Leighton Meester: “We should promote women not having to wear makeup”

Leighton Meester covers the October issue of Cosmo UK – the cover shot is awful, but I like the rest of the photo shoot. I’ve always wanted Leighton to get more attention in general – I think she’s very pretty, and as for her acting talent… well, she’s no better or worse than Blake Lively. So why is it that Blake Lively is considered to be on the cusp of A-List (if not already A-List) while Leighton seems more like a B-list Also-Ran? Is it just a question of hustle? I don’t know. But I always like Leighton’s interviews more than Blake’s too – Leighton has had a hard life, and she comes across as a more world-weary young woman. Some highlights from the Cosmo piece:

On not wearing makeup: “I don’t care if there are a million pictures of me with no makeup. I love being able to walk down the street without it. We should promote women not having to wear makeup, or at least feel we can go out without it.”

On comparing her style to Blair Waldorf’s: “I’ve never seen Blair with the same bag, coat or shoes twice. I don’t know anyone who had that. I had two pairs of jeans [when I was a teenager] that I rotated. I wouldn’t trust myself with a Prada brag! I didn’t even want to change for gym so I’d wear sweatpants over my jeans, then sweat around the track for an hour.”

On being awkward around people: “If I’m not around close friends or family, I can get quiet and awkward, and it probably comes off as not very nice or just plain weird! It’s not meant to. I try to pull myself out of it but sometimes it’s hard for me to open up. In the past it was easier for me to trust people. Nowadays I judge pretty quickly: ‘You just want to be my friend because I’m on a TV show.’”

Body image: ‘I wish I was stronger and more flexible. But I can always say, “I’d love my body if my legs were thinner, I’d love my hair if it were thicker.” You can do things to change the way you look, but it’s good to just say, “I love myself in this moment.”… As soon as you stop getting pimples, you start getting wrinkles, so what’s there to be upset about?’

The end of Gossip Girl: ‘It’s good that we’re going out on a high note, but I’m ready to move on. It’ll probably be a challenge, for a time, to fight against that character – I won’t play an overprivileged girl any time soon! But I’ll never forget Gossip Girl.’

[From Cosmo UK via The Mail]

I love what she says about being seen without makeup. I’m a gossip blogger and everything, but I hate when I see sites picking on women for looking “awful” when the celebrity women are simply not wearing makeup in a casual setting. I mean, obviously, I think makeup application is an art, and if you’re walking on a red carpet, you should probably be wearing some makeup (concealer, foundation, powder, etc). But in a casual outing? Go without. It’s not the end of the world.

Photos from Cosmo UK, via The Mail.

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87 Responses to “Leighton Meester: “We should promote women not having to wear makeup””

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  1. Amelia says:

    I agree the cover shot is kind of crappy. Doesn’t do her justice.
    Never thought of her as Oscar nominee standard, but I’ll watch 100 of her over Blake (un)Lively. She seems like a much nicer person.

    • chelo says:


      I’ve always wanted her to be the Michelle Williams to Blake Lively’s Katie Holmes. A critically accalaimed A-lister. But she’s so young, maybe it will happen someday.

  2. Anna says:

    She is a MUCH better actor than Blake Lively, on or off the show.

    • shitler says:

      Agreed! Everyone on that show acts circles around Blake Lively. Lively just stands around in some slutty outfit & mumbles. Leighton is loads more talented

    • RocketMerry says:

      Yep. Leighton acts better, talks better, thinks smarter and is likely a much, much more genuine and nice person than Blake will ever be.

      Also, @kaiser “Is it just a question of hustle?”; well, it’s mostly a question of who you’re sleeping or promising to sleep with. Blake hinted to a good lay down to pretty much anybody in the industry, then settled for a safe bet who could guarantee her a nice, steady future.

      I far prefer Leighton!

