With Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the corner, there’s no better time to binge on Chasing Life, a show about a journalist who gets diagnosed with cancer just as she’s hitting the peak of her career. We caught up with Jessica Meraz, who plays our beloved Alex’s archnemesis on the show. For a dose of drama, catch the show’s second season finale tonight on ABC Family at 9/8c.

YouBeauty: What drew you to “Chasing Life” originally?

Jessica: I actually auditioned for the role of Beth, and I tested for that role with Aisha Dee who ended up getting it. I found out 30 minutes after the test that I didn’t get the part. I was obviously heartbroken about it, but I got a really nice email from the writers of the pilot and they said they loved me and wanted to find a part for me on the show somehow. You get those emails sometimes as an actress so I appreciated it, but I didn’t know that anything was going to come of it. But a couple weeks later they called and they had written in a new part at the end of the pilot for me!

What’s your favorite makeup trick that you’ve learned on set?

I’ve fallen in love with the Shu Umera eyelash curler! They’re hard to find, but our makeup artist has one and now whenever I see one I scoop it up.

Any products you can’t leave home without?

I’m really big on sunscreen. I wear sunscreen every day and am crazy about my skin and preventing sun damage and wrinkles. Also I think everyone looks better when they sleep really well, so I make sure to get rest and drink a lot of water. I think lifestyle really matters.

What do you do to relax on set?

I’m big into yoga and I’m starting to try to get into meditation which is challenging but I think it’s important to just be calm. I’m also trying to get to places on time, which is so simple but it has a lot to do with how relaxed I am. If I don’t feel rushed when I’m getting in to a place, it helps me relax throughout my day. I say I’m going to leave 20 minutes before I need to, it makes such a difference.

The season finale of Chasing Life airs Monday, September 28, at 9/8c on ABC Family. 

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