Everyone’s favorite lip balm brand Burt’s Bees recently launched a beauty collection, adding foundations, mascaras, and eyeshadows to its existing product range. To promote the new super-affordable and natural line Burt’s tapped Emmy Rossum, who plays the do-it-all sister Fiona Gallagher on the show Shameless (super fans might know her as Claire Addison from the Disney Channel Original movie Genius).
Burt’s Bees has always put a premium on natural products and its new beauty line is no exception. The campaign, entitled “I Am Not Synthetic,” features beauties just as natural as the products—a theme that struck a chord with Rossum. “I think that this campaign is broadening the idea of the narrowness of what we come to perceive as what’s beautiful,” she says. Read on for Rossum’s best tips for fighting acne, keeping skin soft in the bitter cold (she shoots Shameless in Chicago), and rocking a natural look.
What’s it like to be part of Burt’s Bees first cosmetics line?
Exciting. I have been a fan of the skincare especially the lip balm. We’ve been using that on Shameless for Fiona’s natural look. We’ve used the lightly tinted pink rose lip balm for years so when I found out they were doing a whole beauty collection I was pretty excited.
I remember having lip balms from the drugstore when I was in my early teens, when I was first starting to think about skincare. Then, when I started making films around 18, Burt’s Bees made me about 10 tubes of my own lip balm and it said Emmy’s Bees instead of Burt’s. I’ve had those for years now.
I used to mix them with other lipsticks to get some sort of moisturizing consistently because I find a lot of lipsticks can be quite chalky and drying and I don’t like that. I want something that feels like it’s nourishing especially as we’re changing into our winter months and these all the lipsticks here and glossy lipsticks that have Jojoba oil in them and other things that are very nourishing.
What does your daily beauty routine look like?
It’s relatively simple. I don’t have, like, 100 million serums and steps because I don’t have time. I wash with a foaming or gel cleanser like iS Clinician. Then, I use a SPF from control corrective. I don’t usually use a foundation except these are pretty great because they buff right into the skin and you know when you kiss someone and all the sudden you have their color on your face, but these kind of buff right into your skin. I like to keep it pretty simple with a pop of blush or just to play with a bit of lipstick or mascara. I just like to see my skin on a daily basis.
Can you give us any beauty tips as we approach winter?
I love facial oil. A lot of people are scared of oil, but I like it when I get on a plane and in the afternoon when you’re makeup starts to feel a little bit cakier on your face to kind of put it on your cheekbones. I also like oil everywhere. I like it on cuticles and elbows and anywhere. In Chicago, we do tend to use heavier creams. I actually use oil free creams and then I use facial oil.
You recently spoke out about the fat shaming you’ve experienced in Hollywood. How are campaigns like this combating issues that take place in entertainment?
I think that this campaign is broadening the idea of the narrowness of what we come to perceive as what’s beautiful. With social media and advertising and filters and FaceTune-ing it’s hard to even to know what’s real and what’s not. So to see an image of a woman where you can actually see her face and her skin texture and she’s still polished and beautiful or even glamorous with a nighttime look, but it still feels like a real person. I feel like that’s the kind of beauty I want to applaud and align myself with.
Who are some of your beauty icons?
Rachel Weiss, Cate Blanchett, Audrey Hepurn, Lupita, so many different women. I think Helen Mirren is stunning. I like woman that seem like you could have a cup of coffee with them and seem like they have something to say. Women who seem to have fun with style but it seems like it never overtakes them.
How has your approach to beauty changed over the years?
I used to struggle more with acne in my teens and twenties and now I think it’s more about anti-aging and moisturizing. I’ve kind of leaned into the oils and embraced them and as much moisture as possible so that I can get my skin looking better.
What products did you use for acne?
Mario Badescu that old fashion pink stuff that I still use. Also, just learning you really have to use a towelette to remove all of the makeup and to not go to bed with makeup on. My friend Shanola [Hampton] who’s on my show sometimes will sleep in makeup all night and wake up and send me a video on Marco Polo like, “See, it still looks good.” She’ll add, “I have this pimple coming!” and I’ll be like, “Why did you sleep in your makeup?!” and we have arguments about it.
Speaking of Shanola from Shameless. What would some of your characters on the show grab from the collection?
Debbie would probably use eyeliners and more of a smoky eye. Fiona is probably a blush or mascara kind of girl. And Veronica, Shanola, is a full face: she’s a foundation, bronzer, contour, the whole nine.
Chloe Hall oversees all beauty coverage at ELLE . She knew she wanted to get into beauty the moment Donna Summer came on her screen and she’s been chasing the perfect disco shadows ever since. Her sweet spot is the intersections of beauty with current culture, whether it’s music, movies, or social media. You can find her in Brooklyn with her pug or in Rihanna’s comment section.