Some stars, like Beyoncé, have a full glam room at home. Leighton Meester is not one of them.
Yes, she played fashion trailblazer Blair Waldorf, queen of statement headbands and vibrant tights and power prints, on the beloved series Gossip Girl. Suffice it to say, Waldorf has as much in common with Meester as chocolate does with tuna.
“I’m pretty easygoing. I like no makeup. I don’t usually do too much in the makeup department. It’s out of laziness. I don’t like touching it up, and I don’t like taking it off,” she tells Yahoo Style.
Her go-to product is 100% Pure tinted moisturizer. “I feel like the reason why I can wear no makeup is because I usually wear no makeup. When I wear makeup a lot for work, I notice that I don’t love my skin when it’s an off day,” she says.
Meester’s fashion uniform is equally lo-maintenance: “Jeans, T-shirts, shorts. I’ll wear a dress, but a casual kind of dress.”
But Meester steps it up big-time when she’s out promoting her new show, the Fox time travel comedy Making History. “Yesterday I wore Thakoon. I wore some overalls this morning. I wore a Prabal Gurung suit, which I really loved. I wore it to dinner. Yes, I wore it a lot. I also went to his show, and it was really beautiful,” she says.
Getting dressed up, and having her hair and makeup done on occasion by Quinn Murphy and Kayleen McAdams, “is always fun. The truth is that a lot seems to go into it. It takes two hours to get ready from head to toe. You do fittings and alternations. And yet I find it to be very fun.”
After Gossip Girl wrapped in 2002, Meester moved to Los Angeles, married actor Adam Brody with zero fanfare in 2014, and gave birth to daughter Arlo Day in August 2015. Now, she’s back in the acting game, playing Paul Revere’s daughter on Making History, premiering Sunday.
“My character, even in her colonial look, it’s one of two or three dresses that she has. She doesn’t wear heels, which is nice. I was wearing a corset quite a lot, and I didn’t love that. It’s not fun. It restricts your area of breathing,” says Meester. “She’s strong, but she’s emotional and vulnerable. She gets to bring out the best in people and point out the worst.”
Meester wasn’t an obsessive history buff before shooting the series, but any conversation with her quickly veers into exploring cool moments from the past. She listens to historical podcasts and is fascinated by British wife-beheading monarch King Henry VIII and the real story behind the murderous Jack the Ripper. The show, she says, appealed to her sense of humor and satisfied her craving to do a comedy. Plus, its quirky sensibility spoke to her. She hopes the show explores a time period that particularly resonates with her.
“I feel like 1500s England is really interesting. I read a book when I was a kid about Lady Jane Grey. I got a copy of it from the library when I was 13. I never returned it. I think I still have it. That’s not good. What do I do?” she wonders.
If she could alter any moment in the past, Meester knows precisely what it would be.
“Like, if I could snap my fingers? Trump would not be elected. That’s all,” she says. “As of right now, I feel that way. Before Trump, I would have said that Hitler was never born. Humans are so f***** up.”
Meester lives out of the spotlight, opting not to discuss her marriage or share photos of her daughter with the public. “I don’t live in Hollywood, so that’s a start. I don’t know that I’d want to live in Hollywood,” she says. “I do what everyone else does. I’m just private in what I talk about. I don’t not leave the house and go places.”