The greatest perk that comes with being a beauty writer is getting to chat and meet badass girl bosses. One woman I recently crossed off my interview list is Orange is the New Black star, Jackie Cruz. Yup, that’s right, I got the chance to hit up the actress who brought Flaca (my fave inmate) to life on the Netflix series over the phone. The Dominican-raised New Yorker has recently been named the face of Kat Von D beauty’s latest mascara Go Big Or Go Home ($29), which is a vegan, volumizing mascara. “I can’t even tell you how much this partnership means to me. I literally walk down the street and Latinos are like, “We’re so proud of you”,” the actress explained excitedly. “My grandmother was crying on the phone yesterday because she’s so excited. My country [Dominican Republic] is so excited And you know, Kat, she’s Mexican. So it’s so dope that she opened that door for me. I’m going to open the doors for other Latinas just like she has. It’s so beautiful.”
Cruz instantly fell in love with Kat Von D beauty when she was first introduced to the brand’s award-winning Tattoo Liner ($25) five years ago on the set of OITNB to create Flaca’s unique and infamous teardrop liner. “I’ve never had an eyeliner that did such precise work, especially to create the perfect teardrop every time,” said Cruz. And with the power of the law of attraction, the 32-year old believed that her genuine love for the makeup line brought her dream partnership to life. “At their 10-year anniversary party, I met the team and was “Yo, I want to work with you guys. Let’s make it happen.” Months later, they contacted my agency and this whole incredible campaign happened which was unexpected from me,” she explained in awe.
So what does Jackie love best about Go Big or Go Home Mascara? Here’s what she had to share with this short-lashed writer.
How has this mascara changed your makeup routine?
“I don’t like to wear mascara, I’ll be honest with you. Once I wear mascara I’ll have it on for the whole week because I can’t get it off (just ask my makeup artist). But this one is different! It’s not clumpy so you can literally run your fingers through your lashes without it flaking. And since it’s made with sunflower oil, it’s so easy to remove. For me, I like to not wear too much makeup regularly anymore. This mascara is perfect me and for those who don’t like to wear a lot of makeup because it’s so low maintenance and [makes your lashes the] focus of your face. If I could only wear one [makeup product] now, I would wear mascara, and this is the one.”
A life-changing mascara, huh. So you’d say it’s worth the hype?
“My boyfriend literally thought I was wearing false lashes and I was like, “No, it’s just the mascara.” It’s all thanks to the fluff brush. It really is “go big or go home”. I really don’t have to sell this mascara once you try it, trust me. I wouldn’t put my name behind something that I didn’t believe in — that’s just the New York in me. Kat Von D beauty always takes their time [to make the best products]. This is after five years so they really worked hard to make this perfect. I think it’s the best mascara out right now.”
Aside from this mascara alone, what’s your secret for longer-looking lashes?
“I use the buff brush backwards if you say. I pick it up and roll it through to coat the backside of my lashes.”
Now that you’re wearing mascara regularly now, would you say your makeup skills are up to par with Flaca’s makeup skills?
“If it wasn’t for me Flaca wouldn’t exist. I am better than Flaca. After all, I am the one that puts it [the teardrop] on her. I teach the makeup artists how to do it sometimes because sometimes we flip makeup artists and I gotta show them. The trick is to do it all in one movement. I learned it so well that it’s just one movement — I can even do it with my eyes closed.”
You and Flaca are best known for being that IT eyeliner girl. How does it feel saying bye to her?
My life motto has always been “go big or go home” so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I just finishing filming Orange and now I feel like I have to go even bigger. Because of the Kat Von D beauty, people are finding out who I am instead of Flaca, which is really nice. She’s my alter ego, so will never say bye to Flaca. She’s never been afraid to say what’s on her mind and I’ve learned so much from her. I’ve become more confident because of her. Now, I get to be the face of a dope brand and their first mascara in five years. It’s a big deal for me and Latinas. I’m the liner girl and the mascara girl.