Laura Dern, Actress
“Since I was seven, I knew I wanted to become an actress. It was during my summer vacation – my mother worked with Scorsese and my father with Alfred Hitchcock. That was crazy. But I was really lucky that my parents – wild, independent, somewhat hippie-progressive actors of the seventies – did not give a false narrative about becoming one. There were no paparazzi, no life with false glamor. Being an actor felt like a practical craft. They worked hard and went to work as others went to work. For me, the reality of growing up in Hollywood was the opposite of the idea of growing up in Hollywood.
My first audition was at 11 o’clock. I was 15 when I got my big break in Mask. It was not about the size of the role, it was not like I was going to play a lead role, but it was the first time I saw myself professionally as an actor. In a way, I felt like a small adult because I had so many adults, but brilliantly, my mother only made me act when I promised to stay in school, play a sport, and at some point in my school years, I had to part with it be the government of the student body.
Citizen Ruth was a real watershed for me. I had just done Jurassic Park, which was a very successful moment in my career for a young girl. I was in a moment where I could choose a narrow path to success, or I could choose a path that involved not only artistic choices but also issues of social justice. But it was only this year that I really felt fully fed by acting [financially]. I’ve been taught that being a comedian is a victim, and being an actor means you may not make a living. Being financially independent while doing something we love is not a story we sold as women. I’m really interested in this story changes. There were some pioneers who told a different story – Louisa May Alcott wrote a feminist anthem for girls and women, and I did not actually learn until we made Little Women what the book actually contained – but my own experience Grown by a wild, independent, feminist mother, this was that you can be lucky enough to do what you love to earn a living by following the rules. And that was all.
Beauty plays a big role as an actor because it’s such a crucial conversation. What is beauty? How are you free from it? How do you not think about it? How do you reveal it?
Beauty plays a big role as an actor because it’s such a crucial conversation. What is beauty? How are you free from it? How do you not think about it? How do you reveal it? My skin has always been extremely sensitive – very reactive to the sun and products. My face goes through a lot when I have to wear a lot of make-up and travel, so I know when something is constantly helping my skin or constantly hurting it. For the last two years, I’ve been using True Botanical’s Nourishing Cleanser, and I think it’s really easy. My morning routine is to wash my face and use the Pure Radiance Oil. The oil has become my foundation. When I use make-up I only use a little concealer when I need a lip and a small mascara. I’ve been thinking for too many years that I have to hide my skin. The faster I moved away from the primer that suffocated my skin, the healthier and happier my skin became.
My nightly routine is the same except that I then use the True Botanicals Renew Serum and the Vitamin C Booster and add the C powder to the serum. You can literally take a swab of serum and add the vitamin C. And I can feel it, it feels so good. I have tried so many different masks and they are all so full of chemicals. Masks, especially night masks, break me out. The night mask of True Botanicals goes first of all directly into the skin, does not get into the pillow, is not in the hair, is really easy. And then I wash it off in the morning and feel great as if I had slept for 12 hours. And then I have a mask that I love from Eminence, which is a probiotic mask, but that’s more likely once a week. It feels activating – I really like it a lot. It feels like your skin is awakening as if you were taking Acidophilus. I have a moisturizer that I use when I have to wear more foundation or something else due to certain movie lighting. It’s from Face Place – they have a collagen moisturizer that I’ve been using for twenty years. I use the moisturizer and add the jet oil and use it to make up the makeup so it does not get into my pores to somehow protect it.
My original story with True Botanicals is that I wrote them a love letter saying, “I need to let you know that I use your oil as a basis. I am in love with your products. I love how you help the planet pack it. I just want to get to know you because you are great. We did the second season of Big Little Lies and I used the Pure Radiance Oil as the basis for my set, so I found the oil through the make-up artist who was working on the show because I used a different facial oil and Suddenly, over three months, the make-up artist said, “Wait a minute, your skin looks beautiful, your pores look smaller, and when you get there in the morning, your skin looks rested, even though you tell me you are not the only thing that changed was the oil, so I started using the cleaner and grabbed it.
