For Savannah Lee Smith, moving to New York City was always the plan. “Growing up, I knew I didn’t want to stay in Los Angeles, and TV and film did a wonderful job of making New York City seem like the place to be,” she tells us. With a passion for theater, Smith packed her bags for New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and swiftly caught the eye of a talent agent.
The auditions were quick to roll in, and as she vied for role after role, Smith’s adoration of the Big Apple grew stronger. “I love the chaos of it all,” she shares. “I romanticized [NYC] to no end growing up, and I still do.” It was fitting when Smith was eventually cast in the latest iteration of Gossip Girl as Monet de Haan, a wealthy, powerful, and queer student at the storied Constance Billard St. Jude on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Like the OG series, HBO Max’s Gossip Girl puts glamour and fashion at the forefront of every scandal-enmeshed situation the characters find themselves in. And for Monet de Haan—the Queen Bee gatekeeper of the group—her makeup looks stay beat from every angle. We spoke with Smith about stepping into Monet’s stilettos and how her beauty routine has evolved since becoming a fixture on the Upper East Side teen drama.