Elle Fanning may only be 21 years old, but she’s racked up a century of life experience from her acting gigs alone. She’s played Aurora, the Disney princess doomed to a life of permanent slumber at the hands of her father’s scornful ex in Maleficent. She’s been Teen Spirit‘s Violet, a small-town girl entering an international singing contest to escape her complicated home life. She’s chased aliens as Alice in Super 8. She survived an apocalypse as Grace in I Think We’re Alone Now.
With all those roles came their wildly different beauty looks, all of which have informed Fanning’s real-life eccentricity bit by bit since she began acting at three years old. As she adds two more films (The Roads Not Taken and All the Bright Places) to that always-growing portfolio of work, we asked the actress about her recent beauty obsessions — including the colorist behind her signature blonde hair, her go-to perfume, and the best tip she ever learned from older sister Dakota Fanning.
ALLURE: You’ve been in the spotlight since you were a pre-teen. Now that you’re 21, how do you think your outlook on beauty has changed?
ELLE FANNING: “I have a very eclectic style, and I take pride in being able to show a lot of different sides of myself. I love the red carpet, funny enough, because it’s a creative outlet for me. Ever since I was young, my mom would allow me to dress up in crazy outfits and go out of the house and just express myself. I feel so fortunate that I got to have that because I got to find who I am, but I’m still discovering. I don’t think I follow the trends that much — I try to be unique to myself. I think that’s important.”
A: What’s the best beauty tip you’ve learned from your sister, Dakota?
EF: “My sister’s really good at doing her makeup. Whenever she’s doing her makeup, I always try to learn and look. She really uses her hands a lot to apply everything, and I feel like a lot of the best makeup artists do. She loves products that can kind of go everywhere. It’s like you paint the eyes, go on the cheeks, and do a bit on the lips.”
A: Your natural freckles are such a key part of your red-carpet beauty. How do you keep them noticeable underneath base makeup?