Make-up is difficult because there are many really good make-ups for which there is no clear alternative. Kosas is great, they are a really clean company. IT Cosmetics is really working on having a clean brand, so I use their concealer. I’m such an old guy when it comes to mascara. I used L’ Oréal’s voluminous mascara forever and it has never made my skin sensitive. I can go on every movie set and people will use this very cute blah, blah and my eyes will be so irritated.
I’m in love with the new Marc Jacobs Lip Liner because they’re persistent and look really natural on the movie as if you were not wearing lipstick. Someone told me that La Prairie does not make them blush anymore, and I loved that blush. I also like Stilas Rouge. This is often used for movies because it is persistent. The tinted lip balm with CBD from Milk has really nice colors. I like plushberry. It’s nice, it has the stamina, it has CBD.
I use coconut oil to remove my mascara. I’m so sensitive to eye makeup – I really get allergies and itching. Coconut oil was really wonderful for my hair and I use it as a mask. If you can relax for a while, have greasy hair and wash it out a few times, then it’s amazing. I love oils so much. My amazing hair designer Frida Aradottir, an Icelandic goddess, has just designed Little Women. She had us all wigs on and she would take our hair and use the opportunity to cover it with the most delicious oils. She wrapped it up before putting on the wigs so she could condition all day.
For washing my hair I use MOP, Modern Organic Products. It is the pear shampoo for babies. It’s gentle and I just love the scent because it’s like I smell my babies when they were babies. Jonathan Gale is my colorist, and he has been working with companies for 30 years to find a way to naturally nourish hair, including how to bleach it. He turned products upside down, covered me with aluminum foil and put me in the sun to lift paint without using chemicals. He also makes a nice hair oil. It is organic with aromatherapy.
For other hairlines, I’ve been interested in companies that want to empower young women with self-love and identity. I’m such an admirer of Vernon François. My daughter met him through Cleo Wade and they had this beautiful day together. He does such a nice job in the world of styling and design and has changed the whole story about hair. He says, “Is not it amazing that people call it hair by identifying with skin color, religion or race, as opposed to hair?” He has some nice products for my daughter and her specific curls. She is a mix of white, black and Native Americans, and she learns all those textures and gifts that her hair can. I appreciate the story that empowers women to see their hair in beautiful ways as an aspect of identity and self.
[My colorist] turned products upside down, covered me with aluminum foil, and sat in the sun to lift paint without the use of chemicals.
BODY + SCENT
I love aromatherapy and started studying at 17. I travel regularly with lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and grapefruit oil. Grapefruit oil is really wonderful against anxiety, but it’s also wonderful to restore your balance when you have jet lag. My favorite fragrance brand, Happiness Abscissa, was made by a group of doctors and chemists. You’ve worked with aromatherapy to alter dopamine levels and give you endorphin release, and that’s really exciting when you see [aromatherapy] in the scientific world.
My nightly ritual is a bath – without one I can not fall asleep. Bath products are where I am really self-centered. I’ll take a bath with Epsom salt, as the case may be. To rebalance the alkaline bath in the body, I use many apple cider vinegar baths. They are so good for your skin and very important to help women regulate our pH. I had a lot of Dr. Hauschka used. Now I’m looking for many essential oils from organic farming and make it from cocktails. My bath recipe contains lavender, sometimes jasmine. If it is a morning bath, I sometimes put in rosemary or coconut oil. Bergamot, chamomile, with a little care of your essential oils is a great thing for bathers. I used to use Young Living and now it’s switched to Doterra. Doterra also allows pure organic peppermint oil to bubble into the mouth as an alternative to Altoids in these tiny gel seed balls. You are unbelievable. ”
– as ITG was informed
Laura Dern, photographed by Joshua Aronson on October 3, 2019.