Photo: Getty Images
I was pumped to interview Olivia Munn for the launch of this magazine. She’s a beautiful woman with a firm grasp on reality. You can read her inspiring thoughts on beauty and being a girl below. And make sure you read through to the end—you’ll never believe what happened.
Bobbi Brown: I’m a big fan and what’s so awesome about you is you just seem like someone that everyone wants to be friends with.
Olivia Munn: Really? That’s nice!
BB: You just seem like someone who’s really funny and down to earth and really approachable and I think that people want to know what you do to always look so good? Were you just born this way?
OM: First of all, that’s very very, very sweet. Thank you. I think the great normalizer is the Internet, because if you ever have a day where you feel like, “Hey this is not such a bad day,” you’re like oh right, there are all these flaws.
BB: But don’t you get that those flaws are what everyone else thinks are so awesome? They’re not really flaws.
OM: I do embrace that, and I had to teach myself that a long time ago. I think having self awareness is very important and I think that when you are comfortable with your imperfections no one can make you feel bad about them. I’m at a point where I know that there will always be people who are taller, thinner, more attractive, sexier, more beloved and adored than I and there will be people on the other side of that and once you realize that everybody has that in life you just realize that you can’t go through life wishing I had this or that, and you just have to embrace it.
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BB: That is the healthiest attitude to have toward life.
OM: I think back to the 8-year-old me a lot. I have a niece right now who is six and we took her to Disneyland to see all the princesses and she said to Cinderella, “Your Prince Charming is the most handsome,” and go up to Jasmine and say, “Your Prince Charming is Aladdin,” and then she went up to Mulan and said, “You’re my favorite princess, you’re Chinese too.” And that just melted my heart. When I was younger, what I saw as the face of beauty was very standard all-American white blonde hair blue eyes. So anytime I feel uncomfortable, or I wish something was different, I just have to wash it away because I have to be a role model for my niece, and if I have daughters be role models for them and be comfortable with myself. Also, sometimes I fluctuate in my weight a lot, I don’t know why.
BB: Because you’re human! I have to tell you, I’m 57-years-old, grew up in Chicago, and the only ideal out there at the time was Barbie or skinny blonde models and what changed it for me was seeing Ali MacGraw in Love Story. I thought oh my god I could be very simple with big eyebrows and dark hair, so listening to your story and how you’ve come to accept your differences as true beauty is really empowering.
OM: Sometimes I tell myself that it’s great that I’m not a model, I’m an actress, so being a little bit bigger is great because I want to be relatable as an actress, but then sometimes I tell myself that that’s just something I tell myself…
BB: Dude, you’re not bigger. And the times that we decide to eat bread and have a drink and have a normal life and wear bigger clothes, all the other women in the world deal with that and all we do is see these perfect actresses and models and say why aren’t we like that? And I don’t think that’s the norm.
OM: I also think what’s important is just being at your best for you. I have friends who are out of shape or don’t really take care of their skin or drink all the time or smoke and I think what’s actually more important is just doing what’s best for you—who’s to say what’s the right weight or size? Be your healthiest. There are things I can’t change about myself, like I can’t change that I have Asian eyes.
BB: You’re so lucky you have Asian eyes!
OM: Thank you, I just think it’s really important to take good care of yourself. Like for me, it’s really important to get facials. You might regret buying a purse or buying a pair of shoes, but the money you spend on your skin, you never regret.
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BB: So what else do you do for your skin?
OM: I wear sunscreen. I’ve always been thoughtful about my skin because later on you can cut, pull, lift, but you can’t change its texture; it’s really important to take good care of it for as long as you can. About a year and a half ago I started taking some medicine and it just threw off my entire system. Out of nowhere I had cystic acne, which I’d never had before as an adult, and it was just super intense, so I started delving into what I’m putting into my body and what I could do to repair it, and I ended up finding Proactiv+. I’d actually used it since I was 17, but I’d stopped using it when I got this new acne because I felt like I needed to do something really intense, like steroid shots or injections. Nothing was working, so I picked it back up. And the funny story is that that’s exactly what happened in my life, and four months later they called and asked me to be a spokesperson. So I use my Proactiv+cleanser and makeup wipes every night. And I put on my moisturizer and sunscreen. There’s this feeling about sunscreen—and I used to have it too—that it feels like taking medicine, so you have to get a great moisturizer that also has sunscreen in it so you don’t even have to think about it. One thing I do every single day is exfoliate. When you look at old men, they never have wrinkly lips, but when you look at women they always have wrinkled, pursed lips, and lines around their mouth. So why do men not have that?
BB: Because they shave.
OM: Exactly! If women exfoliate everyday, they’re just taking off that dead skin. And no matter what I do, I take my makeup off every night. I read a study that said for every night you go to bed with your makeup on it ages your skin an extra day. There’s nothing I can do about the clock, but I can do something about that extra day.
BB: Do you exercise?
OM: I used to never exercise because I just hated the idea of all of it. But I saw this hypnotist (I have an OCD called Trichotillomania) and in one session he threw something in about working out and by the next week I was up every morning at 6AM. I’ve been working out consistently ever since, and it’s been almost a year now.
BB: Any special diet thing?
OM: In 2009, I lost 16 pounds in two months because I came up with my own diet which was if I can’t see it I can’t eat it. If I go to a restaurant and say I’ll have the soup, I can’t see every single ingredient they put in—how much salt? How much sugar? I can’t see it unless I make it myself at home, so that takes away breads and other hidden ingredients.
BB: Debra Messing told me the same thing—she just orders the plainest thing on the menu.
OM: That sounds a little sad to me. I do want to live my life, but I had a goal weight and my goal was to hit it, and then eat that way for three more months. A trainer once told me that it’s really easy to stay in really bad shape or really good shape once you get there, so you have to train your body.
BB: I didn’t know that.
OM: I think eating the plainest thing is really sad, I would not suggest that because your face is going to look sad and you’ll look old.
BB: Do you have a favorite cocktail?
OM: Yes, it’s pretty simple: tequila, pineapple juice, and a little squeeze of lime. The pineapple juice cuts the tequila and you can just drink it all day long, if you want to, and sometimes I do.
BB: I’m a big tequila fan so there will be many posts on Yahoo Beauty about my tequila thing.
BB: I really appreciate you taking the time. And if you’re ever in New York and need your makeup done I would love to do it.
OM: You’re a makeup artist, too?
BB: Yeah, I’m Bobbi Brown
OM: Wait. You’re Bobbi Brown?! What? Oh my god.
BB: Yeah dude, I’m the editor in chief of Yahoo Beauty.
OM: Oh my gosh, I watched you on Oprah and I do the concealer under my nose now because you said that. When I didn’t know how to wear makeup I went and bought your book and I’d follow along to your book when I was 19. Oh my gosh it’s so crazy that I’m talking to you. This is amazing. I’m so excited.
BB: You’re my first celebrity interview for the magazine.
OM: Holy crap, did I give you enough?
BB: Can I tell you something? The stuff that came out of your mouth is the stuff that I experienced, the stuff my friends feel, and that girls feel and no one talks about it and I’m tired of pretending that life is perfect. Life is normal and I just want everyone to understand that, just feel good and be normal. So you were amazing.
OM: Thank you so much!
Photo: Getty Images