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It’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t captivated by Michelle Pfeiffer on the silver screen. Ever since her Scarface days, she’s kept the world enthralled. She’s also kept us on our toes with her beauty game, evolving her look over the years. Known for her high glamour, bombshell looks in the 80s and 90s (who can forget Catwoman’s signature bold, glossy red lip?!), she has evolved to a more understated approach to her makeup. “I certainly see that I’ve changed,” she told People. “I just try not to dwell on it. Aging happens to every single one of us. Once you accept that it unburdens you.”
Now 63, Michelle has become a vocal force in the clean beauty world, especially around the launch of her fragrance line, Henry Rose. The actress has even visited Capitol Hill to lobby for reform in the cosmetics industry. “You begin to look at the world through the eyes of your children, and you just want to protect them—so you start looking at health in a preventive way,” she has said. “Then both my father and my best friend were diagnosed with cancer, and I thought, Something has to be going on in the environment.” Scanning an ingredient list is just one of her secrets to staying so young; here are plenty more.
She doesn’t let Hollywood affect her view on getting older.
It’s no secret that Hollywood really puts the pressure on women when it comes to aging. But Michelle has learned to brush that off. “The older I’ve gotten, the easier it’s become,” she told Oprah Daily. “You reach a threshold where you’re fine with looking good for your age instead of looking young for your age, and I’ve crossed it. Would I like to look the way I did in my early 30s? You bet, but that’s not going to happen, and I don’t feel the same pressure I once did to do so. It’s quite a relief, honestly.
She sticks to clean beauty products when she can.
“When I’m in the makeup chair, I just let the artist have her way with me. I’ve tried asking a few to use clean or organic makeup, and they look at me like I have three heads,” Michelle has said. “I have to have different standards. There are products that I know to be super safe, and if I’m not working and won’t be photographed, I’ll use those. In terms of makeup, I love the W3ll People mascara. When I’m on film and, God forbid, in high-def, I need the best-performing products. Sadly, I feel like there’s still a bit of a gap between clean products and effective ones.”
She has also been using Sodashi skincare for a very long time. “I saw that the ingredients were mostly natural, and they don’t make me break out,” she has said. “I have such reactive skin that if I find something that performs and agrees with me, I stick with it. I haven’t changed what I use on my skin in over ten years. My routine is simple: I cleanse, I moisturize—that’s it.”
Another clean beauty go-to for Michelle is the Beautycounter concealer pen. “I always have one on me,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
She takes beauty ingredients seriously.
“It started with the birth of my children 27 years ago,” Michelle told Forbes. “I started looking at the world through their eyes, and like all new mothers wanting to protect them. I became more and more aware of the products we were consuming and putting on our bodies, and so transparency became a big issue for me. At some point, after a while, I stumbled upon the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database. They rate personal care products by how hazardous they are, and I just went down the rabbit hole. The thing that I kept noticing over and over again was that fragrance was getting this very high hazard rating. As the cosmetic industry started to become more and more transparent with ingredients, fragrance continued to be the last black box of transparency. It all has to do with this trade secret claim. I became more and more paranoid about what was in it and so I stopped using it for 10 years and eventually, I really, really missed it.” When she couldn’t find a clean perfume, she created her own, and that’s how her line Henry Rose was born, with 100% transparent ingredients.
She knows the power of perfume.
“When you get that surprising whiff of your favorite scent, it gives you a moment of joy that you didn't expect,” she has said. “I go through phases, but I really do love to wear [fragrance] every day and I love to layer it. I love to play around with them. Torn is the first fragrance that we developed and it's my favorite.”
She has a wise beauty philosophy.
“Confidence is all about attitude,” Michelle has said. “How often have you met a person who may not look like a Barbie or Ken doll but just has something sexy and classy about them? Attractiveness has more to do with the way you feel about yourself. And the swagger that can come with that.”
She’s about aging gracefully.
“All I really care about, is that I’m able to age gracefully and that I don’t ever look like a wax figure of myself,” she told People.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean she would never have plastic surgery. “Sometimes I think about it, sometimes I don’t,” she has said. “It really depends on how well I’m lit. It depends on my makeup and all kinds of things… I’m not saying that I won’t have plastic surgery at some point. I think that it’s harder and harder the older you get to say never. Especially being in the public eye. It doesn’t really matter, I think that if people actually want to do something here or there, who cares? If it makes them feel a little bit better about themselves… What I object to is too much. And really bad plastic surgery. When I think it becomes a distraction and when people don’t look like themselves anymore. As long as it doesn’t overtake them.”
She sticks to a vegan diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Michelle credits her glow to her eating habits. “Eating a vegan diet — it’s just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that could age your skin and your body,” she told Urbanette. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan. And I needed to eat fruits and vegetables to stay lean. It’s all about vanity, honestly. The older I’ve gotten, the more it’s occurred to me that I’m doing it in order to live longer, though the vanity component will always be there.”
She knows that what you do on the inside shows up on the outside. "It’s what nobody really wants to hear…it’s that you have to eat right, you have to exercise, you have to get sleep,” she told Woman & Home. “We’re always looking for that magic bullet and they don’t exist.”
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