“I always said ‘I’m never going to become an actor,’ because who becomes an actual actor? Then I became an actor and I was like ‘Oh, this is really what I do.’ When I got cast in Jawbreaker, I was sleeping on my friend’s sofa. I was still living out of my car like a homeless person. I’ve always been really pragmatic—I always thought just because I'm in a movie doesn’t mean I’m going to be a star. When I had enough money to shop at Urban Outfitters I was like, ‘I made it! I made it!’
I don’t do anything when I’m working, which is why I love working. It’s the greatest. I definitely shower once a day. I have this dry brush that I probably remember to use like once a week. I started using it I think because of something on Into The Gloss. I pretty much do anything I read. But we’re having such a drought problem in California—I used to turn the water on and dry brush while it got warm, but now I feel like I have to just get in.
I have those stupid gloves in the shower too, but I should probably replace them soon because if you can’t remember when you bought your loofah gloves, then it’s time. It’s full of dead skin. You could probably create another Judy Greer with all the DNA that’s in those gloves. I used them with something I brought back from Paris—it's called A-derma Avoine Gel Douche–make sure you put douche in there! It smells really good and it’s sulphate- and paraben-free.
After a shower, I put my robe on and I don’t dry off ever. Then, I put on Mountain Ocean Coconut Skin Trip. Full disclosure, this is my first bottle. But my girlfriend has the softest skin in America and this is what she uses everyday so I bought it and I love it. My favorite moisturizer ever is old-fashioned Nivea Crème. But, I think it’s made with gasoline. I will always love its smell...I just wish it was a little bit more natural, so I don’t always use it.
Another thing I just got is Kai by Gaye Straza deodorant—someone gifted it to me and now I’m addicted to it. It’s not antiperspirant or anything and the smell is great. But if I have an audition, I use my husband’s Degree Men Dry Protection Extreme Blast 48 Hour Anti-Perspirant. I am a stinker when I’m nervous. If I have a love scene, I definitely wear man deodorant.
My hair is naturally dry and curly so I only need to wash it once a week. I just bought this Shu Uemura Color Lustre Sulphate-Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoofor color treated hair and I am obsessed with it. It’s amazing. For a while, I was getting Brazilian blow dries and then I freaked out about the chemicals and stopped. Recently I started doing it again. It can be life changing, the Brazilian.
Honestly, I have a lot of hair products, but I don’t really know how to use them. I have my Mason Pearson brush that I left on top of a curling iron, so it’s a bit melted. I love a scrunchie, because they don’t leave a dent in your hair and they don’t pull as tight as a rubber band. I like Leonor Greyl Serum de Soie. I have a T3 curling iron that I’ll heat up and scorch my hair around in ringlets and then mess it up. And I bought this Triple Sec 3-in-1 Mousse Spray at DryBar. I don’t really know what it is, but I like it. Most of the time, I'm boring when it comes to my hair. It’s usually in a topknot or a ponytail or I curl it and spray it with things and make it messy. I’m probably in need of a new hairstyle.
I don’t usually get facials, but I got one recently at the Face Haus, because it was only 30 minutes. At home, I use Eminence Organics Coconut Milk Cleanser and Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant and I mix them together. I make them into a scrubby paste and I’ll do that on a morning when I have like, a photoshoot or if I’m working and I have a closeup scene. It’s just a little exfoliator, but it’s a powder so it doesn’t fuck up your face at all. My dermatologist, Christie Kidd, doesn’t like facials and she does not like exfoliation though. I use all of her products that she makes because she’s the greatest in the world.
When I get out of the shower, I use Bioderma Crealine and then I spray this weird brown bottle with tape on it that says ‘Lavender Wood.’ I got it from the makeup artist that I worked with on the movie Ant Man— her son makes it. It’s a face mist and it’s dope. I also have the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but I leave it at work because they use it on me during the day. When they’re about to give me a touch up, we spray it on and I feel like it wakes up my face and wakes up the makeup a little bit. I like a lot of moisture, which doesn’t always work well on camera.
