'I grew up in the Hamptons, which was a little weird. My parents moved out of the city when I was about two and raised me out there full time. I grew up very conscious of being organic—my mother was earthy and natural before the whole craze started. I didn’t start thinking about beauty until I moved to LA and started acting. Eventually I decided I didn’t want to spend my life auditioning, so I started my own company and produced a play when I was 26. And then when I was 30, I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life, to make films that could help people. I founded a company called Candescent Films, where I do mostly documentaries. We were involved with Queen of Versailles and then did a movie with Javier Bardem called Sons of the Clouds, which won a Spanish Oscar. Recently, we screened a film at the UN and the European Parliament, which was a great experience.
ON HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY STANDARDS
When I was 22, I was on a TV show and makeup artists would tell me things like 'Cover up your mole' or 'Pluck your widow’s peak.' It was really hard because you think these people know everything about what to do, and you do what they say, and then you don’t feel like yourself. My mother had always told me that those things about me were signs of beauty. But I ended up plucking it! I remember feeling horrible after I did it, like somehow I’d violated myself. And then I covered up my mole once and was like, 'OK, I’m never doing that again in my life.' Now I fill it in with a Kevyn Aucoin Brow Pencil in Brunette. Occasionally I’ll notice that someone’s photoshopped it out and I tell them to put it back in.
SKINCARE & BODY
My husband and I share a bathroom. I tried to lobby for my own because I heard the key to a successful marriage is separate bathrooms, but that didn’t happen. I didn’t even get a separate bathroom in the Hamptons even though my house is big enough for a separate bathroom. But it’s OK—we like to see each other and check in.
In the morning, I like to wake up around 6:30am, splash some water and the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil on my face, and I brush my teeth. I use Plus White toothpaste because it’s mild and doesn’t sting. I buy it in bulk because it can be hard to find. Then I put on either Embryolisse or Josie Maran Argan Oil. For breakfast, I make my smoothie, which is almond butter, honey, almond milk, ice, and a banana. It’s all organic and delicious. This summer, I started juicing watermelons to drink afterwards. Sometimes you can mix it with vodka—only if it’s after 5pm though!
Then I have my whole spa routine I’ll do if I want to relax. I use Ila Bath Salts with This Works Deep Sleep Bath Oil, and I soak for 15 minutes. Then I get out of the bath, scrub myself all over with the Ila Body Scrub, and moisturize my body with the Hôtel Costes Body Lotion. Sometimes I'll dab on more of the Deep Sleep Bath Oil if I’m going to bed. Afterwards, I put Subtle Energies Ayurveda Aromatherapy Padabhyang Blend on my feet. It’s this really great stuff that I got in Switzerland for dry feet. I don’t really have dry feet, but it feels preventative. Ila also has this sleep spray that you put on your pillow before you go to bed and it helps if you’re having anxiety or trouble falling asleep. Sleep is really important to me—if I don’t get enough, I get really cranky and feel like you can really see it in my skin.
I don’t wear deodorant—my problem with it is that it doesn’t come off well enough. I need to invent a deodorant remover. Instead, I just wear perfume. Tom Ford Oud Wood is what I wear in winter because it’s kind of masculine and musky, which I like.
Another weird thing I'll do is put castor oil on cystic pimples—it's an antiseptic and works pretty well. But it stinks so beware.
Everything I know about makeup, I learned from my godmother. She was a stuntwoman and used to set herself on fire all the time. I lived with her in LA for a while and I was like her doll. Now I’m a total product hound—I don’t use it all but sometimes you just want to smell a lipstick, you know? It takes me back to being 24 again.
My tan’s starting to fade, so I’ve started to use Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation SPF 15 in Sand or Beige, and then topping it off with bronzer. I don’t believe that you need to buy a bronzer that’s shiny and shimmery all the time. You can actually use the MAC Blot Pressed Powder in Deep Dark as a bronzer and it just gives you a glow—not a shine, which sometimes you can add later. The Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base is good for highlighting. I use Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Beige compact or her Brightening Finishing Powder in Porcelain Pearl for highlighting, but only in the winter because it’s too thick for summer. I love Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer #7 as a concealer. If I’m a little browner than that, I’ll use #5.
Then I'll dust on some some blush—I've been using Bobbi Brown Blush in Slopes #17 or Shimmer Blush in Coral#3. Her eye shadows are great, too—I like Rich Brown, Champagne Quartz, and Burnt Sugar. I come back to them all the time. My favorite color is purple so I love Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet because it’s little more purple-y. And I like the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Velvet Plum, as well. If I use the Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara in Jet Black, I don’t even need liner or eye shadow—it looks great by itself.
Sometimes I believe in a red lip, in which case I have a MAC Driven By Love. My favorite lip gloss at the moment is this burnt orange-y Scintillantes Glossimer in Sunny from Chanel. I use Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster SPF Lip Gloss in Brightening Pink if I just want to swipe on a little gloss that’s clean and gives a little bit of color. Sometimes I’ll mix Ellis Faas Hot Lips over it—so it’s like a little bit coral, but pink at the same time.
I always pick my nail polish based on the name. I don’t really do that with any other products. But I won’t use a nail polish color that feels like a negative name. Right now I’m wearing Believe by Deborah Lippmann and also her Between The Sheets, which is this really cute purple color.
Sometimes with hair products, I’m not sure if they’re right for my type of hair, but I buy them anyway. I’m trying to get some volume going on here. Show Beauty Divine Thickening Lotion is really good for that. A hairdresser in London showed me Super Million Hair, which is more of a fiber than a volumizer—I use it around my part mostly. I should use more of the Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream because my hair I still dry from the summer. Their Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse Thickening Spray is awesome, too.
I’ve never found a better dry shampoo after I found Sam Brocato’s. I also like their Swell Volume Full Body Styling Clay because it works very nicely, but use sparingly. It’s all about creating that '80s swoosh for me. I’m sort of glam sometimes, very euro. I fit in well in Spain—I was reading Vogue Spain the other day, and I was like, 'Right, this is where I should be! A little overdone, a little theatrical, just like me.''
—as told to ITG
Lilly Hartley photographed by Tom Newton.