Image Source: Getty / Randy Shropshire and Photo Illustration: Aly Lim
Too often, the best beauty stories go Untold solely based on a person's skin color, religion, gender expression, disability, or socioeconomic status. Here, we're passing the mic to some of the most talented voices in the industry, so they can share, in their own words, the remarkable story of how they came to be — and how they're using beauty to change the world for the better. Up next: Charlie Carver, "Teen Wolf" actor and star of Boy Smells's "Nurture Your Nature" Pride Campaign, in which the brand is donating 15 percent of June and July sales from the Marble Fruit Candle ($86) and the Genderful Fine Fragrance ($98) to GLSEN with a minimum donation of $50,000.
My journey to self-acceptance has been kind of funny. I think you really know who you are when you're young, and then these conditions and experiences confuse that knowingness. When I started working in the entertainment business, I had a sense of who I was and who I wanted to be in the field, but I was being told by a lot of people and institutions that who I was was going to complicate things for me.
At a certain point, I just reached my own threshold of, "You know what? Life is short. I don't want to live this way. It doesn't feel authentic to who I am." And so, I thought, What do I have to lose? This path I've been on isn't going to work. What ended up happening was this return to a really young, familiar self, and with that return came a new freedom to explore.
I felt really limited from exploring the realm of beauty growing up as a man. So now, I just follow my interests. When it comes to skin-care products, for example, that means buying products from brands that sort of align themselves with a more traditionally "feminine" market. There's something really soothing, and delicate, and beautiful about a product, and I don't think that, as a man, I should refuse myself the pleasures of that.
I like to take care of my skin, especially with the line of work I've decided for myself. I use a simple routine that I can maintain, and every once in a while I'll introduce something new just to keep it fresh. I'm also very into smell — I've got this display shelf of really unique fragrances. It's how I dress myself up for the day.
I'm a playful guy, I love feeling free in how I express myself, but I'm not going to entirely dismiss that sense of play as childlike.
As an actor, I've never quite known how I fit into the industry. Men face a lot of beauty standards in this business, particularly about body and face, but things are changing. In this state of change, there's thankfully a lot less pressure. This new generation are much more interested in authenticity and beauty really being a multitude of things, not just this kind of archaic notion of body and face.
I've been a fan of Boy Smells for a long time, and I was flattered that it would think of me for its "Nurture Your Nature" Garden of Eden Pride Campaign with Megan Stalter, but the funny thing is, I hate anything that's remotely close to modeling. The more I got to hear of the concept and go to set, however, it just felt so well executed and had a sense of self-awareness.
Image Source: Boy Smells
There's just something so playful about the brand — about the smells, the fluidity of a play with traditionally masculine and feminine scents — but it's sophisticated at the same time. It doesn't view those things as mutually exclusive, and I can relate to that.
I'm a playful guy, I love feeling free in how I express myself, but I'm not going to entirely dismiss that sense of play as childlike. If you can get in a state of play, then there's room for surprise and there's room for charm. Then you can follow that next charming thing.