Minka Kelly may be an actress by trade—Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, DirecTV's Full Circle—but the self-professed “product junkie” knows enough about beauty to make 'editor' a viable second career. She took a break from filming Almost Human—Fox's upcoming JJ Abrams sci-fi drama—to talk to us about her detailed skincare routine, the mascara she swears by, and her most memorable red carpet looks.
Kelly prefaced our interview with a warning, “I’m a total product junkie! I like to try everything.” That rang true in every category, especially skincare. After washing her face with Sanitas’ Glycolic Citrus Cleanser ($32) Kelly applies the brand’s Topical C ($53) treatment, followed by their Vita Rich Serum ($58) and Ayur-Medic’s Eye and Lip Correction Cream ($38). “Sometimes I just use Epicuren’s Colostrum Cream ($84) when I don’t want to go through my whole routine.”
“There’s this really great peel from Dr. Dennis Gross that I use whenever my skin is looking a little dull,” Kelly says, referring to the brand’s two-step Alpha Beta Face Peel Pads ($88). “But I just do the first step.” She also exfoliates religiously, using her Clarisonic every other day.
“Honestly, I’m not very good at putting on SPF,” Kelly says. “I rely on it from my tinted moisturizer.” The actress uses a cocktail of Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer ($46) and Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer ($46) for everyday.
When it comes to lips and nails, Kelly keeps it nude. “Sometimes I try a red lip, but I always fail miserably,” she says. “A nude lip just suits me better. Tom Ford has this beautiful Lip Gloss ($48) called Rose Crush; it’s really gorgeous and natural.” You’ll also find the brand’s Nail Lacquer ($37) in Toasted Sugar on her nails.
Kelly doesn’t hesitate to name her most memorable red carpet look. “When we presented at the Emmys a few years ago,” she says. “I wore this Dior lace dress and my hair and makeup just felt so ladylike and romantic.”
Post-shower, Kelly applies Moroccan Treatment Oil ($44) to her locks, followed by Rene Furterer’s No Rinse Detangling Spray ($26). “It depends what’s going on, but I try to let my hair dry naturally,” she says. Once dry she applies Oribe’s Texture Spray ($46).
When we told Kelly that one of her favorite products, Lucas Papaw Ointment ($10), recently became available stateside she immediately got excited. “That’s amazing!” she says. “I’ve been ordering huge boxes of it from Australia! I put it on my lips, then rub the extra on my cuticles or anywhere that needs a little moisture.”
“I switch between different soaps from Whole Foods—lavender one day, something else the next,” Kelly says. Lotion, however, she keeps consistent: Kiehl’s Crème de Corps ($30).
You’ll find Le Labo’s Santal 33 ($189) in Kelly’s bathroom. “I have a bunch of different perfumes, but I always find myself going back to this.”
Kelly’s picked up her fair share of beauty tips on set, but none as impressive as applying fake eyelashes. “The trick is to put the mirror on your counter, so you’re looking down,” she says. “Then grab the individual lash with a pair of tweezers so you’re holding it straight and just drop it on.”
When applying any type of false lashes, try to rest it on them on your lashes. This makes sure that they blend into your natural lashes accordingly.
Kelly gave her nude lips a break for the Met Gala earlier this year, a look she was hesitant about at first, but now counts as one of her favorites: “It ended up turning out great.”
The actress rotates Tarte’s Cheek Satin is Flush (Discontinued) for a “natural looking flush,” and Bobbi Brown’s Blush in Pale Pink ($32) when she wants more color on her face—and always layers the brand’s Bronzing Powder ($44) on top.
“I’ve tried everything and this one is just the best,” Kelly says about Armani’s Eyes To Kill Mascara ($32). “It’s heavy, but doesn’t ever clump—and I love the weight of the wand.” Before applying she makes use of Shu Uemura’s Eyelash Curler ($23).