Rebecca Dayan


"I’m French, but my accent’s kind of gone. For a long time, I worked on eliminating it, and it’s the weirdest thing. In the beginning, when I started acting, my agent was always like, 'You’ve got to make sure you have the most neutral accent possible,’ and I said, 'Ok, ok, ok,' and I worked really hard, and now they’re saying, 'Can you play up your French accent?' because people want something exotic, and I’m like, 'You guys must be kidding me!' I don’t even know how to do it anymore.

I grew up in a small village in the south of France, close to Nice, and I moved to Paris to study art and fashion design when I was 18; I was modeling at the same time. I also started assisting a stylist, Gabrielle Greiss, who became the head designer at Sonia Rykiel. So, I was modeling, taking classes at night, and then working at Sonia Rykiel most days. Then, at some point, I was like, what is the only thing that would make me really happy? That’s why I decided to really throw myself into acting. In the beginning I never wanted to admit to itthe fact that I wanted to be an actressbecause it feels a little bit like an ego trip. It’s like, 'Look at me, I have something to say, people should listen to me.' On the other hand, you also feel like, every girl who’s a little pretty says 'Oh yeah, I want to be an actress.' I was afraid of judgement and I was afraid of failing. But that's not the way you should think of life. For me, acting is just exploring these different facets of life. It’s nice to be someone else for a little bit, or really lean into one part of yourselfa part that you’re ashamed of, or uncomfortable with. To be able to dive into those little things that, in life, you have to hide or tone down because you have to live in society or whatever... In acting, you can really explore that fully. It's great.

I’d say I’m French in my approach to beauty: I’m easy-going. Of course, I love to dress up. Who doesn’t? But a year ago, I got really scared of all the toxic things that are in beauty products. I mean, I smoke, I drink, I’m not a vegan, I eat like a French person, so pretty healthy, but with ice cream and candy. [Laughs] But I feel like beauty is the one thing I can control. I became obsessed with reading all these blogs and websites, and I got rid of all the stuff I was using, and changed everything. And I actually realized you don’t need to use that much. Now I have a cleanser from Eminence, the Coconut Milk Cleanser. I feel like I want to eat it every time I wash with it. It smells so good. And I use mainly oils, so I have a million different ones: apricot oil, almond oil, coconut oil, grape seed, sesame, vitamin E, and Goe oil—I love it for the body. That, and Rose-Marie Swift's Raw Coconut Cream. I found all this good stuff at a shop on 10th street called Live Live. They have all these completely natural products, like Simply Divine Botanicals, which has this eye cream, Pack Your Bags They're Leaving! It’s like a gel more than a cream, and it lessens under-eye bags. I also just got a new Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap—it has big chunks of sea salt and it's awesome for exfoliating.

On my face, I like oils as a moisturizer. I mix them: I put a little bit of apricot, which is good for wrinkles, with some almond or grape seed….Or vitamin E oil, which is really thick, is great for the winter. I also use Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Illuminating Base. It’s a whitener. I have it mainly for the winter because my skin is good when it’s tan, but in the winter, it becomes kind of yellow, so I’ll put on a little of this. It makes it look nicer.

For makeup, all I use on my eyes is RMS Cream Eye Shadow in Magnetic. And then Un Cover-Up in 22. You can’t find organic mascara or eye pencils, so I just use CoverGirl LashBlast Volume and a Givenchy pencil. My lipstick is from this brand Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics—it's all vegan and it's all pure pigment and they have the best Lip Tar. It stays on so well. They have nice nail polishes, too.

Hair: I don’t really use that much stuff. And I wash my hair way more often than I’d like to—in the city, it gets really greasy. I do it every three or four days, which I know is too much. I read this whole no-shampoo thing in W magazine a while ago, and I was like, 'I want to try it!' but I just can't."

—as told to ITG

Dayan appears in Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg, out today in New York and Los Angeles. She was photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on July 31st, 2012. 

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  • Beauty Palette

    I'm obsessed with all things RMS! Definitely need to try out that coconut cream now...thanks for a great post!!

