that kind of care. I really think it’s amazing when you find something that motivates you to give that to yourself. I never thought before I had a Sonicare DiamondClean that I’d be talking about a toothbrush motivating me to love myself, but it’s a thing.”

She learned the secret to top liner on One Tree Hill set
“I used to work with this amazing makeup artist named Tim on One Tree Hill, and that man can do eyeliner like nobody’s business. And from having him do my eyeliner so much, I really learned what it should look like. So now I feel like I have it burned into my memory, and when I need to put eyeliner on I know where it’s supposed to go.”

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The early aughts were not her best beauty years
“Everyone regrets all of the early 2000s. They were the worst. But at the end of the day it’s really funny to look back and be like, I can’t believe I thought I should wear brown lipstick, or whatever it was. I find that stuff to be hilarious and I appreciate it.”

Her White House Correspondents’ Dinner dress is one of her favorites … ever
“Monique Lhuillier is by far one of my favorite designers, and as soon as I saw that dress I was texting like wildfire, ‘Please hold it for me!’ And the timing worked out so well. It was made for her show, and I always have to have the shoulders taken in so much, because I’m like, ‘This was clearly cut for a woman who’s 6-feet tall, look how high the shoulders are above my shoulders,’ because I’m a tiny-sized human. It always makes me laugh — but it was a very fun dress to wear. It was beautiful.”

Sophia Bush
Michael Loccisano/Getty

She still has her grade school uniform
“I keep a lot of things for sentimental reasons; probably the oldest thing in my closet is my uniform skirt from 7th grade that I will literally never get rid of. It exists solely to be a thing that I look at and have warm fuzzy feelings about. The things that belong to me are sentimental, the things that were wardrobe for characters [like Brooke Davis’s cheerleading skirt] are not sentimental because they weren’t really mine.”

Are you a low-maintenance makeup person like Bush? Sound off below.

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–Brittany Talarico