Even if you haven’t seen Aquaman, Amber Heard‘s latest movie, you’ve definitely seen her name in the headlines lately. The actress has been making the news in her other role as a political activist. Of course, political activism is ever more inextricable from women’s activism, and Heard’s been using her voice there too, from making domestic violence PSAs to writing powerfully about sexual violence—and the anger she faced as a result of speaking up about it.
In that vein, #OwningIt might be a rallying crying ready for Twitter, but it’s also part of a new campaign from L’Oréal Paris, which Heard is a global ambassador for. (Her commercial airs for the first time tonight during the Golden Globes.) Glamour spoke with Heard about activism, her wishes for what needs to change in Hollywood, and the joys of truly “owning it,” whether it’s in your work, life, or image. Because if anyone proves you can care about beauty, hair care, and the political issues that matter most to women—that these things aren’t mutually exclusive—it’s the very blond and very vocal Heard. Ahead, she answers our Big Beauty Questions.
Glamour: Your new campaign is all about “owning it.” Tell us about a time where you really felt like you embodied the phrase.
Amber Heard: I’ve gone through times in my life where I was dying my hair a different color in order to alter or control others’ perceptions of who I was—and knowing that being a blond came with its own caveat, there have been times in my life where I’ve had to weigh out the meaning. As I get older, I feel more and more aligned with owning my hair color, no matter what color it is. It feels less as though I’m trying to carry around others’ expectations—or my expectations of others’ impressions of me—based on my physical appearance, and instead I’m truly owning my own color, and whatever I want that color to be. Especially recently, I have felt more and more proud of it, and proud to be me.
Glamour: In 2018, women really owned it—in so many senses of the phrase. What do you hope to see women doing more of in 2019?
AH: Well, for me especially, being able to help other people give back, being able to lend a voice to those who might not have one, or fight for justice where it’s not found or it’s being threatened—that is its own invaluable reward. And in my case, I feel so lucky in this moment to have a platform and to lend a hand and a voice. But the truth is, anybody can make a difference, no matter how big or small the effort. Especially now, the power is in our hands, and we’ve seen the effects of that reality really unfold in the last year and a half or so.
Glamour: What’s your favorite thing about being a blond?
AH: Well, you know, it’s me—I guess that’s what it is. Hair color isn’t who you are, but part of who I am is blond. Your hair color doesn’t make you one way or another—any more than a piece of makeup or jewelry or wardrobe makes you, in the same way that those things can be seen as tools to help you actualize how you act, or how you dress, or who you are, or how you feel like being. These tools can be incredibly empowering. While I’ve been bald or changed my hair all different colors, my blond is my own, and it feels like me.
Glamour: What do you do to keep your hair in such great shape?
AH: I put it through a lot, with the coloring and styling. But on my off days, I like to give it a break. Or I’ll leave a deep conditioner in if I have glam in the morning. There’s a L’Oréal Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner that has the power of a leave-in, but it washes out just like that in a minute. It can easily fit into your life; you can easily incorporate it into your routine—you don’t need to change your process.
Glamour: What’s your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
AH: Reading. Poetry. I love poetry. It’s truly a selfish exercise. I couldn’t recommend it more.
Glamour: What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
AH: It’s less of a rule, but you know what I will say? It’s time for all the clichés about blonds to step aside. It’s time to retire stereotypes about blonds—or any woman’s hair color for that matter.
Glamour: What country gives you the most beauty inspiration?
AH: I mean, maybe this is cliché, but French women are incredibly chic. There’s something I really appreciate and identify with in the simplicity of their approach. It’s an elegant simplicity. I try to do that with my look when I can, in real life and on the carpet.
Glamour: If you were stuck on a desert island, what three skin care products would you want with you?
AH: Well, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always wash my face. I never miss washing my face. That’s a must for me, whether I’m in a hotel halfway across the world or my own bathroom before bed. And when I wake up it’s a must. I use the L’Oréal Paris Pure Sugar Facial Scrub—it’s awesome. And I’m also really loving the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Facial Treatment. Dermatologists are constantly preaching the benefits you get from Vitamin C in skin care, so I try to work that in as much as I can. And then of course, SPF, baby!
Glamour: Screw, Marry, Kill: mascara, lipstick, highlighter.
AH: I’d marry lipstick, screw mascara, and kill highlighter.
Glamour: What’s the last Instagram rabbit hole you went down?
AH: Baby drag queens! These amazing, beautiful, sparkly little human queens are not even pre-school age.
Glamour: What’s your beauty mantra?
AH: Be yourself. And find who you are and own it.
Glamour: You have $20 and free roam of a drugstore. What do you buy?
AH: L’Oréal Paris Rouge. It’s got so much pigment in it. If you have $20, and you have one thing you want to buy, that red lipstick fixes everything. And if you have anything leftover, I would go to the snacks.
Glamour: What women are you most inspired by right now?
AH: Well, that’s what’s so exciting about being alive right now and being active socially right now. There are so many incredible groundbreakers, rule-breakers, and game-changers who are shaking things up from the ground up. And at the forefront, I’ve found the most impactful and inspiring people have been women. It’s an incredibly exciting time. It’s no longer about celebrities and public speakers or well-known activists: It’s the Tarana Burkes, the Emma Gonzalezes; it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Paula Mendozas, Symone Sanders—those women that are on the ground doing things. They are incredible forces of nature. And there are also celebrities doing things, like Andie MacDowell, Shohreh Aghdashloo…
Also, this is very obvious but very true: shout out to my mom. That is who started this whole thing. I’d be nowhere if it weren’t for me having learned how to admire and adopt a role model. And my mother is the one who established that role model for me.
Glamour: If you could change one thing about the perception of beauty in Hollywood what would that be?
AH: That external beauty should be valued behind someone’s confidence, sense of self-worth, talent, or inner beauty.
This interview has been edited and condensed.