Olivia Wilde Talks Revlon, Beauty Woes, and NOT Being a Model

Olivia Wilde
Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Olivia Wilde, in a Lanvin top, Marc Jacobs skirt, YSL shoes, and House of Lavande ring

She may be the recently named brand ambassador for beauty giant Revlon, but Olivia Wilde wants to be clear on one thing: she’s not a model.

Those who’ve seen her various fashion shoots might beg to differ, but the actress says that when Revlon came calling, she was concerned that she—and her fellow spokesmodel, Emma Stone—might not be up for the task.

“Models have something—a talent—that we don’t,” Wilde said at a Revlon press event on December 5 in New York. “I was panicked that I’d be asked to be a model. The thing that Emma and I both appreciated is that we’re being celebrated as individuals, as women.

“It’s not like, please study this picture of Linda Evangelista and do it exactly how she does it,” she laughed. “I think I would fail horribly at that!”

In the cosmetics ads that will bow in February glossies, Wilde sports the brand’s revamped ColorStay 16-Hour Eyeshadow quad as well as the PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara, both hitting stores in January.

And though she says she’s learned a lot from Revlon’s global artistic director, Gucci Westman, the beauty claims she still has a lot to learn.

“I benefit more than anyone from the cheat sheets,” she said, referring to the diagram on the back of each eye shadow quad that indicates which shade goes where. “I’ve been having my makeup done professionally for 12 years, but I still don’t know how to contour my eyes … I could never put fake lashes on myself; it would be such a disaster! They would end up in my eyeball. But I like playing with eye makeup. I like liners and mascara.”

Her most valuable beauty secret, however, has nothing to do with makeup. "Breathe!" she laughed. "I have to remember to breathe on a red carpet. [Your face] shows the tension that you carry. When you come out of a great yoga class, your face looks so beautiful because it relaxed all those muscles! Relaxing can really help me on the red carpet."

That's not to say that great makeup can't work wonders.

Wilde, who’s currently filming The Longest Week with Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup in New York, says her philosophy about makeup goes back to her mother, a journalist with a knack for liner.

“I used to watch her do her eye makeup—she’s a wizard with eyeliner,” Wilde said. “She’s an investigative journalist and she’d be in Afghanistan—now she’s a producer for 60 Minutes and writes books and stuff—but I’d see pictures of her out in the field with perfect eyeliner!

“It makes her feel like the most powerful version of herself. And I think that’s where I learned that concept; she wasn’t doing it for someone else.”

In related news, check out fellow Revlon beauty Jessica Biel's recent commercial.