For many millennials, Hilary Duff will always be Lizzie McGuire, the TV character we watched navigate the complex worlds of middle school, prepubescent crushes, and bejeweled hair accessories.
This isn’t lost on Duff, so when she has the chance to give a subtle nod to her past as Lizzie, she goes for it. Launching today is her latest side project that comes with a little McGuire flair: A massive line of eye glasses and sunglasses she designed for GlassesUSA.com, all of which are named after influential, powerful women like Clara Barton, Joan of Arc, Jane Austen, and, you guessed it, Lizzie McGuire.
We sat down with Duff ahead of the announcement to discuss her favorite glasses from the collection, the meaning behind her latest tattoos, her favorite new beauty discoveries, and more.
I love your new Bette Davis-inspired tattoo from Dr Woo: What does her quote, “Take Fountain,” mean to you?
“At first I thought, ‘I hope that people don’t think that the idea behind it is taking a shortcut,’ because that’s not what my intention was by any means — it’s supposed to be sassy, because this town is hard. For her [Bette Davis] to sit there and think of her answer and come back with that? People ask me all the time, what kind of advice do you have for young actors, but there is no one thing, there’s no one formula, so for her to say, “Take Fountain [Avenue]” — it’s brilliant. And I have been there, trying to get to three auditions in one day and just stuck on Santa Monica Blvd [instead of taking the faster route, Fountain]. The meaning for me was not taking the main road, so it is funny, but it also has a little more meaning to me.”
What are your favorite tattoos?
“I have a little ghost on my arm — my best friend and I have the same tattoo and it says ‘ride or die’ on the hem of the ghost’s skirt. This is definitely my favorite and no one really knows it’s there. The ghost doesn’t really represent anything [laughs]. My bird is probably my other favorite tattoo and it doesn’t really mean anything, either.”
You’ve had a lot of beauty phases. Which would you revisit and which would you rather forget?
“I would like to have dark hair again. I really struggle with the bangs; I have such a love-hate relationship with bangs. They’re great for the first week and then I am growing them out for years to come. I will probably never go blue again, but that was a thing I loved. Never say never — years ago, I never thought I’d wear high-waisted jeans and now that’s all I wear, so…”
I read your NYT article on your favorite products and you know your stuff! What’s your favorite recent discovery?
“There are a few. For one, I am obsessed with Tata Harper. I love the idea of natural stuff, but I don’t always feel like it works, but I feel like her shit actually does, especially her eye creams. Then one tool that I love is Nurse Jamie’s little roller ball thing. I don’t have time to do it all the time, but when I am filming [Younger], they pick me up for work, so I just sit there and roll my face out on the way. I swear to god it helps decrease puffiness and tightens my skin. It doesn’t have long-term benefits, but if I’m getting picked up at 4 in the morning and working until 9 at night, then this helps.”
Hair accessories are back this season, so I have to ask: Did you get to keep any of Lizzie McGuire’s hair accessories?
“Oh my gosh, no! [Laughs] I wish I had some of the Lizzie hair accessories, but let me tell you that the amount of organization it took for them in the hair and makeup room was insane. But no, I didn’t keep a single one… I don’t think that rhinestone chopsticks will ever come back again, but you never know! Just watch, Haim is probably going to wear a butterfly clips soon and we’re all going to say it’s cool again!”
This collaboration with GlassesUSA.com stands out because most styles are under $100 and they seem to suit all complexions and face shapes — was that your goal when you took on this partnership?
“I want everything I do to be inclusive, so when I first started working with GlassesUSA.com I was really impressed by what they were doing and the quality of their glasses got me really excited. I don’t want to make something or sell something that I don’t want to wear or don’t relate to and I was excited to be able to design something I love. Plus, you can turn them all into sunglasses! I do all my shopping online, so the virtual mirror has been so cool, too! You can see the glasses from all angles.”
Which pair is your favorite?
“Lizzie [is my favorite] today. Tomorrow, who knows!”