Like many people these days, Alycia Debnam-Carey is still trying to figure things out for herself. When you're an actress, the majority of your day-to-day is based off of something or someone else’s time — from shooting schedules to press junkets — and it’s not always 100 percent up to you. But now, for the first time in her career, Debnam-Carey is in charge.
The young Australian actress has been gracing our screens for quite some time. After wrapping another season of playing both Lexa in the CW’s The 100 and Alicia Clark in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, Debnam-Carey found herself with more time on her hands than she was used to, and had to quickly adjust. As she told NYLON, finding and forming a routine was now in her hands.
That’s not to say she hasn’t kept busy. The actress has been finding her element on the shores of the beaches of her native land, as well as working as the face of beauty brand Philosophy’s latest fragrance, Amazing Grace Jasmine. Although Debnam-Carey has been in partnership with the brand since 2019, this time around, working with them is a little more special and personal than before (Jasmine is the actress' middle name, for starters).
While her fans may have to wait until the newest season arrives before Debnam-Carey is back on the screen, she’s embracing this new time to herself and looking forward to staying on track with her goals this year.
Up ahead, read on to learn about Debnam-Carey’s routine, signature scents, and why under-eye patches are her absolute skincare go-to.
What has been the biggest shift you've noticed in yourself and your day-to-day life since the start of the pandemic? How have you adjusted?
The biggest adjustment I found was creating a schedule and routine for myself. Because of the nature of my job, so much of my life was on other people’s time. From things as small as when I have my coffee in the morning, to where I would travel, to how much I’m working. I wasn’t used to forming simple habits or routines because they vary so much from day to day.
During the pandemic was the longest time I had spent in a single place since I was 18, so finding my own structure was a really nourishing and grounding experience. I'd never had that much time before, so it forced me to sit still, reflect, and explore what aspects of life were really important to me. The biggest shift was realizing I was in the driver's seat and that I am in control of my best self.
What was your relationship like with beauty growing up?
Makeup was always a form of self-expression and a way to be a character growing up, so I embraced it fairly early on and leaned into the creativity of it. I love colors and tone and that became an extension to create a mood or atmosphere.
As for the more complex ideal of beauty, like most young people I’ve wrestled with the limiting stereotypes and unrealistic beauty standards. But I think I’ve settled into a much more positive perception of what beauty is, and that it's not just an aesthetic but a power that is yours to wield in a way that complements your own self — features, characteristics, and personality.
How has it changed as you got older and more involved with your career?
There's a far less limited scope to beauty. It used to feel as if it was the lip gloss you wore or how skinny you were, and now it feels there’s a shift towards how you can embrace complementing yourself as much as possible.
Work has helped me discover a new understanding of beauty. In the past I used to worry about how I looked on camera, if I looked pretty enough, etc. But now I have found a kind of freedom in the moments of not having to look 'polished.' It was one of the happy surprises I found from working on FEAR. As I’ve gotten older, beauty is about how I feel, sometimes that’s being glamorous and sometimes that is being completely bare-faced, but both are guided by a strong sense of self.
How does Philosophy's latest perfume scent (Amazing Grace Jasmine) resonate with you personally?
Jasmine is a very personal scent to me. Not only is it my middle name, but it also is one of my favorite scents. My first scent memory is my mother’s perfume, and since then I’ve had a love for fragrance and how strongly it can affect how I feel. To me, the fragrance symbolizes the arrival of summer and that excitement that follows, so it felt very serendipitous to be a part of that.
How important is it to you to have a signature scent?
I’m someone who switches up my perfume. It changes on [account of] my mood or the occasion, but I hold a lot of weight in leaving a room with a scent that reminds people of me. I like to put it in my hair a little, and sometimes I’ll put it on my bed right after I’ve done laundry, while it’s still warm. The scent will soak in a little bit, and you get that really light waft of a scent.
Can you walk us through your at-home beauty routine?
My beauty routine is a very calming ritual for me. If it’s in the morning, coffee comes first. I usually light a candle — I love anything Diptyque. I love a robe! Silk or plush.
I wash my face with a foaming cleanser, then follow it with Chanel Hydra Gel Beauty Micro Serum, a Vitamin C serum followed by a rich daily moisturizer, Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream, daily sunscreen followed by Barbara Sturm Glow Drops. I then use a little jade roller to massage it all in. Then depending on the day, whatever makeup I’m feeling.
What about your skin-care routine while on location away from home?
When I’m away from home, eye patches save me! I am not a morning person and it shows on early shoot days. I swear by the Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches by Peter Thomas Roth if you need to take away dark circles or an extra hydration boost.
Outside of that, what are your favorite products to use at the moment?
How are you planning on approaching 2021? Do you have any goals set for yourself?
My goal for 2021 is to lean into life and be open to opportunity. And generally speaking, just "get it done." I have a bad habit of procrastinating… this year we’re just doing it!
You’ve been working with Philosophy for quite some time now, how does it feel to work with the brand?
I feel very grateful to be working with a brand that has such a strong focus on self-care, mental health, and an ethos of giving back. Beauty is as much about how you care for yourself as how you care for others, and Philosophy represents that wholeheartedly. Naturally, I also love their products, particularly their fragrances and how they complement my lifestyle.