Mandy Moore


"I was born in New Hampshire, but I grew up in Orlando, Florida, randomly. I got a record deal when I was 14—I'm 29 now. It’s a ridiculous story that sounds like a made-for-TV movie: I started by doing musical theater as a kid and I used to sing the National Anthem all the time around Orlando. That was my weird thing; I loved it. I sent an audition tape in to the Orlando Magic in which I was wearing an American flag hair bow—I was really patriotic back in the day. [Laughs] The team picked me to sing, and then it was sort of a domino effect: every other local sports team asked me sing, too. I sang for the arena football team, roller hockey, ice hockey—I did everything. At one of the events, two guys approached my parents and me to ask if I had any desire to record in a studio and cut a demo. I'd never really thought of it before. I was like, ‘Sure. OK...’ It was the summer before 9th grade, and I used some of the money I had made from doing local commercials and went into the studio for a week. And a guy who works for FedEx was delivering boxes and heard me singing in the studio, and it turned out the delivery guy had a friend of a friend of a friend who was the head of Urban A&R at Epic Records. It was the weirdest chain. I had no idea at the time, but he talked to the studio managers and they all decided to send this unfinished demo off. I can’t imagine how terrible it must have been, because I had never been in a recording studio before.

So anyway, I got a call to meet with a big fancy A&R guy who had flown down from New York. The meeting was the same day as my high school homecoming football game, and I was more concerned about making sure this meeting was done in time so I could hang out with my friends! [Laughs] It was so beyond my comprehension that this could actually lead to a career. I was 14! But, I ended up signing a record deal—this was the time of the Britney/Christina pop explosion. I guess I was my record label’s answer to those girls.

By the time I was 15, I made an album and was touring with 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. We barely got to interact, though—I’m sure they wouldn’t remember who I was. I actually live down the street from one of the Backstreet Boys now, and whenever we pass each other we say ‘Hi.’ But at the time, they couldn’t have cared less. I mean, they were on arena tours where everyone in the audience had glow sticks. They barely knew who their opening act was.

I did my makeup on tour myself. It wasn't glamorous! There was a lot of MAC Lipglass. But really, I’d wear anything that resembled bubblegum—the pinker and the glossier the better. I loved pearlescent everything. I was blessed with good skin, so I don’t think I wore base. I just wore blush, lipgloss, and eye shadow. It was the same for my first music video, 'Candy' [below]. That was a lipgloss-centric video. I was 15 and I was like, 'Yeah, I’ll do and wear whatever!' It’s so 1999—that spiky hair! That was not my idea. [Laughs] I was just emulating what I had seen in music videos—it was the era of TRL. As I got older, I had more to say about my style.

Being a teen star really lead me to where I am today. It gave me access to doing movies, which is something I always wanted to do. I had a small part in the movie The Princess Diaries when I was 16. And then I did A Walk to Remember and Saved. It sort of kept rolling. I got married four-and-a-half years ago to my husband [Ryan Adams] and we decided to take a conscious step back from the spotlight. We just kind of nested for the first couple of years. Now that I’m 29, I’m in this new phase of my life where I’m trying to be picky and find the projects that really resonate with me. I don’t want to do something for the sake of doing it. I’m waiting it out right now and finding the right way to navigate the waters.

I was lucky to get to work with a lot of makeup artists over the years, but I wish I could say I learned more! When it comes to foundation, I don’t like heavy coverage, mostly because I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m best left with products that are functional and that I really can’t mess up. I don’t want to look cakey or overdone, so I just apply light foundation with my hands, to even out my skin if I’m going to be out and about. My favorite is L’Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder, because it’s super light and it not too dewy—it’s the perfect texture. I’m wearing it right now. I found it when I went to Ulta for the first time on a trip to North Carolina. It has the best of the best of drugstore brands, and nothing is picked-over. My other go-to is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen makeup. After I apply those, I blend them with the giant Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Brush. Then, for concealer, a girlfriend of mine recommended Clé de Peau, and it’s the best. I put it on with this frayed Laura Mercier brush under my eyes, to cover a pimple, whatever. A little goes a long way, and it lasts forever. If I’m going to go all-out with my makeup I will sometimes use a primer, but I’m not really sure what it does. [Laughs] I have my little routine, but I’m always down to add new things to the mix.

