by Stephanie Saltzman
Giada De Laurentiis fills a lot of roles: TV personality, Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, mom, Italian accent coach, California girl next door, and shiny hair exemplar. In between all of that, she sat down with us to discuss her beauty routine (spoiler: it involves olive oil), style icons, and the hairstyle that now makes her cringe.
What is your beauty routine like?
"When it comes to my face, I exfoliate every day, usually at night. When I'm at home, I make my own blend of baking soda, olive oil, and a little bit of water to thin it out. And I do a hair mask of avocado and olive oil. When I'm on the road, it's harder to do that, so I use the conditioner in the box of Clairol Natural Instincts. [De Laurentiis is a spokesperson for the brand.] It has coconut oil and aloe, so it's really moisturizing."
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Is there anything you wore during your first few seasons on TV that now embarrasses you?
"I have very curly, frizzy hair. Now I tame it like crazy, but during my first season on the Food Network, I didn't know how, and the stylist didn't really know either. So he gave me wet-looking curls to keep it from frizzing out. I came on set, and I remember the director looking at me and going, 'This is a problem. It doesn't move.' So ever since then I've been working on it, but every time someone tells me they've seen the first season of Everyday Italian, I cringe."
Any other beauty regrets?
"I've cut my hair short, which is harder to do with curly hair. I would never do that again. And I dyed my hair platinum blonde. I liked it for a short time, and then I realized I didn't feel like I was myself when I looked in the mirror. And other people reacted differently to me, so I changed it back. Not a lot of people really saw me like that--I never filmed with my hair like that, that's for sure."
What's the best beauty tip you've picked up on set?
"To stay hydrated and moisturized as much as possible. There are times when I just use olive oil. If I'm on set and I'm in a pinch, I put a little bit of it on my hands, and I'm good to go."
What are your favorite beauty foods?
"Lots of avocado. Nuts give you shiny hair and help with growth. And I like dark chocolate. Antioxidants! I make this chocolate-avocado mousse. It's just avocados, unsweetened cocoa powder, a little bit of agave, and bittersweet chocolate. I put it all in the food processor, make it smooth, and then I put it in the fridge to chill in little cups. That is my indulgence. It's so good for you, and you don't taste the avocado."
Who are your beauty and style icons?
"Over the years, I've always loved Jennifer Lopez's hair color and style. I love Salma Hayek and Sophia Loren. I love style that is chic, modern, and doable. I'm a person who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, as well as someone who has to be on camera, so I try to find things that are aspirational but still accessible."