Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot

Why Eiza González Says the 2020 Lockdown Was the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to Her

She came, she saw, she conquered Hollywood. But now, movie star Eiza González is using the down-time of quarantine to get introspective and embrace her fears.
By Mary Anderson
April 12, 2021
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This is no ordinary year, but try telling that to Eiza González. As we catch up with her in Los Angeles in mid-February, she's shooting a big-budget thriller, promoting a dark comedy (I Care a Lot, which would debut on Netflix three days later), and gearing up for the hotly anticipated release of blockbuster Godzilla vs. Kong. Eiza has plenty of street cred playing women to contend with (exhibit A: her breakout role as a gangster moll in Baby Driver in 2017), but this part — as a brainy top executive — was appealing "because she's a smart-ass," the Mexico City native says. "I'm representing a cool role as a power woman that has nothing to do with my ethnicity. It's a great display of what the future should be for diverse women like me."

Eiza, 31, got her start in telenovelas at age 15 and then dabbled as a pop star before making a splash in Hollywood. Fast-forward to 2018, when she walked the red carpet at her first Oscars in a screen-siren yellow gown that lit up the Twitterverse. Eiza the It girl had arrived. Then she broke her collarbone. "Not a lot of people know this, but it really changed the trajectory of my professional life," she says of being sidelined for three months after a film-set injury and missing out on big projects she had lined up.

"[The projects] changed other people's careers. It was really hard to watch. There was a lot of internal work that I had to do to not fall apart." In fact, she not only bounced back but shifted into high gear, as evidenced by her full professional dance card that has seemingly been pandemic-proof. Likewise, so has her mindset. "Lockdown was actually the best thing that could have happened to me," Eiza says. "This time and space allowed me to connect with who I am as a person, my passion. It was curious because when I turned 30 shortly before, I had already started thinking, OK, who am I in this new decade?"

The answer, it turns out, is someone who feels really good in her (seriously luminous) skin. Eiza's got her It back, and she's here to let us in on how to channel that glow and swagger.

Shape May 2021 Cover featuring Eiza González
Credit: Thomas Whiteside

First, Let Self-Love Reign

"I'm getting to that age where I feel confident: This girl I see in the mirror is who I am, and I've just got to love her. I don't want to judge her. I want to give my body this message consistently that I'm grateful for it so that it keeps itself healthy. Especially in the middle of a pandemic, we realize that our bodies are doing so much to keep us alive. We've got to be grateful to them.

"Maybe four years ago, I went on a trip with my then boyfriend and got photographed by paparazzi at the beach. You could see cellulite on my leg in the photos, and I was so embarrassed. Now I feel so sexy when I see my cellulite or my butt — that it's big, with little dimples. I feel so sexy just having a jiggle, or when I sit and my legs create that little fat on the side of my hip. I really do. I feel like a woman, I can move my body, and it makes me feel really empowered, something that I never would have felt in my 20s." (Related: How Iskra Lawrence Is Inspiring Women to Put Their #CelluLIT On Full Display)

Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot
Credit: Thomas Whiteside

Put Some (OK, a Lot of) Muscle Into It

"This body needs to be happy by exercising, because I feel so good when I exercise. I go between three workouts. I do a lot of weight lifting with high weight, low reps — that's something that this Latina butt needs to get toned. I'm also training for a movie [the afore- mentioned thriller, Ambulance] by doing a lot of intervals: cardio mixed with movement. Then Pilates — I swear by Pilates, and I die by Pilates. It works out muscles that I don't work out ever. Like this little one under my boob, between my fourth and sixth left ribs.

Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot
Credit: Thomas Whiteside

Get Your Skin Squad Together

"I've narrowed the amount of products that I was putting on my face so that I use five. I'm a Latina, and we have hyperpigmentation issues — brown and Black women can relate. I have this clarifying cream from Ayur-Medic [Buy It, $54, ayur-medic.com) that is for oily and blemishing skin. I use that every day. For my hyperpigmentation, I use the Skin Medica Lytera 2.0 [Buy It, $154, amazon.com]; it's a pigment corrector. Then I put on sunscreen over those two, and that's it.

"When I come home from the day, I clean my face with Éminence Organic Skin Care, an all-natural product. Then I steam my face with this portable Dr. Dennis Gross steamer [Buy It, $149, sephora.com] so my pores get cleaned. When I start breaking out, I use these wipes with salicylic acid that my facialist Vanessa Hernandez makes, VH Method Peel [Buy It, $90, vhskincare.com]. That's what I do. And I'm diligent about my facials, but I don't do more."

Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot
Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot
Left: Credit: Thomas Whiteside
Right: Credit: Thomas Whiteside

Feed Your Cravings, Complexion, and Spirit

"One day a week, I eat whatever I want. That's my one rule. I'll eat brownies. I'll eat pizza. I'll eat all the foods I want to eat because that's what this body needs to be happy. This past year, I started finding new recipes and trying to learn how to cook. That really motivated me. I realized that I'm cleaning my system from the inside out, and it really began to show. It was beautiful because I've never felt as healthy as I feel right now." (Related: Why the 80/20 Rule Is the Gold Standard of Dietary Balance)

Eiza González in her Shape May 2021 Cover Shoot
Credit: Thomas Whiteside

Dance Like Nobody Is Watching

"I became really introspective throughout quarantine, and it slowly started to guide me toward personal desires, like reconnecting with art and how much I love painting, sketching, and drawing. I learned how to play guitar. I thought: What are the things that I've been terrified of doing — that I never felt like I could do because I would be scared of failing in front of the world — and then I did them. My sketches were something that I kept to myself at first, but then I started sharing them. I realized, I want to post this sketch that I did whether people like it or not. I like it."

Photography: Thomas Whiteside, @thomaswhiteside // Styling: Brit & Kara Elkin/AFrameAgency.com, @ELKIN // Hair: Bridget Brager/The Wall Group for Herbal Essences, @bridgetbragerhair // Makeup: Kara Yoshimoto Bua/AFrameAgency.com for CHANEL, @karayoshimotobua // Manicure: Tracy Clemens/Star Touch Agency for CHANEL, @tracy_clemens // Set styling: Ward Robinson/Wooden Ladder, @woodenladder // Creative Director: Noah Dreier, @noahdreier // Photo Director: Toni Paciello Loggia, @toniloggia