If I’m going to work, I use my Glossier Priming Moisturizer. It’s a little bit lighter than my Ducray Ictyane HD Emollient Cream for irritated skin. I think I read about that on Garance Dore’s Top Shelf and then I ordered it and it’s great. I have pretty dry skin so if it’s humid out or whatever, I’ll use the Glossier and if it’s really cold or I’m really dry, I’ll use the Ducray. Then I put on EltaMD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40. I never leave the house without sunscreen on, like ever ever ever.
Glytone Antioxidant Anti-Aging Cream is an eye cream that I got from my dermatologist’s office. It seems to work really well for me when I’m working because it’s not super emollient. I feel like it sinks in well and it claims to de-puff a little, which is my major problem with my eyes. I never really minded my dark circles, but when they’re puffy it becomes problematic for work. On camera you can cover up any color, but it’s hard to cover volume, zits, puffiness and swelling. I like Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkleresist24 Eye Cream. It’s old school and it’s very thick and goopy. I use that when I’m not working. The constant touching up under my eyes can make them swell up a lot too. We’re trying to find a system, but your face is like your body and your emotions. It changes every single day, so what works one day might not work the next. You’ll be like, ‘I did what I did yesterday, why is it caking today?’ Like, who knows! I don’t know. It is an art, not a science.
At night, I wash my face with a Cetaphil Anti-Bacterial Cleansing Bar, per Christie Kidd M.D.’s instructions. Then I use her calming natural acne pads. The secret weapon is this stuff called Renewal. It has retinol, abscorbic acid, etcetera. She has a next level up from it, but I’m not ready yet. I do two pumps of the yellow sauce, one pump of EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer, mix them together and put them on my face and décolletage. Dr. Kidd describes skin as a cake. She says that the deepest part of your skin is the middle of the cake and what you see is the frosting. She wants to get to the middle of the cake, where the anti-aging really happens. She says lasers go into the middle of the cake, whereas peels and exfoliants just deal with the frosting, so I do limelight lasers with her.
I also do Transcendental Meditation twice a day. I feel like TM makes your skin glow. I get compliments on my skin when I’m really on my 20 minutes, twice a day. Also, water, unfortunately. I hate drinking water, but it’s very good for your skin.
I’m not really that great at doing my own makeup, because I’ve never really had to. Thank you Jesus…or whoever is up there. I use Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 002 and then Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation 002. Both of them have a very dewy finish, which I like because I like looking greasy. I think sometimes I probably look too shiny, but whatever.
Then, I dab on Makeup Forever HD Blush Crème 215. I will use Mally Poreless Perfection Fluid Foundation in fair as a concealer under my eyes and around my nose. I curl my lashes every day. I know people are obsessed with certain eyelash curlers, but I’ve never noticed a difference between any one I’ve ever used. I have a Shiseido one right now.
My friend Michelle sells this mascara called Younique Moodstruck Fiber Lashes Mascara. It’s 3D. You’re supposed to do the gel first and then you paint over the gel and it picks up the fibers, and then you lock the fibers in with the gel. It’s a process and I had to watch a YouTube video five times to figure out how to do it and not look like an asshole, but it really does work. That one is for special occasions and then I buy cheap mascara a lot for everyday. I have a rule of thumb that whenever I go and buy tampons, I buy mascara. My eyes are sensitive and that way I’m getting a fresh one every month.
I’m in eyebrow rehab right now with Kristie Streicher. She’s trying to help me grow in my eyebrows. I am a victim of the '90s. According to Kristie, you have to not touch your brows, because you have to get them on the same growth pattern. When I’m in a hurry, I use Gimme Brow by Benefit to fill them in. If I want to take some time and really work it out, I use Makeup Forever Eyebrow Pencil in #1.
My favorite liner in the world is called Teddy by MAC Eye Kohl. I can just make a mess of things and then smash my finger in it and it’s fine. It’s a little rock 'n' roll. I use an eyeshadow called Puppy by Stila. It’s so neutral. It’s a beige. If I’m going out to dinner with my husband or something, I’ll do that.
I keep lipstick in my purse, but usually it’s just Burt’s Bees rose-colored lip balm or Lipstick Queen Medieval is really good too. You know what I really love? Dragon Girl by Nars. It’s a chunky pencil and it stays put. That’s totally for going out, but not with my husband. Red lips freak him out!”
—as told to ITG
Judy Greer photographed by Rick Rodney in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. Interview by Yasi Salek.