Adria Arjona exudes a quiet confidence. It’s something I notice instantly, even though we’re speaking over Zoom and she’s thousands of miles away in Paris, where she’s staying for the next month to work on an upcoming film. Her calm aura is made even more impressive when we speak and it’s obvious that unlike most people, Arjona has stayed incredibly busy over the past two years of the pandemic: she filmed the upcoming Marvel blockbuster Morbius pre-lockdown, the newest Star Wars spin-off series in the height of the pandemic, and just wrapped the forthcoming remake of Father of the Bride, centered around a big Cuban American family (yes, she’s the bride). 2021 was no one’s year, but all signs point to 2022 being the year of Adria.
Along with her busy work schedule, Arjona is also the face of Armani Beauty’s beloved fragrance, My Way, and its newest iteration, My Way Intense (the latter being the reason for our long-distance conversation). “I tend to like woody smells mixed with a floral,” she says. “I wear My Way during the day and My Way Intense for an event or for dinner or when I want to have that armor of confidence.” Ahead, we discuss scent memories and the emotional power of fragrance, plus her go-to foundation, contouring tricks, and more.
What are the best smells in the world to you?
I think coffee is one of my favorite smells. Just waking up and having coffee… It’s like, ugh, okay, I’m going to be fine. Another one of my favorites is orange blossom. I think it’s so refreshing. It reminds me of childhood. I think it’s a happy fragrance, and coincidentally, My Way has a lot of orange blossom — hence why I love the fragrance so much.
How would you describe My Way Intense and how does it differ from the original My Way?
I think My Way Intense is like a layer of confidence. It makes me feel like a woman. It’s quite sexy, and I find it to be a really sensual fragrance. It’s very feminine with a touch of that sandalwood, which sort of gives it a lift. I think it’s very elegant. The original My Way is very joyful and inviting — an open fragrance. It smells very clean and fresh and it’s definitely a forever fragrance.
Do you have any advice for ways to embrace the spirit of travel, even if you’re staying home more than normal?
I think we forget that now thanks to the Internet, we don’t have to leave [our neighborhoods] to broaden our horizons and expand our knowledge. I think it makes us more empathetic — no, I don’t think, I know that it makes us more empathetic towards each other when we know a little bit more about our backgrounds, both culturally and personally. So, I would say read books, watch documentaries, watch movies from different countries, listen to music in Spanish, in German, in all different languages. Go to a different shop and have a conversation with that person. Have a genuine connection, even if it’s behind a mask. [I love] watching movies from different countries. Try reading books from outside of your comfort zone. Maybe instead of being on Instagram for 30 minutes, watch a documentary about Guatemala.
What are some of the biggest beauty lessons you’ve learned in your twenties?
I personally have gravitated more towards “less is more” — really embracing my natural skin, just the way I was born. I personally feel more confident that way than hiding behind a lot of makeup. It just doesn’t feel like myself. I prefer having less. Sometimes when I put on a little too much makeup, it makes me feel like I’m too much, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. But I think everything that I’ve learned is that beauty is so personal to the individual, and I think we all have to respect it and embrace it. If you feel beautiful that way, then amen to that. You do look beautiful.
Sometimes, makeup is part of someone’s culture and identity. Sometimes it’s non-existent and they feel perfectly fine without it. I think in all of my twenties, [I realized] as long as everyone feels beautiful with whatever they choose to wear or whatever the definition of beauty is for them, then that’s beautiful. I think we should stay away from judging or giving an opinion on it. If they think it’s beautiful, then it’s beautiful. You just have a different perspective.
Head over to Bustle to read the full interview!