Cate Blanchett has been topping our best-dressed lists for years—and quite frankly, it’d be a challenge to find a photo of the Oscar-winning actress where she doesn’t look downright gorgeous. But while it may be hard for us mere mortals to believe that the 47-year-old star—who’s currently starring in The Present on Broadway—could do any wrong in the beauty department, she insists that she’s had her fair share of missteps throughout her successful career. We caught up with Blanchett last week while celebrating the launch of Giorgio Armani’s new Si Rose Signature fragrance (she’s the face of the collection) and asked her to spill on her biggest beauty regrets to date. And much like her red carpet appearances, her answers didn’t disappoint.
“I don’t like an overly-plucked eyebrow, and I did that for a role once,” said Blanchett. “It was terrible, and it took forever to come back in.” While the thin eyebrow debacle may top her list of beauty blunders, it was only one of many times that Blanchett altered her appearance for a project and later faced the rather unpleasant reprecussions. “When I played Queen Elizabeth, I shaved my hairline—and that was a challenge when it grew back in,” she said of the dramatic look, pictured below.
“For another role, I once shaved my whole head," Blanchett continued. "I actually loved having my hair super short, but in the initial stages of growing it back in, I looked like a tennis ball. It's the midway point that's always really difficult—that's when you have the regrets.”
Other than Blanchett's past faux pas, we asked the star to spill on her current beauty faves, from her fragrance preferences to the skincare treatment that keeps her skin looking Broadway-ready every night. Scroll down for our full chat.
VIDEO: Is An Oscar Really Worth Only $10?!
InStyle: When you're choosing a scent to wear, what would you say immediately attracts you to the right one?
Cate Blanchett: For me, it's always a very sensual and private connection. I think it bypasses your intellect and goes straight to your emotions, in a way. I'm always drawn to scents either that have a citrus note or have that base of a chypre in it, which Si obviously has, because I think they have a kind of mystery to them and that deep sensuality which I'm really attracted to.
The latest scent in the Si collection has strong notes of rose, which is where the fragrance gets its name. Are roses your favorite flower, personally?
Definitely one of them, for sure. Roses are so diverse—when you hear that a fragrance has rose in it, you think ‘Oh my goodness, it's gonna be so sweet.’ But the surprising thing about this iteration of the Si family of fragrances is that one rose has a grassy note to it and the other has an almost spicy quality, and so it has a rose sort of aspect to the fragrance, but it's not sweet. It's deeper than that.
Do roses remind you of anything in particular?
Well, I always think of Alice in Wonderland. You know when you smell roses and they're very powdery or they're very grassy? Also I just love the texture of a rose. They're so beautiful in all states: They're beautiful when they're buds, they're beautiful as they're opening, they're beautiful as they're at their perfection, at the high point of the flowering, and they’re even increcdibly beautiful as they decline. They're just a beautiful flower to have either in a vase or in the garden.
What’s your general guideline for applying a fragrance—is there any such thing as too many spritzes?
I apply it constantly, and certainly at all the pulse points. I always keep a moisturizer in my bag and a bottle of fragrance, because you never know where you're going to end up during the day. People often think wearing a fragrance is something you're doing for other people, but it's very personal to yourself. If it's on the pulse points, then you can smell it, as well. It's a very uplifting, mood enhancing thing to do.
So is it safe to say that it’s one of your favorite beauty rituals?
It's interesting that people say it's a "beauty ritual,” because I don't see this as having to do with beauty. I think it has more to do with your emotional space—space that's personal. I have very little time in my life, so any thing to do with beauty is very economical. I've been using the same skincare line for...god, probably going on sixteen years now. It’s kind of just like I don't even have to think about it. And I don't wear a lot of makeup day-to-day unless I'm onstage.
Which skincare product is your go-to?
I always have SK-II Facial Treatment Essence in my bag. You can spray it on during the day, and it's unscented so it doesn't obstruct anything you put on. Often, I find that skincare products are highly perfumed. I like something that does the job, but is more neutral than that.
You’re currently starring in The Present on Broadway. What has your approach been for the role, beauty-wise?
It’s a pretty natural look, but it could be a bit brutal onstage because you're constantly taking makeup on and off. It's really so important to cleanse your face properly, and I've been having a few oxygen facials.