"I've been really blessed to play women who have had to overcome some form of adversity. Maybe I have an idea of the world, but these women have blown open the blinders of how I see it. They make me think bigger. I try to bring everything—their childhood, their favorite color, their scariest moment, their physicality—into the role. I want to highlight them. That's a big part of [my clothing line] Mission Statement, too. The underlying purpose of the line is to connect women and continue this movement of supporting one another. To remind each other that we are all persevering—that’s the thing that inspires me the most.
Something that will never change is that I like to work really hard. I feel satisfied and alive when I work hard. There's some correlation there to beauty, too. I mean, it's important to take care of your hair and skin and all that. But it's not necessarily aesthetic—it's the way you feel. All we want to do is give, give, give, and then all of a sudden we aren’t really giving to ourselves. So if you can give an hour in a 24-hour day to do something for yourself it really makes a difference. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. If you’re taking care of yourself, you really are genuinely able to take care of others.
My indulgence is exercise. It's super important for my mind and body connection. Actually, my trainer is here—he flew all the way from LA to be here. We've been working together for seven years now, right after I did Million Dollar Baby. I think 'trust' is the most important word to use with a trainer, because whether you're working towards a physical or mental goal, it's still a journey. Sometimes I feel like the biggest obstacle is my mind. So that's my workout [philosophy], less about exercising my body and more about exercising my mind.
I do two days of weights at the gym—I go to Equinox—and that's important for women after 30, because they start losing calcium. I'm obsessed with tennis, too. I play almost 10 hours of tennis a week if I can. I should probably be doing yoga to get out of my mind but I don’t like it because it makes me slow down. And anything that makes me slower, I don’t like. I'm firmly in my early 40s, and when I turned 40, I really wanted to find ways to slow down. I need to think about how to do that. I love a good epsom salt and essential oil bath, though. That's a great indulgence. My biggest splurge is a deep tissue massage from this place called Exhale. I've been going there for a long time after I found someone who understands what I like and what my needs are.
I've also gone to Christine Chin in the city for a long time—10 years, but if it works, why change it? I'm realizing I have dryer skin, and even in the summertime, I use her Hydration Creme which is thick. I have her Hydrating Facial Cleanser and her Hydrating Mist, too, but I'm trying to mix it up. I like 3Lab a lot and they make a really rich eye cream, but I also like Chanel's Le Lift. Peter Thomas Roth has this Mineral Sunscreen Stick that I love. I use it all day long, and that’s really great when you’re playing tennis and are sweaty.
I don’t wash my hair that much, even though I work out. My scalp is oily so I wash every other day. I've been liking Oribe's products. They have a Texturizing Spray that I like, because my hair is very straight, so it gives it a bit of texture and I’ve never really found anything else like it. Harry Josh cuts my hair. That’s another thing I use—Harry's Detangling Wet Brush. When you wash hair this long it gets so tangled, and you can pull all your hair out if you don’t use the right brush. I use his Pro Dryer, too. I was telling him that I left it in New York when I went to Europe because it doesn’t have a European plug and it took double the time it normally does. Really.
And my makeup routine is very simple—I wear a concealer, a little bit of blush, and I curl my eyelashes. My favorite eyelash curler is the Shu Uemura. I use Chanel's Correcteur Concealer and Blush, but I mix it up. Usually I’ll be sent something and just try it out. I go between peach or pink—I really just like to keep it natural. I do not like to take a long time to get ready. I like it to be easy and simple and I want to get in there and I want to get out the door."
—as told to ITG
Hilary Swank photographed by Tom Newton at the Equinox High Performance Living Summit in New York on November 16, 2016.