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An afternoon with the Orange Is the New Black star before her incredible SAG Awards win.







We’re so used to viewing Taylor Schilling in orange prison scrubs that it’s something of a shock to see her safely ensconced in a fluffy robe, sipping a green juice and getting a pedicure. The actress, one of the stars of the Netflix jailhouse drama Orange Is the New Black, is this afternoon being prepared for the SAG Awards. “Eyebrows all over my face,” she says mischievously of her look, which is in fact a ‘90s take on the dark lip, a rich burgundy that matches her ADEAM gown (chosen with stylist Penny Lovell). What she doesn’t know is that in only a few hours, OITNB will win Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (yet again), an event made extra special because the actress hadn’t been able to attend the awards for the past two years because of filming commitments. Schilling, surrounded by cast and crew, brings down the house with her rousing speech, a brilliant manifesto on why diversity makes us stronger. “It’s up to us, and all of you, probably, to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to destroy us.” Truly, Schilling is beautiful inside and out.

Here, the actress answers VIOLET GREY’s queries on dinner dates, beauty rituals, and burgundy dresses.

SUBJECT: Taylor Schilling, @tayjschilling


OCCASION: SAG Awards in Los Angeles

TEAM: Mai Quynh (makeup), Richard Marin (hair), Penny Lovell (styling), Christina Aviles Aude (manicure)

VENUE: L’Ermitage Beverly Hills

THE LOOK: Dress by ADEAM, clutch by Jimmy Choo, shoes by Stuart Weitzman, jewelry by Tasaki

Do you enjoy the beautification process?

I guess so. It’s sort of like a fantasy. I don’t even wear makeup in my normal life.

How many of you from Orange Is the New Black are going tonight?

A hundred [laughs]. I think a lot of us are going to be there. There are fifty regulars on the show. I’m serious—I think it might be more than that. It feels like a gang. You’re taken care of. 

What are you wearing tonight?

A long burgundy dress by ADEAM.

Did that influence the direction of your beauty look?

Yes. The dress has a ‘90s vibe, with skinny straps, so we’re going with that.

Who’s your ideal dinner date?

Right now, I think I would like to have dinner with Dave Eggers. I was kind of late to the party. I never read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and now I’m reading as much of his work as I can. It’s not revolutionary to talk about Dave Eggers being a great mind, but I just discovered him, and he seems to put a mirror up to our own egotism. I would like to know his thoughts on what’s happening in the world right now. He might be a really good person to ask.

There are a lot of people I’d like to have dinner with. I mean, I’d like to spend time with Michelle Obama. Who wouldn’t? And Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes. And Todd Haynes, who directed Carol.

Where’s your favorite place in LA?

My friend runs Shapehouse, an infrared sauna, that’s really amazing. And it’s one of the most soothing things ever. It’s an acquired taste, but afterward you are very restored and balanced. I feel refreshed, like I’ve gotten back my equilibrium.

Even though you don’t use makeup day to day, is there a product you can’t live without?

I have to moisturize a lot. And sunscreen. I use of a lot of Dr. Colbert’s products. He has this oil I put on my face every night.

Do you notice a difference between New York and Los Angeles beauty?

There’s just a lot more of it here. Every time I come I do something I never knew existed. When you’re in Los Angeles, you can get your toenail facialized.

Do you have any getting-ready rituals?

If it’s at all possible I like to gather my people, have a friend over, and then journey out together. But that’s not really a ritual. I just spend a lot of time trying on clothes. It feels very luxurious having the time to choose an outfit. I like to know that I tried, and I want to really understand the landscape of my closet before I leave the house. That’s an inadvertent ritual.

If you were a cocktail, what would you be?

Probably a tequila soda.


“It was a ‘90s inspiration—there are a lot of images from that era of Kate Moss with her hair pulled back and a bold lip. And we wanted to keep it very simple to accent Taylor’s face and her dress. I created texture by pulling R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste through her hair to give it that day-old look. Then I pulled her hair back into a ponytail, and finally a nice chignon knot at the nape of the neck. I gave it hold with Elnett hairspray. Taylor has texture to her hair, so after I washed it, I straightened it with a Remington iron to seal it. (When you use an iron on the hair, it seals the cuticle, which makes it very luminous.) To secure it I used Blax hair elastics, which don’t damage the hair. Rubber bands actually bite into and damage the hair.”—RICHARD MARIN


“Because of her dress, we referenced ‘90s Kate Moss and Winona Ryder. I wanted to put the color of the dress on the lip, so we did a dark burgundy lip, like a really deep vamp, and I paired it with a rusty tone on her eyes. Her lipstick was No.48 from Makeup Forever, and I used a rusty shade from Dior on the eyes. Because I knew we were doing a dark lip I wanted to warm up the skin, as the flash can make you look too pale in photos, so I used a little Vita Liberata bronzer.”—MAI QUYNH 


“Everything was kind of monochromatic, from the dress to the lips to the clutch, so we went with Essie’s Bordeaux.”—CHRISTINA AVILES AUDE