Gillian Anderson's Beauty Secrets Revealed!
By Elise Minton
New Beauty Magazine: June 24, 2016
Ever wonder what an A-list actress depends on to keep herself looking beautiful at all times? We caught up with Gillian Anderson to get the scoop on what she can't be without, how she deals with the effects of aging and her secret to that incredible body!
Skin-Care Savior: "Even with all the fancy creams I've been gifted over the years, once I started seeing that my skin was suffering, I began to pay more attention to it. I started using a mixture over the years of Clinique and Estee Lauder. It's not a huge part of my life, but I've began making an attempt to use some of the stuff that's out there. And you know, I think it works. I think my skin definitely feels better."
Color Confession: "My hair usually gets dyed depending on which character I'm playing. Lately I've been blond. It's been a long time since I was a redhead. I don't think when I was a redhead (back in the day) that I felt particularly sexy. I don't and can't do my hair myself. I've never been able to use irons or hairdryers or anything. If I want it to look nice in any way, shape or form, I go somewhere and have somebody else do it."
Moisture Must-Have: "There's a Clinique Moisture Surge Gel, which is kind of extraordinary for application in the afternoon, if you're starting to feel like you're drying up and need some hydration."
Beauty Staple: "I'm pretty dependent on Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - I rely on it - that's a staple. It feels natural, moisturizing, smooth and silky and gives great coverage without making it feel like I'm wearing anything. That's a pretty big statement for me."
My Biggest Beauty Mistake: "When I haven't really paid attention to what my hair and makeup people are doing and the car is waiting outside and I don't really have time to fix it at the last minute. That's happened plenty of times."
Worst Habit: "There are tons of them. Choosing to not exercise or meditate on any particular day is not good for me. I often opt to stay busy instead of doing these things. And, drinking Coca-Cola - I know it's not good for me, but I drink it anyway."
I Feel Good About Myself When...: "I'm doing all the things I know are good for self-care. When I get enough sleep, meditate, eat healthfully and have a balance in my life between work, family and friends and have cultural intellectual stimulation - it's a lot to ask. But, when that balance is right, I probably feel the most fulfilled and the happiest."
Morning Ritual: "I start my day with meditation. Even just waking up a few minutes before my kids wake up to center my head. It makes a big difference."
Diet Debate: "I've always been interested in the raw food diet but I've been told by a couple people that it's not particularly good for women. I like the idea of eating that clean; that appeals to me. But, I've never been brave enough to actually try it for any period of time. When it comes to my diet, I usually stay away from high carbs. I also do occasional yoga."
The Gillian files - like you've never seen her before
Living a life filled with travel affords those who are lucky enough to enjoy it, constant climate changes, more than the normal amount of outstanding restaurants and boutiques and plenty of things to do to keep busy. But if you're fortunate enough to split your time between two hemispheres, well that's a whole other story - you get to experience all of that and then some, like diverse cultures and distinct ways of thinking. And, when it comes to beauty, those differences are clear as day.
Award-winning actress Gillian Anderson (she has an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award under her belt) has had the privilege of being born in Chicago and having lived in London (where she currently resides) and then Michigan. The 47-year-old says there's absolutely a difference in how women in America view beauty and aging versus those in London. "I tend to observe women in the UK approaching it less obsessively, than say, those in Los Angeles," she explains in a soft-spoken yet authoritative voice with perfect enunciation. "There seems to be less of a preoccupation with it and more of an acceptance of the natural face and the natural aging process. I think in Europe, in general, there's a sense that women who age naturally can be beautiful, whereas I'm not so sure that's the perception in America, specifically in L.A. I think that it's seen as a flaw somehow, like wrinkles are a flaw."
Whether women in the States see wrinkles as imperfections or not, for the most part, they're on a marathon race to eradicate them in their entirety. But, Gillian doesn't think of the procedures and treatments that have become the norm to deal with wrinkles and other signs of aging as taboo. "I think it comes down to the choice a woman wants to make about how she chooses to age, whatever that choice is. In our society, women are shamed if they do anything and shamed if they don't. I don't think it should be the place of anybody - specifically the tabloids - to draw them out and shame them for their decisions."
