Olivia Wilde—actor, writer, and director behind the triumphant Booksmart and forthcoming psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling—introduces nuance and opens up vital conversations with every project she helms. A beauty campaign is no exception: To mark Wilde’s fifth anniversary as chief brand activist of True Botanicals, the all-natural, sustainably sourced skin-care line out of California, she’s starring in a new campaign, one that she had complete creative control over and hinges on a message she’s intent on driving home. “Sustainability is sexy,” says Wilde. She’s intent on upending the idea that luxury and consciously crafted beauty have to be mutually exclusive.
“People tend to equate indulgence with something naughty,” Wilde tells Vogue. “If it’s environmentally responsible, if it is better for your health, it can’t be indulgent. I think we need to dig deep to reconstruct the cliché surrounding sustainability in beauty and allow people to understand that they can indulge in skin care and feel like they are treating themselves, even if it’s something that’s actually very good for the environment.”
Lensed by photographer Guy Aroch, the unretouched True Botanicals campaign finds Wilde proudly owning her sensuality in various states of undress. Beyond promoting the line’s products, it’s meant to explore themes of confidence and control of one’s form—allowing Wilde, who has become increasingly under the microscope following her separation from longtime fiancé Jason Sudeikis and new relationship with Harry Styles, to decide how she wants to present herself as a woman and mother. “[When it comes to] our relationship with our bodies and celebrating our bodies, we all come to that from very different perspectives and experiences,” explains Wilde. “I am someone who has had two babies, I’m in my late 30s, and I love my body now more than I ever have. I enjoy the opportunity to take care of myself. That’s what my beauty ritual is: taking care of myself and celebrating my body at this stage of my life.” Here, Wilde talks through her vision for the campaign, combatting stigmas around the female body, her current beauty and wellness routine, and how she’s avoiding the social media trap.
Vogue: Congrats on five years with True Botanicals! It’s been such an incredible partnership to watch evolve. The campaign is so striking and beautiful. Could you talk me through your vision and how you brought it to life?
Olivia Wilde: It just came out of a conversation about how there’s seemingly nothing inherently dangerous, irresponsible, and therefore sexy about sustainability. This is not to criticize the way consumers operate. It’s just something that is a part of reconstructing patterns in consumerism and eventually going to help change the way that we interact with the environment itself. Within the beauty industry, I really wanted to draw attention to celebrating what’s indulgent, luxurious, enjoyable, and sexy about clean beauty.