Last week, Reese attended the Elizabeth Arden Garden Party in Beverly Hills to promote some of the brand’s new products. Reese embraced the floral theme with a Altuzarra shirtdress, Malone Souliers sandals and a Vita Fede mini Andrea pearl bracelet. Reese gave several interviews during the party, and talked about her style and women in business – read the interviews below. Find photos in our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon Reveals The Best Beauty Tip Her Mom Ever Gave Her
Reese Witherspoon owes her best beauty secrets to the women who raised her.
“I’ve learned so much from my mom to my grandma, and I think that it’s so great that I am able to pass it on to my daughter,” the “Big Little Lies” actress and Elizabeth Arden ambassador told Access exclusively at the brand’s garden party in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
“The most important thing that I really learned from my mom is having a joyful attitude,” she continued. “It’s really the best beauty tip I could possibly give anybody. She wakes up every day with a smile, and I always think about that.”
Reese said that her late grandmother taught her the value of “taking care of your skin and making sure that your makeup was beautiful, fresh and clean” – but she also imparted the wisdom that beauty isn’t merely skin-deep.
“My grandmother used to always say ‘pretty is as pretty does,’ and it’s something that I say to my daughter: that you can be pretty and put together, but it’s the way that you treat people and who you are the inside that really matters,” Reese explained. “And I think usually one is a reflection of the other.”
The Oscar winner also said that she makes time every day to focus on internal and external self-care.
“Putting yourself together is a way of taking care of yourself, and it’s actually a way of putting your best face forward to the world,” she dished. “So I always think about it that way: whether I’m doing my skin care routine or I’m just getting my makeup ready for the day, I feel like I’m taking care of myself in that moment. I think that’s a little thing women can do for themselves every day.”
One product that the HBO star has incorporated into her beauty ritual is Elizabeth Arden’s White Tea fragrance.
“I just love it. I think it’s very fresh and very modern,” she gushed.
In the video above, find out more about Reese’s beauty routine, including her biggest teenage grooming fail and the skin care mistake you’ll never catch her making.
Reese Witherspoon Talks Beauty Standards, State Abortion Laws at Elizabeth Arden Event
Reese Witherspoon on Tuesday played host to a coterie of beauty devotees who were on hand to celebrate the latest offerings by Elizabeth Arden. At a private Beverly Hills home, guests were guided to a garden teeming with freshly bloomed roses and tables bearing vases filled with the flowers along with ferns, hydrangeas and peonies for the creation of custom floral arrangements.
Witherspoon fluttered amongst the crowd in a floral-print Altuzarra dress, sharing her love for the brand. “[Elizabeth Arden] started a company, a beauty brand, before she even had the right to vote,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “She was a champion for women’s rights and for the idea that women need to take care of themselves. She had a holistic approach to health and beauty that you can only look as good as you feel on the inside. I just think she is such a cool entrepreneurial force. I would not be standing here if it weren’t for women like her.”
Following in Arden’s footsteps, Witherspoon is an entrepreneur in her own right (founding lifestyle brand Draper James in 2013) and has served as a constant voice for women’s rights. She was a key player in launching the Time’s Up initiative last year and, just before the event, the Big Little Lies actress tweeted her thoughts after a law banning most abortions was signed into law by the governor of Alabama on Wednesday, following similar legislation in other states, calling it “unconstitutional and abhorrent.”
“Rolling back women’s fundamental rights is deeply disturbing and unconstitutional,” she told THR. “I love what Ava DuVernay said: ‘Your silence isn’t going to save you.’ Right now it’s about Alabama; tomorrow, it’s about the whole country. Nothing is more important to me than protecting my sisters all over this country. It’s just unbelievable. I feel like we’re in a novel.”
Witherspoon went on to say, “If you really think about it, there’s not enough women making decisions about women’s lives. Our bodies are being governed without representation. That doesn’t feel very American to me.”
