"I grew up in Greenwich, in London. My dad was an opera singer—the performing thing was in the family. I originally thought I wanted to sing or do musical theater, but I was encouraged to join this youth theater group called the National Youth Music Theater. I joined, and then I went to Japan and did some musicals. I was 14—experiencing Japan at that age was crazy, and amazing. But then I got back to school, and had to do my exams, and I kind of slowly realized that more straight acting was really what I wanted to do. From there I went to drama school at the Bristol Theater School in England. It was nice to get out of London, because I felt like I had more of a university experience, getting away from home. I could also focus more on the training. My first big break was a show called Misfits. That was my first ever job, and I got that straight out of drama school. That was amazing. It was one of those things where my agents were like, ‘Look, we think that this is going to be quite a big deal.’ I was like, ‘How do we know!’ And they just said, ‘It’s got a really good team, we think you should just go for it.’ We all knew that it was a cool story, and cool writing, but none of us knew that it was going to do what it did. It just happened to be one of those things that popped, that people loved. It went all over the world—it was crazy.
Watching yourself on television for the first time is a bit of an excruciating thing. You’re like, ‘Oh my god, what did I do with my face? Everybody can see this.’ It did make me go, ‘OK, I need to start taking care of my skin.’ I also love trying products. I’m constantly experimenting with skincare. At the moment I’m using a mixture of things, but most of all a line called Linda Meredith. She’s this facialist back home [in London]. I’ve started going to her for facials, and it’s sort of changed my life. Her regimen is amazing. She’s got a really nice collagen serum, and then on top of that she’s got this cream called LM2, which is this thick moisturizing cream that’s amazing. If I’m not using her, I really like the Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore. It’s sort of like magic in a bottle—it’s so moisturizing. I like a cream to feel quite thick, and that it’s doing something, but I don’t like it to feel like it’s soaked in completely once I put it on my skin. It’s just perfect. I also do masks—I like a charcoal mask. Dr. Jart does a really good one. And if I’m not doing that, I really like Charlotte Tilbury’s Goddess Skin clay mask.
I like Charlotte Tilbury a lot actually, for makeup as well. She has this really nice thing called Wonderglow. In my day-to-day life, I like to just put that on, maybe mix it with a tiny bit of foundation just to get a little coverage. My favorite foundation is the Armani Luminous Silk. The way it goes on is so lovely—it feels great. I use bronzer—I have the MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Delphic that’s really nice. Lipstick Queen Frog Prince I’m obsessed with. I really like having a bit of color on the lips, but letting it still look natural. They have one for cheeks too, and I like that a lot, because it brings out a natural flush. For eyebrows, I try to keep it natural looking with a MAC pencil in Spiked, which has a brush on one end and the pencil on the other end. I have the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light wand highlighter, but that wouldn’t be for my day-to-day. When I’m going out and I want to add a bit of extra, I’ll use it.
What’s my favorite mascara? Now, that’s a big question. At the moment I ran out and got this Maybelline one, but this Urban Decay Perversion mascara is really good and it’s run out. I used it to death. If I’m going to go out, I’ll normally do a little bit of an eyeliner, and shadow if I’m really feeling like I’m going somewhere special. At home, I have a really nice Charlotte Tilbury palette. But in terms of shades, I like gold, warm, champagne colors. I like liquid liner. I’ve found it hard to find a kohl that just doesn’t smudge and go everywhere, and underneath my eyes. MAC does a good gel one, the Pro Longwear Fluidline, the little pot with the brush. I use that a lot.
For hair, at the moment I’m using this line called Monat, and it’s changed my life. It’s so moisturizing, and I don’t have to do really anything else to it. I use the moisturizing line, all the stuff—Renew shampoo, Restore conditioner, Replenish mask, and the Rejuvenique oil. I leave the conditioner in, because my hair needs so much moisture, and it’s great. I don’t really color my hair—I was a blonde baby, so if I spend a lot of time in the sun it bleaches out quite a lot. Normally I just get my hair cut by whomever is doing it on set. I don’t let somebody cut it who doesn’t know how to do curly hair. I used to straighten it a lot, but I’m trying to go natural because my hair breaks easily if I put a lot of heat on it. In my day-to-day routine I’ll wash it, leave the products in it and let it dry naturally. And then I’ll either pin it up curly, or put a braid in the front.
My one fragrance is Diptyque Do Son, and I’ve been wearing it for years and years. I got it for Christmas once, and I was surprised because buying someone a fragrance is sort of risky. I was like, ‘Hm, I’m not sure I’m going to like this,’ put it on, and now it’s the only fragrance that I wear."
—as told to ITG
Antonia Thomas photographed by Tom Newton in New York on September 26, 2018.