For highlighting, I've been putting RMS Living Luminizer on my brow bones and cheek bones forever. That’s an everyday staple, too. I found my blush on Into The Gloss! It’s MAC Matte Powder Blush in Prism. I’m also digging Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface lately. It’s a very pretty pink, but it’s matte. I dust on powder blushes with the MAC 286 brush, and for cream blushes, I use a MAC 130 brush. I like the MAC 150 brush for Nars Laguna Bronzer, and the MAC 138 brush for finishing powder—RMS Unpowder—if I need it. I have a lot of brushes, I know. I actually cleaned them all last night!

I prefer my eyelashes curled, and I found a really great on-the-go eyelash curler—Japonesque Go Curler—on Amazon. I like it because it isn’t a whole metal contraption; it’s easier to travel with. For mascara, Armani Eyes to Kill is my favorite. I like the texture and the brush—it doesn’t feel too clumpy, but again, I’ll try anything, any new drugstore mascara that’s being advertised, anything from a ‘Best of’ Beauty list, and anything my friends recommend.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Eyeliners are also really good. I especially like the green one, Vert, because my eyes are hazel. I just put it on my inner waterline, or outside, along the lashes, and I’ll smudge it a little bit. After that, it doesn’t move. I also love all of the Anastasia eyebrow stuff. I think you’re supposed to put the Anastasia Brow Fix on first, over the whole brow to help the powder stick, but I don't really know how to do my brows that well. My favorite pencil is the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde, because it’s so thin and tiny that it’s easy to apply subtly and then build up. If I ever forget my eyebrow pencil, I can use this Nars eyeshadow in Blondie. It’s a great shadow—I’m wearing it right now—because it’s a neutral shade that gives a little definition, but it’s also feasible for me to use every day.

For my lips, I’ve graduated from pink MAC Lipglass to something a little bit more subtle, but it’s still a throwback. [Laughs] I love Homeoplasmine, and I’m obsessed with Maybelline Baby Lips. They are so good. Strike a Rose is a little pink and a little red, and Peach Kiss is a good neutral. Really, all of the colors are great, the texture is great, and they smell good. I don’t wear a lot of lipstick-lipstick because I don’t really know how to do it myself. For someone like me, Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick is really cool—they’re tubes of lipstick with clear, Argan-oil exteriors and a strip of color in the center that goes on really well and doesn’t feel heavy.

When I want to take off my makeup, I like Bioderma Créaline. My skin has always been relatively pretty good, though I had a period when I was about 24 when it flipped out and I had adult acne. I tried everything, I went to every dermatologist, and I swear the only thing that actually got my skin under control was Proactiv. So I used that for a few years and it really helped. I don’t need it anymore, though. Now I wash my face in the morning with Routine Clean Cleanser from BeautyCounter, which my friend Gregg started. All of their products are really safe and clean. At night, I use the same cleanser with my Clarisonic, which I’m in love with. Then, I use Biologique Recherche P50. It smells intense, but it’s supposed to tighten your pores. You can feel it tingle when you dab it on—you’re not supposed to wipe it on. I went to this facialist in the Valley for a few years and she exclusively used Biologique Recherche products. I loved going there because part of her routine was to use these pulsating sponges to help you better absorb the product and to tighten your skin—it makes you look like you’ve had an instant facelift. I stopped using Biologique Recherche for a while, but my skin felt like it was out of balance, so now I’m back on.

To moisturize, I use Sanítas Hyaluronic Concentrate. I guess hyaluronic acid holds a thousand times its weight in water, so it’s super hydrating for your skin. I go back to BeautyCounter for my day and night creams. I have no idea what the difference is between them, but I follow instructions. [Laughs] Then, I use Ayur-Medic Eye and Lip Line Cream around my eyes—I got it from my new facialist, Frankie Paige. She’s awesome. I’m at the age where I have to start thinking about the under-eye lines and stuff. I don’t necessarily care about aging—I think aging is beautiful—but I also want to try and maintain things for as long as possible.

When I want to be more dewy, I spray Biologique Recherche Fluid VIP O2 on my hand and then pat it on my face to look extra glowy. It’s apparently supposed to protect your skin from environmental damage. You’re also not supposed to use sunscreen when you use it, but I do anyway—Kinesys Alcohol Free Performance Sunscreen. It goes on greasy but it doesn’t dry greasy, and it’s very water-resistant.

