“It’s all about balance, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose one thing over the other,” says Scarlett Johansson, speaking not of her varied movie roles but rather of her anything-goes evening-makeup philosophy. “Sometimes it’s nice just to be minimal and be fresh, and other times you can wear a red dress and red lipstick and it looks great.” On her first red carpet, in 1997, at age 12— she wore a chocolate-latte-colored lip to the Independent Spirit Awards—Johansson established her perfect big-night-out recipe: heavy on the Old Hollywood, with just a dash of rock ‘n’ roll.
These days, when pressed for time before a big event, “I take off my concealer under the eye, a little around my nose, and refresh those areas with new foundation,” she says. And then she adds her signature: “I always carry a red lipstick,” Johansson says. “You never know when you’ll need it.” Here, her best beauty tips and tricks.
This article appears in the December 2014 issue of ELLE magazine.