Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has the whole room's attention when I meet up with her in Santa Monica to celebrate Hourglass's new Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. She's ceiling-to-floor stunning in an asymmetrical black dress, with the most flawless complexion I've ever seen. But make no mistake, the model will be the first to tell you none of "this" comes without work.
"I'd like to say I woke up like this," she jokes, "but it normally takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get ready. I mean, sorry, I’m not going to lie. I'm not the person that's going to tell you it takes me 10 minutes to get ready. It doesn't."
While we've come to expect celebs to be more honest, Huntington-Whiteley has thrived on being an open book. She wants you to know that while she's an Hourglass ambassador, that role came about only after she was already vocal about her love of the products. She also wants you to know that as awesome as her life looks—an amazing career, a doting son, and a loving partner (Jason Statham)—there are times she locks herself in the bathroom just to breathe. "I tell everyone to fuck off," she says unapologetically, with a laugh.
And that's why when we played our Big Beauty Questions with her, she didn't hold anything back. Read on for her favorite products, her most embarrassing beauty mistakes, and the postpartum hair struggles she's still recovering from.
Glamour: What’s one beauty trend you’re obsessed with right now?
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: I always look at a woman's brows—I think that's something that really defines your face. I do my own, actually, but I don't do much to them because I've had so many eyebrow disasters over the years from letting other people do them. There's one makeup artist I allow to touch them, and that's Kate Lee. But apart from that, I don't tweeze much.
What’s one beauty trend you wish you’d never tried?
When I was about 14, I begged my mom to give me highlights. I guess this was the late ’90s or early 2000s. Finally she relented, and we bought a kit. She did the peroxide with the brush through my hair. About 10 minutes in, she says, "Hmm, I think we better go wash this out." I looked in the mirror and I literally looked like a raccoon. I had these huge peroxide strips of blond in my hair. I just remember sobbing in the bathroom, going, "You've ruined my life!"
I don't really understand why she never just took me to the hairdressers to get it sorted out. In the end I ended up with this green, gingery tinged mess of a hair for a good year. There are hardly any photographs of me from the age of 14 to 15, and if there are, I'm damn miserable. So, yeah, I wouldn't recommend any at-home hair-dye kits.
What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
Taking off my makeup before I go to bed and using noncomedogenic skin-care and makeup products.
Fill in the blank. I love my hair...
After my hairdresser Christian Wood has done it. Lately I've been growing my hair out. I'm trying to get it as healthy as possible because much of it got really brittle and broken after I had my son. I just want to have healthy, long, luscious hair at the moment. And I've sort of reverted a little bit and just wanting to keep things much more simple lately. For me I think I feel my best when I just feel elegant and simple and not too fussy.
I’d have no idea your hair is brittle. It looks so healthy. What do you use?
I'm always rotating shampoos, but I always come back to Christophe Robin. I love his Aloe Vera hydrating shampoo and conditioner. I'm also using the Kérastase one with the orange lid. It's like the OG of hydrating shampoos. And it really, truly is an incredible shampoo.
You travel so much. Is there a country or city that gives you the greatest beauty inspiration?
I think here in Los Angeles. When you go to Europe, women are much more experimental and bold with their look, more eccentric and playful. But I find here in L.A., it's really the hub of the beginning of beauty, wellness, and fitness trends. We've got amazing aestheticians, doctors, makeup artists, and stylists here. But I also love places like Copenhagen. Women in places like that are just so cool and elegant.
What’s the best beauty advice your mom ever gave you?
Makeup is about enhancing what you have, not hiding what you have. When I was young, I remember thinking, What does that mean? And as I've gotten older, it's sort of meant different things to me. And now, in my thirties, I think it means the way you apply your makeup. Instead of masking something you don't like, enhance the things you do like.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What are the three products you bring with you?
A concealer, tinted brow gel, and a lipstick because I could wear a lip and a cheek with it. I love the new Hourglass lipstick. The formula is so pigmented it literally takes one or two swipes and you've got this really impactful lip.
What concealer are you into? Your skin looks incredible.
Hourglass's Vanish Airbrush Concealer is so good that I've replaced my old concealer with it, which I was loyal to for about five years straight. It's full coverage, but it's still really creamy and hydrating and not cakey. I always like my skin to look dewy and hydrated, and that's the finish that you get with this. But it's matte; it's not shiny. It's just perfect. This concealer has basically become a replacement for my regular foundation routine. It’s my new concealer-foundation hybrid.
What colors are you loving on your nails right now?
I do the same color every time—OPI GelColor in Bubble Bath. My manicurist thinks I'm the most boring person. She sobs. She goes, "Come on, Rosie. Please let me do a color on you this time." If I do anything else, it’s a really rich deep burgundy or red. I'm working so often and changing looks and outfits throughout the day, that I just want my nails to look clean, not be a statement.
What’s your favorite getting-ready music?
Earlier today I was listening to Erykah Badu and Nina Simone and then The Roots this evening.
What’s your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
I lock myself in my bathroom, have a hot shower or bath, put some tunes on, and light a candle. I also like to reorganize my wardrobe, or just fiddle around in my bathroom. I also love a massage. I get them once a week. I call it Massage Monday. As soon as my son goes to bed, that's my little indulgence of the week. And then I like to get together with friends. Because nothing beats great, honest conversation with your girlfriends. Or calling my mum, or a bit of time with my man...those sort of things.
What about facials? Are you into them?
Absolutely. Biba de Sousa has been my facialist now for about a year. She's truly changed my skin and helped me so much with my congestion and breakouts. She's a Polish woman and knows skin care like the back of her hand. Her extractions are impeccable; her products are wonderful.
What’s your go-to perfume?
I have quite a perfume collection because I love buying them for myself. It's a really nice pick-me-up. I mainly wear Byredo fragrances. Tonight I’m wearing Bibliotheque. My all-time favorite and easiest to wear from the brand is Gypsy Water. I recently bought Velvet Haze, which is beautiful. I get a ton of compliments on them every time I wear them.
Screw, marry, kill: mascara, lipstick, highlighter.
I'd screw lipstick, marry mascara, and kill highlighter. Sometimes highlighter can look too intense for me.
What’s your favorite emoji?
The laughing-crying face.
You've got $20 and free roam of a drugstore. What do you buy?
Who are the women inspiring you the most right now?
Carisa Janes, the founder of Hourglass. I've been a fan of this brand for so many years, and after getting to spend quite a chunk of time with Carisa over the last year, she's not only become a friend and someone I look up to but a mentor as well. She's created a brand that she's worked on 15 years from the ground up. She took the slow route, and she's done it with such elegance and style.
Jessica Radloff is the West Coast editor at Glamour. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour