Elle Fanning on breakouts, keeping her blonde hair healthy and the worst beauty mistake she's ever made

elle fanning beauty interview
We spoke to Elle Fanning about her beauty secretsAxelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

From playing a princess in Maleficent back in 2014 to her role as Empress Catherine in The Great, Elle Fanning has some experience in some royal-worthy beauty looks. Despite the epic on-screen moments, it's the off the clock beauty habits that intrigue us the most.

Elle's fresh-faced beauty and signature blonde locks have had us envying from afar. But it's also her playful Instagram feed that portrays the sense that the 25-year-old doesn't take herself too seriously, that makes us think she's the type of girl we could have a glass of wine with.

Well, Cosmopolitan UK did just that (minus the wine, sadly), and sat down with the

L'Oréal Paris ambassador ahead of the release of The Great season three debut, to talk all things beauty: the good, the bad and the ugly (the latter referring to spot-picking, obviously).

Elle Fanning shares her beauty secrets on how exactly she gets her blonde hair looking so damn good all the time, and the beauty faux pas she'd never repeat again.

When you're off the red carpet, what does your daily beauty routine look like?

"It's definitely more paired down. I mostly try to focus on just taking care of my skin. I go through ebbs and flows with it; sometimes it looks amazing and then it goes downhill. If I'm having a breakout, I swear the beach air clears it up. Sometimes I like to drive to Malibu and just stand on the beach; it must be something to do with the salt water. I'm very pale (in London I fit right in!), so wearing SPF is a must for me."

How do you unwind after a busy day?

"I love to take a lot of baths. Since I was young it's been an essential part of my routine. If I ever go to a hotel room and don't have a bath, I'm like "I need to change rooms!'. It really helps me to relax after a long work day. Oh, and binge watching TV shows. I've just finished watching Beef; honestly took me only two days. OMG, that ending!"

What's your worst beauty habit?

"I'm 100% a spot-picker. I just can't help it."

What beauty advice has been passed down by the women in your family?

"Not to tweeze my eyebrows or do anything too extreme to them. It's better if they're a bit unruly – my mum taught me that. Most importantly though, just to feel comfortable in whatever I'm wearing, clothes or beauty wise. I do think a lot of it comes from the inside, and then your makeup or hair is just an extension of your creativity or personality."

How do you keep your blonde hair looking so good?

"I only wash my hair twice a week with L'Oreal Paris's Elvive Colour Protect Anti-Brassiness Purple Shampoo for Coloured or Highlighted Hair (£6) and I do a lot of conditioning. Sometimes I like to sleep with my conditioner overnight to let it really soak in."

Do you have any beauty tricks for getting ready for the Cannes red carpet?

"I have to do a lot of late nights here, so I do a lot of pre-carpet eye masks to get rid of any puffiness. I swear by the L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Lift Mascara (£12.99) to make me eyes look more awake. It's really tough for me to find a good mascara because my eyelashes are so straight and don't want to stay up, but that one does the job."

What's the biggest beauty error you've ever made?

"I once wore fake bangs on a red carpet. I think for brunettes they might work but blondes have so many different tones, it's harder to blend them in. I was like, yeah, maybe that was a mistake and won't be doing that one again."

What beauty product has revolutionised your regime?

"The L'Oreal Paris True Match The One Concealer (£7.99). It's my old faithful and a lifesaver for covering up spots. I've turned all my friends on to it now, too."

What was the last beauty item you bought?

"The French pharmacies here are insane, but I've only bought boring blister plasters recently. They're way better than what we have in the US and all those high heels take a toll."

What's always in your bag without fail?

"I'm so minimal with my bag that I sometimes even forget my keys! But usually either my glasses of some backups contact lenses."

What does beauty mean to you?

"What it translates to for me is self-love and self-care. It's important to take some time out of my morning or night to do some skincare or try out a trending makeup look, turn on some music and look in the mirror and feel good about yourself. That's always what beauty has encompassed to me."

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