Jeremy Renner Recounts His Days as a Department Store Makeup Artist While Giving Drew Barrymore Lipstick Advice

The actor recalled working at a Lancôme counter while trying to make it big in Hollywood

<p>Todd Williamson/NBC via Getty</p> Jeremy Renner

Todd Williamson/NBC via Getty

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner has an action-packed resume filled with huge blockbusters — and a job that some fans may be surprised by.

While appearing on The Drew Barrymore show on June 4, the Marvel actor, 53, revealed that in the 1990s he worked behind a Lancôme beauty counter at a department store (as well as ones for Laura Mercier and MAC Cosmetics as he revealed in a Jonathan Ross Show 2021 interview) where he would help customers find their products and feel their best.

“I’d work on the weekends at the department stores, audition all week for film and television and then go put makeup on women on the weekends. It was awesome.”

How did an aspiring actor land a stint in beauty?

At the time, Renner, who landed a job through a connect he made through fragrance modeling at a mall, was playing the role as Scarecrow in the Modesto Junior College production of The Wizard of Oz. His only credentials were doing “clown” makeup for the local show. Still, he was hired.

Although he took the gig as a way to get by, Renner approached his duties with a much deeper perspective.

“I had a different principle of what beauty is, a different connective tissue to red lipstick or whatever [makeup] it is. I wanna know what made a woman feel beautiful without it and how do I express her beauty inside with these tools.” From there, he’d learn more about their beauty profile and then apply their makeup.

Renner did this for eight years, and he's still very mush confident in his skills. During the episode, Renner even gave host Drew Barrymore some hot tips on how to skillfully apply a red lip — trust us, you’ll want to hear what he has to say.

“If it's a lipliner, I’d put it all over your lips so it's lasting because it’s more matte and less oil. I probably wouldn’t use a lipstick personally, I'd use a lip gloss so it gives it a little shine,” he recommended.

Related: Jeremy Renner Says Mayor of Kingstown Crew 'Didn't Know What Version of Jeremy Would Come Back' After Accident (Exclusive)

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty</p> Jeremy Renner

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Jeremy Renner

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While Renner's department store days are well behind him, the established actor's still got the same determined attitude.

In January, he returned on set to film season 3 of Paramount+’s Mayor of Kingstown one year after his near-fatal snow plow incident in 2023. Speaking to PEOPLE about his return, he said he had to learn to be “okay” with failure as he made his comeback. 

“In the beginning, I think because I hadn't seen anybody — and these are all people I worked with for two seasons already — I hadn't really got to talk to anybody,” Renner said. “They didn't know what version of Jeremy would come back. I was not in really great shape, to be honest with you. I really wasn't.”

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From the accident, Renner broke more than 30 bones in his body and underwent multiple surgeries. He spent the better part of 2023 in physical therapy, relearning how to walk and eventually how to run.

"There'll be nothing normal or as it was prior to the accident," he says. "I'm okay with that. I accept it."

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