  • reddysteadygo

    Oh my god, she's gorgeous! I think I would like to try using oils as a moisturizer, but I wish I had a handbook or something. As far organic makeup like mascara and eyeliner, I know that Lush has a new makeup line called Emotional Brilliance. I haven't tried the mascara yet but it's supposed to be focused on not irritating your eyes and actually conditioning your lashes. Also there seem to be many others out there from Almay or Physician's Formula.

    • VC

      The good thing about oil is that you don't need a handbook at all! Just go to your nearest health shop and pick up a good quality organic one. I would suggest almond, vitamin e or grapeseed oil. You only need to use a few drops (I use roughly 5 drops for my face, 1 for each 'zone'). I hope that helps x

    • Lola

      So glad you mentioned Emotional Brilliance! It was the first thing that popped into my head when I read that she couldn't find a 'clean' mascara, but I'm always mildly reticent to big up Lush products in blog comments as I work for the company :)
      I'm a contact lens wearing, hay fever-suffering sensitive eyed nightmare and there are literally only two mascaras on the market that don't make me dry-eyed and sore and both are tested on animals and full of synthetic ingredients. I was really relieved when I found out we were going to be launching Eyes Right and really really relieved the first time I tried it out. I've found that I get about 6 more hours of wear out of my lenses each day, I've used eyes drops once (normally I use them every couple of hours) and I don't wake up with itchy eyes anymore, which used to be a massive annoyance as I'd scrub several lashes out with my fists every morning. It doesn't give you the feeling of 'wow my eyes are soothed', it's more that for the first time since in about 10 years, I don't notice my eyes throughout the day. It's bliss!

      As far as pencils go - Jane Iredale ( and Inika ( both do good ones, neither has a massive range of shades but that's kind of the pay-off when you switch to natural pigments.

  • laistesgift

    Love the fact that ITG features personalities with such laid-back, natural approaches to beauty. I love this blog!

  • Sarah

    I love all things RMS but to be honest the RMS raw coconut cream is just plain good marketing and nothing more. If you go to any whole foods supermarket and buy organic unbleached, cold pressed coconut oil you can get 10 times as much for half the price for the same product. Put it in a fancy jar and you have the same exact thing. But I have to say, RMS uncoverup is the best concealer ever! I loved this interview!

    xoxo Sarah

    • eastvillagesiren

      Sarah, this is exactly what I do. I use Coconut Oil everyday as a body moisturizer; it's the best lotion I've every used.

      And RMS concealer is an awesome all-around concealer, foundation, coverup, you name it.

    • Moonlaff

      Sarah is so right. Coconut oil (unrefined, coldpressed) is a must -- and you can put a tablespoon in your morning smoothie too, if you drink one that is. My skin is softer and moister and this way is much much cheaper!


    Nice eyebrows, boo.

  • Lesley

    Ehhhh... "beauty is the one thing I can control"? I usually love the subjects of your interviews but this is just dumb. I would say you can choose to select the type of products you want to use, but not specifically the ingredients. It's much easier to control toxins by choosing to not smoke.

  • Roberta Barros

    oh yeah! somebody who use oil and not cream in face! everybody thinks i'm crazy because of it! but in fact, it's more natural used oil than cream, because our skin produce oil for moisturizer itself. I use an oil from Sachi, it contains jojoba oil that is similar to the skin oil, so it loads the nutrients of the other oils mixed to the deeper skin. Sachi produce oils for every kind of skin, included the oil skin ones and that suffer with acne. it's amazing! I use a lot of natural skincare products beacuse they work amazingly and they're cheaper that the great sinthetic ones.
    amazing post! i love into the gloss!!!

  • Beauty Idealist

    Such a gorgeous woman who uses REALLY clean products! Always been hesitant to take the plunge to clean make up but after her recs for RMS, I just might have to try!

  • freudianslippers

    This is the first ITG that actually kind of bothered me.. no organic mascara or eye pencil? Bull! There's a ton of good stuff out there! And OC lip tar? Vegan, yes, but it's sure as hell not organic.

