Shay Mitchell has been in the spotlight for nearly a decade, since her breakout role as Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars back in 2010. Now, seven years later, the show recently aired its final episode. But the actresses’s evolution is far from over. At 30 years old, Mitchell often jokes about playing a high schooler throughout the series. However, the believability comes from the attention she pays to living her best and most fulfilling life, which makes her more youthful, both inside and out.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, the actress talked about what she’s learned through her work, her travels, and even from her glam squad — all of which have helped her maintain a sense of balance within her crazy schedule.
“I’ve situated my life and my priorities to things that I’m excited about, and if I didn’t, then I really do feel like everything would look differently on the outside, and I’d feel differently on the inside,” Mitchell says. “Whether it be my work or any sort of relationship that I have with anybody, it’s important that everything that I do is benefitting and inspiring me to want to do better.”
As a partner of Bioré Skincare, one of Mitchell’s recent projects involved giving back to communities of young women around the world. At the launch of the new Bioré limited edition pore strips, the actress celebrated a new partnership with the GirlUp SchoolCycle program, which is helping the skincare brand provide 200 bikes to girls in need. “It’s really, really, really important,” Mitchell emphasized, after visiting many of the countries where bikes will be provided. “I love what you guys are doing, so thank you GirlUp.”
Being involved in such charities is one of the ways that Mitchell ensures she’s surrounding herself with good people and building positive relationships. Many of those relationships are ones that she’s documented through her lifestyle channel on YouTube and on Instagram, including her bond with A-list makeup artist Patrick Ta. Along with many others, Mitchell swears that Ta is vital to her success, beyond just doing her makeup.
“It’s never just me that got me here. We all kind of work as a machine, and without one person, it wouldn’t work as smooth. Patrick is an amazing makeup artist, and everybody that I work with — glam squads, or whoever — I really do admire their work ethic and I’m lucky to work with them,” she says. “Being able to see Patrick from the beginning … I was one of his first clients, he says … and now seeing how far he’s grown. It’s really exciting and I’m proud.”
As a key player in her glam squad, Ta does play a big role in her life. But for Mitchell, those seemingly superficial moments of getting dolled up are more about taking care of herself and spending time with the people she’s closest with.
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Patrick Ta and Shay Mitchell
Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta and Shay Mitchell make a great team. (Photo: Shay Mitchell via Instagram)
Mitchell attended the 2010 Teen Choice Awards just two months after the pilot episode of Pretty Little Liars aired and seemingly hasn’t had a break in her schedule since. The time she takes for herself is now spent in the gym. “I think taking care of yourself is important. Yeah, I have long hours, but at the end of the day, if I don’t work out, then I don’t feel that great. It’s my one moment where I can put my phone down and actually focus on what I’m doing and be in the moment.” (Photo: Getty Images)
The star was never afraid of experimenting with her look, as seen with this polished updo at the 22nd GLAAD Media Awards. Instead, she makes sure to have a good time with her squad during glam sessions. “To be honest, I actually like our glam time more than I do the events. It should never be stressful because, come on, we’re putting on makeup and doing hair. How stressful can that actually be?” (Photo: Getty Images)
Attending the 2011 MTV Movie Awards with mermaid waves and a metallic silver dress, it’s evident that Mitchell has always had fun with her look from head to toe. (Photo: Getty Images)
The actress attended the 2011 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute event, which recognizes great people and causes that are close to her heart. “With things that I do — traveling to different countries, seeing a lot of things that I’ve seen — it really does put everything into perspective,” Mitchell says. “So, for me to take fashion or beauty so seriously, I just can’t do it. There’s too many important things in the world.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Mitchell’s red carpet look for the 2012 People’s Choice Awards reflects more of the actress’s recent style. After earlier nude lips and dark hair, she began to try out a brighter lip and lighter locks. (Photo: Getty Images)
Almost three years into her celebrity status, Mitchell perfected her pouty pose at the 39th People’s Choice Awards. With peachy makeup to match her dress, the star maintained a lighter eye look, while working on her signature contour. (Photo: Getty Images)
The actress debuted voluminous waves and a dark smoky eye at a movie premiere in 2013 — a look that she’s continued to love and rock ever since. (Photo: Getty Images)
Mitchell attended New York Fashion Week in 2014 (shown here) just before launching her YouTube channel. Now, with over 2.5 million subscribers, she calls it a labor of love. “Everything is looked over, I curate the whole plan. I write a treatment for every single video that I do,” she says. “It is work, but I enjoy doing it because it truly does make my trips a lot more exciting and meaningful when I know that I can share these experiences with people watching it.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Just a month into creating videos, the actress shared a makeup tutorial on the perfect smoky eye — a look similar to the one she wore to the 2014 GQ Men of the Year Party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Although it may seem like the actress looks just as she did for Jingle Ball 2015 during her workouts, she shared a video on her channel of a hardcore training session, proving that she likes a good sweat. “I really don’t wear makeup when I work out. I just feel it clogging my pores,” she says. “If you want to do a little bit maybe add on some tinted lip chap, tinted moisturizer, and then I’d maybe do my eyebrows.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Mitchell attended the celebration for the final season of Pretty Little Liars rocking curly hair and a bronzed beauty look. (Photo: Getty Images)
The actress attended her last MTV Movie and TV Awards as part of the PLL cast, before announcing in August that she had formed her own production company, Amore & Vita Productions, Inc., which signed a deal with Warner Bros. “I produce content all the time for my channel,” she says. “Now I can bring it to either TV or even further online.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Mitchell’s latest project has now brought her to New York, where she might even pick up on some East Coast style. (Photo: Getty Images)