Zendaya Without Makeup

Zendaya is an actress, singer and model has already worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood —including her father, Mark Hooper, who she often collaborates with on music projects. Now the 22-year-old is ready to bring her own unique style to the world with Blindspot, an online magazine dedicated to “celebrating people and ideas that shape culture.” And though she may have been born with incredible looks, it took years of dedication and hard work to get where she is today.

In this edition of Glamour’s Blindspot series, we’ll take a closer look at what it takes for Zendaya to keep up appearances when no one else can see them. Here, we focus specifically on how Zendaya transformed herself from someone whose appearance was defined mostly by her surroundings to someone who stands out as much for what she does inside as outside.

Read on to find out why transformation matters most.

1. Transformation Is Everything

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad haircut,” says Zendaya. But while those short locks might seem effortless now, getting there wasn’t easy. Growing up with hair stylist mom Michelle Blaine, Zendaya didn’t always feel comfortable letting go of control over her ‘do (she did eventually). She wanted everything just right. So she called upon all the resources available to make sure she turned heads wherever she went.

2. Closest Collaborative Partner: Dad

Mark Hooper doesn’t let his daughter forget that he’s her biggest fan. He sees beyond her famous features to recognize her true essence, which makes him perfect partner for any project Zendaya tackles or goals she sets for herself. For example, his support helped fuel her dreams to perform live shows across North America. As part of her journey, Zendaya joined forces with producer Jason Katims of Friday Night Lights fame, who invited her onto stage during a performance in Los Angeles. Since then, Zendaya has played small gigs supporting artists such as Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Though she still hasn’t performed live anywhere near the number of times JKT has, the experience gave her confidence boost and taught her to never give up on something just because other people told her it couldn’t happen.

The moment inspired her to do things differently next time around. Instead of waiting for opportunities to come knocking on her door, Zendaya decided to start pounding on hers instead. Soon enough, doors started opening everywhere, and soon after, she signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

3. A Little Help From Her Friends

One thing Zendaya learned early on is that having friends helps tremendously when trying to maintain your image. While growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Zendaya spent plenty of time hanging with her bestie Madison Iseman and several others, many of whom were also models themselves. Even before they became close pals, they knew each other well enough to know how to play off of each other without anyone noticing. When collaborating on fashion shoots together, Zendaya would wear clothes designed by Iseman, knowing that they wouldn’t necessarily pass muster if worn solo. Similarly, when shooting photos alone, Zendaya would borrow items of clothing from Iseman, who could pull off styles better than Zendaya could design them herself.

Of course, the real key to maintaining a cool facade comes down to keeping secrets. That means finding girl power role models who share your interests, whether it’s fitness or fashion or anything in between. Keep these girls’ advice top of mind and use it to stay focused on staying put rather than going overboard. Otherwise, you could end up looking less like yourself than you intended.

4. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Fashion isn’t exactly known for being subtle, but since Zendaya’s first major label signing, she’s made a point to avoid drawing comparisons solely based on her appearance. Not only is it unfair to judge her solely by external factors, but it’s counterproductive too. After all, Zendaya knows who she really is deep down. She wants everyone else to discover that too. To that effect, she’s long used social media to showcase her talents behind the scenes as much as onscreen ones. On Instagram, for instance, Zendaya posts covers of magazines featuring pictures taken by her favorite photographer James White. On Tumblr, she shares videos created by her brother, actor/director Miles Teller, under the username @jmzbryant.

White was quick to praise Zendaya’s willingness to try new things in front of the camera, noting that it’s rare to meet an artist who loves experimenting as much as she does. “She’s always willing to step back and say, ‘How can I reinvent myself again? How can I learn about acting?’ Or whatever she needs to do… There aren’t very many actors that will sit down and watch every single episode of Mad Men and then run away to call [her agent] and tell him, ‘Hey, I want to act.'”

And even if Zendaya doesn’t actually enjoy doing certain parts, she tries her hardest regardless. Just ask her friend Rachel Sennott, who plays her BFF Amber Valentine on Disney Channel’s Shake it Up. “When she auditioned for me, she said she hated dancing and hates gymnastics and hates stunts and hates fighting. We got through our dance choreography and she was amazing!” recalls Sennott. “But she kept saying, ‘This character is strong! This character is fearless!’ And she nailed it. She’s phenomenal.”

5. It All Starts With Your Eyes

If you’re wondering what sets apart Zendaya’s eye color from, say, Rihanna’s, here’s the answer: genetics. Like Rhianna, however, Zendaya is able to manipulate her hue thanks to makeup magic. “My dad definitely has a hand in my beautiful blue eyes,” she says. “He works with contacts quite a bit, and he wears glasses. If I’m wearing contact lenses, it changes the iris color.”

Though Zendaya’s dad certainly deserves credit for helping her achieve her dreamy blues, he shouldn’t lay claim to another important skill that goes into making her look good. “Your eyelashes help define your face,” explains New York City-based cosmetic practitioner Jennifer Mayne. “They frame your eyes and provide definition. My clients usually prefer lengthening mascara over waterproof, although both types enhance lashes dramatically.”

That’s especially true for Zendaya, who uses three different mascaras regularly. One of her favorites is Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Mascara, a cream formula that adds volume and length to lashes. Another product in her arsenal is Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Eyeliner Pencil, which gives her dark brown liner a smoky finish.

Mayne suggests using products that contain vitamin E to strengthen lashes naturally. Zendaya likes Neutrogena Healthy Lashes 24 Hour Full Cream Lipstick ($10) and Smashbox Photo Finish Liquid Foundation Primer SPF 15 ($39), both of which feature vitamin E among numerous ingredients. She also recommends Vaseline Eye Therapy Oil Control & Preventing Dryness Treatment ($15) and Lancome Teinturier Cils Douceur Serum($36) to hydrate dry skin surrounding her eyes. These treatments should last six months to a year—longer if applied daily.

As far as lipsticks go, Zendaya favors red shades, particularly NARS Velvet Matte lipstick in Soft Pink / Boyish Glow ($23), Urban Decay’s Afterglow 8 hr liquid lipstick in Heat Wave / Ruby Slippers ($24), and MAC’s Russian Red lipstick in Viva La Diva / Black Cherry / Sugar Plum Fairytales ($22.)

With such a busy schedule, it’s understandable that Zendaya gets tired easily. “I am constantly running late, so lunch breaks are crucial for me,” she says. “Lunch meetings are great for talking business and catching up on gossip, and I love working lunches with girlfriends.”

Most days, she eats salads prepared by her personal chef, Daniel Smith, who runs a catering company. “We eat healthy food everyday, but I need protein and carbs for energy,” Zendaya says. “Whenever possible, I choose organic vegetables and fruits.”

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