    • pretty says:

      yes! Leighton is far far better actress than Blake lively. She can act.!!!
      And she has far far prettier face than that man face. I mean yes lively’s body is gorgeous but… i really want leighton meester to become more sucessful than lively at lest. haahah

    • lafairy says:

      Exactly !! There is no comparison that could be made between them in terms of acting! Leighton Meester is far way better!

  3. harpurr says:

    The irony of her wearing a kilo of makeup on the cover of this magazine is not lost on me lol

  4. hyena says:

    She is a WAY better actress than mouth breather Blake.

  5. Devyn says:

    Personally I wouldn’t be caught dead without at least a bit of concealer and mascara, but do sort of envy those confident enough to go bare.

    On a related note it is incredibly annoying when photos of famous women “without makeup” CLEARLY show them WITH makeup, but it’s just a light application and/or an unflattering photo with bad lighting.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I know! People mag always has entertainers in the Beauty issue “without” makeup..yeah right. More like light powder, concealer, brown mascara and a very light pink shade across their cheeks. Lol not fooling anyone who has ever seen a person with or without makeup.

      • jamie says:

        Drives me nuts too. It’s normal everyday woman makeup applied with your own hand in the bathroom. Do they think we’re stupid?

    • orion70 says:

      Makeup is not always about a lack of confidence. Sometimes people are covering scars or what not too.

    • deehunny says:

      Thanks for being honest about always wearing makeup in public. I never wear makeup unless I am going out for a night on the town or I am meeting clients (I do live in the south and people judge).

      However, I have many friends that wouldn’t be caught dead walking out of the house without some makeup on. I never understood it but many women are like that.

  6. Seagulls says:

    I think she’s lovely – her attitude, especially seems fresher and more realistic than lots of other people.

    And I embarrassingly love her in Country Strong.

    • VV says:

      I loved her in that too. The duet…it’s easily the best part of that train wreck of a movie haha 🙂

    • brin says:

      I agree, I think she is so pretty and an all around more interesting person/actress than Blake Lively (and others).

    • Jill says:

      Me too! For some reason that film has replaced Urban Cowboy (I know, I know) as my guilty pleasure country-type film. She was very good in it.

      And after reading about all the crap she’s gone through with her mom, I really like her even more. She seems like she’s had to fight for what she has along the way.

  7. pinchofsalt says:

    She is naturally pretty so she can go without wearing makeup. I just don’t have the confidence not to wear makeup. Some of us have to wear it to hide our flaws.

    • Ri says:

      This. While i understand what she’s trying to say, it’s easy to go without makeup when you look like her.

    • KellyinSeattle says:

      Yes, and if she really believes that, let’s see her model w/t it…nobody “has” to wear makeup; it’s a choice. I, personally, love makeup, not clownish but pretty.

  8. Annie says:

    I wish I didn’t need make up!! I look sick without it :(. I only wear concealer for dark circles, some mascara and gloss (my lips NEED color), and sometimes blush. If I didn’t need it I would gladly never use it. But for some of us it’s the only way we can leave the house. I don’t wear too much it. Just enough to look natural. That is all I want. Wish I had it naturally 🙁

  9. NM6804 says:

    I never wear make-up. Too lazy to do it but if I have to for a formal outing then just eyeliner and mascara. I don’t want to get used to wearing lots of make-up and be insecure when I have to go without. The face is too different, I like to be myself. My male friends encourage me too because they do not like a face full of make-up, that is always nice to hear.

    Leighton is definitely more talented than Lively but what a shitty comparison. Isn´t everybody more talented?

    The girl needs to play the game more. If she´s not willing to do it, then her career will end after GG. I think she still isn´t corrupted by Hollywood but she can be herself and still be a baller like Lively.

    • Rice says:

      Ditto. Make-up is to troublesome. You have to constantly check and re-check and then re-apply and then fully remove the mask before you go to bed.

      As for Leighton’s career, I barely watched the first season of Gossip Girl and got bored after that. But I’ve seen Blake Not-So-Lively in movies and she’s, well, not so lively.

      • NM6804 says:

        I just read your other comment too.