  • Ra

    I had a time when I retreated from life for a while, then I used very little amount of cosmetics and I found that one really doesn't need all that stuff. As for the face oils, I have combination skin and grape seed oil gave me several blemishes. So don't use if your skin is not dry. I like olive, avocado and apricot oils on my facial skin.

    • Molly

      I couldn't disagree more about grapeseed oil. In fact, it's the one oil said to even cause dryness. Of course, we all have our own experiences, must most articles list grrapeseed oil as having astringent qualities and being great for oily or acne prone skin. It's definitely been my experience, and I think it's a mistake to recommend that people with oily skin not use it.

  • Emily Jane

    Hmmmm... Chanel Illuminating Base is toxin free? I don't think so.... strange choice for someone who is trying to avoid toxins and use healthier skin care.

    • Margaret

      Yeah that Chanel blanc stuff is a crazy silicone/chemical cocktail! It freaks me out! And I am not even on the chemical-free bandwagon.

  • anon

    I have to agree with Lesley. Bring back the intentionally intelligent women like Beth Ditto.

    • Emma

      Different aesthetics for different people! Some may be fascinated by Rebecca, some by Beth Ditto, and some by both or neither. The candid transparency of these interviews and diversity of people featured is why we love ITG.

  • Haidee De Fraine
  • Kate {Modette}

    I love her story. So entrancing, and I love her take on beauty! x

    Kate {Modette}

  • Ophélie

    "It’s like, ‘Look at me, I have something to say, people should listen to me.’ On the other hand, you also feel like, every girl who’s a little pretty says ‘Oh yeah, I want to be an actress.’"

    Actually, being an actress has nothing to do with 'having something to say.' Being an actress means reading lines that other people write for you, communicating characters that other people have created. She's talking about being "famous." Which is a sad Freudian slip of an oversight.

    • Nina R.

      I think you have completely misinterpreted Rebecca's comments about her desire to be an actress. She is saying that she did not want people to think she was being overly self-involved and egotistical but wanted to express herself creatively. Actors are not machines who spew out lines "that other people write for you." There are many techniques of acting that have nothing at all to do with speaking! There is no "Freudian slip" at all here - you are doing exactly what Rebecca was afraid of - judging her for thinking she is capable of being an actor.

    • Lia

      I think it's you who are backward, Ophelie. Being an actress has everything to do with having something to say. Being famous has to do with reading lines someone else have to be a superstar to get to the point in an acting career where all you have to do is memorize your lines and spout them out once it's time to perform. I think Rebecca is spot on, that it's hard to admit you want to be an actress because people usually assume that means you want to be famous, not that you want to be an artist.

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Holy cow, she is seriously gorgeous. I think it's great she decided to focus and control her beauty routine. I have always been very interested in skincare--more than makeup even. I know that skincare lasts and is what really makes you look good. I buy all these lotions and potions for my skin and do all these masks and treatments, but I still haven't been able to quit smoking, and that's been a little discouraging. But I have cut down quite a bit, so baby steps!!! :P

  • Pamela

    Wow, a lot of haters. I'm shocked. You can disagree with things she says, but at least she is being honest and real. That's what makes this blog brilliant. She isn't censoring herself.
    With that said, I do know that the Vapour line carries an organic eyeliner.
    And Emily, you did an excellent job capturing her beauty in these photographs.

  • VotreAmie

    YESSS!!! A girl after my own heart - Love her suggestions! RMS is FANTASTIC. Can't wait to give that sea salt soap a try.

  • Emma

    She's beyond gorgeous and I love her interest in natural skincare coupled with a realistic attitude! There are lots of great natural mascaras- Korres and Dr. Hauschka's are my favorites, but I love her balanced approach.

    • CarlaSheen

      Balanced approach? Someone should tell that lady that, should she continue to smoke, in 10 years she's going to look as if she were her boyfriend's mother! Years ago I heard this from a plastic surgeon and that made me instantly quit.

