Exclusive: Drew Barrymore on Hair Masks, Body Acceptance, and Dealing With Haters

Updated 07/24/19
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Drew Barrymore is a unicorn. Name another child star who’s gone on to have an iconic acting career, create a successful beauty line, and still manage to be perceived as authentic and utterly likable throughout her career. Yeah—we’ll wait. Unlike many of her peers, Barrymore has transitioned her role as child-actor-turned-‘90s-screen-icon into that of a mother, lifestyle icon, and beauty mogul in a way that feels completely effortless. I’m on the phone with her to discuss the latter, and unsurprisingly, Barrymore is a veritable fount of beauty knowledge, rattling off obscure hair masks and little-known vitamin packets like it’s her job (which, as the founder of Flower Beauty, it sort of is).

Even over the crackle of static on the phone, Barrymore comes across as warm and personable as you’d hope of someone who you’ve grown up watching both on-screen and IRL. She’s no-filter when I ask her about growing up in the limelight (“Hollywood...it’s the worst”) and is frank about how she hopes her daughters grow up using social media (“I know when it’s a total TMI”).

Barrymore recently partnered with Emsculpt, a groundbreaking non-invasive body treatment that eliminates fat cells and strengthens muscles, and credits it for the reason she’s able to work out with a strong core post-pregnancy. “After I had kids, my body was so different,” she tells me. “Having children does such wear and tear on your body. I realized I had to start from scratch and go back to square one and learn how to workout smarter.” Emsculpt, she says, was able to help her rebuild the muscles in her midsection that could support the pelvic floor.

“It totally changed my life,” she declares. (If you’re curious about what an Emsculpt session entails, click here for an honest review.) Over the next few minutes, we chat about everything from body positivity to dealing with haters to ridiculously-expensive lip balms (that are worth every penny). Keep scrolling to find out Drew Barrymore’s beauty secrets.

Can you tell me a little bit about how your partnership with Emsculpt came to be? What are your thoughts on the treatment and what has your experience been like?  

Drew Barrymore: It happened in a perfect storm where I was so frustrated with getting injured from working out. My core is like a giant fish tank. It has no stability. Before kids, I didn’t really know I was supposed to develop my core and have that be the center of my workouts. I kind of just threw myself around. I was super flexible, so I loved yoga. That’s all well and good, but your foundation is your core. [After I had my kids], I did physical therapy and Pilates to train my core and pelvic floor to truly function.

Emsculpt helped me rebuild muscles in my midsection that could support the pelvic floor. It’s completely changed my life. I’m not in a doctor’s office every few weeks with an injury. I’m just working out consistently and smarter. You also have to know your limitations, but I feel I was more limited before. Now, I’m working out all the time and I’m just so happy because I feel good physically and mentally.

So it’s not necessarily about how your body looks, but more about how much stronger you feel. 

DB: Yes. And I love going to workout classes. It’s something my girlfriends and I love to do together. When you’re injured all the time, you feel sidelined and it’s so disheartening and frustrating.

What are some of your favorite classes? 

DB: My favorite classes here in L.A. are Marnie Alton’s Barre Belle and in New York, I love The Class by Taryn Toomey. I do a little AKT and 305 Fitness. I love Pure Yoga in New York. They have the best classes and teachers and it’s such a clean, spa-like experience. Every once in awhile I’ll go to a SoulCycle or Zumba class. I like to mix it up. I also love good music because that is the biggest motivator for me.

What’s on your workout playlist? 

DB: Everything. All of the teachers I like, like Taryn and Marnie, have the best playlists. One minute it is Fleetwood Mac and the next it’s Natalie Imbruglia, and the next it’s some techno-house music. And then all of a sudden, a really emotional song will come on. So, I like a mix.

Can you talk about what your body image journey has been like and how you feel about body positivity vs. body neutrality? How have you come to a happy place in terms of body acceptance?

DB: Growing up in Hollywood, it’s the worst. But, I could see right through that bullshit even at a young age. I always tuned out what people said. You have to. You’re the person who can honestly make or break yourself. No one should have that power. If someone said, she wasn’t kind, she wasn’t patient, or I didn’t like her work ethic, those things would crush me. If someone comments on my body, I feel like there’s something missing in their own life because why would you want to be rude to someone else? Social media has given people a public platform to say stuff too, but I doubt they would say that to someone’s face.

It's just silly. We have enough shit to deal with on the inside, The things that I say to myself, I could probably knock anybody’s nasty comments out. 

I do think there’s a really good movement happening with body positivity on runways. Now, we see all these different body types. It’s such a huge victory and win. It should’ve been like that all along.

Speaking of social media, what’s the most important thing you’re trying to instill in your daughters as they grow up in the age of Instagram? 

DB: Lucky for me, I was out there in the public eye my entire childhood. It was a great training ground for what people feel like when they’re younger living in a fishbowl. I think that’s going to be a really wonderful tool that may have been difficult to navigate when I was a kid, but has been so empowering for me as a woman and parent with two daughters. Again, it’s where you put the stock in things. Social media is a real thing and it’s something we have to be very aware of how it’s affecting kids.

But, teaching the realities of what the priorities should be, what the importance is, and where the real heart of everything lies...it’s certainly not on social media. I think having grown up putting it all out there, I’m also very kept and know where the line is of “That’s too much information.” I’m very free and easy-going about sharing my entire life with everyone, but I also know when it’s total TMI, so that will be a very good barometer for my daughters.

Sisley lip balm
Sisley Confort Extreme Nutritive Lip Balm $74
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What are some beauty products that you’ve been obsessed with lately?

DB: Nowadays, I am a fan of Biologique Recherche. It was too active for me growing up, but now it works for me. There’s actually a cream pigment mask from the brand that’s actually a moisturizer. It’s almost like an old-school Olay product because it has great reflectiveness and helps even out the pigment of your skin. It’s very pearly. I also love the Sisley Paris Confort Extreme Levres Nutritive Lip Balm ($74). It’s the most luxurious thing you will ever do for your mouth. I’m also into Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C and B ($50) packets every day.

They’re little individual packets and they have jelly inside that’s just pure vitamins.
How do you keep your hair looking perfectly wavy in the summer? 

DB: I have curly hair because of my genetics, so right now it looks like fried hay. But I love the J. F. Lazartigue Mask with Shea Butter ($54); it’s the one that everybody loves. The Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector ($28) that you leave on for a few hours is really helpful. Rahua has a 20-minute hair mask, but it has protein in it so don’t leave it in for too long. Do not leave anything with protein in your hair for longer than 20-30 minutes! Gotukola’s Natural Spring Hair Mask ($45) is a new mask that my hairstylist taught me about.

You can buy it on Amazon. She said a famous actress turned her on to it. 

Here's what happened when Drew Barrymore did one editor's makeup.

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