Rose Byrne: Women are valued for how we look, how we’re ‘presenting ourselves’


I like Rose Byrne a lot, although I rarely write about her. It’s sort of weird how she works all the time, she’s an in-demand actress in comedy and drama, yet she almost completely flies under the radar at a gossip-level. She’s with Bobby Cannavale (HOT) and she’s in the new Paul Feig film, Spy, reuniting her with her Bridesmaids costar Melissa McCarthy. Rose has seemingly been happy to have Melissa take over the bulk of the film’s promotion, but Rose did sit down for a feature in the new issue of the online magazine Violet Grey. You can see the full piece here – the editorial is all about makeup and glitter. The interview is pretty interesting though.

Rose on beauty: “Beauty comes from within. It’s a cliché, but I think it’s true. However, in this business, it’s hard to reconcile that when you’re constantly being told things about your appearance, whether it’s that you are too pretty or too plain or too brunette or whatever the problem is.”

Her makeup regimen: “Well, goodness me. Growing up, my mum never wore a lot of makeup, she was very natural. However, it’s important to take care of yourself and it doesn’t hurt to put on a bit of lipstick. I discovered I was allergic to all these chemicals and we put together a very strict bible of all the products I could use. I actually wear makeup every day. I use a NARS tinted moisturizer. I love those Fresh lip stains. I wear them religiously. They are terrific in a berry color. I try to put on a hat if I can.

Skin care and genetics: “In Australia, there is such a high rate of skin cancer that it’s really beaten into us at an early age to be careful about our skin. Although, you know, my boyfriend smokes cigarettes and doesn’t drink water and has better skin than anybody that I know! He’s half-Cuban and half-Italian. He’s like, “Dios mío! It’s genetic, it doesn’t matter.” So why am I trying?”

All women are more scrutinized for their looks: “Absolutely! Increasingly! Look at Hillary Clinton. She has to spend time getting her hair and makeup done whereas a male candidate doesn’t have to do that as much. Or at least as much grooming. It really is this very old concept that we are valued for putting ourselves together and presenting ourselves.”

A beauty look that she won’t try: “Brown lipstick. The 90s may be back, but I’m still recovering from that look.”

[From Violet Grey]

I’ve never understood the desire to wear makeup every day! My mom is like this too – she will never, ever leave the house without putting on makeup. And she really doesn’t look different at all without makeup, which makes it extra crazy. Also: Bobby doesn’t drink water and he smokes? That will catch up to him at some point, although his genetics are helping him right now (Dios mío!).


Photos courtesy of Violet Grey & WENN.

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41 Responses to “Rose Byrne: Women are valued for how we look, how we’re ‘presenting ourselves’”

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  1. Mila says:

    its ironic that the whole interview is about how she looks.

  2. mystified says:

    So glad she spoke out against brown lipstick! I still can’t get over Courtney Thorne-Smith and that horrible brown lipstick she wore on Melrose Place. I think some associate brown with natural looking, but on most people it’s anything but.

    Thanks for letting me vent about something so trivial that happened over 20 years ago. I’m a Rose Byrne fan from now on.

    • Franca says:

      Brown is the only lipstick colour I like to wear, but it’s so hard to find one that is just brown and isn’t pinkish or orange.

      I wear makeup every day, but just mascara. I’ll put eyeliner if I go out, that’s pretty much it.

    • Skyblue says:

      So funny that she brings up the brown lipstick from the 90s. I was just thinking about it the other day and reminiscing (with myself) about how horrible I looked wearing it. Of all the 90s style trends that was the one I really jumped on! Bad, bad, bad.

  3. INeedANap says:

    I love how proactive she’s been in promoting women in film. Didn’t she found a workshop or directing group for women? Putting her money where her mouth is, love it.

  4. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    I’m one of these women who won’t leave the house without make-up but I know I need it. If I were as pretty as Rose or had a good enough skin to look the same with or without it like you mother, I would never wear it, because I hate it. But I have a bad skin, not so much acne anymore – some single zits, very dry skin, red spots, big pores, uneven skin tone and also invisible eyebrows, which look odd with my naturally brown hair. I don’t wear much of it, mostly just foundation, powder, eyebrow-filler and mascara, which makes many people actually believe I don’t wear any (I had multiple friends and relatives telling me I should start wearing make-up when they never saw me without it), but I would feel naked and vulnerable with make-up free face – like people would judge me and as an introvert I hate being noticed. So it’s not much of a “desire” but unpleasant necessity in my eyes.

    • a cut above says:

      This is me, too. I have to wear make-up when I go out. My skin is not fantastic (big pores, occasional zits), and going out with a naked face in public gives me cold sweats! I think make-up, for a lot of people, functions as part looks-enhancer and part armor against the world.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      Interesting choice of words….naked and vulnerable. I never put words to the feeling but this is exactly why I wear make up too…….