  • courtney

    I really liked this article and even though I can understand where the critical comments are coming from, I think the point she's making is that "it's progress and not perfection". Even though I'm a vegetarian and eat ridiculously well, I have a little extra coffee some days or smoke a cigarette when I'm stressed. And even though my beauty arsenal is pretty clean, I'm not willing to let go of my Guerlain powder Eye Kohl or a couple of my NARS lip crayons. Meh, live and let live I suppose! I'm happy to read about some products that I love and a couple of new ones that I haven't heard of before. Thanks ITG guys! Great post :))

    AND, even though I didn't comment on the Cass and Ali Top Shelf, I want to tell you that I loved that one as well!

  • Julez

    I use Monoi Coconut Oil and it works really well. Also Inika do organic eyeliners/eyepencils :)

  • Zelle

    I loved this interview! I love how human she is, she's not pretending to be perfect (she's French, she smokes of course) but she's found a path (an inspiring one!) that works for her, sounds like a lovely person, too.

    Great resource for figuring out what's in your cosmetics is the nonprofit website, Environmental Working Group. Very easy to use....

    They list all the ingredients and rate everyt-10, zhing 0ero is something like coconut oil...

    • eastvillagesiren

      Zelle, EWG is a fair starting resource but I wouldn't rely solely on it. They base their ratings on published scientific literature, but the research often references exposure levels and formulations that are not necessarily applicable to typical consumer usage. For example, they give Mineral Oil a 3 but reference research on its hazards to the types of mineral oil that are used in industry, not personal care. At least in Europe, per the EU, Mineral Oil for personal care products has to be certified as to its purity level. I tend to cross-check products/ingredients with the EU Cosmetics Directive reports ,, and And I keep in mind that all of these resources have their biases. It's a little extra homework but I find it enjoyable ; )

      • Ona_in_Barcelona

        Very helpful comment! Thanks for the links.

  • Kias

    If anyone is interested in the "no shampoo" thing she mentioned, look up "My Hair Secret" on Youtube

  • Elspbeth

    Ere Perez does an amazing natural mascara, I wear the waterproof and it's not clumpy at all, you can really layer it up. Lovely post :)

  • The Beauty Philosopher

    She has such a beautiful face. Compelling to look at.

  • Top Fashion Online

    Great post!

    I know exactly what you mean about want to eat it when you was with it.

    I love the smell of the coconut milk cleanser, soo good!

  • Michelle Lee
  • Crystal Trinidad Ct

    check out Jane Iredale online for eye makeup

  • mimi

    i hope this doesn't come across mean but i can't possibly begin to understand women who freak out about "toxins" in beauty products and want to go all organic for their skin, yet smoke. it just. doesnt. compute. more toxins in that cigarette than in the beauty products.

    the raw coconut creams sounds divine though. and agree with her about the "i just cant do not washing it!", absolutely with her on that one.

    • ami

      it's rather simple logic (even if smoking IS illogical) ; if you have a broken window, do you condemn the house? i think not.

  • Ona_in_Barcelona

    She's beautiful! Her makeup looks great, too. I won't comment on the smoking/'organic' skincare thing, that's already been said...
    I keep wondering about people who swear by facial oils. I feel like whenever I use oil (jojoba, coconut, olive, whatever), it never really hydrates my skin - it sort of sits on top and makes almost a 'crispy' layer. It's good as a barrier protection (esp. in winter) but that's it. Does anyone else find this?

  • BeautyholicRomy

    oh my god I love her! I went through that phase last year two, I avoid parabens like the plague, sulfates too. That's partly what my blog is dedicated to. So lucky to have grown up in Nice, it's gorgeous!!!! Plus there's a Sephora there :D ha
    3-4 times a week is good for hair washing, that's what I aim for. Sometimes it's a whole week though :( Busy city life is to blame. I'd much rather be able to wash it twice a week, it's way fresher that way.
    I'd love to have worked for Sonia Rykiel. I really want to becoming a fashion buyer <3


Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser
Jao Goe Body Oil
RMS Raw Coconut Cream
Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap
Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base
RMS Cream Eye Shadow in Magnetic
RMS Un Cover-Up in 22
CoverGirl LashBlast
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Vintage