From Lip Liner to DIY Avocado Masks, Jenna Ortega Has the Coolest Beauty Advice


Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh, new beauty series where you’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favorite celebrities. They’ll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute routine product lineup they can’t live without, the one good-skin tip they’ll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy. 

Up next, we’re getting to know The Fallout and Yes Day actress Jenna Ortega. As a fellow product junkie and beauty enthusiast, she’s answering all of our rapid-fire questions and sharing her best-kept beauty secrets below. Enjoy!


(Image credit: @jennaortega)

If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what are a few go-to beauty products you’d apply?

Hmm, if I’m being honest, probably nothing other than moisturizer! But if I was going to wear a little makeup, I would probably fill in my eyebrows a little, curl my lashes, and put some blush on. Then, maybe a tinted chapstick to finish it all off.

Ooh. Do you have a favorite eyebrow product?

I like to use Neutrogena’s Nourishing Eyebrow Pencil ($7). I forget what my shade is called, but I like something that works with my darker-brown/blackish hair.

On days when you’re not working or you’re just staying in, what does your skincare routine look like both morning and night?

I use the same face wash and the same moisturizer for both morning and night. I like to wash my face in the morning when I’m in the shower. I’ll put some moisturizer on when I get out, and then if I feel like it—and especially if I’m heading in to go to work—I might put a few drops of a priming serum on my face before they do my makeup on set. I think it helps the makeup blend better, and it just gives me this kind of natural-looking glow. Oh, and then sunscreen! And then at night, I come home, use some face wipes to get all of my makeup off, wash my face again, put some more moisturizer on, and then I go to bed! It’s not too confusing.

Do you have any guilty pleasure beauty practices or self-care rituals you love?

For me, a big part of self-care is saying no and being able to take time for myself. I get really bad social anxiety. I know a big part of my job involves going out to events, or attending meetings where I’m around a bunch of people, but I think it’s really important that if I feel like I need to stay in or not go out on a certain night or maybe participate in something that I normally would for the sake of my own mental health and sanity, then I’m more than happy to do that. And on those days, I might take a warm bath, watch a movie that I’ve been looking forward to, or even just watch an old comfort film. And then I love DIY face masks! One of my favorites is mixing the Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask ($15) with some apple cider vinegar. I’ve also done face masks using fresh avocado


(Image credit: @jennaortega)

If we looked in your bath or shower right now, what would we find? Do you have any prized bodycare obsessions?

No! I mean, it’s weird because I’m generally not a huge bath person. But I should have some prized bath possessions! Because when I do take those self-care baths it would be so much more fun if I had some nice salts or something.

Your hair is so long and healthy-looking. How do you keep it in such great shape? 

Thank you! Well, I actually just cut my hair, which I think has helped a lot. I hadn’t cut my hair in a really long time, but I cut a few inches off because I could see everything that had been done to it the past few months. It’s definitely important to keep up with trims. Also, if I have a day off, I love to do a leave-in conditioner for a while, and if I know I’m not going to be seeing anyone, I’ll just leave my hair in a wet bun. There are lots of really cool DIY masks you can do for your hair as well, so I like to mix it up. My biggest hair tip is probably to give your hair a break and to avoid heat styling whenever you can. Oh, here’s something else! I rarely put my hair up in buns or ponytails anymore. And if I do, it has to be loose and tied with a soft band. It can’t be something tight because that can hurt your hair and cause breakage as well. 

What’s one thing about your beauty routine that might surprise people?

Hmmm. I don’t know if this would surprise people, but when I was younger, I was very into makeup. I would get up early to do a full face every single day. I even used to do these live streams where people would ask me about my makeup, and I would do my makeup on camera. So I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that I rarely wear foundation, concealer, or any type of face makeup anymore—especially the people who have stuck around and have followed me for a while. 

I love that because honestly, I feel like it’s usually the opposite—people often start to use more and more makeup as they get older or are in the spotlight.

Yeah, I just committed from the get-go. And then I was like, "Okay, wow, this is not sustainable," and it got really tiring, and if I wanted an extra hour of sleep, that’s what was going to go.


(Image credit: @jennaortega)

I would also love to know how your Latina heritage has inspired your approach to beauty.

I think my Latina heritage almost inspires my style and what I’m wearing more than my beauty routine. I always have to have hoops on. I have, like, four different pairs of silver hoops in all different sizes. I have the gold hoops, I have the bamboo hoops. Lip liner is so, so important to me. I can’t imagine wearing makeup without my lip liner. I don’t do it super dark, but typically, I’ll do a shade of burgundy. That’s just something that my mom would teach me growing up, so it’s things like that or even just certain types of outfits that I’m into or colors that are super complimentary to my skin tone and complexion that reflect that heritage, I think.

What’s your favorite beauty look from a project you’ve worked on?

Oh! I remember The Babysitter: Killer Queen was really, really fun because I had a lot of crazy hairstyles for that one: a bun mohawk that went down into a low ponytail. A little George Washington situation. And there were braids on both sides. There was also another look where I had a bunch of buns in my hair, and I remember the inspiration for that—it was very Gwen Stefani/No Doubt, but there were also these pigtails on both sides… I had never seen myself in hair like that, so that was a fun little experiment. Also, my outfits were crazy—chokers, and big black earrings, and these big black heels and silk dresses…it was really fun to play with.

Are there any fun or interesting beauty tips you’ve picked up over the years on-set or from your co-stars?

I’m trying to think… You know, something that is interesting is that even if I’ve already put on moisturizer, they’ll always put more on, anyway, once I’m on set. I’ve realized that double-layer really helps the concealer or foundation or whatever they’re putting on my face blend better. It keeps the surface of the skin wet so the products really blend seamlessly with the moisturizer, and I think it gives it a nicer finish. So, that’s definitely something I’ve incorporated into my routine for days when I am wearing concealer or foundation—applying the face makeup before the moisturizer dries completely!

What’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?

Make beauty what you want. I say that because I think it’s the coolest thing when people express themselves creatively and artistically by using their faces as a canvas. I think you should just do you, you know? Do whatever you want! But I also mean, don’t feel pressure to do or try certain things, or appear a certain way, or try to fit some kind of standard that isn’t natural to you. As you get older, you have more appreciation for the people around you and the way they look and their differences, and their unique qualities you can enjoy—really appreciating what’s specific to them. That’s what makes you extraordinary as a person, so I don’t think you should ever try to fit with a crowd or do something unless it feels right to you, and authentic to you, and is something that you’re comfortable with.

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Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.