    • Wren says:

      I’m not judging you but I feel a bit sad. There are very, very, very few people I’ve come across that’d I say “need” make-up and I’ve never felt anyone isn’t “good enough” without it. I too am an introvert and hate being noticed, but I’ve learned that most people are too wrapped up in their own bs to pay much attention to anyone else. To each their own, though.

    • Subconciously says:

      Me: dark ashblond (dirty boring light brown) and also invisible eyebrows and shiny skin.

      Bit of powder and bit of eyebrow tint (either dye or pencil) is great.

  5. Wonderbunny says:

    I will forever connect Bobby Cannavale with his Sex and the City “funky tasting spunk” character. The fact that he doesn’t drink water and he smokes does not help that image go away.

    • shannon says:

      same here. and to me, he kind of looks like a meat head. I do not see the attraction whatsoever.

      • lucy2 says:

        I don’t either, he’s always reminded me of a slightly more attractive Brad Garrett. And after seeing the more recent pictures, I think the no-water and smoking is starting to catch up to him.
        But I really like Rose a lot, and they seem like a nice, low key couple.

    • Amide says:


  6. danielle says:

    I reaaly like her. I think she’s tremendously talanted, and so versatile as an actress.

    • Kiki says:

      I really like her too. She is a very versatile actress especially in comedy.

      • Dee Kay says:

        She’s also great in drama (she was awesome in Damages with Glenn Close). I couldn’t believe how hilarious she was in Bridesmaids. She’s so gifted as a performer.

  7. manta says:

    What’s the big deal of looks and make up being the central topics in a mag devoted to beauty products?
    The same when actresses chose to cover fitness magazines. Yeah, they talk about their workout regimen.
    I’d understand the critic if it was a movie/entertainment mag.

  8. A.Key says:

    I like her in films, but she seems pretty vapid and boring in reality.

    • lucy2 says:

      I just listened to a lengthy podcast interview with her, and she seemed fine – nice and fairly normal.

  9. Greek chic says:

    She reminds me of Shalma Hayek but cuter.

  10. Franca says:

    I like Rose, but, girl, please. It’s easy to say beauty comes from within when you like her. While posing half naked.

    • Allie says:

      Yes. It’s like when rich people say money doesn’t buy happiness. Um, I could buy tons of happiness if I could stop constantly stressing about my bills or if I could travel often. Pul-eeze.

    • Mila says:


      The rich people comparison is spot on, too. i hear so many bilionaires talking about how money does not matter to them, yet their entire life is catered around getting more and more.

  11. meme says:

    When all these poor downtrodden life is so hard in Hollywood women stop objectifying themselves by posing naked or semi naked, taking hours to get ready for a red carpet and refuse to maintain a size zero figure, I’ll take them seriously. Until then, they’re all just jumping on the bandwagon and whining.

  12. ToodySezHey says:

    Sigh….she was so lovely in Troy, now she is just another anorexic actress whose butchered her face.

  13. Dani says:

    I love her. She’s such a great actress. Until recently I was the same way with makeup. I could not leave the house without a full face just because I felt like it’s what I needed, but I switched up my skin regime and now I’m trying to brave the world by not wearing any form of foundation or colored cream etc. Only liner, mascara, a lip color and some bronzer. Most days I’m petrified when I’m in the streets but other days I feel amazing.

    • Franca says:

      But liner, mascara, bonzer and lipstick still is a lot of makeup, isn’t it?
      I mean, I only wear mascara but I still feel like I can’t say I don’t wear makeup. Or can I?

      • Brittney B says:

        Yeah… that’s called a “full face” of makeup in my life. I’ve never applied any of these things simply to run errands or meet up with friends… if there’s a special occasion, I *might* apply a few of them.

  14. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    Yawn. Whatever.

  15. NUTBALLS says:

    I’ve loved Rose since seeing her in Damages. I think she’s really pretty too.

    I get what she’s saying about not wanting to be judged on her beauty and recognizing what’s inside matters more, and yet, in her world she feels the pressure to play the game. So we wears revealing clothes and allows herself to be photographed in a suggestive manner to get people’s attention. It’s a tough thing to reconcile.

  16. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I wear makeup because I like to. I look better with it on, but if I don’t have time I just put on some mascara because my eyelashes are invisible without it and I look sickly. The rest is just fun to me. I love choosing it and playing with it and all the rest. Not everyone feels like it’s a chore. I do it for me.

  17. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    I’ve always found the custom of wearing makeup to be a little weird and a bit clown like.

  18. Franziska says:

    I was walking down the street in NYC last summer and walked by an outside brunch place, and saw this beautiful woman with her family. She really stood out just because she was so beautiful. A half an hour later, I was on the high line, and then I saw that person again and realized it was Rose. She’s seriously stunning in real life.

  19. k says:

    If I could trade faces with anyone, it would be her.

  20. Momo says:

    I just started watching Damages (I know super late on the wagon) and Rose Bryne KILLS it. And not in the good way. I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything else but her acting is Terrible in the show. Her facial emotions are apathetic at best and it just doesn’t sound genuine when she talks. I don’t know why she’s so “in demand”.