beauty interview

Felicity Jones on Night Cream, Scrunchies, and RBG

Felicity Jones. Photo: Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Felicity Jones’s IMDb page shows the makings of a delightful trend. We last saw her portraying heroine Jyn Erso in the Star Wars prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This Friday, you can see her portraying yet another heroine, U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in another prequel of sorts, On the Basis of Sex, which depicts the early life and career of present-day Notorious RBG.

SAG-Golden Globe-Emmy-BAFTA-and Oscar-nominated Jones was also named the face of beauty brand Clé de Peau Beauté last year (another trend in the making). In December, her beauty and RBG world joined forces to use their powers for good via lipstick. The brand renamed a bold, statement red (one that matches the shade Jones is often shown wearing in the film) “Legend” in honor of the Supreme Court justice. Through March 1, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (which Ginsburg co-founded in 1972), as a part of the All Rise collection.

The Cut caught up with the beauty ambassador to talk face-rolling, RBG’s signature scrunchies, and Brooklyn accents.

What’s your nighttime beauty routine like?
I’ll take off my makeup before I go to bed — and I make sure I do that, no matter what. Then, I’ll often cleanse by doing a double cleanse. Next, I will use Clé de Peau Beauté La Crème, which I use religiously, and then I’ll finish with the eye cream. Some nights I will use The Serum instead of the cream. But I mainly do a lot of moisturizing in the evening because of having to travel often, and getting off so many flights — it’s really, really key that I focus on hydrating my skin.

What time do you go to bed?
Oh my goodness, it completely varies. Sometimes I’m doing press until 10 o’ clock at night, and sometimes I will be in by 10…

In a perfect world, what would be your preferred bedtime?
I do love a sort of like, 9:30 p.m. [laughs]. An occasional 9:30 is just lovely. But I find if I go past 11, then I’m quite a night owl and will be up quite late. But my sweet spot would definitely be 9:30 for a really good night’s sleep, followed by not having to get up early, and having a really lazy morning is just my dream. I love sleep; I’m a big sleeper.

Your Porter profile mentioned New York women thinking of your hair as “British hair.” What do you think makes your hair “British hair?” Well, the thing with British hair is that because the air is so damp, there’s no way in hell you can keep it looking straight and perfect and glossy. So practically, your British hair is hair that isn’t easy to control. And also, you know, there’s lots of punk spirit in Britain, but the key is for it to not be too neat and tidy.

Your portrayal of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex inspired the red lipstick named “Legend.” What color and finish would a Felicity Jones lipstick be?
I’d probably like to be “Hope,” and I’d be a dusty pink. Formula wise, it’d be similar to Cashmere — I like a matte finish, but one that is very smooth and easy to apply, with lots and lots of moisture.

A lot of 2018’s most Google-searched fashion terms were from the ’80s and ’90s. Out of the retro fashion trends or accessories that you wore during filming, which did you enjoy the most?
I’m totally inspired by RBG’s hair scrunchies, which inspired me to go out and buy my own. She also loved wearing a hair scarf, which I feel is going to be the next big look for hair [laughs]. Obviously we’re already seeing scarves on the neck, so it’s a natural evolution that it’ll be ponytail back and the hair scarf. It’s a quintessential RGB hair look and one that I will definitely be emulating.

I love how much of an icon she is. She’s very much in the vein of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld in that she’s had a singular look for many, many years and she uses what works for her. And that’s part of why she has such an iconic status; you can instantly recognize her. Her hair pulled back is an RBG look, and that came from moving into the ’70s when the fashion was no longer about curling your hair. Ruth said her itself, it saved her so much time in the morning to just put her hair back and not have to worry about it.

You’ve been a beauty ambassador more than once. What’s your best beauty tip or piece of advice these days?
I recently bought a face roller, which has been incredible, especially to wake you up in the morning. It’s absolutely perfect. I also started carrying Clé de Peau eye masks and face masks around in my bag because they’re fantastic for long flights. That ends up being the perfect time for self-care. I look a bit forward to flights now because I can kind of just lie back and put on a mask, and just indulge for a bit. Put some hand cream on. It’s really nice.

Not at all related, but what’s your favorite snack?
Avocado and smoked salmon. And tomatoes, I love tomatoes. Oh God, I could eat tomatoes until the cows come home.

And lastly, what’s your favorite word to say in RBG’s Brooklyn accent?Well interestingly, what had such a huge part in playing Ruth was finding her accent. It’s fascinating — like being an archaeologist, digging around and finding all these sounds. In the ’50s she had what was almost like this movie-style voice — almost like Cary Grant — it had this Transatlantic quality. And her Brooklyn-isms would come through that when she was really frustrated. I spent hours listening for those and the word “court” was one that stood out in particular — that’s when you’d hear those Brooklyn vowel sounds through really, really clearly.

The tone of her voice is also really remarkable; how she was able to affect such huge change with how she was listened to. She was an authority who literally found her voice, which is such a big part of the story. She was constantly in situations of injustice and discriminated against, but she used and harnessed that anger. She turned it into something productive and so much of that was through the language she used and her literally having a voice in court, which changed public opinion and ultimately, the law.

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

Felicity Jones on Night Cream, Scrunchies, and RBG