Following the adage that beauty occurs from the inside out, Elizabeth Arden’s official “Storyteller-in-Chief” also talked about vanity, which by her definition is anything but that. “Beauty is finding the center of yourself,” she said. “It’s being your most authentic self and putting that person in the world.”
The 43-year-old emphasized the importance of skincare, particularly with her on-the-go lifestyle. “These serum capsules are so easy to travel with,” she said, motioning to the Elizabeth Arden retinol ceramide capsules, displayed on a table next to the brand’s White Tea collection (a trio of fragrances touting notes such as white tea, pear tree blossom, and Bergamot).”I feel like it is really well-made and has a great price point for the quality that you get in the products. I take them all over the world whenever I do movies or press tours and you just have an incredible amount of moisture in them too, in case you want to use them on the flights.”
Witherspoon also swears by treatments from West Hollywood-based facialist Mila Moursi, along with regular immersion in nature. “I think it’s important to get outside as much as possible,” she said. “Take a walk in the morning. It’s really helpful for your health and just your mental reset.”
When it comes to beauty standards shifting in the world toward more inclusivity, Witherspoon (who has passed down her mother’s advice of finding joy and happiness in each day by focusing on positivity) spoke of her children’s access to diversity.
“You’re seeing a lot more representation of how the world really looks than when I grew up,” she said, before referencing Diana Ross as a beauty icon for doing her own makeup over the years, according to conversations with her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross, a friend of Witherspoon’s. “I think it’s a really interesting time to grow up, to be a kid and use social media platforms. I’m really glad that my kids can see that there needs to be an entire range and that women and beauty can look so many different ways. And we’re seeing a lot of bloggers. They have very important voices in the beauty world because they represent an important perspective, which is actually the buyer’s. I think brands are really listening to the consumers and paying attention.”
With regard to Hollywood’s take on beauty, in terms of inclusivity and ageism, Witherspoon — who founded the production company Pacific Standard Films with Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Wild) in 2012 and the media brand Hello Sunshine in 2016, which focuses on celebrating women with storytelling — noted that the power lies with content creators and their audiences.
“I think it’s changing,” she said. “It certainly hasn’t met the standards, but with the emergence of a lot of female producers, women of color, LGBTQ people who are producing and creating content, I think you’re going to see a shift of whose stories are told. The most important thing is that audience members show up for the things that represent what they want. Pay that money on Friday for the box office and click on it on Netflix. Support the artists that you really believe in because that will help them continue to create great content.”
Reese Witherspoon on How Her Skin Has Changed After Having Kids
There’s perhaps no movie star with more anticipated projects on her plate than Reese Witherspoon. From the upcoming second season of Big Little Lies to Legally Blonde 3, the 43-year-old actor-producer-CEO just keeps giving us one gift after the other. But there’s one project she has yet to announce, and it would be fascinating if she did: the story of Elizabeth Arden.
Witherspoon has been the face of the iconic beauty brand (or its storyteller-in-chief, as they call her) for the past two years. Although Arden passed away years before Witherspoon was born, you get the feeling this was a woman the Oscar winner was born to play. “I love her story,” Witherspoon tells Glamour, which was the inspiration behind the Broadway hit War Paint. “She started a beauty brand [in 1910] before women even had the right to vote. We stand here because of women like her, who were bold enough and headstrong enough to start their own businesses and pave the way for the rest of us.”
So while we wait for a Witherspoon-Arden movie to materialize, the actor found another way to honor the former nurse turned business owner—an intimate garden party to celebrate the launch of two new fragrances from the White Tea Collection and the brand’s most innovative sunscreen to date. Here she tells Glamour about the essential beauty lesson she’s passed down to her daughter, Ava; the city that inspires her look; and the makeup secret that her BLL character, Madeline Martha Mackenzie, relies on.
Glamour: What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
Reese Witherspoon: Great skin care. As you get older and start seeing wrinkles and fine lines, it’s so important to moisturize and use great products that really hydrate and take care of your skin. I clean my skin every night.
