Michaela Jae Rodriguez Talks Breaking the Beauty Mold

Feature Michaela Jae Rodriguez Talks Breaking the Beauty Mold
Charlotte Tilbury

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez learned the power of makeup at a young age. It all began at 14 with mascara, which sparked her journey of self-discovery. “That’s when beauty started for me,” Rodriguez said in Us Weekly’s Colorful Like Us feature. 

As she coated her lashes each day in high school, Rodriguez, now 33, felt more in control of her life. Makeup became transformative, and not in a way that changed her appearance, but because it enhanced the way she already felt about herself. “Makeup has no rules. It is a confidence booster. We may already have that It factor, but makeup gives us that elevated confidence boost to walk [into] a room or out of the door and say, ‘I feel good,’” she explained. “Some people think that makeup is something to hide behind, and that’s so far from the truth, honey.” 

Rodriguez held that mantra close to her heart as she navigated Hollywood, landing pivotal roles on Pose, American Horror Story, Loot, as well as a history-making partnership with celeb-loved beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury. 

In February 2023, she became the cosmetic company’s first transgender muse, but also the first American one as the ambassador of the Pillow Talk Party campaign. Products in the line include a cream blush formula, Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wands and bold shimmer shadows.

Michaela Jae Rodriguez Talks Breaking the Beauty Mold 2
Charlotte Tilbury

“There are so many feelings when it comes to me and Charlotte Tilbury,” Rodriguez told Us. “It’s been a beautiful journey. I feel so seen, I feel so welcome, I feel so included.” 

Rodriguez’s relationship with the beauty label started when she met the founder, Charlotte Tilbury, at an Oscars party a few years ago. “It was Kismet,” Rodriguez said of their first encounter. “We talked about dreams, aspirations, goals and manifestations — and this [ambassadorship] was the best manifestation. I didn’t even know that conversation would lead to that opportunity.” 

Rodriguez doesn’t take the gig lightly. “I knew I wanted to break the mold. I wanted this to tell people that beauty is about all women, every trans woman,” the award-winning actress shared. “Charlotte aligns with that sentiment. We have the same mindset, and I’m so glad I did this with her.” 

As she kicks off her second year as the Pillow Talk ambassador, Rodriguez feels liberated. “It’s so outstanding. I’m glad that I get to instill confidence in girls all around the world. I can’t help but think about my 14-year-old self. She would be astounded to see where we are.”

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