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What We Can Learn From Octavia Spencer About Class And Loyalty

By Meghan Dillon·· 4 min read
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I’ve always liked Octavia Spencer. She’s one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood, and her rise to fame hasn’t seemed to change her as a person.

A lot of celebrities who come across as genuine and kind are often faking it, but it appears that Octavia Spencer is the real deal.

She’s Had the Same Makeup Artist for 15 Years

Octavia Spencer always looks stunning on the red carpet, and she owes a lot of that to Valerie Noble, her makeup artist of 15 years. She took inspiration from Noble when she played Madam CJ Walker, a 19th century activist, philanthropist, beauty mogul, and the first first female self-made millionaire in American history in Netflix’s Self Made

But Noble isn’t just someone on Spencer’s team; they’re good friends. Spencer said, “I think of makeup as an enhancer; it should enhance the beauty already there. My makeup artist, Valerie Noble, has done my makeup so well that I've forgotten how to do it on my own. We're old, old friends. She's been doing my makeup for 15 years. We make sure to do just enough that I don't look so different when I'm wearing makeup than when I'm not.”

The fact that Octavia Spencer has kept the same makeup artist for 15 years proves she hasn't let Oscar awards and fame go to her head. It shows that she values Valerie Noble, their friendship, and their understanding more than her status or whatever star points you get from having a legendary makeup artist work with you. 

Noble has also spoken about the dynamics of their long friendship. She said Spencer “picks her own clothes, her hairstyles, her makeup — she knows exactly what she wants. All I have to do is execute it.” 

This sounds like a real friendship, where Octavia can speak her mind and her makeup artist can respect that and happily work with her. 

Another benefit of knowing each other so long? Spencer’s red carpet makeup look takes just 20 minutes!

Here Are Some of Our Fave Makeup Looks on Octavia

To give Spencer glowing cheeks, Noble uses two layers of Mac blush. First, a darker burgundy blush on the top of the cheekbones, then a brighter shade of red blush. “She really likes a pretty cheek!" says Noble.

Noble says that "we just used sheer gloss without any liner or anything.” That way, Spencer can reapply it herself throughout the night. (Brilliant!) “I always hand it to her on the way out the door. And then she gives it back to me. I guard the gloss — it just looks so perfect on her."

This subtle cherry lip is so elegant with her "royal red" dress.

Octavia Spencer’s Loyal Friendship Is a Rarity in Hollywood

Spencer has stayed loyal to her friend Valerie since her career sky-rocketed after her breakout role in The Help. This is refreshing because real friendship in Hollywood is rare. 

Stephen Galloway of The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Talk to most people in Hollywood and you’ll find this shocking truth: nobody has any real friends. Not in the industry, at least. Not intimate, rock-solid, listen-to-my-darkest-secrets, hold-the-lifeboat-for-me friends...there are relationships of convenience and some that are even fun.”

He continues, “A friend in Hollywood is best understood as something else: the opposite of an enemy...A friend in Hollywood is an ally, a fellow traveler, someone who doesn’t pose a threat, at least not an immediate one, though that can change in the blink of an eye.”

A friend in Hollywood is usually understood as something else: the opposite of an enemy.

Who could ever forget the fallout between Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez after over a decade of friendship? Or the drama between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry? (Although the bad blood seems to be over between them now.)

Friendship suffering in a project-based industry like film is kind of understandable, but it’s also common for celebrities to leave their non-famous spouses behind when they find fame. Some of the most famous examples include Steve Harvey divorcing his first wife, Marcia Harvey, in 1994, and Harrison Ford, who divorced his first wife after his rise to fame in Star Wars. Although Octavia Spencer is unmarried, her loyalty to her friends from before she became famous is admirable — and something that many of her Hollywood peers lack.

Closing Thoughts

Let’s be real. Hollywood often comes across as really fake. Friendships never seem real and marriage isn't sacred, so it’s always refreshing when we see a celebrity who hasn’t let fame change them. Despite her quick rise to fame, Octavia Spencer remains her classy and funny self and stays loyal to her friends who helped her get to where she is today. In short, we all deserve a friend as loyal as Octavia Spencer.

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