With the news that Zoë Saldana is joining the ranks of women like Lea Michele and Blake Lively as a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson, we had to ask: What does this new title mean to you? “It puts the stamp on, like, ‘Congratulations, you’re finally a real woman!” Saldana tells PEOPLE, laughing.
The N.Y.-born beauty, who describes her beauty philosophy as “simple, clean and strong,” is known for her elegant signature makeup look, a cat eye and red lipstick — the latter of which she loves so much, she confessed to having three red lipsticks in her purse alone. And though she knows what works for her now, she recommends a lot of trial and error to get to that perfect shade for you.
“In the years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve grown to believe that every woman on this earth can rock a red lip,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how big or how thin their lips are, how dark their skin is, or yellow or light or pink, there’s so many shades of red, you can find the right shade. Women just look so beautiful and powerful when they’re wearing red lipstick.”
She came by this belief naturally, growing up with three generations of seamstresses teaching her firsthand about fashion and beauty. “My mother was a youngling of the ’70s, there was always extraordinary and extravagant eyeshadows,” she says. “My grandmother was all about red lips. I was always liking my femininity, surrounded by women who were very elegant, true ladies but also a little wild.”
In the exclusive video below, Saldana goes through old school photos and reminisces about her beauty looks at each age. “I definitely had an ugly duckling phase, kind of a grow-into-a-swan thing,” she says. “In the beginning, I didn’t know what turn I may go in. After my teenage years, I began owning my own beauty and working with what I have.” That meant gaining the confidence to do her own thing on the red carpet. “Now I’d never do what I used to do in the past: Allowing people to convince me something looked great when I knew deep, deep down it didn’t,” she says. “I trust my own opinion over someone else’s, always.”
So the star, who says her daily beauty routine (True Match foundation applied only in problem areas, lots of mascara and that signature red lip) takes under 10 minutes, is feeling completely true to herself — which in her mind, makes this new collaboration a perfect fit. “To be a part of a company that literally has as its main prerogative to uplift women and to give them permission to want to be beautiful but also access to them doing things for themselves is very powerful,” she says.
What do you think of Saldana’s new gig? Do you have any memorable beauty moments from your past? And have you found your perfect red lip yet? Tell us below!