What’s one beauty rule you think is B.S.?
RW: I don’t think beauty has to be prohibitively expensive. There are great products that are very affordable. You might invest in a more expensive skin care routine, but then also buy a Revlon eyelash curler.
Speaking of, if you had $20 and free rein in a drugstore, what would you pick up?
RW: Probably that Revlon eyelash curler! I like browsing and looking at colors and new developments from different brands. I’m just very curious about beauty.
Fill in the blank: I love my hair when…
RW: I love when I get my highlights. My colorist, Lorri Goddard, is the best. I’ve gone to her for 15 years, and she’s taken me from brown to blond to red and back to blond. I just feel better getting my hair done.
You travel a ton. What city or country inspires you the most?
RW: I love going to Rio de Janeiro. I love beautiful bronze skin with gorgeous bronze eyes. The women are so beautiful there, and the men are so handsome. There’s such a joyful attitude there. There’s music and food, and it’s about really living your life to the fullest.
You’re about to be stranded on a deserted island. What three products do you bring?
RW: Definitely sunscreen. I love the new Elizabeth Arden Great 8 Sunscreen. It’s part of the eight-hour product line, and it goes on clear, so you don’t have that white ghost face. After that, I’d bring the Elizabeth Arden serum eye capsules, which I use every day, as well as the night cream, which is really good and smells delicious.
What’s one beauty lesson you’ve passed down to your daughter, Ava?
RW: Sunscreen and taking care of your skin. Hydrating and drinking a lot of water.
Young people don’t often understand the importance of sunscreen. How do you get that message across?
RW: I just explain to her that the tone and the coloration of your skin changes as you get older, and after you have kids, sometimes you get brown spots. I mean, I definitely got brown spots on my face. So anything that helps even out skin tone is really important. That way you don’t have to wear a lot of makeup and cover your skin if you take care of it from the time you’re young.
If you could change one thing about beauty perceptions, what would it be?
RW: Just that beauty is one thing and one kind of look. I think women are kind of fed up with that idea. It’s why you see so much incredible user-generated content on social platforms and why bloggers are so important nowadays. Beauty comes in all different kinds of ways, and women want to see themselves represented. It’s great to see these big brands really embracing that.
How did you unwind after a stressful day of filming Big Little Lies?
RW: Well, usually after Big Little Lies, we’d go have a drink with the girls.
And you had to pay for it, right?
RW: [Laughs.] No, we rotate the bill, but I like to tease them that I always pay for it.
Nicole Kidman said that she likes Celeste to have a very porcelain look to show her vulnerabilities on BLL. Are there any surprising Easter eggs or facts about Madeline’s look or makeup this season?
RW: I would say that she always has a bright-color lip—she’s optimistic—but it’s also her persona and what she puts on to face the world. It doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s feeling great, but she always has a way of presenting something bright and sunny.
Who are the women inspiring you the most right now?
RW: I’m really inspired by so many young female activists like Yara Shahidi, or the kids from Parkland, who are amazing. I think there are a lot of women who are talking about body positivity like Jameela Jamil, and I’m excited to hear new voices in this space. Women have really walked us through their own experiences and come through with the wisdom and the strength to tell their stories, and that’s really inspiring.
If You See Reese Witherspoon With a Smoky Eye, Her Daughter, Ava, Was Probably the MUA
When we meet, Reese Witherspoon is propped upon a pink couch in a backyard cabana filled with pink roses, wearing a maddeningly perfect pink shade of lipstick. The star — and storyteller-in-chief of storied beauty brand Elizabeth Arden — certainly knows a thing or two about makeup after decades in Hollywood. (But maybe not quite as much, she admits, as her 19-year-old daughter, Ava, who grew up in the era of the YouTube tutorial.)
