When I connect with Florence Pugh over the phone, she’s standing on a rainy London street corner appraising her all-black outfit. “I always love punking anything up with a massive black boot,” she says. “I’m looking down at my feet right now and I’m wearing absolutely whoppingly large, high-platform Valentino pointy boots.”
If there’s one thing we know about Pugh, after all, it’s that she’s not afraid of a bold look. From her litany of sheer, candy-hued red carpet looks to her ongoing experiments with hair dye, the 27-year-old actor’s approach to beauty and fashion is marked by a sense of whimsy—but with a noticeable edge. So it’s no surprise that Pugh quickly fell into lockstep with Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, who named her the face of the Italian fashion house earlier this year. Though the two first met less than a year ago, “which is nuts,” Pugh adds, they became fast friends. “We had this very quick realization that we loved each other. All the things that I want to stand for were all the things that made him light up,” she says.
In May, Pugh expanded her ambassadorship, becoming the face of Valentino Beauty as well. Pugh, who can just as happily rock jeans and a T-shirt as she can a magenta ballgown, is attracted to the element of choice that comes with Valentino’s makeup—particularly the large variety of colors. “Every personality I want to represent—whether it’s me going out to tea or me being put on a red carpet—there is a color for every occasion,” she says. “All of the colors are amazing, because you can use them to do so many different things. I love playing with makeup with my fingers and seeing what works best.” Her go-to product is the Liquirosso 2-in-1 Lip & Blush, in the shade After Club. “When we did the campaign shoot in Rome, they assigned me the Liquirosso color that ended up actually being in every single one of my handbags,” she says. “I’m literally clutching my lipstick right now.”