The actress and Lancôme spokeswoman on her secret haircutting skills and the exercise habit that changed her body.
What was it like growing up in your mom’s hair salon in Spain?
It was, honestly, like being in a psychiatrist’s office every day. Once they sat in my mom’s chair, the women were ready to spill their deepest secrets. Each haircut or treatment was like a full-blown therapy session. The salon also served as acting school for me, in a sense.
I was fascinated because I realized many of the women were pretending to be someone they weren't. They were characters, and I learned from them. I’d fake like I was studying my books, but I was really studying these women.
Did you learn how to do hair at all?
Absolutely. I could have a second profession as a hairstylist. I can give a really good haircut to anyone who will let me. I actually did Salma Hayek’s hair and makeup once in the dark. She had a première one night and called me like, “My glam squad didn't show up, and the power went out in my house. I need you.” We put candles everywhere, and I got her ready.
What’s been your biggest hair disaster?
When I was 14, I wanted to look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, so I did this crazy-extreme perm that was too strong and completely damaged my hair for years.
Has your mom given you any life-changing beauty advice?
To eat healthy and get a solid amount of rest. I remember her sounding like a broken record telling us to eat our veggies and to go to sleep. She annoyed me, but now, as a mother, I hear myself saying the same things to my kids. Good food is the best possible medicine.
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Do you follow a strict diet?
I try to avoid dairy and sugar, and I can’t eat gluten because I have a big intolerance. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and quality protein from free-range animals. I also drink gallons of water now, which is something I wasn't doing. I barely drink alcohol, and I quit smoking years ago. I don’t miss that in my life.
What about exercise?
I do Bikram yoga, which has completely changed my body. You’re drenched in sweat throughout the entire class. It’s 90 minutes, but once you conquer 60, the last 30 gets easier. I used to be sluggish, and now my level of energy is through the roof. It’s like magic, but you have to earn that magic.
I once read that you wear a different fragrance each time you play a character.
It’s true. Scent is very powerful. When I smell a fragrance, it transports me to a time in my life and I’ll revisit the same feelings. I wear Lancôme Trésor, but I never want to smell like myself when I’m playing a role. I need to smell how the woman would smell.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I’m serene, relaxed, and present and I’m able to have gratitude for all that I have. That’s when beauty can be there. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what my hair looks like or what makeup I put on.