Witherspoon is on hand to share a few of her beauty secrets with a host of beauty influencers, bloggers, and journalists in celebration of Elizabeth Arden’s White Tea fragrance collection and its Great 8 Daily Defence Moisturiser, which comes with a welcome SPF of 35. We talked to the Big Little Lies star about the first perfume she ever wore, bonding in the makeup trailer with her costars, and the fun of looking back at her own ’90s beauty moments, ahead.
POPSUGAR: So today is all about fragrance — tell me a little bit about how you wear it. Are you the spritz-on-your-wrist or walk-into-it person?
Reese Witherspoon: I’m definitely spray in the air and walk through it — two, three times. Forward. Back. Forward. Out.
PS: Do you have specific scent memories that are linked to particular perfumes?
RW: Perfume reminds me of my grandmother. She always loved beautiful floral fragrances like rose and gardenia, and my mother was the same. I remember all the bottles lined up on her dresser and just thinking she was so feminine and gorgeous.
PS: Do you remember when you first started wearing perfume and what you wore?
RW: I do, actually. I think the first perfume I ever bought was Betsey Johnson. Doesn’t that just say that I grew up in the ’90s?
PS: Totally. Tell me about your title with Elizabeth Arden as storyteller-in-chief. Can you talk about the role that storytelling has played in your own life?
RW: It’s all I ever wanted to be when I was little. I loved reading. I loved books. I just loved telling other people’s stories. The fact that I’ve been able to transform my life and be a storyteller for as long as I have, and now have the opportunity to help women get their stories made into film and television, [is] just really a dream come true.
PS: Are there stories right now that you’re particularly excited to tell?
RW: There are so many stories to tell. I think we haven’t seen enough of the spectrum of the female experience on film, so we’re still yearning for the truth of those stories. I feel really enormously honoured to be able to make some of them and bring them to the screen.
PS: You’ve been a pivotal voice in Time’s Up and just elevating women’s voices in general. You’ve also pushed that work forward with Elizabeth Arden with efforts like “Pink Punch” lipstick, which benefited UN Women. These efforts seem like a cool, subversive way to say: “Hey, women can be interested in lipstick and also care about gender equality.” Is that something that struck you?
RW: Yeah. I’m so inspired by young women these days. They hold so many different ideologies in one place — that you don’t have to be exclusively academic or cerebral, or exclusively interested in fashion and beauty. There’s a great spectrum of interests women can hold all at once. It’s a great time to be a woman. I think we’re standing together more than we ever have. There’s a global solidarity that I really feel [when] I travel the world, or even just go on Instagram. I feel so much more connected.
PS: Is there a character you’ve played whose beauty look was your favourite of all time? Is there one you just loved, even if it was a radical departure from your everyday look?
RW: I’m looking back at old performances and hairstyles, because I’m about to do a show set in the ’90s (Little Fires Everywhere). I’ve been doing a lot of research on what I looked like and what women looked like back then, because I have teenagers in the show dressing like my characters from movies like Cruel Intentions. I love Elle Woods. I just think it was such a privilege to get to play a character that was so optimistic, and it’s been such an inspiration. She’s inspired me, as well, to believe in myself.
PS: Is there anything from those ’90s photos that make you think, “I somewhat regret that”?
RW: Oh, definitely some lipstick choices. Brown liner on the lips was a little awkward. Some very skinny eyebrow situations.
PS: Obviously, you get to work with top makeup artists and hairstylists — not to mention your castmates, too. Big Little Lies has one of the best-looking casts on television. Do you trade any sort of beauty tips? Have you picked anything up from them?
RW: It’s a wonderful experience getting ready with other women. Nicole [Kidman] and I in a trailer, and Laura [Dern] and Shailene [Woodley] — there’s so many of us, we have to rotate trailers. Just watching the camaraderie between people, creating character and beauty, is really a fun process to have with your hair and makeup people. They go to war with us. They’re our best friends. It’s great to bond with other people’s teams as well.
PS: What is that process like when you are creating a character? Especially now that you’re so established in your career, I imagine you have a little bit more power to say, “No. I think she would do X, Y, and Z.”
