For Thandie Newton, getting red-carpet ready doesn’t require the assistance of a massive squad. While the Westworld actress has makeup pros at her disposal, Newton occasionally takes on the task of getting glam herself. Talking to PeopleStyle, the star got real about the reason she’s had to add makeup artist to her laundry list of talents.

“As a girl of color, we have to do our own stuff,” says Newton, who grew up in Cornwall, England, where “there was nothing for people of color so I just had to be tenacious and do it myself.”

Throughout her years in the entertainment industry, Newton says she’s encountered several makeup artists who’ve also taught her invaluable tips, most notably Kay Montano, who she’s collaborated with for 12 years (the two even co-created a lifestyle blog, ThandieKay).

“Kay just had such a beautiful way of applying makeup—and I learned so much from her that I enjoy doing it,” says Newton, who finds the process empowering. “You don’t always need other people telling what to do or giving you permission.”

And Newton’s unfiltered thoughts about beauty expand far beyond makeup. The star and longtime fan of skincare brand Roc (she swears by its Resurfacing Facial Cleanser) is partnering with it to banish backhanded compliments from our vocabulary such as, “You look good…for your age.”

“Age means nothing!” says Newton, who will serve as the face of the brand’s For Your Age campaign, inspired by a study it conducted with Wakefield Research which found 82 percent of women aged 40+ would rather not be complimented at all than receive one with the unnecessary turn of phrase “for your age” included.

“It’s interesting to see how many people have been bummed out by that. If we don’t talk about it then we won’t realize we’ve all been dealing with this,” says the actress, who’s adamant about learning to love her changing looks.

“When I sit in a hairdresser’s chair, if a hairdresser goes to pull a gray, I’m like, ‘Whoa don’t you touch that!’ They just assume that I wouldn’t want that. But, this is my antenna to the grays out there! This is my wisdom, my badge of honor. And I want to see these grays so it reminds me every day that time is running out and that is something to celebrate; not to be afraid of.”

Newton admits it’s not always easy, but in those moments, she remembers the beauty in staying true to yourself.

“I was watching the footage of Westworld the end of the first season before it aired and I was like, ‘Ahh the shadows under my eyes! But Evan [Rachel Wood] looks blah, blah, blah!’ But then I was like, ‘Thandie, it’s because you got more years on you, of course.’ I didn’t allow myself to celebrate those shadows and lines because were all encouraged to say the same as we were at 20. But that’s not life.”

Source: People