The Surprisingly Humble Place Camila Mendes Meditates While On Set for 'Riverdale'
During the pandemic, actor Camila Mendes found an unexpected source of solace when she needed a moment of peace: meditating on the floor of her on-set trailer.
For Mendes, the 26-year-old rising starlet with mega influence (26 million followers and counting), quiet moments on set can be few and far between. She's currently on location in Vancouver where she films the CW hit show Riverdale, in which Mendes stars as the quick-witted Veronica Lodge alongside starlets Lili Reinhart and Madelaine Petsch. She's spent the majority of the pandemic stationed in Vancouver.
She admits that being away from home can become isolating, especially with such an intense filming schedule. "Things can get pretty overwhelming on set sometimes. There's a lot going on and just happening really quickly. [When I feel anxious,] I'll text production and say, 'Hey I'm going to meditate in my trailer for ten minutes. Please don't knock unless it's urgent.' And then I turn off all the lights, sit on the floor, take out my phone, and meditate using the Balance app." The moment of pause leaves her refreshed and focused for her next scene.
Mendes sat down with Shape via Zoom (from her trailer no less) to share more of the wellness and self-care practices that have helped her combat stress and prioritize rest during such a wild year.
You're Never Too Good for Nerves
"I think the nature of being an actor is pretty nerve-wracking and I tend to be a stress sweater. Even though I've been on Riverdale for years now, I still get nervous in scenes. To be honest, I always want to do a good job for the crew that's behind the scenes. I want to make them proud. I like to get excited about that kind of nervousness. So I always put on deodorant. I really like Secret's Aluminum-Free formula (Buy It, $18 for three, amazon.com). [Note: she's a spokesperson for the brand.] I put it on right before I put on my costume because my biggest fear is sweating through tight clothing."
Skin-Care As Self-Care, Makeup As Play
"I always do my skin-care routine before I go to work, which can be therapeutic. When I get to work, I always sit at the mirror and do my eyebrow for five minutes. Literally every day I have to tweeze a unibrow hair (laughs).
I love makeup too, but doing my skin care does feel really ritualistic. Either I'm preparing for the day or I'm winding down. That relationship with skin care is really personal and soothing. However, my relationship with makeup is more exciting and fun. Usually, I'm listening to music and really feeling myself. I love the process of putting on your foundation, checking yourself out, maybe adding a little more. Then there's that sense of pride at the end — like, 'Hey! I did that. Face beat by me!'" (One time, in a pinch, she even used a pancake to blend her makeup on set.)
Bath Time As a Wind-Down
"I've also been taking a lot of baths, especially at night because I have trouble deciding to go to bed. I'm a night owl but I'm also a morning person! I've been trying to take baths, turn off my phone, and listen to music [that] gives me that relaxed pre-bed mindset. It helps me unwind and officially end the day." (Related: How to Make Your Bubble Bath the *Most* Relaxing)
Finding Consistency with Fitness During a Year of Chaos
"I strive to be super consistent — as consistent as I can be. Whenever I have a day off, I will make a point to work out in the morning. Sometimes my call time is at 5 a.m. On those days, I prioritize sleep.
But on the days I can work out first thing in the morning, I definitely do. On normal days, I make a fun routine out of it. I go over to my trainer's house, Andrea 'LA' Thoma Gustin, where she has a garage gym set up. I bring my dog to play with hers. It feels like a hangout; it's organic and makes me happy." (Related: Why Camila Mendes Says She's Done with Dieting)
Circuit Training and Massage Guns
"My trainer does a lot of circuit training but she always switches it up. She's actually a physical therapist, so she really knows her stuff. And sometimes she'll pull out the Theragun (Buy It, $600, amazon.com) and massage me with it. She really gets into my hamstrings. I laugh uncontrollably every time (because it's really painful!) but it's also ticklish. It adds to my routine and I like giving attention to my body in that sort of way." (See: Camila Mendes' Core Muscles Are Literally Twitching In This Workout Video)
Her Hair Saviors
"I'm loving Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother Cream (Buy It, $28, sephora.com) for my hair. I put a glob of that in my hair, and it soaks it right up. My mane goes from being frizzy and wild to being tamer and healthier looking.
There's also a Brazilian hair product I love that translates from Portuguese to English as 'silicon' that my aunt would always pick up from her local hair salon for me. It's just an anonymous bottle of white cream. My mom and I would stock up on it whenever we visited Brazil. It's a thick anti-frizz product that works so well and smells great! It works sooo well and leaves my hair glossy. I need more!" (Related: Are Silicones Good or Bad for Hair?)
Fashion During Lockdown
"Since there aren't many industry events, I don't get many opportunities to show off my style these days. So what's the point of dressing up at home? Normally, I'm in workout clothes for convenience because I'm heading to my trainer's or to set, where I'll put on a costume. When I'm at home, I'm always in an oversized t-shirt. My friend gifted me a bunch of vintage shirts, one says 'HUBBA HUBBA' that I can't stop wearing. Right now, I like wearing stuff that's feel-good, fun, and has some personality to it."