"When you're always running around, sometimes the best way to look put together is a bold lip," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes in the power of a well-honed beauty regimen!

While walking Vogue through her daily skincare and makeup routine, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, 30, shared that spending so much time traveling and fighting for political causes can really take its toll.

“I have not gotten much sleep,” she said. “Welcome to life in politics. We are trying to get people health care, making sure that they are taken care of in a pandemic, people are fighting too much, and so I have bags under my eyes.”

In addition to sometimes putting on a hydrating face mask during trips between Washington, D.C. and New York City, the progressive lawmaker always makes sure to use toner, vitamin C serum, moisturizer and a “generous” amount of SPF — which she even rubs into her eyelids.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
| Credit: Vogue

Although Ocasio-Cortez loves a glam moment, for her daily looks she usually chooses between wearing a tinted moisturizer or a longer-lasting foundation. From there, she’ll apply a color corrector and concealer, using her fingers to help melt the product into her skin, before moving on to a light contour and a wash of color on the cheeks.

“I’m not trying to change my features or shape-shift—I’m just trying to accentuate my existing features,” she said. “I’m just trying to show people what I got.”

When it comes to eye makeup, the lawmaker said that she loves to “experiment” — including with glittery shades, which she used to believe would make her be “taken less seriously.”

“As the youngest woman in Congress—and as a woman of color—it’s so hard to be taken seriously,” she said. “People already try to diminish me and diminish my voice as young and frivolous and unintelligent.”

But after trying out a shimmery look, Ocasio-Cortez realized that not only did it look good, it also helped her “feel better.”

Feeling powerful and confident is also part of the reason behind the lawmaker’s signature red lip — which she really embraced for the first time while on the campaign trail back in 2018.

“When you’re always running around, sometimes the best way to look put together is a bold lip,” she said. “I will wear a red lip when I need a boost of confidence.”

Even though she likes to try out different shades, her go-to is still Stila's “Stay All Day” Liquid in Beso. “I really don’t have time to be running in and out of the bathroom to be doing touch-ups, and so I really prefer liquid lipsticks that just are indestructible.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
| Credit: Vogue

Although Ocasio-Cortez’s political opponents have been known to try and use her physical appearance to discredit her policies, the lawmaker has never been shy about standing up for the power of makeup.

“In politics there is so much criticism and nitpicking about how women and femme people present ourselves. Just being a woman is quite politicized,” she said. “There’s this really false idea that if you care about makeup or your interests are in beauty and fashion that’s somehow frivolous but I actually think these are some of the most substantive decisions we make and we make them every morning.”

“Our culture is so predicated on diminishing women and preying on our self-esteem, and so it’s quite a radical act—and it’s almost like a mini protest—to love yourself in a society that’s always telling you you’re not the right weight, you’re not the right color, you’re not the right, you know, whatever it is,” the congresswoman added.

However, the true “key to beauty” is loving yourself.

“If you need a little boost or if you’re feeling particularly challenged that day, look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the bomb, and I will make the world a better place in my own little pocket because that’s what I’m here to do’…. There’s something that you bring, and you need to know that, and that is the best beauty secret of them all.” she continued.