Marina Mazepa, co-star of the upcoming hit film franchise, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Malignant and The Unholy (that’s three major films from leading directors in one year) reveals her secrets to success (hint: it takes grit) along with the hair products she uses on her long, lustrous hair and the CBD bath bomb she’s “obsessed with” to heal sore muscles.
From dancer and contortionist to starring in three major films in one year, actress Marina Mazepa is conquering Hollywood. The 24-year-old dynamo shares her Beauty Rap with Beautytap, including the inspiring mindset that has helped fuel her success, her go-to skincare products and the antioxidant-filled sweet treat she eats every morning.
Beautytap: You finally made it to Hollywood! How are you feeling about your decision to leave your small town in Ukraine as a dancer to pursue your dream of acting and how has it been so far?
Marina Mazepa: I’m really excited, but it’s also been a hard ride. It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning when I just moved here. I was lost. I always wanted to be an actress, but I was so insecure about my English. There was a lot of insecurity about my accent or how to even order coffee in a coffee shop. But step by step, I learned. Without knowing English, acting in Hollywood films seemed unreachable.
B: Your English is fantastic. How did you do it?
MM: I was just lucky to be around great people. I found my mentors and I was fortunate to have people who supported me and helped me with my mindset. When I first moved here I was a bit overwhelmed but I had people around me who encouraged me. I stand so confidently now behind my decision to become an actor. I’m glad I had enough courage to switch from dancing to acting. I feel like I’ve found my niche.
B: Well, it seems to be working. Looking back on your breakout appearance on America’s Got Talent, you must not have known much English at that point. Very clever of you to be able to communicate a story with only your dance and your eyes.
MM: Yes, I think that eye connection is one of the most important parts because you can speak through your eyes. As an actor, it’s always about your eyes. It should be natural, but you still need to remember the camera is there.
B: It was a performance that shocked the judges, including Simon Cowell. You were really inches away from his face. That was very brave of you to have dared to get in his face like that. You must have really thought out your makeup. Can you tell us how you achieved that unique look?
MM: I was really working on that performance as it was very stylized. I wanted to make it feminine and ‘alienistically” weird, but beautiful. I worked with a makeup artist but back then I didn’t know any products or any names. It was all new to me. She made me look so beautifully aligned in white and silver. She created lines on my face. All those lines were going beyond my hair line. She used eyeliner and a lot of pencils to achieve that look. We also did dark eye shadow and dark eyebrows, so it was a combination of colors between gray, white and silver. I had silver sparkles and lots of twists in my hair – it was a very specific look.
B: That is a far cry from the way your hair had to be when you were a young ballerina in Ukraine. Were you happy to find a new career where you could finally let your hair down?
MM: Absolutely. In a figurative and literal sense. I’ve always thought of long hair for women as being very feminine. I think it brings out one’s beauty. As a dancer I always had to have a slicked back bun with hair spray. And when I removed that bun, it felt life changing. Letting my hair down was kind of like revealing my feminine soul.
B: Your hair is gorgeous. What products do you use to keep it looking so beautiful?
MM: I use Moroccan Oil shampoo and for conditioning I use Sebastian Potion 9 to prevent my hair from getting damaged. Sometimes I do a combination of Sebastian Potion 9 and Sebastian Dark Oil Evanescent Styling Oil. I also use Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for added texture.
B: I noticed you share some of your daily beauty regime with the hundreds of thousands of followers on your Instagram. Can you share some of your secrets with us too?
MM: I’ve been using Lancer for the last three years and about six months ago I added Burgeon Bleu to my morning routine – I use their undereye cream and moisturizing gel in the morning. At night I use Lancer ‘s exfoliator, cleanser, and moisturizer.
B: Do you have any daily ‘must have’ make up essentials?
MM: I don’t use a lot of makeup. When I was a dancer, I would wear a lot because you had to look ‘over the top’ for the performances and while being on stage – big lashes and a lot of red lipstick. Since getting more into modeling and film, it’s all settled down. I am in love with my Anastasia Brow Freeze Styling Wax. I love her. I brush my eyebrows up with this gel and I literally do nothing to my face. Sometimes I use a little bit of Laura Mercier foundation as well.
B: What’s been your biggest beauty splurge since coming to Hollywood?
MM: I had an incredible facial, which a friend gave to me as a present. I don’t usually do a lot of facials, nor do I do any extractions because I exfoliate my skin almost every night. I also had a spa day with my boyfriend at Tomoko Japanese Spa.
B: You have such a beautiful figure to maintain as a contortionist, acrobat and dancer. What are you diet tips?