For acne, End-Zit by Abbe is the best thing in the world. It is kind of like the Mario Badescu acne lotion, but it’s got a little neutral color so you can dab it on your spot and it becomes a treatment and concealer all in one. I love it. The active ingredient is sulfur. It really works.

When I want to do a fun mask, Biologique Recherche Masque VIP O2 is a super yummy, ultra hydrating treatment that’s especially good for under my eyes. I put it on for 10 minutes. None of their products really smell great, but I feel like that's why they work? [Laughs] Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant smells like yeast. It’s awful. What you're supposed to do is mix a little bit of it with baking soda to make this weird foam, and then put the foam all over your face for 15 minutes. It makes you feel so clean; it's like my pores have been excavated. Frankie told me about the baking soda part. The mask is super emollient and thick, so when you add the baking soda it foams up and becomes light and frothy. Whenever my husband catches me with the mask on, he makes fun of me, like, ‘Oh, I didn't know you were in [the band] KISS today.’ [Laughs]

To take care of my body, I’m an organic coconut oil girl. I put it on right after the shower. It’s good, it’s healthy, and it's only occasionally confusing: when I cook with it and have it on my hands I’ll go to wash to wash them off but then I’m like, ‘Wait a second, I should just rub it on myself.’ But usually, I moisturize my hands with Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream.

I can’t really do my own hair. It’s very fine, so the only products I use are things that will give it a little life, like Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. It’s not sticky and doesn’t weight my hair down. On most days I just let it air dry and then use a little bit of the Oribe spray, and I’m pretty OK. I’m always on the hunt for good shampoo and conditioner, because I color my hair and it’s already so fine, so I need products that are color-safe, but not heavy. I just started getting my hair colored by Tracey Cunningham. She’s awesome. I’ve been brunette since I was 17, when they dyed it for A Walk To Remember. Naturally, my color is like dirty dishwater—that’s how I describe it. I feel more myself with dark brown hair—I never really related to being a blonde.

I’m a total perfume junky. Generally, I go for masculine, spicy scents. I love Byredo—1996 is my favorite, but I also love Gypsy Water, Accord Oud, and, for the summer, Bal D’Afrique because it’s fruity and sweet. From Le Labo, Santal 33 is the best. And I’m also into Rodin Olio Lusso Perfume. I’m one of those people who is always terrified when people are like, ‘Oh, is that you who smells?’ And I’m like, ‘Uh, yeah…’ I’m really sheepish about the idea of my scent completely overwhelming people. But every day I still pick up a couple of perfumes and just spray them on to create my own concoction. It's so fun."

—as told to ITG

Mandy Moore photographed by Emily Weiss in Los Angeles, CA on October 14, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • sara

    Mandy! I watched A Walk to Remember like, 3 times in the cinema. Of the teen pop scene, she was always my favorite (I remember thinking how cool it was that she was so tall lol), especially when she was dating Andy Roddick because he was my favorite tennis player and I had happy tears when they kissed after he won the US Open, haha. And then I started liking her less when I grew up, because for some reason the sound of her voice and her demeanor in interviews started to seem grating to me...but I still like listening to her albums for a good nostalgia trip, especially the acoustic one she made when she was in her ~I am an authentic brown haired girl who records music with a live band in a garage so I can ooze in my authenticity~ stage and I still love watching her movies, especially AWTR and Saved. She was hilarious in Saved. And now I want to rewatch AWTR haha.

    • Janet Lee

      I love Saved! Actually became a fan of Eva Amurri afterwards. I loved her character.

  • Georgina

    I caught myself singing along when watching the "Candy" video, wow! I remember that I even had the whole album and used to obsessed with Mandy Moore. Refreshing to see that she grew up to be a smart and grounded woman.

  • Talia

    I love her flats are those the Jenni Kayne ones?

  • Androbel

    i love how she sings.




  • Harper

    Thank you ITG! She was my fave of the girl pop stars and now she just seems like an all around awesome person. And of course she's gorgeous so I want to know all of her products.

    Another awesome top shelf!

  • Stephanie

    She is so pretty and seems really nice.

  • Angela_E

    I find her very likeable. And I can relate with her particular brand of product junkiness. Thanks, ITG!

