Oscar-winning actress and Lancôme spokeswoman Penélope Cruz loves a bad movie, is no stranger to bed-head, and isn’t too shabby with scissors and a pot of hot wax. We sat down with Cruz for InStyle’s September issue, where we learned everything from her off-duty makeup routine to the six beauty products she can’t live without. Read on for our exclusive interview with the star, and then keep scrolling to shop her must-haves!
You grew up in Spain. What’s the best beauty tip you picked up there?
Well, my parents owned a hair salon in Madrid, so I was surrounded by beauty. I’ve cut a lot of people’s hair and even learned how to wax. I actually waxed Salma Hayek‘s legs once. Great friend, right?
Great friend, indeed.
She proved how much she trusts me. I always say if my acting career doesn’t go well, I have a backup.
Are you equally skilled at doing your own hair and makeup?
I can do it, but I normally like a natural look. On a regular day I just wear lip color and mascara. And sometimes I wait so long to brush my hair that I look like a Rastafarian.
Were you confident about your looks growing up?
When I read articles and hear actresses say, “Oh, I was the ugly duckling in high school,” it sounds strange to me. It’s like, who hasn’t had those moments in their life?
I think we all have. So with a busy career and two kids, how do you find time to wind down?
I try to carve out at least 30 minutes for myself every day. I might read a book or get a massage—or I’ll watch a really bad movie. Like, the worst possible movie I can find!
Penélope’s Beauty Must-Haves:
Lancôme Trésor Eau De Parfum Spray
“This is the perfume of my life ($75; lancome.com)—I’ve been wearing it since my teens. It’s really a coincidence that I’m now the face of it.”
Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense
“This is the best hair mask ($63; kerastase-usa.com). It was always in my mother’s hair salon, and she knows a lot about healthy hair.”
Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara
“The wand ($32; lancome.com) has a very special design that lets you reach every single lash, even the tricky ones in the corners.”
Nuance Blue Agave Wave Enhancing Styling Swirl
“Salma Hayek sent me this with a few of her other products, and they are all really, really great ($13; cvs.com)!”
“I use this to make juices as well as gazpacho ($449; vitamix.com). In Spain we eat gazpacho almost every day, so you get a lot of vegetables in a way that is very delicious.”
Santa Maria Novella Soap in Rose and Pomegranate
“I love these old Italian soaps ($18 each; santamarianovellausa.com). Some of them smell like baby powder and remind me of the ones my grandmother always used.”
For more, flip to page 505 of our September issue, available on newsstands and for digital download today.