Beauty / IN THE BAG

Aisha Dee on acting, creating, beauty and leaning into ‘no’

In partnership with Lancôme


Aisha Dee has just wrapped up filming for a Netflix miniseries centred on wellness (titled Apple Cider Vinegar), so it makes sense her current state of mind is to go slow. The Gold Coast born actress and musician has notched a few acclaimed projects under her belt: The Bold Type, Sissy, Safe Home. With drama and tears an underlying theme, for her next role she's manifesting something, 'silly and joyful'.

Content with holding out for what's right, Dee is all about making choices that feel good in her gut. This is also what led her to her partnership with Lancôme, as the local ambassador.

When the French beauty luxuriate expressed interest, the selling point for Dee was the brand’s desire to move beyond surface-level stuff, tell stories, expand the brand offering and champion creativity making it an it an easy 'yes'. Dee, with her sincere self-awareness, honesty and inherent coolness, couldn't be more perfect for the role.

This year, Lancôme partnered with PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival as the official beauty partner for the third year running. The annual event supports local designers — a cause Dee is very much here for. The timing was fortuitous. Dee was in Melbourne and the event coincided with the much-hyped launch of  Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow Serum Concealer, a buildable medium coverage concealer with 81% glow-boosting skincare serum. Ahead of the opening runway, RUSSH spent time with Dee to talk about beauty, work, rest, creativity, diversity and being a woman in Hollywood. Read on for the interview.



So how are you finding Melbourne? Have you been here for a while?

I've been here maybe five months? I love it. Melbourne reminds me of New York, it’s a smaller version. I have family in Geelong so always enjoy my time.

What’s on your Melbourne list?

I love Public Wine Shop for dinner, they have the best bread in the world. I dream about it. And Terror Twilight on Johnston. Great vibes there, you can get some work done, journal, eat a cute salad bowl. Sebby’s Scroll is also really, really good. My friend Liam — who is on Instagram as scroll girl — introduced it to me and life hasn’t been the same since.

How do you find it compares to Sydney?

I love Sydney! I did grow up on the Gold Coast so I’m a beach girl. After Safe Home I spent time working with a Sydney-based music producer, so got to know the city really well. Bondi is great, but when you get out the beaches are quite rugged and untouched. It’s beautiful.

Tonight you’re heading to Melbourne Fashion Festival — it is your first time?

It is! I’m really looking forward to it. Melbourne is a city that really embraces fashion, queer artists, designers and people of colour. There are some incredible local talents based here, the hoodie I’m wearing is from the brand, Purgatory. And I have this robe for our shoot — Common Hours? There’s a silk print of Josephine Baker on the back. It’s insane, I don’t think I’ll be able to give it back.

Tell me about your partnership with Lancôme, how did it come about?

I remember when my manager called me about it. I wasn’t immediately sure as my makeup skills are limited; I can’t create a ‘look’. But we had some conversations… the brand heritage is incredible and the team are amazing. They were so on board with my vision and how I saw the partnership working. Saying yes was an easy decision.



How would you describe your beauty philosophy?

It’s constantly evolving and changing. It’s a process of learning and unlearning. I love creative expression and the confidence that comes with makeup, but also being okay with my skin, my features. It took me a long time to be okay with my freckles, actually. The Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow Foundation is perfect for that. It gives you this beautiful coverage but still lets the skin’s texture shine through. Sometimes I mix it with the original Teint Idole formula to balance out my oily skin. The finish is perfect.

Do you think your feelings towards beauty have evolved as you’ve matured?

I find I’m kinder to myself nowadays. I still have toxic thoughts about my appearance… I think a lot of us do. It’s tempting to spiral, but I acknowledge it and make an active choice to not entertain them.

I do find that I take little bits and pieces from the characters I play, too. It influences me from a style perspective. It sounds weird, but I feel like I have a spiritual connection to my roles, they’re like friends. It’s impossible to not be influenced by them.



Talk to me about your work so far with Lancôme.

I’m really excited for what we have coming up. Lancôme is so supportive and receptive. As a heritage brand, they’re able to do so much. We’re working in the non-profit space; I look forward to sharing more about that. There’s a lot of amazing launches in the calendar for this year, too…

Left: MICHAEL LO SORDO jacket and dress; ROGER VIVIER shoes; BY NYE bag; PEIYI necklace. Right: COMMON HOURS robe.


What products do you reach for most often?

Teint Idole Ultra Wear, for sure. The original and the Care & Glow iteration. The shade range is great — I love that Lancôme has always had a wide colour range. They did it before it was trendy. It wasn’t a reactionary thing.

The wear is also amazing. I’m not the type of person to carry a lot in my bag. I just want to do my makeup and for it to be done. When I mix the two, it’s this perfect middle of the road finish. I feel dewy and alive, but I know it’s going to stay put. That’s my skin, but it works. The Teint Idole All Over Concealer is also great, especially under the eyes.

I love the serum line up, Advanced Genefique is a classic. It’s also great tapped on as a highlighter, actually. Lancôme is so known for its mascara range, my personal favourite it Lash Idôle. My lashes are so curly and wild, this tames them while adding length.


COMMON HOURS robe; BY NYE bracelet.


Do you have any rituals that help you prepare for a red carpet or big event?

I’m very into cold therapy right now. I love a cold plunge; I can do three minutes. It gives me a boost of energy and leaves me feeling connected to my body. I need that for big, long days where there’s just so much external stimulation and not a lot of connection.

How is it, working with makeup artists so often? Have you picked up any tips?

I really respect what makeup artists do. They’re painters to me. I'm also kind of in awe of makeup artists they're not just putting makeup on somebody's face. They’re also sensing someone’s needs and recognising where they’re at emotionally. It’s an energy exchange and pretty intimate.

Left: MICHAEL LO SORDO dress; ROGER VIVIER shoes; BY NYE bag; PEIYI necklace. Right: COMMON HOURS robe.

On the topic of work, what’s your experience been like as a woman in Hollywood?

Look, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in Hollywood, as well here in Australia. I’ve experienced the differences, plus Europe, Canada… One constant is that it’s this big modern-day circus. Everyone is an artist and, everyone has such an interesting personality and story. I think as a kid, that's why I fell in love with it. I've never met such a beautiful and diverse group of people as I have in the acting community.

I do love working in Australia as the collaboration between departments is strong. The stuff we’re making is so elevated and cool. I just wrapped a miniseries on the wellness industry, it was amazing.

But one thing I will say about Australian crews is that they're incredibly white. I think it's going to take a lot of people getting really uncomfortable and pushing change in order for us to see a difference. In front of the camera, we’re seeing a new wave of diversity and that’s beautiful, but we we also need to create environments for these people to work in that feel safe.

Okay last question... what roles are you drawn to right now… what sort of thing excites you?

In this particular moment, I want my next role to be really fun. I want to dance; I want it to feel joyful! I’ve been doing a lot of crying and while I love those stories, I think I want to manifest something silly.

I’m just waiting for something that feels aligned. I’m trying not to rush. My thing right now is being okay with no.

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