Of all the beauty and fashion It girls, there’s arguably no one more influential than Jenna Ortega. From her popular “wolf cut” haircut to her take on Wednesday Addams style, the SAG– and Golden Globe–nominated actor has millions of fans (40.8 million on Instagram alone) who take note of her every move.
“Oh, it’s pressure,” Ortega tells Glamour over an afternoon chat on Zoom. “It’s weird because I don’t really feel that way. I try not to pay attention to too much stuff like that, but recently I’ve been out in public more and people have told me things like that. I don’t know if I’m the person to follow, but it’s an honor.”
Even so, the 20-year-old admits she’s very much wrapping her head around it all, having skyrocketed to household-name status in a relatively short period of time. “I feel very surprised,” she says. “But I don’t really know much to say about it because I’m figuring things out in real time.”
Adjusting to fame and how much she wants to share is one thing, but Ortega fully knows who she is and what appeals to her. It’s why it was an instant yes when Dior Beauty approached Ortega to star in their latest fragrance campaign, Dare in Gris Dior.
“Dior is legendary and beautiful, so when this came around, I was really honored and excited,” she says. “I’m very picky when it comes to fragrance, so to find one that I genuinely like is so exciting for me.”
Ortega prefers a unisex fragrance that is refreshing and clean, which is what appealed to her immediately about the jasmine and bergamot-scented Gris Dior. “It’s also really important to me that I work with people who have the same values that I do,” she says. “So it’s been a perfect match. I couldn’t be happier.”
So what else is Ortega loving right now? From her surprising go-to lip color to the haircut that has been all the rage, she fills us in on her beauty and skin care faves, while also giving us a much-needed update on Wednesday season two. Read on.
Glamour: Is there a beauty trend right now that you swear by?
Jenna Ortega: I’m not good with the trends, but I feel like fashion-wise people are starting to go back to neutral colors, almost more earth tone, which I think is really fascinating. I’ve always resonated with that, so I like it.
Is there anything that you won’t spend money on when it comes to either skin care or beauty?
I usually will not spend money on hair products. If it’s a good hair day, it’s a good hair day. And if it’s not, well that’s too bad. I’m never going to concern myself with any hair product, I don’t think.
So, this is just air-dried normally? Because it looks amazing.
This is a glam team. This is three different people to make me look effortless and casual. [Laughs.] When I air-dry it, it doesn’t naturally have a bit of a wave. I will say that having fringe, there is effort that is put in there, which is really unfortunate. But that’s a blow-dryer. Or sometimes, best of luck to you, wear a cap.
I can’t even remember the amount of hair stories we’ve done on the popularity of your haircut.
That was a really impulsive decision. They call it the wolf cut now, right? But I always knew it as a shag. When I told my hairdresser, Dave Stanwell, that I wanted to cut my hair, we were referring to it as a shag. And then people were saying, “wolf cut.” What the hell is that? It’s kind of cute. It’s cute.
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What is the best beauty advice your mom ever gave you?
I will always trust a burgundy lip. My mom always had a strong lip liner, and when I’m concerned or scared or don’t know what to do or feel lost in the beauty world, I just take off all my makeup, then put on nice burgundy lip and I feel like home. I feel like myself. That is the go-to safe choice.
Since you travel so much, is there a city or a country that gives you the biggest beauty inspiration?
Parisian people. I feel they know what they’re doing in terms of beauty. This is so awkward to say because I’m in a room full of Parisian people right now and I’m not just saying that, but seriously, the haircut, the fringe…I love just classic, simple style. I feel like it’s not necessarily ’60s-oriented, but it is. It’s timeless.
I also just went to Brazil recently for the first time. The most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t know how they do what they do, or if it’s something in the water, or maybe it’s just Brazilian genes, I’m not sure. But they are doing everything right.
You can only use three skin care or makeup products for the rest of your life. What are they?
Vaseline or Aquaphor for lips. I would do sunscreen. I’m trying to get into that now because that’s a serious one that I feel is actually important. And can I say a hairbrush? I’m just trying to go real basic survival needs and I think that’s right.
What colors are you loving on your nails right now?
You know what? I naturally don’t do anything to my nails. I usually like to keep them pretty short and clean. If I do, I’ll do a clear coat or something. But I will say I feel like black is always a safe bet. Also, recently I did a deep red or something like that for a press appearance, and I felt like I wanted to talk with my hands, which must mean I liked it.
What is your go-to perfume and why?
Dior Gris because it’s classic. It’s memorable. I’ve gotten compliments on it and I’m comfortable with it. It’s really easy for me, and I’m sensitive to smell, so that’s the go-to right now.
What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
I feel like I’m constantly learning, but music is such a big lifeline for me. I feel like it’s really easy for me to just tune out the rest of the world. It’s just me and my noise-canceling headphones against the world. Anytime I need a moment for myself, it’s a good place where I can just spend time alone.
Is there anybody you’re listening to right now that you love?
Sade. I feel she can do no wrong ever. I will always be in the mood to listen to her.
Do you get a break this summer to relax a bit? Or are you going to be filming?
No vacations or anything like that. We are starting to prep season two of Wednesday, which…has been exciting. Just developing new storylines and seeing where characters are going. Starting those conversations has been really, really fun. I think it’s going to be bigger and better, which is cool.