As a new mom, Kerry Washington‘s responsibilities span much farther than wearing Scandal protagonist Olivia Pope’s white hat. And baby Isabelle, as the daughter of a very stylish mom who is helping develop shades for Neutrogena and O.P.I., is definitely set to for life in the wardrobe and beauty department. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — according to Washington, her daughter won’t be borrowing Mom’s lipstick anytime soon.
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Okay, so Washington’s daughter is barely toddling so it’s not really on the table anytime soon. But when it does come up, Washington is prepared to make it part of a bigger conversation. “I feel like that’s a joint parental question, you know?” she tells PEOPLE. “We’ll see who she is and the world she lives in — she’s not even two, so who knows what the world will look like when she is 10 or when she’s 13 or when she’s 15. We’ll just feel it out.”
For her part, Washington was well into her teens when she started playing with beauty products.”I think I started wearing makeup in high school, probably 9th, maybe 10th grade,” she says. “Just like lip color and maybe eyeliner. I think that’s how it started.”
And these days, for Washington, makeup is about so much more than just having fun (until it isn’t!). “Feminism is about the options and feeling like you don’t have to be glam,” she says. “You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to wake up in the morning and feel like you have to put on a full face to take out the trash. You also don’t want to feel like you can’t wear makeup or you’ll be called a fraud. It’s really about doing whatever I want to do on that day and being able to change it up and flip the script depending on how I’m feeling and what I want. That to me is real empowerment.”
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There’s one time you’re guaranteed to see Washington with a bare face: minutes before bedtime. “There may have been a time where I’m like, All right, I can leave a little bit of that mascara, but I am religious about going to bed with clean skin,” she admits. “My husband is always like, ‘Wow, no matter what, you wash your face.’ Yeah, I would rather take the preventive health route when it comes to my skin. At the bare minimum you can use the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes.”
For more on Washington’s beauty routine, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now, and tell us: When did you first wear makeup?
— Jillian Ruffo, with reporting by Janine Rubenstein