Work Smarter, Not Harder! Emilia Clarke On How She Stays Sane With Such A Busy Schedule

The actress talks work, wellness and life hacks

Emilia Clarke is known for playing some of the strongest female characters on screen. And that inner strength runs into her personal life too. Not only does she juggle the demands of a successful acting career, Emilia also runs SameYou – a charity for young adults recovering from brain injuries and stroke.

More recently, the 34-year-old’s bright smile, enviable brows and flawless skin have seen her step into a role as Clinique’s global brand ambassador. While it is a collaboration she says suits her perfectly, as the brand has been a “staple throughout her entire life”, Emilia also makes it clear that she sees beauty as more than just skin deep.

“Beauty comes from your individuality, that’s the essence of it,” she tells marie claire. “People are at their most radiant and most beautiful when they are doing what is the right fit for them.”

Emilia is a trailblazer for “less is more” when it comes to her beauty routine, but is at an age where she is looking for products that work smarter. She recently added Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Serum to her regimen – a high-performance, anti-ageing serum that combats fine lines and wrinkles and helps her streamline her routine.

“It’s a thing when you are at the point in your life when you’re like, ‘OK, I’m going to buy a product that says wrinkle on it’,” she shares.

MC’s beauty director Sally Hunwick caught up with Emilia to chat about her skincare philosophy, the products that work for her, and why she thinks laughter is self-care for the soul.

Sally: How important is keeping your skin in check?

Emilia: Massively! When I was little, my mum taught me to cleanse, tone and moisturise. It’s always been my thing. I’m also that weirdo that even when I’m drunk I remove my makeup and cleanse my face. I’ll wake up feeling awful, but my skin is thanking me! If you have good skin you are golden; everything goes good with good skin.

What products do you use from the Clinique range?

I do a double cleanse when I’m working on set using Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, which is amazing for when I have my full face on. Then I use the All About Clean All-in-One Cleansing Micellar Milk. The champion for me is Clarifying Lotionthen you bam it with your moisturiser; the Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator is just incredible. Now what I’ve added in is the Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum. It’s got hyaluronic acid, retinoid and peptide-rich blend CL1870 Peptide Complex™. It’s the bomb! 

Emilia Clarke for Clinique
Clinique Global Brand Ambassador Emilia Clarke.

What’s your go-to makeup look?

For a daytime look I use a tinted moisturiser. Then I do a fine liquid liner; I love liquid liner. I put a very thin line on my lash line and a little tiny flick at the end, so it gives you that wide-eyed look as if you have another eyelash basically. And then mascara and lip balm. I’ll put a little nude shadow on as well to give my eyes a little definition.

How do you keep your work/life balance in check?

It seems like every job I have I add a new calming ritual to my routine. I meditate, I do my yoga, I prioritise sleep. But the biggest thing I do for work/life balance is see my friends, because laughing is it. They remind me that everything I have got going on is just that; a job is just a job, and the good stuff is the connections that you have with the people that you love.

When do you feel your most beautiful?

When I’m not thinking about feeling beautiful! When I’m out with my mates, when I’m with my mum helping her out, when I’m with my mates and their children, when I’m in an activity that is so absorbing I am the last thought in my mind.

Clinique Smart Clinique Repair Serum
Emilia’s secret weapon: Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Serum, a high-performance, anti-ageing serum. The serum addresses fine lines and wrinkles by tackling them from three angles to hydrate, plump and resurface the depth of wrinkles and boost natural collagen.

How is acceptance and individuality important to you?

It is massive. Individuality makes someone unique; that’s where each individual’s strength in beauty lies. [For me], it’s difficult when you’re creating a look, you’re on the red carpet or you’re doing a photo shoot for something, and I pray that for people looking it doesn’t make them go ‘that’s what it is, it’s seeing that photo-shopped image of that girl in that magazine, that is what I’m meant to look like’. Comparing and contrasting yourself to other people is the recipe for misery; it is a guaranteed way to make your feel terrible. Whereas rejoicing in someone else’s individuality makes you happier. Applauding people for their individuality is a sure fire way to feeling good about you.

How do you take time out for yourself and relax?

I’m in the industry of telling stories, and that’s what I love for myself. I love going to the cinema, sitting down and watching a movie, listening to podcasts, listening to audio books, going through an art gallery. I just need that; I want to be immersed in someone else’s story.

Brought to you by Clinique.

Related stories