Shayla From “The Summer I Turned Pretty” Helped Her Feel Empowered
Playing Shayla in “The Summer I Turned Pretty” had a long-lasting effect on Mills. “She gave me a lot of confidence,” she says. “She’s the It girl, and she just happens to be Asian. It’s not something she grapples with, it’s a part of who she is . . . I carry that with me a lot more these days.”
Mills and the show’s makeup artist put a lot of thought into developing Shayla’s look, which took inspiration directly from her own relationship with beauty. “I always like to define my eyes because it was something I grew up getting teased about and at first felt like I should be insecure about,” Mills says. “That becoming a point of empowerment for Shayla was very important.”
That’s how black winged eyeliner became her character’s signature look in the series. “Shayla never appears on screen without winged eyeliner on,” Mills says. They referred to it as her “layer of confidence.”
When Mills sat down in the makeup chair every morning, that eyeliner helped her channel Shayla’s strong, confident energy and began to feel almost like armor. Now, in her everyday life, Mills continues to wear the look. “It just reminds me of what a privilege it was to get to play this character, who not only reached other people but really reached me too.”
Her Makeup Routine Is “Simple and Easy With a Fun Twist”
Mills describes the rest of her makeup routine as “simple and easy with a fun twist.” Skin tints or a light foundation are her base products of choice, and she’ll occasionally mix her foundation with a little bit of moisturizer to thin it out. Blush is one of her favorite products to play with, often layering it with a cream highlighter as well to really up the glow factor. One she loves is the Joah Flamingo Garden Eyeshadow & Cheek Palette ($22).
“My makeup is never done without lashes,” Mills says. “If I run out of the house with one thing, I really just want voluminous, curled lashes.” She partnered with Joah for the launch of the brand’s new High Roller Mascara ($10), which has become a fast favorite.