Whenever Anya Taylor-Joy is spotted on the red carpet, people stop dead in their tracks to stare. The 22-year-old American-born actress has a whimsical air about her, which when amplified by a merlot lip, crisp eyeliner and golden crown (yes, all in the same look), makes everyone in the room say ‘who’s that?’
It’s this captivating presence both on screen (catch her in the upcoming X-Men spinoff The New Mutants) and off screen, that landed her as the face of Flowerbomb Midnight, the new fragrance by Viktor & Rolf.
Here, the woman who says she was ‘born with a little bit of fire’ in her, talks about dancing when she’s sad, the time her hair fell out and why being barefoot is the best feeling in the world…
My makeup depends completely on which version of myself I’m being…
Day-to-day I don’t wear makeup. I’ll wear lipstick if I’m going out, sunscreen and maybe mascara if I’m making an effort for somebody or for myself. But then this completely switches when I go into red carpet glam territory. Because I don’t do it in my day-to-day person life, I’m so extra on the red carpet and it’s fun. It feels like you’re doing something that’s dramatic and you’re creating a role for yourself of the way you want to feel for an evening. As an artist, that’s what I really vibe with.
I have three lipsticks on me most of the time
One is usually dark purple because as a kid, I was a bit of a punk and I still love it, I like feeling like a bit of a vampire.
Then there’s Maybelline Super Stay in ‘Pioneer’ (£9.99) which is a kind of brick red that does not move. You paint it on like war paint and it stays for the rest of the day, which is amazing.
And then the one lipstick that has suited me no matter what hair colour I have, is Charlotte Tilbury’s Bond Girl (£24) – suits everything.
I learnt the hard way. My hair did fall out.
I did a movie where I had to bleach it from root to tip every Sunday for three months. I had no concept of what taking care of my hair meant until someone said to me ‘it’s so cool that you have an undercut’, and I said ‘I’ve got a what?!’ and they just lifted up my hair and it had actually snapped off, it was terrifying.
From that moment on, leave-in conditioner became my best friend. I don’t really wash out the conditioner when I condition my hair. I wash it out of my roots but I leave a bit of a film on it and then I use serums. David Mallet has a great serum (£54) that I really love and Phillip Kingsley’s Elastisizer (£18.50) also really works.
Because it’s winter and it’s very, very cold, my skin is loving the comfort cleanser by Chanel
It’s called Sublimage (£78) and it really feels comforting, so it says what it does on the box.
And a couple of times a week before bed, I’ll make a really, fun cheap facemask. It’s just Bio-Oil (£22.99) with Egyptian Magic (£29), and you mix it together, put it on before you go to sleep and then wake up the next morning looking fresh.
I’ve been known to dab a little bit of fragrance under my nose so I can enjoy it for myself
Then the number one place red carpet-wise is behind the knees because it tends to release slower and it kind of wafts up, which is nice. I don’t think I’d ever feel comfortable going out without scent. It makes you feel more confident. It makes you feel more settled into yourself and within you.
Flowerbomb Midnight is currently available exclusively at Debenhams.
I dance and I sing really loudly to make myself feel better
It takes me back to being a kid and when I used to do that with Disney. You just kind of stomp around and sing and release your feelings. It can be very easy to fall into your own shell and you need to connect again to the fire in your belly and your soul. I love being barefoot. I love being in nature. The more simple it is, the happier I usually am.
I don’t sleep at all. I’ve been an insomniac since I was 7.
I don’t need a lot of sleep. A good night for me is 5-6 hours. The moon’s awake, so I’m awake. It means there is a lot of time for reading and a lot of time for working out scripts or sometimes just watching really terrible television.
I’ve realised exercise is not just a way of making sure your body is strong, but that if you’re not taking care of yourself and giving back to your body, your body is going to end up failing you.
As someone who has so much energy and is spinning around all the time, being able to do a conscious moving meditation such as kickboxing, reformer pilates or dancing, is an hour where I can shut my brain off. Because I’m so focused on what’s happening in that moment, that it is my version of meditating.