Danna Paola Spilled Her Go-To Brown Lip Combo, and It’s *Chef’s Kiss*

When I was in sixth grade, I volunteered to babysit my cousin two weekends in a row (free of charge, btw) just so my aunt would drive me 45 minutes away to the only MAC counter in northeast Ohio at the time. I still, to this day, own the MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner I bought on that outing. And no, not because I’m a product hoarder (although, yes, I am also that), but because it feels like a piece of my lore as a beauty lover. I fell in love with makeup through those moments, and ultimately, turned it into my career.

I was fully reminded of this nostalgia and excitement over makeup chatting with singer, actress, and model Danna Paola (you might know her from Netflix’s Élite or her hit song, “Mala Fama“), who just became MAC’s newest global brand ambassador. If you scroll through Paola’s Instagram, you won’t find a “signature makeup look” or a nod to the “clean girl aesthetic.” Instead, you’ll find graphic eyeliner, neon washes of color, and glitter to the max. I also love a statement glam moment (subtlety who?), so we’re basically a match made in makeup heaven.

Ahead of Paola’s brand-new role with MAC—which includes testing out products before they hit shelves and shooting campaigns for upcoming collections—I was lucky enough to meet with her via Zoom where we chatted about everything from her go-to looks, her love of MAC, and the *one* hair color she actually regrets trying. Keep reading for our full interview—plus a peek at some of Paola’s favorite beauty products too.

preview for Gorgeously Quick Stitch And Go Braids

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

MAC is such an iconic brand. How does it feel to be the new Global Brand Ambassador?

“It’s a dream come true. I mean, it’s crazy. There have been so many MAC ambassadors who I admire—so to become one myself is really big. I’m really proud and thrilled. This will be a long-term partnership starting in October and running through 2024. I’ve already been able to work on a few campaigns and collections that you’re gonna love. I can’t tell you more just yet, but these won’t disappoint you.”

danna paola mac

Rafael Arroyo

You’re a perfect fit for the brand since you’re always decked out in fun, artistic makeup looks. Have you always been into makeup?

“I love makeup. Makeup has been with me since I was five years old. Like a little, little, little girl. I remember when I was doing my telenovelas and during shooting I’d ask the makeup artists to put a little eyeshadow or lipstick on me. They’d be like, ‘Why do you want makeup?! You don’t need makeup!’ and I’d be like, ‘Because I love makeup!” It’s really important to me. It’s an expression of confidence in myself and makes me feel better. When I have a terrible day, makeup saves me.”

“When I have a terrible day, makeup saves me.”

So, you started wearing makeup really early (same here!). Tell me a story about one of the first times you remember wearing or buying makeup for yourself.

“Makeup for me has always been really artistic because I grew up in musical theater. I worked for Anitta, I did Wicked. So I started doing my own makeup in musical theater and have continued to love makeup since. I remember when I had no makeup artists and when I started touring really, really young. I’d set up appointments at Macy’s in the MAC section and would get my makeup done by the artists.”

Wow, so you have MAC have some history! Now, even today, if you had a show in 30 minutes and your makeup artist canceled. Would you run to a MAC counter?

“I’d do my makeup myself. [Editor’s note: Paola’s makeup artist in the back of the Zoom echoes her sentiments: Yep, she would.] I can do my performance makeup but for the base—so like a really good foundation, concealer, and blush look—I prefer to work with a pro makeup artist. But ultimately when I look in the mirror, I like to experiment. I like to do weird looks. I keep a lot of lipsticks in my bag because I may get bored of a particular color at some point in the night and want to change it up.”

Run me through your everyday makeup routine.

“My everyday makeup only takes me about 15 minutes, no more. I always layer on MAC Macstack mascara, it’s amazing. Plus, Studio Fix foundation, or sometimes I like the Face and Body foundation for less coverage. I put on some concealer, brow gel, and then my lip combo, which is Cork lip liner and Whirl lipstick. I love that combo. Maybe a little bit of cream blush. And that’s it.”

Paola’s go-to lip combo is *GOOD*:

Lip Pencil in Cork

MAC Lip Pencil in Cork

Now 21% Off

Matte Lipstick in Whirl

MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl

What about if you’re going on stage? What’s your go-to look?