  • Paola

    Whoa, this topshelf sent me down nostalgia lane! I freaking loved Mandy (there's a part of me that still and forever will!!) I remember having impromptu "concerts" in my bedroom with my cousins where we would pretend to be either Britney, Christina, or Mandy (I was ALWAYS Mandy) and lip sync to our hearts content. But it wasn't until I went to see AWTR in the theater that I truly became a fan, i.e., obsessed with her! She's always seemed so cool and down to earth. Thanks ITG for featuring her....definitely brightened this Monday for me!

  • hollygoeslightly22

    Mandy is pretty. Can't believe she's 29, def looks younger. Still trying to figure out how she and Ryan Adams ended up together.

    • Heartbreaker

      He worked on an album she was recording and they were on-off for a while until they got married.

  • mermaidsdream

    She knows her shit. Props.

  • Aparnaa

    I love the specificity of her makeup routine. Also, now I want to buy a lot of brushes.

  • 1Alouette

    I love Mandy! A Walk to Remember is forever my ugly cry movie. <333 She has some great products on rotation!

  • K.C.

    I love that she uses coconut oil! It's just so good for you, more people should know about it. And I really need to invest in a Clarisonic since I only hear good things about it.

    Never knew she went on tour with the Backstreet Boys, she just earned some extra cool points.

    • Mariana

      Clarisonic turned my skin into such a mess... I had eight huge pimples the day after I tried it. With blood and everything.
      Never again.
      Garance Dore did two stories about Clarisonic as well, basically saying that her dermatologist told her to stay away from it.

      • Sarah

        True! It is all marketing and propaganda. Do not believe them. Our skin is not supposed to be tortured by any devices. I used to have a similar device 15 years ago that was made by Philips. At that time it was also very expensive. It did absolutely nothing to my skin; it was even worse with small pimples. It ended up in the trash.

        By the way, nice "top shelf". I do not like her music at all, but she seems to be such a nice person.

      • K.C.

        Wow really? That's just not cool...Glad to know. I've tried something kind of like it...something by Neutrogena and it worked pretty well if I used it maybe twice a month so I thought I would try Clarisonic. Buuut I'm definitely staying far away from it now, thanks for the heads up.

  • Anisha L.

    This is a lot of great info, thank you for sharing! I've always admired and respected Mandy Moore, and she's always had gorgeous skin and makeup.

  • sharon

    anyone knows which brand is that pallet?

    • Carina

      I was trying to figure it out, too! Any help is appreciated :)

      • Nina R.

        I believe that is a Laura Mercier palette from a year or so ago - a summer color story I think.

      • Paola

        It's the Bonne Mine- Face and Cheeks Creme Colour Palette by Laura Mercier. Hope that helps :)!

        • sharon

          thank you!!!

        • Carina

          Thank you so much. :)

  • softy

    "when I cook with [coconut oil] and have it on my hands I’ll go to wash to wash them off but then I’m like, ‘Wait a second, I should just rub it on myself.’"

    i never even considered this before! although i think i'd still wash it off if i were cooking.

  • Lana

    EVERYONE loves Mandy. Good call, ITG.

  • MelissaBass

    I've always loved Mandy Moore. There's something very genuine about her. She's quite personable too. I love her top shelf, I've heard about all of these products here before, but I enjoy her process.

    Totally beauty unrelated: I desperately want to see her in something on TV! Here's hoping...

  • Brooke

    I love it when these people interviewed have a shit load of products and things they use. Nothing is more vexing than, "Oh I just use water to clean my face, I use whatever lotion is around, I don't really wear makeup." That's cool 17 year old Ukrainian model, not.

    • softy

      so...what's your solution? should they lie and pretend that they use a bunch of products that they don't really use? or ITG should only interview people that use a ton of products? beauty is different for everyone. don't understand why people get so worked up over this.

      • amelia

        i think it's just the fact that it's a beauty driven site which is obviously product oriented and it's sort of redundant and not 'juicy' to learn someone doesnt really do anything to keep their skin perfect, haha

      • Less is more

        Everyone has their own routine for their skin type, so I also don't understand why people get so offended about minimal beauty routines. Every.Single.Time. Someone leaves a comment about that! Some people like to keep it minimal, like me because my skin is very sensitive so the LESS I use the better! Although it's nice to see what other people use, I prefer a simpler method w/o a ton of products because I'm not going to go out and buy all the stuff just because someone said they use it along with ALL the other stuff they use. Perhaps they're jealous of those people who seem to not need or want to use a bunch of products lol??

