Few women today have been quite so studied as Jennifer Aniston. This is the woman whose haircut launched a million copycats, who made The Zone Diet a thing, and introduced yoga to middle America. Her every beauty move is documented, dissected and duplicated by her legions of fans in an effort to recreate just a fraction of that effortless California vibe that has become her trademark. “Yeah, it's so sweet but so odd,” she reflects when asked (for what must surely be the millionth time) why it is she’s become such a muse. “I think it’s just because I try to be myself. There’s nothing I can really hide, I can’t get away with anything. Life is messy, you see what you see, you get what you get ... maybe that’s it?”
Now, she’s back in the spotlight thanks to her role in The Morning Show, coming to Apple TV+ this fall. Why the return to episodic television after a hiatus of 15 years? “I just love morning talk shows,” she says of the series, which she also co-produced. “I’ve always watched them and found them very comforting—except when the hosts changed, which was very jarring as I’m such a creature of habit.” And while the trailer hints at a juicy plot packed with behind the scenes power struggles, it is the clip in which her character is shown waking up for work at 3:30 am and breaking out the gel eye mask patches that will have beauty junkies pressing pause and wondering, how does she look so good at the crack of dawn? “Eye masks and cryo sticks,” she says. “Another good one that my facialist taught me is just get a bowl of ice water and splash your face 25 times. It’s an old school trick that Joan Crawford used to do—it just wakes your skin up.”
After 25 years of early call times and close ups, it’s no surprise that Aniston has a few skincare tricks up her sleeve, but she’s also had her fair share of beauty missteps which have led her to look deeper into her products—and go back to basics. “We are sold such a bill of goods wrapped up in expensive packaging but I have found that when it comes to a skincare routine, the simpler the better,” she says of her approach. As the face of skincare brand Aveeno for the last seven years (she’s been using the brand since she was a teenager) she’s also had the opportunity to learn more about how ingredients interact with the skin’s microbiome: one of the biggest buzzwords in beauty today. “I’m obsessed with the science bit,” Aniston adds. “I find it very interesting and working with beauty brands like Aveeno helped me to learn that there are so many chemicals in products that really aren’t good for skin.”
She’s also learned through trial and error to back off of more extreme treatments. “I had a laser treatment about 10 years ago that just bloodied my face for about a month,” she says. “It was way too aggressive and that’s when I realized that what might work in the short term can be damaging in the long run.” Aniston is now a fan of at-home gadgets for maintenance. She has an infrared sauna in her house which she uses post-workout, and is a devotee of makeup artist Jillian Dempsey’s beauty wand—a 24-carat, gold plated, vibrating t-bar that lifts, sculpts and depuffs—and facialist Melanie Simon’s ZIIP nanocurrent device. “I have never seen such a result from a little machine like that,” she says. Meanwhile, her must have beauty product these days is Aveeno sunscreen. “I still sit in the sun...you need that vitamin D for a glow and your mood,” says the perpetually glowy star. “But I know I can’t do it all year round, and I have become a fan of body bronzers and spray tans.”
Another thing she’s picked up over the years? Self care can become a habit that pays off in spades. “It’s just about making time to prepare. I bring in my own healthier options so I’m not snacking on junk food. I wake up 20 minutes earlier to get in a work out and some meditation. It’s kind of easy, I don’t even think about it any more.” Talk about effortless.
Originally Appeared on Vogue