Zendaya Shares Her Relatable DIY Makeup Mantra: 'It's About Trying, Failing, and Trying Again'

The actress and face of Lancôme talks to PEOPLE about her "low-maintenance" beauty routine

From starring in her second Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Far from Home, to making headlines for her role in the HBO series Euphoria, and becoming a Lancôme Ambassadress, 2019 has been a banner year for Zendaya. To celebrate being named the face of the brand’s new fragrance, Idôle, the actress answered our burning questions about her beauty routine, including her approach to creating her own red carpet looks.

Zendaya Lancome
Kristy Sparow/Getty

“It’s really about trying, failing, and trying again,” the 23-year-old actress tells PEOPLE.

“Over time, learning to do my makeup became about taking different techniques, and products, from people I liked and putting them into my Rolodex. Then it was a matter of trial-and-error. I’d go out on the red carpet and later look at photos. Sometimes, I’d be like, ‘Ooh, I look like a ghost,’ so then I’d fix it the next time around.”

Her approach to skin care is equally stress-free. Read on for Zendaya’s beauty tips and more.

How does it feel to be a Lancôme spokeswoman?

Amazing! It’s such a comfortable fit. They have a great reputation—they make great stuff! It’s rare to have the opportunity to work with a brand you actually use.

What about the iconic brand resonates most with you personally?

Diversity, for one thing. They’ve always had a wide range of foundation shades for women of all different skin tones. It was really important to me to align myself with a brand that was already doing that. I didn’t want to have to get there and be like, “Excuse me, but I think you need to do this.”

The brand also has a charitable component that is meaningful, too. It’s woven into the fabric of the company. The brand’s Write Her Future initiative is one I fully support, because there’s nothing more powerful than education.

Zendaya Lancome
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

On that note, Lancôme recently presented you with a check in support of ProLiteracy. Tell us about why this moment is meaningful for you?

I have two parents who are teachers, so education has always been huge in my household. It’s the gift that no one can take away, but it’s also something that a lot of us can take for granted. We’re so used to having to go to school that we can forget that so many people don’t get the opportunity to do that at all.

Scent is very specific, what do you love most about Idôle?

I like the fact that it’s fresh and it’s light. I have trouble wearing perfumes that are heavy or too strong. I like something that will last throughout the day, but which also feels fresh. And this fragrance smells clean and bright. I’m very particular about my smells. I have certain sprays in my house and certain essential oils that I like. So if this passes my test, then it must be good!

What’s your favorite way to apply fragrance?

Just a simple dot on the wrist and a tap on the neck. That’s how I learned to use perfume and that’s what works for me still.


You love a makeup-free moment on Instagram. What’s the secret to your flawless skin?

Usually I’ll just cleanse, tone, moisturize, and move on. I’ll incorporate different serums or whatever else every now and then. Sometimes it’s fun to treat yourself with a little facial before bed. I think it’s good to switch up your skincare so that your skin doesn’t get too used to it. My products always seem more effective after I’ve left them for a bit and come back.

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