It’s Lea Michele’s moment, and she’s not taking it for granted. “This is the perfect timing for me to be doing this show,” says the 36-year-old star of starring as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl’s much-talked-about revival on Broadway. Though she’s no stranger to the spotlight on the Great White Way, Michele relishes playing the role of her dreams while parenting her two-year-old son in New York City. But how does the Glee alum balance it all? For her, it’s all about self-care. “I really believe [that] if I’m taking care of myself and doing all the things that are good for me and my body, then it really helps me do my job best [and] be a really good mom,” she says. Today, Michele takes Vogue backstage for a behind-the-scenes peek at her preshow beauty routine, from refreshing skin care to her stage-ready makeup techniques.
“I’ve always had to have some sort of skin-care routine because I’ve had terrible skin since I was in high school,” says Michele, referencing her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis, which can cause or worsen acne. With her breakouts now under control, she focuses on clarifying and radiance-boosting solutions, beginning with a thorough cleanse and an enzymatic resurfacing pad. Next, she massages in a duo of elixirs from Dr. Barbara Sturm: first, an acne-fighting serum, then a lightweight face cream. Once her skin is prepped, Michele moves on to hand care, slathering on an exfoliating treatment by Dr. Dennis Gross and cream by La Mer—the latter of which she notes “truly saves [her] skin.”
While doing her makeup, Michele explains why portraying Brice is more than just a role; it’s a callback to her younger self. “There are so many aspects of who she is, her life and journey, that I connect [with] and relate to,” she says. She emphasizes that stage makeup differs dramatically from typical glam in focusing on shine reduction and a long-wear finish rather than contouring and highlighting. To start, she layers Giorgio Armani’s full-coverage foundation with concealer and setting powder before filling in her brows with a pencil and combing them into place with a clear gel. Next, she swirls bronzer onto her cheeks and nude eyeshadow across her lids, adding rich brown winged eyeliner and a few coats of mascara to her lashes. Spot-concealing to keep her coverage minimal, she embellishes minimally with a touch of pressed powder and rosy Laura Mercier blush. The final touch sees lips lined with Charlotte Tilbury’s beloved Pillow Talk lip pencil and further saturated with a swipe of lipstick.
Once her makeup is complete, Michele fastens on a perfectly coiffed chin-grazing wig. After she blows the camera a kiss, it’s time to hit the stage: “Come and see Funny Girl—and buy her soundtrack!”
Below, shop Lea Michele’s beauty secrets.