Photos by Ben Ritter
You might call Bella Thorne an overachiever. She started modeling at six months old, and has since added the roles of actress, singer, and author to her resume. Following her appearances on Disney’s "Shake It Up!", Thorne has been spending her days writing a YA book series and co-starring in the upcoming comedy, "The Duff." The charismatic teen is self-aware, honest, and not afraid to show off her personality—on our set she belted out ‘80s rock tunes and played a mean air guitar. With so much on her plate, Yahoo Beauty sat down with Thorne for answers to all out burning questions: How she does it all, does she eat carbs, and how does she take such perfect selfies.
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Yahoo Beauty: You’ve taken on so much at a young age. When did you know that acting was something you really wanted to do?
Bella Thorne: When I was eight-and-a-half we were staying in LA and my brother got me started in acting. I’m dyslexic so everyone told me I couldn’t be an actress because I couldn’t read but I proved them wrong. I didn’t know at the time that a lot of famous actors have dyslexia. It wasn’t easy but I knew then that I wanted to do acting. The singing and dancing came along with the role in Shake it Up.
YB: What has been your favorite role that you’ve played so far?
BT: Probably playing Belle in "Amityville: The Awakening". I’m excited to see The Duff because I think it will be really funny and fans are getting really excited. It was the funniest table read that I’ve ever been too. I looked at everyone and was like, “How am I going to hold my own? All these characters around me are so good.”
YB: When you’re looking at acting roles, do you look for things you are able to relate to?
BT: It’s not that I look for certain things, but more if it’s a really good script then I’ll do it. I want to do a script like "Upstream Color." It’s one of my favorite movies. It was made on a $40,000 budget, which you must know, is impossible. It’s a great movie.
YB: You recently released your first book, "Autumn Falls." What was that process like?
BT: It took about a year and it wasn’t easy. I had certain story points that I needed each character to get to, and to write around that is hard.
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YB: Do you take inspiration from your books from real life?
BT: It’s a mix of personal experiences and things that I’ve seen. There are a lot of things that happen in the book that are very real to my life. The one thing that is exactly identical to what happened [to me] is the scene in the beginning when Autumn’s father dies. It’s exactly how I got the call when my father died. I wanted people to realize that death isn’t just something where you cry and you’re done. It’s really slow.
YB: What makes you feel the most confident?
BT: For me, it’s about my wardrobe. It’s jeans, a tank top and Converse. That’s what I wear everyday, it’s my go-to. Everyone is like, “Oh, there’s Bella again!”
YB: And then you just put your hair up?
BT: My hair dries naturally wavy, so I just kind of leave it to dry. I just cut it, and I’m bummed that I cut it. I didn’t think it was going to be as short. It’s not as wavy now that it’s short.
YB: The color is amazing. Would you ever change it?
BT: I’m actually a blonde, and I dyed my hair red when I was on "Big Love" playing Tancy Henrickson. I just never changed it and now everyone knows me as a redhead. My mom and sister are natural redheads.
YB: Tell us about your daily beauty routine.
BT: After I wake up, I wash my face, and I use Neutrogena products. I put on an SPF— it’s always good to protect your skin from the sun. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup in my daily life. When I do my makeup for an appearance, I’ll do a little liner and smudge it across [the lid]. It looks like I’m wearing a smoky eye but I like more of a natural appearance.
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YB: What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received on set?
BT: Don’t ever pop a pimple before it’s ready. Don’t mess with it, don’t mess with a blackhead. Either get it extracted or wait for it to come out on it’s own. If it pops on the inside, before it’s ready, that means all of your skin is filled with bacteria.
YB: And what beauty advice do you have for young girls?
BT: Keep your daily routine simple. Wash your face, use a toner, and SPF. Don’t overdo it.
YB: When it comes to staying healthy, what do you do?
BT: I’ve slowed down on my exercise lately because of my book tour. I do a lot of weight lifting and I go to Soul Cycle. It’s a mix of cardio and weight lifting. You have to eat a lot of protein and carbs. I know a lot of young girls don’t want to eat carbs because they want to appear skinnier, but you need carbs. You just want to eat the right amount of carbs—more fruits and vegetables.
YB: Do you have a beauty icon?
BT: Kerry Washington. Her skin is ridiculous. I’m a big fan of "Scandal" and she’s also a part of the Neutrogena family. She’s Tweeted at me before which is pretty cool. It’s not only her beauty routine, it’s really because she’s a beautiful person on the inside. That’s when you have a natural glow, when you’re a good person.
YB: Your Instagram following is also so huge. Any secrets for taking a good selfie?
BT: I don’t want to see too much. That’s the problem with the new iPhone update, it’s really clear. I don’t know if I want to see all that. Put a little Vaseline on that lens and we are good to go! My mom is photographer, so I send her almost all of my photos to edit; she’s really good at that.
YB: How do you get your pose right?
BT: My eye always goes cross-eyed if I’m looking at the camera for too long. I always close my eyes and then look directly at the camera and snap it right then. And laugh before you take a selfie because the blood that rushes to your face when you laugh is so pretty. It needs to be a real laugh.
YB: Did you learn any beauty secrets from your mom since she’s a photographer and you’ve been in front of the camera for so long?
BT: She knows my angles pretty well. Everyone has a really bad angle, I don’t care what people say—everybody has one. She also taught me how to put on fake eyelashes.
YB: With the holidays coming up, how do you shop for gifts?
BT: What I do usually is give a more expensive gift and a joke gift. The joke gift is always given first and it’s hilarious.
Photography: Ben Ritter
Stylist: Jen Steele
Makeup: Nina Park
Bella Thorne is a Neutrogena Brand Ambassador.