MM: I eat healthy. My diet is based on eating small and frequent portions and I eat a lot of protein and healthy carbs in the morning like oatmeal or sweet potatoes. I also eat dark chocolate every morning. Salads or grilled vegetables with a piece of protein are my quick go-to foods and they are very filling. I usually have grilled or baked fish, chicken or steak. I love to cook soups and have them prepared in my fridge for a couple of days. My favorite snack for breakfast is cottage cheese with fruit or berries and nuts. I specifically use Ukrainian cottage cheese, which is different from American. It’s like an old-world tradition.
B: Growing up in Kiev, Ukraine did your mom or family have any old-world beauty traditions that were handed down to you?
MM: Yes! My Mom used to make a banana mask. I remember laughing at her growing up when she would put cucumbers on her eyes and a small piece of banana on her face and leave it for twenty minutes. She did that almost every day. I haven’t done it for a while, but I need to start again.
B: What about your nails – do you like a more minimalist natural look?
MM: I always get nude or light-colored gel nails because my work requires it. I can’t have colorful nails when I’m modeling and acting – my nails need to be neutral and well-maintained.
B: Speaking of work, your film career is really taking off. This year alone you have three films releasing – The Unholy directed by Sam Raimi, Malignant directed by James Wan and Resident Evil-Welcome to Raccoon City. That’s a lot of red carpets to get ready for. Were you able to attend any premieres during Covid?
MM: We didn’t have a red carpet for Malignant and we just had a very tiny red carpet for a screening of The Unholy.
B: Did you get to show off those great legs on the red carpet and do you wear anything on them for going out?
MM: My makeup artist Gayatri Bhamidipaty applies body makeup for me because my legs are usually beaten up from doing a lot of martial arts. I have a sparkling powder by Agent Provocateur which I use too.
B: So, The Unholy was your first film premiere red carpet?
MM: It was my first one for a major movie premiere, yes. I was also on the red carpet for America’s Got Talent.
B: Do you think America’s Got Talent opened the door for you to do films with such legendary directors as Sam Raimi and James Wan? Simon Cowell said you were “terrifying in a brilliant way” and “crazier than the exorcist.”
MM: Definitely. America’s Got Talent opened the door for me to enter the movie industry. Director James Wan discovered me on America’s Got Talent. We had a meeting and he cast me as the main villain in Malignant, so I think those words from Simon and that performance just helped people understand me.
B: Your character in Malignant is pretty kick #$%! You utilized your skills as a contortionist. It must have been very difficult and extremely hard on your body. Did you need special massages to recover from that?
MM: I needed a lot of body work. My massage therapist is Kevin Shaw and I’ve been working with him for two years, especially after filming, Malignant. I remember my body was destroyed for two or three months. If you see Malignant, you’ll see what I was doing there. You won’t see my face because I’m playing a character, but when you watch the film, you’ll know it’s me. All of those positions I did with my body – they’re just not natural.
B: You must also need to unwind at home too after such physical demands on your muscles and body. Did you take baths or soaks?
MM: I use Au Santè CBD bath bombs. They’re amazing and I recommend that everyone try them. You can find them on Instagram – @ausante. I love taking baths especially while reading. Sometimes I use two CBD bath bombs – it’s full-spectrum and I’m obsessed.
B: What is the real Marina like?
MM: I’m bubbly and easy-going. I’m also very persistent and hard working. I love to take care of people; it makes me feel happy. I love to help people and I feel good when I can offer something. This is what makes my life full. That’s why I use Instagram as a platform to inspire people and to share not only the happy moments, but also the hard days on my journey, so people can see that nothing comes easy.
B: You sound like a real superhero. You’d make a great action star.
MM: This is my dream. I would love to become an action star because it’s so close to me. I feel like it’s in my temper. I can definitely kick &%$ and I feel like those roles would be natural for me. I’m a strong woman, someone who knows how to get through it, who knows hard times and who knows how to break through and never give up. It’s important to stay determined, passionate and patient. And confidence needs to be somewhere inside of you in order to play those types of roles.
B: One of the things I find so unique about you is that you are so beautiful and yet so terrifying in your performances. It’s an unusual mix.
MM: Beauty can be terrifying. To see the combination of those terrifying moves and being a feminine woman with long hair, wearing pretty makeup – it’s just all unexpected but in a really good way.
We know there will be many more unexpected, new and exciting projects for this resilient actress!
See Marina Mazepa in Malignant, currently in theaters and streaming, The Unholy, and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City hitting theaters November 24th.