We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."

Despite starring on a hot CW teen drama, Camila Mendes is about as normal and relatable as they come. It's a quality that comes across on her Twitter, her Instagram and over the phone, which is where I had the pleasure of catching up with her on all things beauty and shopping.

Maybe it's because she spends most of the year in Vancouver, B.C., where "Riverdale" shoots, but Mendes — who plays the raven-haired Veronica Lodge — doesn't come across as your typical Los Angeles starlet. She sticks to a pretty simple beauty routine, can't get herself to spend on big-ticket fashion and has been relying on what her stylist and brands send her to dress herself throughout the pandemic. Okay, maybe that last part was a bit more typical.

Read on for our conversation, including her skin-care favorites, how she achieves those perfect eyebrows and why she hasn't really been shopping lately.

Camila Mendes at Milan Fashion Week in February 2020

Camila Mendes at Milan Fashion Week in February 2020

"I used to be obsessed with Nicole Richie. I loved her style growing up because she had boho-chic nailed down. But I think my style has evolved since then and has a bunch of influences. I don't even know anymore.

"I don't do that much shopping, to be honest, especially in Covid. I just haven't been shopping in forever, and I've never been much of an online shopper because I just don't trust buying clothes online. I'm always suspicious that I'm gonna get the wrong size and I'm not gonna feel like sending it back. I've always been an in-person shopper, but I've been shying away from that and just been more about stuff that my stylist and brands have been sending me. 

"My first big splurge was actually a business-class ticket to Brazil. I wanted to go visit my family. My mom's a flight attendant, so normally I would travel with her on standby, but I didn't want to take the risk and not make it, so I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna buy this business-class ticket.' I'm not much of a big spender when it comes to clothing and what not, although I do love designer clothes, I wish I was more bold. I don't think I've wrapped my head around spending that much money on clothes yet. I haven't reached that mentality.

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"I wear so much makeup at work that when I do have a day off, I just want to give my skin a chance to to breathe, so I'm more of a skin-care person right now. It's hard now because of Covid, but when I used to go out to parties and dinners, those are the times I choose to have more fun with makeup and be a little bit more eccentric.

"Right before bed is such a great opportunity to use all the products, so that they set throughout the night: I wash my face, then toner, then a little eye cream then a retinol serum, then Renee Rouleau's Skin Correcting Serum on top of that, and then Sunday Riley C.E.O. Hydration Cream. I will put Secret aluminum-free on before bed because that's actually the best time to use deodorant, right before bed. All those products set throughout the night and do their job so I wake up feeling fresh. I'll apply again in the morning if I have a long workday ahead of me, because I know I'm gonna need it, with how stressful film sets can be.

"I haven't gotten my eyebrows done in... I don't even remember how long it's been. I don't really trust anyone else with my eyebrows. I kind of like to let them do their thing. Every morning at work I'll sit in front of a mirror for few minutes and just pluck any rogue hairs that I need to, give them a little trim and shape them a bit, but I try to be really minimal with how much I mess with them. That's actually something I learned in quarantine, because I stopped doing them altogether. I really let them grow out into their natural shape and I loved it so much I was like, 'Wait, I need to stop overdoing it and just let them do their natural thing.'

"For beauty, I go to Sephora. Oh wait, this is one place I frequented a lot in L.A. — do you know Larchmont Beauty Center? I love that place. That place has everything. That's where I go to get this body gel that I absolutely adore called Rahua Shower Gel. It smells incredible. It has a really organic essential oils-y kind of smell. I'm obsessed with it, and that's the only place I've ever seen it sold. So every time I'm in L.A., I try to stop there and grab some.

"I have to get my nails done once every two weeks [for 'Riverdale'] and get my hair dyed once a month — my natural hair color is dark brown but Veronica has like blue-black hair, so I have to get that done. Our pores are also so clogged with makeup so we get facials regularly. I've wanted to chop my hair. I've wanted to do a lob moment for a long time. I thought I could fit it into a hiatus for the two months we have off between seasons, but I don't think that's enough time for my hair to grow back to its normal length on the show, so that's not an option.

"I can't wait [for things to open up]. I feel like everyone's so ready for that to happen and everyone's going to bring out their A-game style. I feel like style is just going to be so fun and bold and flamboyant. I'm so excited for that day to come."

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