Tessa Thompson on Beauty Hacks, Red Hair and the Armani Foundation she swears by

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Tessa Thompson floats up the stairs at an Armani Beauty Dinner held on the roof of the Guggenheim Museum in Venice during the city’s annual film festival. Her hair, recently dyed red, is styled in what her stylist aptly called “a little bit Lauren Bacall, a little bit Bianca Jagger.” Tonight, Thompson wears a silver Armani Privé long-sleeved top and floaty white pants—just one outfit in one long line of looks she’s put out that have garnered enough attention to keep up with whatever’s going on don’t worry darling.

That western world and creed 3 star is abroad with Armani Beauty, which she named her new face back in January. The legendary makeup brand, a main sponsor of the festival, invited a number of its ambassadors – including Sydney Sweeney, Dylan Sprouse, Barbara Palvin, Chase Stokes, Nicholas Holt, Maude Apatow, Cami Mendes and Gavin Leatherwood – to take part over two evenings Dinner and celebrations in the coastal Italian hotspot.

Between glamorous red carpet appearances and countless brand events, we grabbed some quality time with Thompson. Read on to find out everything from her morning beauty routine to why she decided to blush.

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Tell us a little bit about your morning beauty routine.

I think the biggest thing, of course, is getting plenty of sleep. One consistent thing in the morning that I’ve been so committed to is gua sha and lots of massaging. I usually use a serum or an oil. It depends on how my skin feels. I feel like the products are constantly changing based on how my skin feels and how it looks. And sometimes I freeze my face. I do it with pleasure.

So basically anything to get rid of swelling.

Ice cream is the best for this. And then I’ve done something amazing lately: if I know I won’t get much sleep the night before, I’ll brew some green tea and let it steep overnight. I let it steep on the counter for a long time, then put the mug in the fridge to let the tea bags cool, and then place them directly over my eyes. Then I drink the green iced tea, and that’s the tastiest thing.

Wow, that’s a good hack. how did you think that

I have many periods where I don’t sleep much. This is one of them. I’m in Venice for two weeks and because I’m also on the jury and then between my Armani commitments and late night premieres I don’t get much sleep. I think I was traveling and staying at a hotel and didn’t have any of my products with me. I didn’t have anything to blow off, but I did have tea bags in my hotel room. It’s a very old movie star, but I’ll be at a hotel and I’ll get a bucket of ice and a bowl and I’ll just dip my face in it. Green tea is also said to apparently brighten your eyes, so it’s a double whammy when it comes to helping decongestion and then making your eyes bigger too. Certainly if you haven’t slept much, it’s really helpful. Then you can also drink the tea which also wakes you up and is a fabulous antioxidant.

It’s really nice to shake it up sometimes because the truth is that we all have the capacity to change and expand and grow in new and interesting ways that might surprise us.”

You’re also really into makeup and skincare. What’s your favorite product?

I’m obsessed with [Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation]. It sounds so silly, but this foundation was truly life changing in the sense that I had such a hard time finding a color that worked for me with artists. I would see myself in front of the camera and not feel like myself. When I first started discovering Armani, I worked with an artist who put it on me many years ago before one of my first big premieres. For the first time, I thought, “Oh, there’s my skin.” There are a lot of people who haven’t used foundation because, honestly, they just can’t find a brand that has a range of colors that suit their unique skin tone . I think it’s really impressive to have a brand that is able to do that, and then for all people – women, whoever – I think it just feels really good on the skin. It doesn’t feel like you’re covering up.

Do you have a method of prepping your skin or a routine you follow to make sure it’s the perfect base for foundation?

I used to really discount the power of primer. I have never used it. Lately I’ve really understood how awesome it is, and Armani’s Luminous Primer is really, really awesome. It also has SPF because sometimes I would do all the normal things to make sure my skin is properly hydrated and then use the sunscreen. Then you sometimes find that the way it interacts with your actual base can look weird or too heavy.

Is there a specific product or step that makes you feel particularly beautiful?

One product I love so much is Fluid Sheer. I sometimes use this when I’m not wearing makeup, just with my cream or with a serum because it just makes you look so radiant. My dad is known not to be a big fan of makeup, but I was at this house for dinner and I was wearing Fluid Sheer. He says, “Your skin looks good.” I really love natural beauty, and I think this product makes you look extra radiant, and it does it in such a very natural, kind of invisible way.

You recently dyed your hair red. Do you feel like it changed your personality or opened up a new window on yourself?

I don’t know if it changed my personality… maybe. The truth is, I always thought red hair was so beautiful and always felt that if I didn’t look like myself, I wish I was a redhead. Then recently I thought, “Oh, I could just be a redhead.” Sometimes you can get an idea of ​​what might look good on you based on your skin color, but I really like to try to be expansive and imaginative with my ideas of beauty to be. I saw these old photos of my mom in the 80’s and she went through that period where she had beautiful red hair. And then I saw some pictures of me that my dad sent me when I was a little girl and it was a summer I think I got in the sun a lot. I noticed my hair looked kind of red and we also had… it sounds so weird but we had a Doberman Pinscher, a brown one when I was a kid called Refit.

So I went up to my constant collaborator Lacy Redway and said, “Look at these pictures, what do you think?” We came up with a plan together, and then this amazing colorist called Aura did my hair in LA and it was fun , because now, in the last few months, I’ve been doing a few different shades of red. I think especially in my job I have to look for a certain way for work so often and I took some time off from work. It felt really good to have my likeness and make choices about how I look and do something that feels different. But definitely in the beginning there were a few days where I caught myself in a reflection and I was like, ‘Who is the?”

right, who is she?

Yes. Who is she? It’s really nice to shake it up sometimes because the truth is that we are all capable of changing and expanding and growing in new and interesting ways that might surprise us. I think just changing something about your appearance is a nice way to remind yourself.

Shop Tessa Thompson’s Armani Beauty Picks
Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer
Lip Power Long-lasting satin lipstick

Armani Beauty Lip Power Long-wear satin lipstick
Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

This interview has been slightly edited and shortened for clarity.

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