    • MelissaBass

      I don't understand why you expect everyone to go through the same and normal steps: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, masks, exfoliators, oils, peels, ect.

      The whole point of these interviews is that everyone has a routine, some are complicated, others very simple. There are different ways to approach beauty.

  • Natalie

    One of the best top shelves yet. She just seems like the really cool but fun and down to earth girl you want to be friends with.

  • Mariana Missio Rocha

    She seems so nice. I never cared much about her (I watched A walk to remember just because everyone was crazy about this movie). But I really like Ryan Adams and I started giving her more attention when they become a couple (and they are a cute one). I downloaded her last album (I guess it is a little old already) and liked a lot.

  • mickharper

    Hi Allie -- What reader you got? You can email me at mick at with any details. We haven't changed any of the feed code recently and it looks like it's still feeding into bloglovin and places. Anyway, let me know!

  • Leetoki

    I thought the same about the age thing! Watching it again (When i'm not like, eleven years old) - that was a really sexually charged video and song!

  • Nicola

    Oh wow, that video takes me back! I used to really love that spiky hair, walkman and headphone outfit. Actually, I still do. No shame!
    And to think she barely had any base on her skin? That's a complexion to be jealous of!
    You can add me to the list of people who loved A Walk To Remember, too.

  • Nani Kim

    Thank you ITG for Mandy Moore!! Hooray!! I've always been a fan & loved it -- extra - whenever she was featured in magazines for little glimpses of her beauty product choices. I always loved seeing her in films/tv & her singing too (hope she releases a new album with more evolved & even complex musical --sounds/instruments -- to reflect her current life & time...). In addition, she is a true beauty inspiration in so many ways. I also remember she mentioned she was loyal to Le Labo Rose 31 a while back & turned me onto Le Labo fragrances (though ITG always does a great job featuring fragrances too). I love everything about her as an artist & as a genuine human being. I love her methodical approach to her beauty care and especially LOVE that she has several fragrance favorites like I do, depending on mood. Looking forward to seeing her in her near future projects like film/tv, etc..

  • Brooke Bunce

    That video was the reason I wanted a lime-green Volkswagen Beetle. Amazing Top Shelf, as always!

  • E.M.

    There needs to be a discussion about the Scarlett Johnasson split-second cameo in the Candy video, as well as the Discman-worn-like-a-purse.

  • Lauren

    What a great Top Shelf! I adore Mandy Moore. She conducts herself with such grace and just seems like a really self-possessed and down-to-earth person.


BeautyCounter Routine Clean Cleanser
Kevyn Aucoin
Kevyn Aucoin The Foundation Brush
RMS Living Luminizer
tarte cosmetics
Tarte Dollface Blush
MAC '286 Duo Fibre' Blending Brush
MAC 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush
Magic Nude Liquid Powder
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup
Cle de Peau Beaute
Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer
MAC Prism Matte Powder Blush
MAC 150 Large Powder Brush
NARS Bronzing Powder
RMS Beauty
RMS Unpowder
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeliner
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Brow Fix' Clear Wax Pencil
Anastasia Brow Wiz Ash Blonde
Maybelline Baby Lips
Maybelline Electro Lip Balm – Strike A Rose
Bioderma Crealine Travel Size
Clarisonic Aria
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 W
Sanitas Skincare
Hyaluronic Concentrate
Ayur Medic Eye And Lip Line Cream
KINeSYS Alcohol Free Performance Sunscreen
End-Zit by Abbe
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Byredo Parfums
Byredo 1996
Rodin Olio Lusso
Rodin Ollio Lusso Perfume
Byredo Gypsy Water
Byredo Accord Oud
Byredo Parfums
Byredo Bal D'Afrique
Le Labo
Le Labo Santal 33
MAC 138 Brush
Japonesque On-the-go Eyelash Curler
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Fluid VIP O2
BeautyCounter Every Day AM Hydrating Cream
BeautyCounter Every Night PM Hydrating Cream
Spectrum Naturals
Spectrum Naturals Unrefined Coconut Oil
Byredo Gypsy Water
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush-Long
MAC Clear Lipglass Clear