Inside Lili Reinhart's Launch Party for Covergirl's Clean Beauty Collection

Covergirl Clean Fresh Launch Party - Sadie Stanley, Lili Reinhart and Sydney Sweeney -Getty-H 2019
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Covergirl

The actress speaks to The Hollywood Reporter about doing her own makeup on 'Riverdale,' as well as her experience as exec producer and star of 'Chemical Hearts': "It was time for people to see me in a different light."

Lili Reinhart is getting behind clean beauty. A Covergirl ambassador since October, Reinhart celebrated her first campaign on Thursday with a launch party of Covergirl's Clean Fresh line at Rolling Greens nursery in downtown Los Angeles.

The brand tapped her as the face of the collection, which includes vegan highlighters, blushes, foundations and lip oils formulated without parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, talc, fragrances and phthalates.

"It's just walking art, living art," says the Riverdale and Hustlers actress of the power of makeup. "You can do whatever the hell you want to your face." 

Covergirl — which is under Kylie Cosmetics majority owner Coty — joins other beauty labels in the clean beauty realm. Several stars-turned-entrepreneurs have put their weight behind the movement, including Jessica Alba, Victoria Beckham and Miranda Kerr, who promote more natural or safer ingredients in their respective cosmetics empires.

At the outdoor event on Thursday, Reinhart chatted with Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney, both in pink ensembles. The Instagram-ready guests enjoyed fresh coconuts branded with "Covergirl"; butternut squash and coconut garlic creme pizza; and an edible garden featuring puffed wild rice "soil" with black olive and breadcrumbs, seasonal baby vegetables, mini jewel lettuce heads and housemade ranch dressing. On the drink menu was a watermelon cooler, fresh pressed juices and the Easy Breezy Rosé, of course.

Also on hand was a plant-decorating bar, where attendees received a potted aloe plant and filled the pot with quartz stones, pink sand and colorful moss to fit the au naturel theme of the makeup collection.

Ahead of party, Reinhart (who has previously repped Dermalogica) sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss her work onscreen, in the makeup chair, as an executive producer and as a brand ambassador.

Why did you want to partner with Covergirl?

When the opportunity presented itself, I of course was thrilled. More people congratulated me on Covergirl than anything else. They were like, "Oh, my God, you're a Covergirl? That's incredible." It was always a strange experience when people congratulated me because it was humbling, like, "Wow, this is a big deal." I love Covergirl having their first male spokesperson, James Charles. It felt like Covergirl is such an inclusive brand when it comes to that and that's incredibly important.

Why is clean beauty important to you and what's your journey been like learning about the benefits?

I wasn't aware that clean beauty was even a category. It's so crazy to think that that exists, and then the opposite exists. There's obviously products out there that have a lot of stuff going on in them. Consumers are smart and they're paying attention to what they're putting on their faces, as they should be.

It's a lot harder to get away with producing low-quality products. A lot of people think of a vegan line as being very top dollar, and so the fact that Covergirl has found a way to make it extremely affordable is really admirable and cool. It's important that people have access to that. I wasn't too familiar with it until this line.

Patrick Ta (makeup artist to Gigi Hadid and Olivia Munn) worked with you for the shoot. What was that experience like?

It was my first time working with him. It was great. I've never seen my brows look so good. I was like, "Damn." He used these makeup sponges from Japan or Korea. They were the softest makeup sponges I've ever used in my life. Of course you can only get them in Asia so I'm like, "Guess I'm going to have to go to Asia and get some sponges!"

Your Riverdale co-star Madelaine Petsch said she does some of her own makeup on the show. You do as well?

I started to do my own makeup just out of comfort, when I would go to set in the morning. I love makeup sponges and I love the way they feel on my face and I was like, "I wanna do it!" So I started doing my own foundation and I started doing everything. I've always enjoyed doing makeup. It was a very meditative thing to do in the morning. Because I'm not a morning person, it became a very easy way for me to just zone out and do my own thing. 

I've experienced, over the last few years, makeup artists who really don't know my face and they try to make me look like something that I'm not. It gives me less anxiety to it myself and know that I'm going to look the way that I want to look.

How is Betty's makeup different than your own, besides being heavier for the camera?

It is heavier. Betty is natural, but because you're on a camera [there's] definitely more makeup involved. I do more eyeshadow for Betty than I do. I really don't wear eyeshadow unless I'm going out or it's a particular event that I'm doing. In my day-to-day, I wear very minimal makeup, but for Betty it's a process. You got the whole bronzer and highlighter and liner. I'm much more basic.

So how long does it take you to do Betty's makeup?

Like 30 minutes. I used to be 45, but I don't have the patience anymore. I'm just like "Do it, do it, do it, fast." In my real life, I only take like five minutes to do makeup. I use Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation, I put on the back of my hand, I put a sponge in it. I put it all over, do my brows and then my Covergirl Exhibitionist mascara and my lip balm.

What beauty tips have you learned from various makeup artists you've worked with?

I've learned a lot about what products to use — what works for me and what doesn't. I've enjoyed using more colorful eyeshadows over the last year. People in general are being more playful with the colors that they're using on their face, especially their eyes. It's been a very experimental time in makeup right now.

What trends are you loving on the red carpet this awards season?

The makeup on the runway has become such a thing now. Like Valentino did a collection where girls had [feathers] on their eyes [by Pat McGrath]. I was like, "Oh, my God." It's just so beautiful and so dreamy. It's just walking art, living art. Makeup really is a way to just — it's like a blank canvas everyday. You can do whatever the hell you want to your face. I think that's awesome.

Sounds like you have an admiration for Fashion Week?

I do, I definitely do. I don't have time [to go] because I'm usually filming, but I do enjoy Fashion Week and I like fashion. I'm wearing Valentino today.

Well, speaking of filming, your Amazon film Chemical Hearts wrapped. What's a big takeaway there for you?

One of the best filming experiences I've ever had to be honest, because I was an executive producer on it as well. I worked so closely with the director [Richard Tanne] for months beforehand and got to help with the casting process, and I just think it was a script and a story that meant a lot to me.

It was based off of a book, so I read the book first and fell in love with the book. It's a bit of a melancholy movie. It's not like your average teen love story movie. It's not funny. It's almost like a teenage Blue Valentine in a way, if I want to toot my own horn. I loved working on it. It's very different from Riverdale and it was time for people to see me in a different light.

What was the appeal of stepping into that executive producer role?

That came into effect with the postproduction and preproduction. I was very involved in the script and the casting, and then also for postproduction, I have been involved in seeing different cuts of the film and giving my opinions on "Does this work? Does this not work?"

Having my opinion actually matter and having Amazon executives listen to me and the director really take what I'm saying seriously, it definitely makes me want to be a producer on more things in the future. I really loved wearing that hat as an executive producer, so [I] definitely would do it again. It's a lot of work, I didn't realize, but I like having control. I like being in charge of things and having my opinion count for something.  

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.