Shay Mitchell has come a long way from the breakout role on Pretty Little Liars that made her a household name. Now a social media star followed by over 30 million people and a fully-fledged entrepreneur, not to mention a mom-of-one expecting her second child any moment now, her days are filled with a myriad of projects including the launch of her third fragrance in collaboration with Cacharel, Yes I Am Delicious. In its signature lipstick-shaped bottle, the alluring chocolatey and rich scent is, as you would guess, good enough to eat. With such yumminess on the brain, we called up the Toronto-native to chat LA food recs, cravings, and all of life’s sweet moments. Delicieux!
Tell us about your upbringing!
I was lucky to have a great upbringing in a multigenerational, multicultural home in Canada. I was born in Toronto but moved to Vancouver when I was young. It’s so beautiful and such a cute little city. Despite being in such a great place, I never really liked school and had a pretty tough time (as many do!). Middle school and high school are rough and I encountered my fair share of bullies, but was luckily surrounded by a great group of friends soI felt insulated in that way.
Did you always want to be an actress from a young age?
I don’t know that I was targeting being an actress at this particular age, but I always had a flair for the dramatics and performance and knew that I wanted to do something unordinary in life.
What’s the most Canadian thing about you?
God, so much. My love of Tim Hortons? My passion for maple syrup? My tendency to say “eh…”
What’s your earliest memory associated with scent or smells?
Fragrance is so powerful because familiar smells can catapult you to another time and place. I can smell my gram or my mom at times when passing by strangers and remember the feeling of being young and close to them.
What smell always makes you happy?
The scent of concrete right after it rains…it takes me right back to my childhood.
What does it mean to you to be the face of a campaign like this one?
This is our third fragrance launch together, and I am so delighted with the long term partnership that we have created. And I think that “collaboration” is truly the right word. I’ve loved getting to be involved with the creative direction and planning of the shoots; it feels like an extension of myself. I also love that Cacharel celebrates uniqueness and embracing all the differences that make us special. Especially in this day and age, it’s so important to support each other.
What’s your favorite thing about this new variation?
In a lot of ways YES I AM DELICIOUS feels like the sultry sister of YES I AM GLORIOUS. It’s super complementary in colors and notes, but also totally different. YES I AM DELICIOUS is very cocoa and hazelnut dominant, but then there is also a zesty green tangerine note to balance everything out perfectly.
How does it make you feel wearing it?
I guess I would say that the fragrance makes me feel balanced and in a great head space.
The perfume is all about inspiring self-love within its wearer. How do you prioritize self-love and time for yourself in your busy life?
Honestly it can be tough to take time for yourself when you’re working and being a mom, but I find I am such a better person not only for myself, but for my family, when I can take a breather. Alone time these days usually means a quick workout or running to the store in silence. Even just a little time can go a long way in resetting and decompressing.
Positive affirmations and living without regrets are also central, how do you incorporate that?
Not affirmations, per se, but I do reframe “regrets” and make a concerted effort to be constructive about what some may call missteps. I tell myself they’re learning lessons and focus on what I’ve taken away as a result, as opposed to beating myself up over something that could have been done differently…I’ll know for the next time!
You’re passionate about speaking out about important causes. Why is it important to you as someone with a large platform?
I mean, it’s hard to open up your email or Instagram and not notice that there is a lot that needs fixing in this world. There’s a lot of work we need to do collectively to take care of and improve upon a lot of things, and the first step towards that is awareness. And listen, I think it’s so great when some people are so passionate about one thing and they put their focus entirely on that, but for me the number of issues can feel overwhelming at times and I love being able to organically support organizations doing great things on a variety of subjects.
You’re also executive-producing your first network television show! What has this been like?
Yes! The Cleaning Lady! It has been such an amazing experience, from identifying the project through to pitching, writing, shooting, and now renewal— yay! Due to COVID, I was unfortunately unable to be on set, but I was staying as involved as possible remotely and was over the moon with the public reception. It can be nerve wracking to share something so personal but I really could not have asked for a better turnout and team! Now, hopefully I’ll actually be able to go on set for season 2!
You’re always sharing fun, unfiltered content on social media, what types of accounts bring you joy?
Thank you! I like to give as real of a glimpse over here as possible. There are so many amazing creators out there. I love Subway Creatures, Half Baked Harvest, Humans of NY, and Tanks Good News.
If we were in your neighborhood, LA, for the weekend, what should we do?
Always food, and trust me I am indulging my cravings at this stage in pregnancy. Prince Street Pizza always, salmon bowls from All Time, pasta from Della Terra, ice cream from Jeni’s. I am loving decaf coffee right now. I recently had Blue Bottle but also like this little Filipino-owned place on the East Side called Kindness and Mischief. I’ve been spending a lot of time taking hikes and hanging out in the park; just enjoying these last few moments of being a family of three.
Has being a mom changed your approach to fashion/beauty?
Haha, it’s made me appreciate when I have the time to actually be fashionable or conduct a beauty routine that much more! A friend recently suggested we start a shoot day late so that I could “sleep in.” We laughed, because she doesn’t have kids yet and doesn’t yet realize that when the feet hit the floor in the morning, it’s go time! Some days I am lucky to brush my teeth and slap some moisturizer on, so when I have time to indulge I truly enjoy it.
Lastly…tell us something about you your fans would be surprised to know!
I am double jointed!
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