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Shay Mitchell’s Hair Secret Is Sitting in Aisle Four

The Pretty Little Liar saves on hair care but splurges on vintage Chanel.

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Photo: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait

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If you had the opportunity to choose one Pretty Little Liar to shop with, you probably wouldn’t choose Emily Fields. But Shay Mitchell, the actress who played the tomboy-leaning character on the hit Freeform series for the past seven years? No lie, that’d be a pretty fun time. Mitchell’s had a bit of downtime to do just that both here and abroad since the finale aired in June, though she’ll be back to work soon enough on a Lifetime series co-starring Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley.

We caught up with Mitchell before she began her busy New York Fashion Week schedule at the launch party for American Express’s Blue Delta SkyMiles® credit card — where she was dressed up in a very un-Emily velvet dress from Attico and red Jimmy Choo pumps — to chat about all things shopping, like where she’s cruising for vintage and what she picks up when she travels, plus the looks she wish she wore on Pretty Little Liars and how she gets her hair to always look so goddamn good.

First off, I have to know — I watched PLL all the way through to the end — did you keep anything from Emily’s wardrobe?

I definitely took her bathing suit! I definitely took a lot of sweatsuits and swim caps, too — more of her casual loungewear.

Would you say that Emily’s style was in line with yours?

No, Emily and I were completely 180-[degree] different! To be honest, I probably share more of my looks with Hanna or Spencer.

I’m sure you’ve had a lot more time to travel now that the series has wrapped. What have you picked up recently from where you’ve been?

In Morocco, I got a lot of beautiful jewelry that they have there. And fabrics, too: I picked up a lot of pillows for my house, and rugs! I love getting stuff like that because people can come over and hear different stories about the things in my place.

And what about beauty when you travel? What are you putting in checked luggage, and what are you putting in your carry-on?

In checked luggage, I’ll always have a face mask with me. For the airplane, I’ll definitely have a moisturizing lotion and a Bioré nose strip! [Ed. note: Mitchell is an ambassador for the brand.]

Looking back at pics from Morocco and I'm falling in love all over again with Fez and specifically @palaisamani

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

So classic! So when you’re not traveling, at your home base, where do you prefer to shop?

I prefer to shop vintage stores, actually — anything from stores like What Goes Around Comes Around. And I’ll shop online, too: My friend is a really amazing vintage picker, so I’ll go onto her Instagram and see what she’s been collecting.

What’s your favorite purchase of all time, vintage or otherwise?

My favorite purchase is probably my airplane bag — it’s a vintage Chanel bag. I travel a lot, so having a big travel bag is super important.

Anything you’ve got your eye on to buy this season?

Nothing yet! Maybe a great pair of boots for fall? I mean, I love jackets, I love the whole layering of fall fashion, so I’ll probably pick up a few things. Zara is always great, as are more of those classic brands where you can find your staple items to just mix and match.

Ooh, where are you shopping for boots? I’m in the market as well and need a few recommendations.

Honestly, I wore a lot of Stuart Weitzman boots last year; the ankle boots are really comfortable. I did get a really great pair of Chanel Doc Marten-lookalike boots that I haven’t worn yet, but yeah. I’m on the lookout, too.

Last but not least, you have great hair — what are you using?

Coconut oil! Straight up, straight out of the jar — I use it to moisturize my skin and my hair. I like to do a weekly mask, too. I think it’s good to just kind of go off of your natural texture.