You may remember her best from her role as Indi Walker on Home & Away, but Samara Weaving has come a long way since her days in Summer Bay. After re-locating to L.A. to take a crack at Hollywood (in the time-honoured tradition of ex-soapie stars like Margot Robbie), Weaving has already snapped up some choice roles including a part in Joseph McGinty Nichol's The Babysitter alongside Bella Thorne. She also stars in a local thriller — Bad Girl — due for release this year. In a nutshell: 2016 is already shaping up to be a big deal for this 24-year-old.
When she arrives for her Byrdie Australia photo shoot at Sydney's The Fashion Institute, Weaving looks exactly as you'd expect — stunning. Her hair is damp and her skin scrubbed clean; she's fresh, fascinating (see: her Harry Potter-inspired tattoo) and funny. The perfect muse for our summer makeup shoot? We think so.
In the gallery below, Weaving takes on five of our favourite trends this season. [Interview continues after gallery.]
Byrdie Australia: Walk us through your skincare routine.
Samara Weaving: I like a scrub so I'll use a Nivea ($10) one or something a bit more natural. I like to think it helps clean out my pores, especially if I've got makeup on or I've been travelling and sleeping in different hotel rooms and flying. I've got really dry skin and La Prairie's Skin Caviar Cream ($500) really helps with keeping up hydration levels all day. I don't ever have to reapply it. I've got like a little ModelCo rosehip face mist ($20) that tones and makes my skin all firm and dewy. Sunscreen-wise, I like the ones that you spray on. The mist is fine so you don't get greasy and gross and they're still very protective. At night I'll do the La Prairie cream again and sometimes I'll put a little dab of Lucas' Papaw Ointment ($6) under my eyes and around my mouth so when I wake up my skin is all fresh and dewy.
B: You fly a lot—how do you keep your skin looking good with all the plane travel?
SW: I tend to take a travel-sized raw coconut oil ($5) with me on the plane and dab it under my eyes, on my lips and forehead every three hours or so. Normally I stay away from oils because they make me break out but because it's so dry on a plane it just seems to work. I put it on the ends of my hair as well to prevent breakage.
B: How would you describe your everyday makeup look?
SW: I don't like to wear a lot of makeup because my skin is quite sensitive. I'm prone to breakouts so I try and stick to a BB cream like the Garnier one ($15) and the little Bobbi Brown eyebrow gel ($45). Then if I want to go from day to night I'll wear the Lancôme Teint Miracle foundation ($55). It stays on for ages and makes you look like you're radiating health—it's amazing. ModelCo's mascara ($36) with the little brush-on fibres makes my eyelashes look ridiculously long. During the day I'll not do the fibres but then at night time I'm gonna go all out and make them nice and lush. I'll also do a liner on the inner upper waterline. Then I just use eyeshadow in browns and nudes for the eyes. I use a Benefit blush ($51), it's a really peachy colour and not sparkly which I like. I'm really obsessed with this Burberry lipstick ($49) I have; it goes on really smoothly and it doesn't even really look like lipstick—it's almost in the middle of a lipstick and a gloss. It's really good.
B: You have very striking eyes; do you use any makeup tricks to accentuate them?
SW: My mum's in the art industry and we grew up going to lots of museums and learning about art so I think I've picked up some things from that background. You should always use the opposite colour to your eyes to compliment them so because I have blue eyes I tend to go more towards bronze-y oranges to make them pop.
B: You've just had hair extensions put in for The Babysitter. How have you been adjusting to those?
SW: I was surprised when they said they wanted to put a few extensions in. I was a bit hesitant because I thought you'd be able to tell but—and if I'm wrong someone tell me—I feel like they look pretty good. They're just a bit of fun really. I'm not going around pretending they're my own hair, I'm actually kind of pointing it out to people. My hair is dry anyway so I use the Olaplex home treatment which is amazing. I put it in once I've finished washing my hair, comb it through and leave it in. It really helps keep everything soft.
B: Are you a fan of DIY beauty?
SW: After a day of work where I've had a few different hair looks or there have been certain effects done to my hair and it's been through a lot, I'll do a homemade treatment. It's just coconut oil and avocado and a bunch of other natural things—basically whatever's in the garden. I put it on and watch T.V and hope no-one walks in one me while I've got weird goo in my hair.
B: How would you say being an actress has influenced your beauty routine over the years?
SW: I think being surrounded by professional makeup artists and hairdressers you pick up little tips and trends. I think I'd be a bit of a lost puppy if they weren't around. I've learned how to contour my face which I really love. If I'm feeling a bit puffy or haven't slept properly and I've got an audition or meeting, I'll be like, "It's okay, I've got this!" I use the Anastasia contour kit ($67) for that—it's good because the powders are creamy and easy to blend.
B: What's the best tip you've picked up from a makeup artist on set?
SW: Once a makeup artist put a little gold highlighter on my Cupid's bow and it accentuated the lip colour and brought the whole makeup look together. It was just a little thing but I loved it. I do it myself now but I have to double check myself. I'm like, "Is this too much?" You don't want to be leaving home with a big glob of gold on your face.
B: How do you stay fit and healthy?
SW: I do yoga every other day or as much as I can. I tend to go to ones that are just 30 degrees or 25-30 rather than Bikram yoga which is super-hot, around 40 degrees. I would pass out in there! Yoga is great because once you know enough moves, you can literally just buy a mat and do it anywhere. You only need two metres to yourself.
B: Is there anything else you do to be well?
SW: I just try to listen to my body. I think it's very important to be mindful of your body and actually listen to it. If I'm craving a certain kind of food I'll have, but I notice when I'm full. It's kind of like a logical diet. I think when people go on restrictive diets they put too much stress on themselves which might make them prone to bingeing. I think mindfulness is the way to go.
B: Are there any beauty moments from film you've taken on board in your everyday life?
SW: A couple of years ago my friend and I were watching heaps of That 70's Show and we were obsessed with the characters. After that I had a lot of love for the '70s and that sort of indie look. I even started doing centre-parted hair; It was like Almost Famous vibes. I love the flair of that era and the whole hippie feeling.
B: Is there anyone you aspire to be like in your industry?
SW: Lately, I've really been admiring younger female actors like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain — they're women who are taking on really interesting roles. They're not being stereotyped in a certain way, and they're giving it their all and doing really well.
B: What can you tell us about your upcoming film, The Babysitter?
SW: I don't actually know how much I can say just yet! It was such a great shoot and it was so great to work on something of that scale.