Cate Blanchett looks better than ever, that’s the bottom line. So when I saw the SK-II Global Brand Ambassador at the launch of the prestige skincare brand’s new Change Destiny Limited Edition series last week in NYC, I decided enough was enough—I had to get answers, because unlike many other people in Hollywood, this Australian darling is definitely aging in reverse. Below, Blanchett and I chat about her skincare secrets, the biggest beauty mistake she is guilty of making, and when she feels sexiest.
So you’ve been the face of SK-II for quite a long time. Why is this partnership such a great fit?
CB: Fifteen years! I tried it, and I was really blown away by just the shift in texture and tone, the brightness of my skin. So I did a little bit more investigating. It was so unusual. A lot of people had serums and liquid moisturizers, but at that time there wasn’t anything like it. So I thought I’ll just stick with this for a while, and I just didn’t look back. What’s fantastic about SK-II Essence is it feels like it penetrates immediately, and you can put it on makeup, put it on under makeup. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and we put so much garbage on it, and we don’t wash it off properly, and then we wonder why it’s clogged.
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What else do you do for glowing skin?
CB: The thing I’ve really started to do is to take vitamins—I’ve noticed a huge change. My nails will never grow, and I’ve been taking these vitamins now for about six months—huge difference.
When do you feel sexiest?
CB: [Laughs]. When do I feel sexiest? When I’m the least self-conscious, I think. It’s often to do with laughter, ‘cause it’s so liberating to have a good laugh—we all lead such stressful lives, and so if you can just release and have a good ol’ gas, I think people … yeah.
What really makes you laugh?
CB: Um. Unfortunately, fart jokes. The humor had to be pretty low. Kristen Wiig makes me laugh. She makes me laugh. And my God, she’s such a great all-around actress. But it’s also—I’m really pathetic—cat memes. Just really stupid shit like that. I was on Ellen, and she had all these things of cats in trucks and—
And that sends you over the edge?
CB: Yeah, children and animals invariably make me laugh.
Your skincare routine right before you go to bed—take me through it. Do you ever go to bed with makeup on, accidentally?
CB: Of course! I did the other night after the premiere. I was so tired, I went, ‘oh, I’ll lie down for five minutes,’ and then you realize it’s six in the morning and you haven’t done it of course. As long as you then pick it up in the morning. In a way, the most steadfast routine that I don’t ever give up is the morning routine. It just becomes second nature to me, like brushing my teeth—which I also do. Very important. Personal hygiene. I have three boys, and it’s really hard to instill personal hygiene in boys.
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Why is it so hard with boys? I don’t understand.
CB: Oh my God! It’s like it’s some genetic dysfunction. It’s like just put the fucking toilet seat down! I was thinking ‘where is this coming from,’ and then the other day I was in the bathroom and I said to my husband, “It’s YOU!” and I realized, yeah, it’s by example.
So back to your skincare routine before bed….
CB: Oh yes. So then if I have gone to sleep with my makeup on, I make sure I tone it really well in the morning. But it really is The Essence and the LXP serum and the LXP moisturizer. We live in such artificial environments, and as much as I try not to, the pollutants in the city are so bad. What I love about the moisturizer is that it’s really hydrating. You can put your makeup over it and it’s not shiny. You feel it penetrates immediately. You don’t feel like it cakes onto your skin.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on an airplane beauty-wise?
CB: Oh God… I wear the [SK-II] masks. I’m a long haul flight unfortunately a bit more than I’d care for, so I will put two or three on. Like one dries out and you put the next one on. Or I’d put one on, and two hours later put another one on. And I just talk to everyone with them on. I don’t know if that’s weird, but I just, I don’t care. I have no shame. They’ll come around to take your food order, and I’ve just got this mask on [laughs].
What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
CB: There was a nanosecond where—being Australian, once again—where I thought this summer I’m going to have a tan come hell or high water, and I was on the roof, as white as I am, covered in baby oil. And also, it’s so hard as a teenager, and even into your 20s, your sense of yourself, I mean it always evolves, but you’re so vulnerable to other people’s interpretations and impressions of what you should look like. And I’d say ‘fuck that’ a bit more. And that’s where women can step in and really champion different types of beauty and working what you’ve got. Everyone’s starting to look the same and talk the same, it’s only interesting when we’re all—it’s the melting pot, right? I’d worry about it less. And since discovering this I’ve really worried about it less. Because I just thought ‘I’m set, I’m done, I don’t have to think about that.’ There’s a lot of self-hatred in women. I think I’d eradicate that in myself earlier.
If you’re going through a phase—especially since you travel so much—that you’re feeling rundown, not quite feeling energized and well, what are some things that you do?
CB: I do, sporadically, but I’ve decided I’m going to make myself do it every morning … Apple cider vinegar. A teaspoon of that. It just makes you feel clean—it’s good for your gut. And I have one child that’s had a lot of gut issues, so it’s been a decade of education for me. It’s been kind of a long journey, but it just makes me feel healthier from the inside. You do get used to it. It’s just to make your system more Alkaline. Stress makes it so acidic. Stress ain’t good for nothing. So you’ve got to find those little moments where you can literally just stop and take a breath. Spray some Essence on!