Betty Gilpin, Actress


"Working on GLOW is incredible—it's really fun playing a character who is so different from myself. Debbie wakes up in the morning and does full hair and makeup to go to the grocery store. I think she always has a montage going in her mind... Even the walk to the pharmacy can happen in slow motion if you have the right teal eyeshadow. Her purse is full of makeup, and my purse is full of trash. I actually just threw away a Wet 'n' Wild lipstick that I think had been in there for a very long time. If I put it on right now, it might poison me.

Many of the characters I've played in film or TV wear a lot of makeup, so whenever I'm doing a press day, I just want to look like myself. I'm lucky enough to work with people like Suzy [Gerstein], who does very pretty, natural-looking makeup. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is the best, and I use their foundation brush, too. I'm sure there's a cheaper drugstore version, but the lady at the Bloomingdale's counter just made me feel so small and afraid. I bought the brush to try and get her to like me. It was the right choice, trust me. [Laughs] Then I do a little blush with MAC Best Dressed. It's a tiny pink whisper. My brows are either Benefit Gimme Brow or Glossier Boy Brow, which I'm wearing today. My mascara is Benefit They're Real.

Sometimes, when I'm running 15 minutes late, I'm like, you should try a smoky eye right now! It involves me taking a brush from the bottom of my purse, sticking it into an eyeshadow, and writing a little story on my eyelids. I just zone out. When I come to, I look in the mirror, and I scream. It looks like I've been in an MMA fight. Today on my eyelids is a little Surratt Beauty Real Eyes, and Marc Jacobs Highliner in Orange Crush, to bring out the green.

Usually I have blond hair, but it's red now for this movie I'm filming called Isn't It Romantic? Rebel Wilson is the star of the movie, so by the law of Hocus Pocus, I'm a redhead. And I'm the Bette Midler of this situation, I want to make that really clear. I get it colored by a man named Brock at Marie Robinson, which really is the place to go. It took four hours—I can't believe how long it takes to get your hair colored, I always go through 10 snacks. To preserve the color, I barely wash it. They did give me a color-safe shampoo for red hair that's actually red itself, but I can't remember the brand. Recently, I treated myself to an apartment cleaning, because my place looks like a warzone, and the cleaning woman went into the bathroom, came out, and was like, 'Is everything OK?' And I looked in the shower and it was all red. I told her, 'I want you to know, first and foremost, you're safe.' But yeah, it's blood shampoo.

In the hair and makeup trailer, they give you a hot towel to take off your makeup, because you're always wearing layers and layers of powder. That's really nice. At home, I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which you put on dry skin and it takes everything away. I have super sensitive skin, so it's always a battle against acne for me. Then I do the Joanna Vargas Charcoal Bar Wash, plus her Exfoliating Mask maybe three times a week. Sometimes I'll sleep in it, if I've had a ton of makeup on, just to pull it all out. For moisturizer, I use Joanna Vargas' Rescue Serum, with the Elta MD Sunscreen over it. I go to Joanna for facials once a month. It was the first place that made me feel like I have control over my skin. And the LED treatments, with the red and blue light, changed everything. I mean, I went to them with cystic acne, and now it's gone.

Food also affects my skin and energy so dramatically. When I'm filming something, I'm gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, and chugging water. The moment I wrap, I'm freebasing bread and pasta, swimming in ice cream, and, like, injecting wine into my eyes. Otherwise I have to get up at 3:45 AM and work until midnight, so eating unhealthily isn't an option. I also work out—I used to take what I call 'Male Gaze Car Accident Classes', where you're panicking about the size of your calves and thighs while Ke$ha screams at you under purple lighting. Now I work with Cadence Dubus at Brooklyn Strength. We do a fusion of Pilates, kettlebells, and physical therapy. We talk more about the weird clicking sound my knees make, instead of my jean size. We never talk about that."

—as told to ITG

Betty Gilpin photographed by Tom Newton in New York on July 11, 2017. Makeup by Suzy Gerstein. Hair by Jillian Halouska.