She speaks from experience to a degree. This past February, the tabloids put the spotlight on her and speculated that cosmetic work was done. Gillian, who looks the best she's ever looked, almost as if she's cracked the scientific code to aging, fired back to set the record straight, responding with the hashtag #agingwithoutshame on social media. "I don't know if it's that I really fight back so much or that I just adhere to my sense of what works for me. I guess I've been quite outspoken over the years about the importance of accepting yourself exactly how you are and not trying to follow what anyone else says," Gillian says.
Embracing What Comes With Age
Not every women can relate - although plenty do - to the theory Gillian subscribes to: accepting who you are and going with it. Even with the advent of the latest and greatest procedures that women have at their disposal. Gillian hopes, over time, that there will be even more ways for women to care for their aging skin with vitamins and substances. "There will always be the desire, as women see themselves getting older, to stop the process. Ultimately, it comes down to embracing that process and embracing one's self at the age that one is, which is hard," she says. "I'm sure I'll find myself along the way in some situations saying, 'Do I, should I, would I?'"
For now, Gillian keeps it basic when dealing with her skin and the effects of aging. She owns up to the fact that she didn't pay attention to her skin until she reached her 40s. "Once I started seeing that my skin was suffering, I began to pay more attention to it," she says. "It's not a huge part of my life, but I make an attempt to use some of the stuff that's out there. And you know, I think it works. I think my skin definitely feels better." For as much as she tries to accommodate her skin's needs, the mother of three admits she often goes to bed realizing she hasn't washed her face.
Mother Knows Best
The role of mother is an important one to Gillian. Almost any mother, working or nonworking, always conjures up the question: How do you do it all? "I really struggle with that." Her saving grace? Meditation. "I attempt to keep up a meditation practice, which is probably one of the things that saves my mental capacity at the end of the day. But being here where I am now [she's in Mexico when the interview takes place], it's the first time I've had some alone time not working on anything for a good year and a half or so. It's been a long time since I haven't been working or running after kids. It's a constant lesson for me, even still, trying to find that time and keep that balance."
While she seems to have it together and exudes a sense of self-acceptance, Gillian has also done a stellar job of welcoming that haves and dismissing the have nots. "I'm sure that over the years there have been plenty of things I probably wishes were different about myself. But one of the wonderful things about getting older, at least in my experience, is that you start to care less about those things and become more accepting of what it is you have to work with. I think that's the more challenging role - to get to a point where that's the focus and not obsessing about the one thing that you'd be happier with if it were different."
Looking Into the Future
For a woman who's comfortable enough in her own skin to accomplish what she has so far - she's starred in the cult-classic series The X-Files, A&E's mini-series War and Peace, and three seasons of the Netflix drama The Fall, she just wrapped Viceroy's House and A Streetcar Named Desire off Broadway, she is slated to start filming the political thriller Official Secrets with Harrison Ford and she's penned a novel trilogy - all before turning 50, one thing she hasn't quite figured out yet is what the future holds. But she's not fighting it in the least bit. "I feel fine about it. I'm looking forward to it." she says. Turning 50 also has her debating what fork in the road her career will take. "There have been a couple of projects I've been working on adapting, producing, etc., and whether I get into directing in my 50s depends on how much I'm still acting. So I guess that would be one thing I would focus on."
Acting isn't the only passion that consumes her. With a deep affinity for art, Gillian is interested in exploring more of that world. "I am curious at which point in my life and career I might allow for the time and space to work in that direction." She even illustrates what the 80-year-old version of herself would look like and describes her wearing flat shoes, dressed in black, hopefully having white hair (she says she doubts she would be one of those women who pretends that she isn't gray by the time she is 80) and wearing lots of jewelry from museum stores.
So, is the actress ready to ever fully leave the acting world? "I don't know. It's possible, but I don't know." In true Gillian fashion, she's not fighting what comes with change, but instead welcoming it, letting it take her wherever that may be. "I've had a pretty good run and it's probably a good idea ot make hay while the sun shines."