        I’m biracial so my friend (who’s good with make-up) says I have a good complexion for make-up but that I’m naturally beautiful. Probably because my face isn’t corrupted by those chemicals. She still wants to paint my face all the time though :). Whenever I do it myself, I apply the mascara on too thick and it’s irritating me so I start to cry. Do not like. Crap at it.

        My friend is gorgeous but her face is blotched without make-up because she applies it morning to bedtime, everyday. She mainly does it because she thinks she looks ugly without but she doesn’t. She’s insecure and I’m sure if she let’s her face breath for a week then she’ll have good skin again.

        Everybody does with their face what they want too but if you have to paint a facade everyday, I don’t think that’s particalurly healthy. But to each his/her own.

        And yes, there is such a thing as good (facial) genes. You’re lucky!

        I don’t get the thing with GG either. Tried to follow it but I didn’t feel it. Serious drama is more my thing.

    • Sally says:

      This. Never. Much too lazy.. and lucky to even put it on when I go out for an event ;D

  10. Rice says:

    I understand and agree with her on the make-up thing. I’m a 35 year old, black woman who only wears a little eye shadow, little eye-liner and lip gloss. That’s as far as I’m willing to go. Because I don’t have wrinkles or laugh lines (I don’t do botox and other crap), I look mid-20’s. But then again, the women in my family are blessed with good “facial” genes (is there such a thing?) plus I have a really good facial cleansing and moisturizing ritual. A friend of mine started wearing make-up when she was 16 and now her face is so full of blotches and pock marks, that she MUST wear make-up. She hates me a lot. LOL!

    • KellyinSeattle says:

      You sound lovely; lovlier than some of these “average” celebs, probably

    • meow says:

      you are so arrogant and childish

      some people arent blessed with good skin whether they wear makeup or not. Being able to cover pock marks and blemishes can make us non-perfect people feel more confident. your friend probably “hates” you because you’re a jerk.

      • Jaded says:

        Ouch, that’s harsh! However I agree, it’s not makeup that causes blotches and pock marks, it’s either a genetic predisposition to acne and problem skin or too much sun without sunscreen.

      • lafairy says:


      • Rice says:

        Arrogant and childish? Um, no. A jerk? Why, yes, meow, that I am. What gave it away? LOL! BTW, she was joking when she said she hated me, but then you couldn’t pick that up because you’re too busy being the very jerk that you called me. Takes one to know one.

  11. normades says:

    She is way more talented and pretty than Lively.

    Maybe she needs to “hustle” more. Get a better stylist, Leighton, and an A list boyfriend!!!

  12. SCREEEE says:

    She’s MILES more talented than Blake Lively. Or I haven’t seen Blake do everything she can.

  13. Marni says:

    I don’t watch Gossip Girl but i like this girl. Her life story is inspirational and i always root for those who rose above difficult childhoods. Her mother is nuts.

  14. Emma says:

    Blake is a huge under actor while Miss Meester is a huge over actor. Their scenes together are jarring. Blake is mumbling with no expression while Leighton is screaming her lines and manically moving her eyebrows. Leighton has been wearing tons of Marchesa lately and was seen ass kissing Georgina so she’s no “classier” than Blake. Blake just has Anna Wintour’s love so she gets more magazines and press. They both super nice and level headed so I hate this one or the other crap. I hope they both make it after Gossip Girl.

  15. Riana says:

    Cusp of A list without churning out a single good performance, oh the irony.

  16. Riana says:

    Blake wants fame and Leighton wants a career. Blake gives the constant interviews, goes after the famous faces, tries to get into the biggest movies even if her acting is appalling ( and I tend to think she was the one being dissed in that interview her Savages co-star did). Leighton does a few carpets, a few interviews and magazine covers but mostly stays busy. Not to mention her interviews are more genuine.

    • Ri says:

      I like Leighton but she wants what most hollywood people want. Who dissed their co-star?

    • Amy says:

      If Leighton “wants a career” she probably should do more meaningful work than crappy shows like Gossip Girl and crappy movies like The Roommate.

      • Riana says:

        Crappy movies and shows are still work.

        The majority of the best actors recognized for their talent got their start in crappy movies and shows.

  17. SmokeyBlues says:

    I watched so much Gossip Girl while recovering from surgery a few months back. Leighton was a DELIGHT who made me laugh and smile. She is a great actress, both beautiful and funny with perfect timing. Blair and Chuck were my favorite characters because I always love bitchy, self centered characters that are played well and are funny.

  18. TheOriginalKitten says:

    You ask why she’s considered B-List and Blake is on the cusp of A-List? I think the comments above tell the story. Almost every comment is about Blake Lively when the post is about Leighton! Poor Leighton 🙁
    People who love to hate Blake really only serve to heighten her fame-kind of ironic. So “Blake-haters”-if you really hate her then you need to take the route I take with celebs I hate-just STOP talking about them and def. don’t bring them up in unrelated posts like this one.

    As far as Leighton goes-I love this girl. She definitely stands out as one of the bigger talents on GG. Um,”over-acting”? The character she plays calls for it-Blair is supposed to be an overly-dramatic diva-type and I think Meester plays her perfectly.

    In regards to women wearing make-up or not wearing make-up: I will say what I always say, women should be able to wear it if they want WHENEVER they want and they should feel free to skip it if they’re more comfortable that way. There is no RIGHT or WRONG thing here.

    • normades says:

      So true your comments. This is why I *try* to never post in Kim K/Lohan/P Hilton threads…because I just want them to go away.

      But Blake is a special kind of hate. She annoys me yet I get so much drama/gossip fuel from her. We’re still talking about Bleo, still talking about her fashion and we’ll soon be talking about those wedding pics!!!

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        You just named my two: Lohan and KK. Oh and Leanne Rhimes. Ugh I hate that I even just brought them up! Ha ha…

    • Izzy says:

      Never watched GG, never had any interest in Leighton Meester. Then that whole fiasco happened with her troll of a mother pilfering funds sent to care for her brother, and I took a little bit of notice – good for Leighton!

      After reading this interview with Leighton, I’m officially a fan.

  19. Barbara says:

    I do think Leighton is more talented than Blake (and I’m a Blake fan) but I’m surprised Leighton is pro clean face. Google her without any makeup, especially with her natural blonde hair. Gosh, she looks TERRIBLE. Her pictures in Brazil this year, although the dark hair does help a bit, show how ugly she is. It’s not even that she isn’t attractive or just average. It’s plain ugly actually. Makeup is what saves her, so I’m not sure she’s being that honest. Especially because we don’t see many pics of her without makeup as she claims. She always has a little bit coming in to shoot GG. In the pictures on the beach in Brazil we had a rare chance to see her without any makeup. And God, it wasn’t pretty at all.
    I think she isn’t too smart – something you can’t say about Blake, she may not be talented, but she’s very smart about her career – or she has a terrible team, which brings me back to lack of smartness, because if you realize your team isn’t getting what you need/want, then you should look for a better one. She has some talent, nothing to compare to the new real talented young HW actresses, but she’s okay.
    Here some pics, keep in mind the hair helps her A LOT. I couldn’t find her blond clear face pics. Trust me they are at least 80% WORSE

    • Riana says:


      The argument against generally saying women should feel free not to wear makeup is “But you look so terrible without it!”

      Charming. She seems very intelligent, whether she’s as crafty as Blake is with her career is another matter. Not everyone can stalk fame mercilessly.

      • Barbara says:

        Actually my point isn’t about women in general. She’s in HW, do you think people are there because of their skills to be Nobel prize winners? It’s part of the package to look good. It’s how the industry works. I think it’s great she supports women to look comfortable in their own skin. My point is how honest she is about it when it comes to herself. we don’t see her without makeup that much, she needs to look pretty for her work. So it’s sort of contradicting to say it if she rarely goes without it because she knows that’s not a good image to pass given her career.
        Now do I think women should be comfortable in their skin and not feel obligated to wear makeup. Absolutely and I think it’s nice to have someone else saying it. Even if they don’t do it – but then again, because of her chosen career.