“I love working with eyeliner. I’ll use the Chromacake liner mixed with some Fix+ and to experiment a little bit. I used the green Chromacake shade [in True Chartreuse] as Elphaba in Wicked, so I learned how to work with the product. For the stage, I love doing some colorful eyeliner, and of course, glitter.”

You’re very experimental with makeup, which I obviously love seeing as a beauty editor. Where do you find inspiration for your looks?

“Art in general. Large artists, paintings, pictures all inspire me. But my makeup artist and I, we work a lot in the moment. We’ll be like, ‘what if we do this?’ and I’ll draw a star on my cheeks with eyeliner, and we go from there. I love eyeliners. I think it’s the best thing because you can work with them and make the look subtle or intense, especially if you use colorful shades. I also use a lot of lip liners on my eyes or eyeliners on my lips. It’s really nice to know you can play around with products.”

You’re such a makeup girl! I love it. But as we know, the most important makeup tip is good skincare. Do you have any skincare rituals?

Makeup remover. I can be really f*cked up and drunk and I will always remove my makeup. Even if it’s a late night or I’m on a plane. That’s the first thing that my mom taught me about skincare when I was little. So I always take off my makeup and then slather on some night cream or a serum, usually something with hyaluronic acid. It depends on the weather, so if my skin is dehydrated, I might add in more serums, or I’ll use a cream to protect my skin barrier. And of course you can’t skip SPF—we all know we need SPF for daytime.”

For some people, I think makeup can be kind of complicated because it makes you feel confident while you’re wearing it but you don’t feel confident when you’re not. What is your relationship with makeup like?

“My grandmother passed away two years ago, and she always wore a red lip. She would be like, ‘No, no, no, I can’t take pictures, I need to put on my lipstick.’ She actually had her lips tinted to the color red of her favorite lipstick because she wore the same one throughout her entire life. So I think makeup is something that becomes your personality.

Like sure, I can go out without my lashes and eyebrows done but it makes me feel better if I have them done. Even if I’ve been crying all day, I’m going to do my eyebrows because it makes me feel better. I think makeup helps me to express my art. I am really artistic, and I’m a really visual artist and a visual person too. I relate makeup with my youth too a lot. I’m currently really into dark lips, but years ago I would be afraid of that. Now, I think it empowers me and makes me feel dark. This is my era right now.”

Speaking of experimenting, you change your hair a lot and play around with cool cuts and colors. But I have to ask…are there any hair looks you’ve tried that you regret?

“I regret going blonde. Everyone was telling me like, ‘oh, all the pop stars dye their hair blonde, and it’s like the sexiest blah, blah, blah.’ So, I dyed it, and I regret it a lot, because, of course, my hair got really damaged. Honestly, I felt like I related a lot with the Barbie movie—this image of the perfect woman and the standards, and it’s really f*cked up.

So I dyed my hair black when I was 16 years old because I’m an emo girl at heart. My mom was like, “that black will never come out, why would you do that!’ But now, I love my dark hair. Hair is really empowering for women, but it doesn’t have to be long to empower you. Your sexiness isn’t about your hair and makeup. It’s about the confidence you have in yourself. And that’s how I started experimenting and being authentic. If I feel like short hair today, I’ll wear a short wig. And sometimes I feel wearing it wavy or straight or whatever. I think that change helps me a lot to express myself.”

“Sexiness isn’t about hair and makeup. It’s about the confidence you have in yourself.”

Totally off the wall: If you could go on tour with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

“Michael Jackson. I just saw the musical on Broadway. He didn’t care about how much anything cost. He was like, ‘I want an elevator here, I want to fly,’ and that just resonated with me. That’s how I am about my performances. He was so iconic. Or Beyoncé. Renaissance Tour was the best day of my life—it changed my life.”

Shop all of Paola’s favorites from MAC:

Chromacake Eyeliner

MAC Chromacake Eyeliner

Macstack Mascara

MAC Macstack Mascara

Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation

MAC Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation

Prep & Prime Fix + Makeup Setting Spray

MAC Prep & Prime Fix + Makeup Setting Spray
Headshot of Beth Gillette

Beth Gillette is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers skincare, makeup, hair, nails, and more across digital and print. She can generally be found in bright eyeshadow furiously typing her latest feature or hemming and hawing about a new product you “have to try.” Prior to Cosmopolitan, she wrote and edited beauty content as an Editor at The Everygirl for four years. Follow her on Instagram for makeup selfies and a new hair ‘do every few months. 

This post was originally published on this site