Viola Davis Used to Dream of Looking Like This Celeb Before Feeling Confident in Her Own Skin
As a woman in her 50s, Viola Davis‘ approach to beauty has completely changed.
“Now, I don’t want to look like anyone other than me,” the How to Get Away with Murder star, 54, tells PEOPLE at the L.A. launch of L’Oréal Paris’ new Age Perfect Makeup collection. “That was a big thing in my twenties especially.”
When she was younger, Davis says she dreamed of looking like one super-famous star before becoming truly confident with her own unique beauty. “I wanted to look like Oprah, especially when she went to the Oscars for The Color Purple. I thought she was the most beautiful,” the actress reveals.
“I never told her that. Literally, Oprah went to one of my weddings and I never had the guts to say, ‘Oprah, I was always trying to look like you!'” Davis adds.
But now Davis highlights the features that make her who she is using makeup. “I embracing my nose and my lips. It’s like all of a sudden I was like, ‘Viola, that’s what your lips always looked like? Why’d you have a problem with that?’ I love wearing red lipstick, which took me a long time, because I think my lips are fabulous,” she says.
As for her complexion, it’s always been a challenge for Davis to find the right foundation and concealer for her skin tone. “[You don’t want one] that is too ashy or too dark,” she explains. But then as she got older, it became even more difficult to land on a formula that also “feels like a part of your skin” so you “don’t feel like it’s wearing you.”
Luckily, Davis has found a winner in the new L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Foundation Serum with SPF 50, which was designed to not settle in fine lines and leave a cakey finish — a common concern for women over 50 (the entire Age Perfect cosmetics range targets mature customers’ specific needs).
“I feel so seen and valued with this collection for older women,” the L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador says. “You’re still very much beautiful in that way.”
Still, Davis isn’t ashamed to admit that it isn’t easy to see herself physically getting older. “I’m no going to lie, it is harder to see the jowls and the eyes,” she says. “But the other thing happens where you begin to value life and time, especially time, because you feel like you’re running out of it.”
Because of that, Davis has grown to appreciate the signs of aging she has started to see on her body. “You put the fine lines in their place and they become sort of like survivor scars. I recently saw a photo of myself where I noticed some jowls. But it’s interesting how I didn’t stop there. I said, ‘Oh, but my skin looks really nice in that picture,'” she says.
Davis continues: “When I was younger, I worried about how pretty someone else thought I was. Now, I see the whole picture.”