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Jonathan Van Ness’s Self-Love Advice Includes a Facial Mist & Being Gentle With Yourself

Jonathan Van Ness had just finished listening to Taylor Swift’s All Too Well (10 Minute Version) when we hopped on a Zoom call to discuss self-love which, honestly, couldn’t be more of a fitting song choice.

The Queer Eye star and ambassador for SmileDirectClub’s Confidence Council is here to talk about building confidence and finding those small moments of self-care, whether it’s a spritz of facial mist, learning to be gentle with yourself or, perhaps, listening to one of Swift’s most epic songs about discovering your own worth. True to Van Ness’s role with SmileDirectClub, you can add using a Water Flosser to that list as well.

Confidence, from Van Ness’s point of view, is actually pretty simple by definition. “It’s a state of being and it’s a space of accepting,” he explained.

While we were on the subject, we also tackled bad hair days and the Queer Eye hero who still slides into Van Ness’s DMs with the best, most inspiring messages. Read on for an instant JVN pick-me-up that’ll rival your morning coffee.

SheKnows: To start, I’d love to hear what your journey with confidence has looked like?

Jonathan Van Ness: I think that sometimes people think that you get to this day, and you’re like, “Oh, I’m confident now.” I don’t think it’s like that. I think that everyday we have a relationship with confidence and sometimes you feel it more organically [and] sometimes you don’t feel it, you’re feeling a little more insecure. It’s about being comfortable with whatever feelings are coming up and knowing that you are fabulous, you’re lovable, you’re worthy despite whatever your relationship to confidence is feeling like that day. [It’s] knowing that everyone has a different relationship with confidence that ebbs and flows.

SK: If you’re having a low day, is there a quick fix that you give to yourself to up that self-love?

JVN: Taking a quick break is nice, just taking a little moment to breathe. Sometimes I like a little skincare moment like [giving myself] a facial mist reset. Also, this is random but sometimes when I’m in a bad mood, it’s because I realized that I need to floss.

SK: That is maybe my favorite confidence hack, flossing…

JVN: It does! It’s self-care but it’s also gorgeous and it helps your teeth be cuter….get on your flossing game. Oh my god, if you take anything from this interview. Also, a water flosser is fun too, if that’s more of your jam.

SK: I spent a lot of last night watching season six of Queer Eye and something I noticed is the loving, gentle way that you talk to all the heroes. I was curious if the way you speak to the heroes has rubbed off on how you speak to yourself?

JVN: I think it’s other way around. I think that the way that I learned to treat myself is how I’ve been able…to be so gentle and loving with other people. You can’t give what you don’t have. I try to be gentle with people because I try to be gentle with myself. I used to be so hard on myself and so critical and I’ve been through so much — there is a strength in being gentle. You wouldn’t say something like that to your best friend when you’re being hard on yourself so I try to remember that with people I work with.

SK: When it comes to being a part of the Fab Five, have there been any tips on self-love and confidence that you’ve gotten from your colleagues or the heroes you’ve worked with?

JVN: Oh my gosh, Well, I mean, so many of our heroes I’m still super close with but Mama Tammye will slide into my DMs and just be like, “You are so loved.” She is like a second mom. She’s just such a cheerleader and she’s so strong and she says beautiful one-liners all the time. She’s always stuck with me.

SK: That’s wonderful. I loved her. I’m asking this next question somewhat selfishly, but when you’re having a bad hair day, it can really take a toll on your confidence. Do you have any suggestions for a quick hair fix when that happens?

JVN: Oh, it’s so depends on what your hair is. Maybe instead of trying to change your hair, knowing that you are a gorgeous person no matter what your hair day is, you are still gorgeous. And even…what is a bad hair day? There’s a gajillion people who probably would like, snatch your hair off your head so fast and wish that they had your hair. We always wish that we had a different look, that’s one thing I think is a constant, so trying to come into a place of acceptance.

SK: I like that philosophical take on it.

JVN: Yeah, or just throw it up in a half-up half-down…I will say that, not to plug JVN Hair but it is true, our air dry cream. You won’t ever have a bad hair day with air dry cream because you can put it on your hair wet and let it air dry. It’s so affordable. It’s fabulous. It works on all hair types. It does so many different things. It’s so multipurpose.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

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