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How Lili Reinhart Is Making the Most of Summer

The 'Riverdale' actor on how she's pivoting during quarantine

If there’s anyone who’s used to life’s topsy-turvy turns and crazy curveballs, it’s probably Lili Reinhart—the actor has played Betty Cooper on Riverdale for four seasons, after all. And anyone who’s familiar with the show knows that in the town of Riverdale, you can never bet on anything going as planned. But not even the writers’ room of the hit TV show could probably have seen 2020 coming…or could have written anything like it into the show. It’s been a tough few months for everyone, with some change that’s much needed (like the current rise in awareness of and protests against police brutality towards Black citizens globally), and some that we kind of wish had never happened (looking at you, COVID-19); and as we head into the summer, it’s becoming clearer than ever that this season will probably look different than last year’s—or any years past. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy the summer of 2020.

FLARE chatted with Reinhart via phone from her Airbnb in Los Angeles (the actor has just recently purchased a house in the city) about how she’s spending her time at home, and what she’s up to this summer. And, TBH, it’s looking pretty similar to a lot of people’s at the moment: mainly skincare, furnishing her new space from a distance (IKEA Canada’s online orders aren’t backed up six weeks for no reason), *a lot* of reading and self-reflection and, of course, activism.

Lili Reinhart is moving into her first home

It’s never easy to move at the best of times—let alone during the middle of a pandemic. But that’s exactly what Reinhart is doing. Shortly before our interview with the star, she purchased a home in the city—a pretty special experience in and of itself, considering the Ohio native is only 23 years old—and a decision that could also be seen as a blessing in disguise. “I have that to look forward to,” Reinhart says of moving into her new place, “to kind of build a place for myself.”

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And, it’s a purchase—and distraction—that probably couldn’t have come at a better time. While the actor is a self-described “homebody,” who doesn’t love going out to bars all the time, “I definitely do miss going to restaurants,” she says of quarantine. “I miss a sense of normalcy and being able to get together with a larger group” (which, same). And while she’s seen a few select close friends during quarantine, she’s planning on using this time at home to put her space together before she hosts an (appropriately distanced and when it’s safe to do so) housewarming with her larger groups of friends. She’s just going to have to—like the rest of us—figure out how to furnish from afar. “It’s weird and hard to furnish a home during [a pandemic],” Reinhart says, “[but] I’ll do the best I can.”

Not to mention focusing on her skin

Alongside taking care of her home, Reinhart is also focusing on another important space in her life: her skin. Anyone who follows the actor on IG knows that she’s synonymous with not only Betty Cooper’s vintage ponytail, but also angelic AF skin. Seriously, she looks like a Renaissance painting IRL.

And that just doesn’t happen overnight. Reinhart has been a spokesperson for COVERGIRL since October 2019. But right now, she’s not using a *ton* of any products. “Honestly, I’ve been letting my skin breathe,” Reinhart says of her time at home. I barely wear makeup now, which is nice for my skin.” When she does put anything on her face—either for the occasional selfie, grocery store run or to feel “a little bit more polished”—it’s obviously COVERGIRL.  “If I feel like having a little bit of makeup on, I’ll put my  Covergirl hydrating concealer on and my Covergirl mascara,” she says. “But that’s about it. Honestly, I’m keeping it really, really basic.”

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While Reinhart says that her skincare and makeup routines doesn’t typically change from season to season (“I do the fresh face kind of all year round, that’s kind of my thing,” she notes), one aspect of skincare that she really focuses on during summer months is making sure to apply sunscreen, having had moles removed in the past and with skin cancer an issue that runs in her family. “I’m definitely a sunscreen girl,” she emphasizes. “That’s something I’m super adamant about, I [have to] take care of myself [and] make sure I keep up with that.” Which is honestly just great advice for everyone this summer—put on that sunscreen, people!

Of course, she’s reading and writing

And like many during quarantine, Reinhart has been reading and writing. While the actor has yet to start her own public bookclub a lá Kaia Gerber and Emma Roberts, she’s arguably doing one better (or at least one cooler)—publishing her own book of poetry. Swimming Lessons, Reinhart’s debut book of poems, is set to be released on September 29. “It’s just my everyday life,” she says of what inspires her writing. “My emotions, my feelings, my friend’s feelings. I’m inspired a lot by obviously what’s going on in the world around me, but also just human emotion.” (“Obviously that’s what people would use to write poetry,” she adds, laughing.)

And not only has writing allowed her to tap into emotions, but—she says—has also taught and encouraged her to be a better listener and friend. “It’s interesting, as a poet and writer, it’s inspired me and encouraged me to listen more,” she says. “Like talking to my friends [when] they’re having a hard time, I’m not thinking about what I’m going to say next in my head, I’m really trying to focus on them and their experience and how they’re feeling and the process of emotions. And I think going down to the basics of human emotion, whether it’s mine or not, is always really inspiring.”

“I kind of look at poems as little stories that are little glimpses into human emotion,” she continues.

With a poetic take like this, it may be surprising to find out that the Hustlers actor isn’t currently turning to poetry as a means to get through quarantine—at least when it comes to her own reading list. “Honestly, I’ve been reading self-help books, which is something that I never did before [the pandemic],” she says. “Now is the perfect time to take care of yourself and dive deep into your own healing process,” she continues. “I think a lot of times people push away dealing with their emotions and with the baggage that they have because it’s painful;” which is something the star is taking the opportunity and this quiet time to *not* do. “I’ve tried to actually focus inward and heal leftover wounds that have gone unhealed and kind of just take care of myself,” she says. (FYI, Reinhart recommends Stepping Out of Fear: Breaking Free of Pain and Sufferinga book she was introduced to by her therapist and has been reading on the Kindle app). “[It] always kind of makes me laugh, because the titles of self-help books are always so daunting or so seemingly depressing,” she says of the book, “but that one was incredibly enlightening. I loved it and I’ve recommended it to five people already.”

Read this next: Here’s How Kaia Gerber Is Keeping It Together In Quarantine

And also engaging in activism

And, like so many people who have recently (and from a place of privilege) become aware of and mobilized to engage with activism against police brutality and racism, Reinhart is also spending the first bits of summer engaging in activism. When we chatted with her in the first few days of June, it was a week after the murder of Minneapolis father George Floyd. She spoke with us from her AirBnB in the middle of the riots taking place in downtown L.A. in response to the murder of Floyd and countless men and women just like him. And while we only touched on the current political climate briefly, the following day—on June 3—Reinhart took to social media to share her support for the movement, revealing in an Instagram story that she would be attending an LGBTQ+ for Black Lives Matter protest in West Hollywood that day. “Although I’ve never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman,” Reinhart wrote below information for the protest. “And I will be joining this protest today. Come join.”

Since then, Reinhart has hosted discussions with Black activists and influential leaders on Instagram Live, passing the mic as a means to educate her followers and amplify voices, including those of former Riverdale co-stars like Asha Bromfield.

It may not be the June—or summer—that Reinhart (or we) expected, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a total write off. There’s still a ton of worthwhile work being done. Which is a great summer in our books.

And as for that housewarming party? “We’ll have to wait to do [it],” she says. “But you know, something to look forward [t0].”