Kerry Washington has fantastic skin, but to the core, she’s a makeup girl. It’s why the Scandal actress’s latest drop with Neutrogena is especially exciting for her. Washington, who is a spokesperson for the brand, has already put in work to help expand its foundation shade range, an increasingly vital task as our society becomes more diverse and consumers demand more representation. “I’ve been really proud of that work,” Washington tells Allure. But remember — she is a makeup lover. “I like to be able to play outside of just foundational products.”
And so she does, (responsibly and diplomatically) with her latest for the beloved drugstore brand. Washington adds to the Neutrogena lineup with a brand-new Essential Eye Palette ($12.99) and its sister, the Essential Cheek Palette ($9.99). The duo was created with all the busy people (as “makeup is not just for women”) she knows in mind. And I wager both products will work well even for those busy people she doesn’t know.
The eye palette is a collection of five neutral satin shades. So if you’re the kind who prefers to quickly swipe on some subtle color and head out the door, you might be into this. If you’re looking to do a little more than that with your makeup, you can easily supplement this with anything in your collection. The shadows promise to last for up to 12 hours and have a built-in primer to keep them from creasing as the day wears on. I tried the palette myself and even though I did absent-mindedly rub my eyes a few times throughout the day, the color was still there by the end of it. It is important to note, though, that I used an eye primer before adding the shadows, because habits.
Basically, it’s the sort of palette that you can rely on when you need some straightforward, extra polish really quickly. “On a busy day, if I keep these two essential palettes in my purse at all times — I can have other products that I toss in and out — but if I have these two, I’m armed with everything I need, no matter who I am, no matter where I’m going,” Washington says. “I wanted it to work for everybody, for every situation, to take the complexity out of it and just have your essential kit.”
The cheek palette has a blush, bronzer, and highlighter — basically everything you need to perfect that mug. I can see the pinky-coral blush color working for a lot of different skin tones, though perhaps for the very melanin-rich, the highlighter may be a bit on the light side. But no worries — there are no rules to makeup and you could use the shade to brighten up the center of the lid or in the inner corners. The bronzer could also double as a shadow or a light dusting of face powder if you’re naturally bronzed. It can be all things to all people. Which, these days, is crucial as pressure mounts on brands to be more inclusive. But it’s the kind of pressure Washington welcomes.
“I think it’s exciting that we’re living in a world where we’re beginning to be in touch with the idea that beauty comes in a lot of different packages,” she says. “I think the more that we can honor that, the [truer] we’re being to who we are as human beings. Beauty comes in so many different shapes, sizes, and color ranges.”
Washington is still at work building out Neutrogena’s foundation line, work that she says has been very important to her. “[We want] to make sure that what we’re doing is buildable and blendable, so that it can be used by as many people as possible.” As the voices of makeup lovers calling for more options continues to rise, Washington acknowledges that there is still much to be done on the brand end. “We’re on the journey too. We’re not perfect. We know we’re not perfect. We’re just trying to take more and more steps to get there.”
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