Get ready to be seeing a lot more of actress Lyndon Smith this fall. The bubbly Florida native—you might remember her from shows like Parenthood, Extant, and *90210 *(the remake, not the original)—has several big projects coming down the pike. In November, Smith stars alongside Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts on the big screen in Secret in Their Eyes. And you can catch her on Public Morals, the new TV show directed by Ed Burns that debuts tonight on TNT.
Set in Hell’s Kitchen in the early 1960s, Smith plays Deirdre, a young beatnik. “It’s cool because there are three women in the show, and we all sort of represent different periods of the ’60s. I’m the first person to wear bell-bottoms, so my style seems to be more into the Summer of Love, whereas one of the girls is really mod,” she says of her character. “But playing with that look was great. For the pilot, they really wanted to do a Twiggy look with my makeup. I had pretty natural makeup but would always have big, thick fake lashes.” Smith, who’s a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, stopped by the Allure beauty closet where we got to geek out about products, play with lipstick, and talk about her career thus far.
__So I stalked you on Instagram before you came here. I saw you got married in Kauai. Congrats! Did you do your own hair and makeup? __
“I did my own makeup! I almost aways do my own makeup. I usually leave my hair to someone else. I can get by doing my own hair, but you can’t get the right angle on your own head to get good volume. Over the years I’ve picked up a lot of great tips from my makeup artists, and occasionally I’ll use somebody if I’m going to a premiere and there are going to be cameras.”
How about for Public Morals. Did you do your own makeup?
“Oh, no! When there is production and money behind it, they definitely don’t want me doing my own makeup. Plus, I just can’t put on individual fake lashes, which are the ones we use for TV because they look more natural. Strips just look really fake on HD. Of course, I did theater for so long that I can apply the strips pretty easily, but not the clusters.”
Would you consider yourself a beauty junkie?
“I totally am. My makeup drawers are absurd, which is funny because I use the same few products every day. I like the Urban Decay Naked Palette for my eyes, a little bit of Make Up For Ever foundation occasionally, but really, if it’s just any regular day of the week, I just wear a little mascara—Benefit They’re Real is my favorite.”
If you’re doing your makeup for an event, do you have a go-to look?
“Usually it’s a smoky eye, but my makeup artist taught me a new tip that I’m obsessed with. It’s called Popsicle lips, because it looks like you’ve been sucking on a Popsicle. So it’s just a little bit of a faint bright color on the inside [of your lips] that’s then smudged out, but it’s not around the perimeter. So that’s been my look lately—a little winged liner, lots of mascara, and a Popsicle lip. I just love saying it!”
What would you say was your big break?
“It was definitely Parenthood. When I got the job, all of a sudden all of the people and offices who didn’t want to see me before, were like, ‘I love her on Parenthood! We love Parenthood! We want to see her!’ So it was a game changer for me. After two seasons, my horizons really expanded.”
__So then you went on to Extant with Halle Berry. You had a crazy look for that! __
“That was really fun because I came in with the idea to do the side-braid thing. It was actually inspired by a red-carpet look Cara Delevingne did a while back that I loved. And then I saw on Pinterest that someone with a lot of piercings had done the same hairstyle, and I just thought it looked so cool. So I went in to hair and makeup and was like, ‘What do you think about this hairstyle?’ Now, normally the producers aren’t game to play with you—they usually have a set idea of how they want you to look—so I was surprised that when we ran it by them, they said, ‘Go ahead. Do whatever you want! Have fun!’ It was awesome! The first day we were playing around with where to put the piercings and the tattoo, which the makeup artist did freehand in the beginning. After about two weeks, she had a transfer made.”
Did it take a while to get used to seeing yourself in superdark makeup?
“I kind of owned it right away. I’ve played a couple of these really edgy characters before, but it’s usually hard to get people to look at me and see as edgy at first. I had to fight to get the role on Extant! To show the producers I could do edgy, I called up a photographer friend of mine and asked if we could do a photo shoot. So the two of us went into the desert and did this really grungy, awesome photo shoot.”
What’s the craziest thing, beauty-wise, you’ve had to do for a role?
“I did this indie horror movie a few years, and I had a full-body cast made of me because my character was going to get skinned. I think that movie died in post, which is probably for the best. It was my first movie, and while I made some lifelong friends on set, it just never needs to come out. They covered me in latex from head-to-toe and put straws up my nose so I could breathe, which made me feel quite a bit claustrophobic.”
What would be your dream role?
“To play Liz Taylor in a biopic of her life. She was such an icon, and she immortalized herself, and I think that’s just phenomenal. Plus, I don’t feel that there’s been a script yet that’s done her—or her life—justice.”