For The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans, Erika Girardi, aka Erika Jayne (her dance pop diva alter ego), is a household name. No stranger to putting on a performance (she’s had nine number one singles on Billboard’s dance club charts), the fierce and fearless Bravo fan favorite is heating up the stage for season 24 of Dancing with the Stars. Here, the 45-year-old blond bombshell takes a minute from her intensive DWTS schedule to talk with us about her anti-aging secrets, how she maintains those famous platinum locks and how every woman can channel their very own Erika Jayne.
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NewBeauty: What inspires your look?
Erika Jayne: I like beauty, glamour and drama. I’m really inspired by Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth and those old movie screen goddesses. I just like to be a girl; I like to be pretty; I like to be sexy. As stupid and as elementary as it sounds, that’s kind of what it really is.
NB: What are your must-have makeup and skin care essentials?
EJ: I cannot live without Aquafor for my lips and mouth—all the time. And a good under-eye cream. I must have a good de-puffing, glycolic-infused eye cream. I use a lot of different products from a lot of different brands. I don’t stick with one line because no one line on its own is incredible. You’ll find really great products in all the different skin care lines. I’m also under the care of a dermatologist, which is truthfully why my skin looks the way it does.
NB: Your hair is one of your best accessories…this season your braids are on point. How do you decide which hair trends you’re going to try?
EJ: My assistant and friend Laia braids my hair. All the braiding that you see, that’s Laia. She’s incredibly talented and has braided my hair through this season of Housewives and Dancing with the Stars. All those pretty French braids and Dutch braids, that’s her!
NB: Which hair products can you not live without?
EJ: I use a lot of Oribe hair care. There’s a lot of good hair masks. I have high lift color and extensions as well. When you bleach your hair every 12–14 days, you have to take really good care of it. And I’m constantly styling it, which is why there’s only two people who ever style my hair. You have to be careful who is running a brush through your hair with heat. It really makes a difference who styles your hair. And I always have heat protector on it—always, always, always, always.
NB: What is your approach to anti-aging and what treatments do you rely on?
EJ: Again, I go to a dermatologist and it’s the usual, what every other woman does that will admit it—it’s Botox, fillers and lasers at this point. With lasers, you’re going to get different results with each type of laser. You can achieve different results on different people, they don’t work the same on everyone. Like Ultherapy, for skin tightening, works on some people better than others. There’s different advantages to using different things. It’s always about tightening and rejuvenation—rejuvenating the collagen, tightening the skin and making it plump. And then the basics, which really do carry you. Do not smoke, don't sit in the sun and do not drink alcohol! If you can do that, that’s pretty standard for taking care of your skin. Get into a good regimen of cleaning your skin without stripping it of its natural oils and go see a good dermatologist.
NB: Which The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costar has the most enviable glam room and what do you want to steal from them?
EJ: Kyle Richards just built a great new place for herself, so I was admiring hers. I think she did a really nice job with her space and she’s much more organized than I am, so I would steal her organization skill. It’s so nice, even though she has all those daughters that steal her clothes.
NB: Where are you seeing your body change the most from your intensive DWTS rehearsal schedule?
EJ: You just get smaller and more compact. Dancers are some of the most underrated athletes on the planet. You’re really using your whole body weight the whole time while you’re sweating, moving and your heart rate is up. You’re getting more compact because you’re actually using all of your muscles. Your ass gets higher, your legs get tighter and your arms get stronger. You just get stronger overall as you dance. It’s an exhaustive process. We’re rehearsing for four hours a day, six days a week. It’s like a full-time job.
NB: Who do you think is your biggest competition this season?
EJ: It’s still early in the season, but I think the strongest male in my opinion is Rashad Jennings. For the females, there’s Heather Morris, Simone Biles—Nomani Kordei just murdered it last night and she looked incredible doing the cha-cha in that yellow fringe number. Nancy Kerrigan also got some pretty high scores. The competition in the female field is tough!
NB: When do you feel the most pretty?
EJ: When I’m totally relaxed with my family or with my true friends and we’re having a good time. That doesn’t mean that I’m all dressed up, it just means that I’m with those who I love and they love me back, that’s when I feel the most pretty.
NB: What do you recommend to women who don’t have their own glam squad who want to channel their own Erika Jayne?
EJ: You don’t have to have a glam squad to channel your own Erika Jayne, what you have to have is a sense of self, a sense of fearlessness and a sense of wanting to be comfortable in your own skin. And through that you’ll find your own glam squad. Maybe you are your own glam squad! You don’t have to have a pack of people around you telling you you’re fabulous—if you believe it, they will come to you. There’s a lot of information on YouTube, or online, and you can get a great makeup tutorial and whip yourself up and hit it! You don’t have to have a ton of cash and people around you to feel fabulous.
NB: How does transforming into Erika Jayne make you feel more empowered and confident?
EJ: It’s like putting on a costume. It’s just like doing my hair and makeup to go into the ballroom for DWTS last night, you turn into something else. Right now I’m sitting here in sweats and I have my hair pulled back with no makeup on, so I just feel relaxed and cool. But when I start putting on that black gown that the costumer for DWTS hand made for me last night, putting my hair and my makeup on, then I feel like I’m ready to go conquer the world. It’s kind of like putting on armor and getting ready for battle. Put on your pumps, get your hair done and hit it!