RW: Everything in film and television is very collaborative, so it’s important to be a good partner and really listen to people’s ideas. We pull a lot of old photos from archives and photo searches. We’ll have a little bit of time to talk and play around, and then it’s go time. You can’t really change it after you’ve made these choices. These movies last forever, so we always say to each other: “OK, do we feel good about this forever?”
PS: It seems like every teenager and young woman out there is a total makeup pro these days, because they came up in the age of the YouTube tutorial. Your daughter, Ava, is that age, too. Is there anything that she passed on to you, beauty-tip wise?
RW: Oh my gosh. She has a whole array of brushes that I have no idea what she does with. There’s all kinds of blending, square blending, fan blending. It’s crazy. But it’s great, because if I get in a pinch and I need a smoky eye, she can just pop one on me really quick. She really can. She’s like, “No, no. Mom, go like this and go like this.” And then she gets really frustrated because she doesn’t think my palettes are the same kind of palettes that she uses.
PS: Tell me about this partnership with Elizabeth Arden. You’ve already done so many cool things with them, but I wonder if there’s anything more that you have in mind to leverage this storyteller-in-chief role going forward?
RW: I love telling the story of Elizabeth Arden. I think she was such a pioneer in the beauty industry — starting her own company, really believing in holistic beauty, the health of your body, the importance of self-care; the way she championed women’s rights by helping the suffragettes, showing solidarity by passing out lipstick while they were marching on the right to vote. She’s just an inspiration. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the women like her who started that entrepreneurial spirit. I wouldn’t have the companies that I have. If you think about the bravery of women, the boldness, and the determination to change things for all women, it’s really inspiring.
PS: Self-care is a big talking point these days, and I think a lot of people are turning to that to find balance in their lives. Is there anything that’s kind of an important part of your own self-care routine, whether it’s beauty or just relaxation?
RW: I definitely take time for myself. I exercise or walk outside every day. I think it’s important. As hard as we all work, particularly working moms taking care of kids, you get home and you do your other full-time job. It’s really important to have moments where you completely mentally unplug. I walk the dog or go outside for a bike ride. That really clears my mind.
Reese Witherspoon Shares Her Favorite Elle Woods Look & The ’90s Beauty Trends She Regrets
There is no question that Reese Witherspoon is an icon, but you might not know it if, let’s say, you bumped into her at a Beverly Hills garden tea party and somehow had no idea who she was. That’s the setting I found myself in on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the launch of Elizabeth Arden’s White Tea Collection. Of course, everyone at the rose-bedecked party knew who Witherspoon was, all likely able to recite lines from Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama in an instant. Still, the Elizabeth Arden storyteller-in-chief blended herself into the flocks of beauty influencers wearing pastel-colored outfits in her pink, floral-printed Altuzarra dress as if she were just another guest.
Witherspoon floated around the garden, complimenting others on their makeup and ensembles, making small talk and taking selfies, like a charming new friend you make over a glass of rosé would — not an actress, producer, and entrepreneur with an Oscar, a clothing line, and a media brand under her belt. But who says an icon can’t also hang with the girls and talk bad brows and good lipstick? Not Witherspoon, which is also partially why she was so drawn to work with Elizabeth Arden. Because like her, the legendary beauty founder was an advocate for women and was a lover of all things makeup.
“When they approached me about working with the brand, I really started to get into the story of Elizabeth Arden [and] how she was a pioneer in the beauty industry — one of the first female entrepreneurs in this industry. She established this company before she had the right to vote. She championed women’s rights and [supplied] pastel lipstick to the suffragettes while they were fighting for the right to vote,” she explains to me.
Similar to Arden, Witherspoon has dedicated much of her career to being an activist, fighting for minority communities and equal rights. A few hours before we sat down to chat, Witherspoon took to her Twitter to express her disappointment of the strict abortion laws that had just passed in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.
