Ana Gasteyer, Actress

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'I grew up in DC and DC women are known for being the least glamorous of them all. The aesthetic is all about thinking. If you get your hair done there, it's because you're a broadcaster on the news. It’s all very conservative. My mom was an artist—she was certainly pretty, but beauty wasn’t a value. It was thought to be a little bit tacky. I only discovered how fun it was during college. And now that I'm a mom, I’m on the flip side of that—I feel like I’ve completely over-corrected with my daughter because beauty really is fun, and I want to share it with her. Because of my work, I know the power of hair and makeup. It’s something you learn right away as an actor, especially if you’re strategically developing characters. Every week on Saturday Night Live, we would go through what the pattern of the looks would be and what things you could take off and put on fast during those quick changes…So I learned then that it mattered a lot.

SKINCARE

For my skin, the main thing is exercise. When I’m exercising regularly, people always tell me I look amazing and ask me what I’m doing. It’s just circulation! And then I use witch hazel or rosewater to get the sweat off, instead of toner. I’ve been doing that since high school. I always moisturize with Kinerase Advanced Lotion, which is sort of old school. The texture is really nice. It’s expensive—$119 for 2.8 fl. oz.—but it just makes your face look so damn good.

Every month, I see a woman named Maggie in Chinatown for a two-hour facial. She’s amazing—she gives these epic face massages and then puts a mask on my face at the end. It makes me feel crazy, but it really works. And she’s super affordable, too! I bought a package from her and it came out to something like $50 a session. I try to do masks between my appointments with her, but I’m not good about it. My husband just brought me back all these crazy masks from Korea, and I like the idea of them. I also have these mini masks from Muji that I use when I travel. All you have to do is soak them in your own moisturizer or spray them with rosewater and apply. It’s cheap and DIY.

Also good for the plane is this cheap-o awesome product by Lisa Ashley. It’s a silicone moisturizer for 'mature skin,' which sounds gross, but it works. It fills in the gaps and it kind of wakes everything back up. It’s amazing. This whole bottle is $45, but I’ve had it for a year, so it lasts. You only need a little bit to go on your face when it's thirsty. We used to do it all the time on Suburgatory, too. If it was a 12-hour day, we’d just put it on and it would wake things right back up.

My parents live in New Mexico, so we’re pretty big on suncare. Zinc oxide really is the best. My mom’s friend Jane has insanely beautiful skin and once a week, she goes to bed with her face covered in it. And I’m telling you, if you do it, your whole face looks so beautiful. It’s crazy. I also use Mineral Fusion Brush-On Sun Defense. It’s basically sunscreen, but it’s a powder. I wouldn’t use it heavily on my face because it gets you so chalky, but in LA, when you’re driving, you can do it. I keep it in the car and then just brush it on.

My favorite beauty tip is to keep the Trader Joe Makeup Remover Towelettes next to my bed. It makes me sound like a gross person, but if I’m exhausted, I will at the very least take what's on my face off before I go to bed. It’s totally changed everything for me. If I’m on my shit, I’ll remove with MAC’s Cleanse Off. Broadway people use that. It has a really nice oil to it. Then I’ll wash my face.

BODY

It’s embarrassing how white my legs are. I still haven’t come around to the idea of being so pale. I was in the drugstore one day and came across Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. So immediately I thought, 'Oh, well this must be a good product because it’s Sally Hansen and she makes an excellent product.' I was easily sold on it. You just put it on your legs and it evens everything out, it covers all the translucency. I didn’t use that in high school but it probably would have upped my self-esteem. The Jergens Natural Glow also works really well. I have four kinds of it. A week before I go to LA, I’ll start using it and it builds up really nicely on your skin.

HEALTH

I’m a vitamin nutbag. Alan Cumming turned me onto Berrocca for your immune system. Now I take one of them every day. I also take Sambucus Black Elderberry pills. I swear by turmeric and calcium magnesium. I notice when I take that after I fly, I don’t swell up as much. And an apple a day! I just always feel better when I eat organically.

HAIR

When I was younger I had super curly, crazy hair. I didn’t know anything about it until I moved to New York and started doing SNL. I wore wigs all the time but I didn’t know how to do a blowout or anything until much later. Now whenever I move to a new neighborhood, I have to go and try all the local joints that do hair. It’s touch and go for a while, but once you find somebody who knows how to blowout your hair, you’re set. I usually look for the girl with the naturally curly hair who totally understands what she’s supposed to be doing. Now I go to Eileen at Salon de Quartier. She’ll give me a kickass blowout and it will last for a good three days—unless I go to the gym and ruin everything—and then I can usually touch it with Oscar Blandi Pronto Deep Shine Dry Shampoo.

MAKEUP

I only wear foundation if I’m auditioning for something—if I’m just going to drop off the kids or do a voiceover job, I don’t need to. My traditional day-to-day face would be Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Fair, MAC Lip Pencil in Soar or Spice, tinted Burt's Bees chapstick, and I’ll always do that Revlon Brow Fantasy with some mascara over it. Lashes are really important—I have really deep set eyes and curling them makes you look a little more alert. L’Oréal Double Extend Mascara is great because it goes on, it stays on, and the only down part is that you have to be very careful taking it off because it'll yank your lashes out if you rub too hard. I use Brownish Black or a Black, depending on what I’m doing. I always have my Bobbi Brown Eye Pencil in Black Navy with me. Something that you learn in your 40s is that you actually have to reapply blush throughout the day. So I’ll put on MAC X Antonio Lopez Violet Cream Blush and then I’ll powder Makeup Forever HD Blush over it.

Right now, I really admire these younger actresses who are really stylish and cool—Jennifer Lawrence is pretty amazing. Lena Dunham, too. They’re quirky and having fun with it. The thing about my generation in particular is that we’re literally at the fork of who’s going to fuck up their face and who’s going to go gradually and gracefully into their power?”

—as told to ITG

Ana Gasteyer photographed by Tom Newton. Download her new album, I'm Hip, on iTunes.

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