        Well, I think you have to do the best out of the career while you can. HW is cruel to women. While men can have a longlife career, most women are rejected after they are 40-45yo. It’s sad, but compare the amount of men over 45 with a great career and compare it to women. Than compare the same when they’re in their 20’s and 30’s. Every woman knows it and you have to really be a great talent to survive it and we have some examples like Faye Dunaway, Meryl Streep, and others. But then you look a decade ago and go through the name of the great actresses – or at least really good – who were on their late 30’s and try to see if you find them in a big production or a very good film now. There are only a few.
        So I think it’s wise and smart to capitalize whatever you can while you’re in your 20’s or 30’s if you are a woman in HW. Not doing so is sort of stupid.
        And please, whoever said Leighton doesn’t do much publicity is crazy. She covers a lot of magazines, she goes to a lot of fashion shows and events, premieres, she has cosmetics endorsements, she does everything Blake does. Actually since Blake started dating RR and gave up a little in showing up in events, Leighton has been showing more than Blake while in the past it was a close comparison between the two of them.
        I don’t think she needs to be a famewhore, but she needs to choose wiser while she can. She has some talent, she’s a hard worker, she had a tough life, her mother is some crazy bitch, she deserves it. But I feel like she’s not well assisted in her career.

    • Ri says:

      LMAO She doesn’t look half as bad as you’re making it sound.

    • Migdalia says:

      You seriously call that ugly?? Oh wait she looks like a real person! You do realize for one she could be exhausted and secondly wearing tons of makeup on a consistent basis for filming and events is really not good for your face.

    • Samantha says:

      Please. I wish I were that ugly.

  20. geekychick says:

    YES, yes, yes! I’m all for reminding the world that paint and plaster is for building houses and creating paintings, not for every girl to feel pressured to spend the morning in the bathroom, applying a mask. Women are beautiful how they are, and I wish more of us would realize that!
    p.s.:I have nothing against lipstick, or mascara from time to time; but I do have against the notion that girls should wear make-up all the time. People seems to forget how make-up free face is beautiful and NORMAL, just the same way we forget that a 60yr old man/woman with wrinkles is NORMAL, not something that should be “taken care of”.
    I don’t watch GG, but I think she’s lovely, has a very interesting life and I like her.

  21. Vivian says:

    Love Leighton and she’s the main reason I still watch GG – I think she’s a great actress and singer. Read somewhere that she’ll be working on an album after GG. I hope she’ll get to do more films too. I want to see The Oranges with her and Hugh Laurie…

  22. AD11 says:

    Love her! Love her! She is such a fantastic actress and she’s lovely too! 😃

  23. Sasha says:

    Come on, she is A better actor than Blake. Blake is ‘hot’ Leighton is ‘cute’. Hot always gets more attention than being cute. I know! Hope she makes better choices once GG ends so she can persevere.

  24. Melissa says:

    I’m totally with her on the makeup. I saw a few posters here saying “well, yeah – because she doesn’t need it – I need to to cover up flaws!”. Men have just as many flaws as women, and yet they don’t feel they need to put on concealer before leaving the house. I find the societal expectations on looks, and the differences b/t those expectations for men vs. women, totally annoying!

    When I worked, I put on a minimum amount of makeup daily. Now that I’m home with my kids, I wear zero. Do I look better with makeup? Of course! But it’s such a time saver, in both the morning and at night! And a money saver, too. I really wish society didn’t expect so much more of women to look put together and polished. Showering, brushing teeth, clean and brushed hair, and clothing appropriate for the occasion should be sufficient!

  25. ZigZagZoey says:

    I HATE how I look with no makeup! Zero color, and looks like I have zero eyelashes. GAG!
    I never go out without it.