Witherspoon is unafraid to use her platform to express her opinions, however controversial they may be. To her, it’s not just a privilege — it’s her duty, and she’s grateful to women like Arden who helped give her the opportunity to do so. “Frankly, I would not be standing where I am if it weren’t for women like [Elizabeth Arden],” says Witherspoon.
Plus, she’s a fan of the products. Witherspoon swears by the brand’s ceramide and retinol capsules, and is “obsessed” with the new Eight Hour moisturizing sunscreen, which launched this month.
Icon and activist aside, it’s obvious that Witherspoon is also a wealth of beauty knowledge. She took a break from the garden party to share her biggest piece of skin care advice, the ’90s trends she regrets, and the Big Little Lies character she thinks has the most complicated beauty routine.
Of all the different women you’ve played, who had your favorite style?
Well, I love Madeline in Big Little Lies. She always has a bold lip and presents her best self to the world. But I also love Elle Woods. Legally Blonde was just a dream. I love hair, makeup, beauty, costumes, shoes, purses — so that was really fun to create that character with [the costume designer] Sophie de Rakoff.
What’s your favorite Elle Woods look?
I love the day that she goes to college and she’s dressed in a full pink leather outfit with Bruiser who has a matching outfit.
You’re a proud Southern girl. Are there any Southern girl beauty tips you live by?
We drink a lot of iced tea. [Laughs] The thing about the South [is that] it is so hot and muggy that your skin is always being hydrated. Now that I live in California, I have to always be putting moisturizer on and spraying hydrating mist throughout day. Moisture is so important as your skin gets older, you have to put the moisture back in.
What’s the most important beauty advice you like to give your daughter or your younger fans?
The first thing I tell my daughter is start wearing sunscreen as early as possible — put it on your skin because you will be happy 20 years later. But also beauty doesn’t have to be expensive. I love the emergence of all these beauty bloggers who show you how to achieve a look with maybe not the most expensive products. Maybe you want invest in nice skin care that’s more high end and better quality. But I’m telling you, Revlon has incredible products that can help you mimic some of these really high end looks on a great budget.
Which Big Little Lies character do you think has the most complicated skin care or beauty routine? Like, who’s getting regular facials and investing in luxury beauty and who is just showering and brushing their teeth?
Definitely Renata has the longest skin care routine. And Bonnie definitely has almost no skin care routine. She’s just sort of naturally gorgeous. She did wake up like this.
Do you get to influence the makeup look for your character Madeline on Big Little Lies?
Yeah, of course! I work with my makeup artist Molly Stern and I just kind of talk about what this character is, what makeup does she enjoy, what does she like to do, where did she learn to put on makeup? We explore all of that with every character. It’s really fun to build the character around those ideas.
You mentioned earlier that Madeline loves a bold lip — why do you think that is?
I think it’s a presentation. She always puts herself together before she enters the world. She’s probably had the same lipstick color for years and she just knows it looks good on.
You were a rising star in the ’90s — is there a beauty trend that you sort of regret at all?
A little bit. It’s funny you say that because my next project I’m doing with Kerry Washington is called Little Fires Everywhere for Hulu. We’re playing women in the ’90s with teenagers in the ’90s, so our inspiration boards and our exploration with photo research has been all the ways that we looked in the ’90s and boy. Wow. We liked to pluck our eyebrows a lot. And I definitely rocked like too many hair buns at one point. It’s pretty funny to see.
Is there a makeup or skin care product from the ’90s that you still use today?
I use Cetaphil face wash a lot, Cutex nail polish remover. Things that are standards.
What’s the best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever received?
You know, I love when people encourage you to show your skin. I think sometimes we’re told to cover up but sometimes it’s nice to just see the texture of your skin or the different freckles that you have. I used to have freckles and I would cover them a lot and I think it’s great to just see women expressing themselves and showing different kinds of beauty standards on social media platforms. It’s a much more inclusive idea about what is beautiful nowadays.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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