It's clear in the first few minutes that I'm standing in Emeraude Toubia's airy Los Angeles home that she has no idea which flavor Nespresso pods she has in her collection. “I only have these for guests,” she admits with a laugh as we try to guess the differences between the metallic shades of golds, greens, and blues.
Toubia doesn't even drink coffee, she later tells me. She just wants the people in her life to feel comfortable and welcome, which is exactly the kind of energy that the 32-year-old actor—best known for playing badass demon hunter Isabelle Lightwood in Shadowhunters—brought to her new fashion line. Love, Em is a four-piece collection featuring pastel skirt sets and soft floral dresses ranging from sizes XS to XL. The hook: romanticism meets comfort and wearability.
“I want the woman that wears the clothes to feel free,” Toubia tells me as she shows off a photo shoot of the line. “I want them to laugh and to eat. Fashion has all these constraints of what you should look like, and I don't want my clothing to feel that way.”
Toubia discovered her love of fashion at an early age while watching her mom sew everything from her childhood Halloween costumes to her prom dress. “She used to sew with my grandmother's sewing machine, so it's been a generational thing,” the designer says. “I just wanted to give the women who are going to wear Love, Em that sense of connection and of love that I felt when my mom was making all these clothes for me.”
She adds, "I named it Love, Em because I wanted to feel like a love letter the woman wearing it.”
Speaking of love letters, Toubia's next project matches the romantic vibe of her fashion line to a T. The actor is set to star as Lily Diaz in the upcoming Amazon rom-com series With Love, which hits the streaming service in December 2021.
Between With Love and Love, Em, everything about Toubia centers around one theme lately. The series, created by One Day at a Time's Gloria Calderón Kellett, follows Lily and her brother Jorge (Mark Indelicato) as they search for romance over the course of five major holidays. Toubia, for one, is thrilled that her fans are about to see her in a role that's completely different from her Shadowhunters roots. While Izzy and Lily share the same face, Toubia says her fans will get to see her in a much more vulnerable space—and a much wider variety of makeup looks.
“Lily Diaz is trying to find herself,” Toubia says. “She's still confused. She's been living up to what her parents think that she should be—trying to find the love that her parents have. She's a little naive, and she finds that love isn't what everyone sometimes thinks it is.”
If you're interested in Emeraude Toubia's go-to rom-com, the look from her collection that she wore during our interview, and what she drinks instead of coffee, check out our latest installment of Your Fave's Faves.
My favorite rom-com
Jennifer Lopez rom-coms! Honestly, all of them wanted to burst out of my mouth at the same time. I love The Wedding Planner and Monster-in-Law with Jane Fonda. Oh my God, those are my ultimate favorite movies. J.Lo has done an incredible job paving the way for Latinx actors like me to have these opportunities.
The Love, Em dress I’m wearing right now
My favorite is the Babe Minidress—the one I have on now. I think it's really fun, it's flirty. I think that it fits everyone really, really nicely.
$129.00, Love, Em
The item my dog Goldie can’t live without
It's really hard to discipline your dog because you just love them so much. She literally sleeps on my head, and I'm just like, “Okay, you can do it.” I've noticed that it's hard to brush your dog's teeth, and you need to maintain it. So there are some little bones that helped clean the teeth that the doctor recommended called Veggiedent Fresh tartar control chews for dogs.
The last thing I bought
I bought this Polaroid camera that I've been taking so many photos on set. There's something really special about capturing a moment with one shot. With cell phones, we're always like, “Take another one, take another one.” No. You have one time, one chance.
My best day off
I took my grandma to go see the sunset up on Mulholland, and it was just so beautiful. I think it's really important nowadays for us to be present. We're so into our cell phones and never really appreciating the moment and the now. It was really beautiful to just be holding my grandma's hand and looking at the sunset. It was one of the best days of my life.
A gift from a costar I absolutely recommend
I like to take a warm bath, and one of my costars actually got me CBD-infused bath salts. I tried that once, and it was really really relaxing.
What I drink instead of coffee
It's called white coffee—it's also called Lebanese coffee—but it's not coffee. It's basically hot water and a splash of rose water and you can add a little bit of honey. You basically drink that after a meal or before you go to bed and it really relaxes you and smells delicious.
I love anything with rose. The cream that I currently use for my face is by the brand Fresh, and it's their rose cream. That is something that I definitely swear by because it's just so moisturizing and beautiful. I'm constantly putting concealer on under my eyes, so I really like to make sure that area is moisturized.
More skin care I swear by
The Clinique foam face wash. I have to wash my face in the morning. The secret to perfect skin is going back to the basics. Wash your face before bed, you know? Get a good night's sleep, try to make healthy choices during your day, and drink a lot of water. If you do those simple steps, you're gonna feel amazing, which will reflect in the way you look.
Another one I'm currently using every night is the Dr. Gross peel patches. It's two steps. You use a little wipey for the peel and then the other one to calm everything. My skin is pretty sensitive and my facialist recommended it, so I've been using it every day. So it's my Clinique foam face wash, my peel pads from Dr. Gross, and then I do my rose eye cream and Fresh rose full-face moisturizer.
Oh! Sun, sun, sunscreen, people! I use control corrective sunscreen. First of all, I hate sunscreen. I used to hardly ever use it because it feels icky and heavy and always smells like sunscreen and I hate it. No, no, no. Control Corrective sunscreen is amazing. It smells like watermelon on your face! I love it! It's so light, it smells delicious—you want to eat it.
Speaking of eating…my go-to snacks
Cheetos and Gushers all day, every day, please! Sometimes I put lemon in my Hot Cheetos, and sometimes I put nacho cheese on my Hot Cheetos. I live for a Hot Cheeto, I really do.
Originally Appeared on Glamour