    • Lisa says:

      Same here. I’d love to be the kind of woman who can get away with it, but I’ve got a routine down, so it isn’t an inconvenience.

  26. GrandPoobah says:

    Women should do what they want. I don’t wear make up because I’m too lazy to be bothered with it.

    But I do feel that women shouldn’t feel like they need make-up. No one needs to wear make-up. People choose to wear make-up. It makes me sad to think that some women are so insecure that they feel the need to literally cover their faces in paint and powder.

    • orion70 says:

      Sometimes women cover their faces with paint and powder because they like dramatic looks or just plain like make-up.

  27. Marilyn says:

    I’m asking with honest curiosity, how has she had a hard life?

  28. Angie says:

    Uh … she’s a much better actress than Blake Lively.

    What she has less of is hustle. She’s more interested in her music career right now than acting, because I think this show takes up a lot of that allotted time, for her. Once Gossip Girl is done, I think she will start doing more acting elsewhere, but I do think she maintains that balance on purpose, so that acting doesn’t dominate her life and leave no room for music. She is a very talented musician, actually. But I’d love to see her in something more than GG. I do like her.

  29. Murielle says:

    Leighton is gorgeous, I love her. I’d love to see her get good movie roles, but I think Leighton is particularly strong on TV and I predict her next move will be a really awesome TV role, something in comedy. Her comedic timing is great.

    Gossip Girl is totally tolerable and sometimes really clever, but this is in spite of Blake Lively’s atrocious acting. Blake’s bod is killer, and so are her hair extensions, but that expressionless face… is she already doing botox or is that just her own method of wrinkle prevention?

  30. Amy says:

    I’ve never seen Gossip Girl, but I recently watched Country Strong. I was really impressed with Leighton (and Garrett Hedlund, too). She’s got the prettiest smile, and her voice isn’t half bad either — much better than, say, Taylor Swift’s.

  31. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    When it comes to a ‘comparison’ between LM vs BL, I think it comes down to hustle/ambition, sex appeal and charisma. And even though LM is prettier, more likeable and is possibly a better actress, BL has (whether people here want to admit/acknowledge it or not), the 3 above things in spades more than LM.
    In Hollywood sometimes those things will push you further ahead in the fame game more than if someone is just prettier or whatever than someone else. Case in point: Courtney Cox vs Aniston.

    Just a thought.

  32. fallen says:

    I really like her, and I’m the same about being awkward towards people that I don’t know and it comes across as bitchy even though its not my intention.

  33. Lisa says:

    How about we promote wear whatever the hell you want on your own face?

  34. Samantha says:

    People always talk about Blake’s hustle, but her family is in the industry. She grew up knowing the right people and how to network. If you want to know why she’s considered cusp of A list? That’s why. Everything in Hollywood is about who you know.

    Leighton is talented but she needs good people around her to help her pick decent projects.

  35. ZenB!tch says:

    I like Leighton but I can never remember her name. It doesn’t roll off the tongue.

  36. lily says:

    If a woman can go without makeup everydays, then good for her. But I personally don’t find anything wrong with wearing makeup. A lot of people are not so confident with their look and they just want to look more prettier

  37. HN says:

    I love her!

  38. Isa says:

    I wish I could go without make up. But whenever I do people ask if I’m sick or tired. I don’t have bags or dark circles under my eyes.
    I also use it to cover up my acne. I went a while without wearing it to see if it would help but it doesnt. Nothing has helped my acne, not even a trip to the dr.
    Anyway, you don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to! I could let it all hang out but I chose not to. And when I wasn’t working as much and was home with the kids I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and feel sorry for my husband!

  39. Isabella Notarfrancesco says:

    Quick question for those who are against cosmetic surgery. Why is it any worse than wearing makeup?

    • Isa says:

      I’m not against plastic surgery (I want my boobs done one day) but the main difference to me is that make up washes off. It’s not permanent like surgery.

    • meow says:

      because (unless youre allergic) makeup isn’t life threatening…plastic surgery can have serious complications and health risks.