Exclusive: Jessica Alba's #1 Beauty Tip and More

It only takes a few moments of chatting with Jessica Alba to realize just how involved she is in every aspect of her new makeup and skincare collection, Honest Beauty. From product testing to web design to the mascara she handpicked for me to take home from our meeting—because “it’s bananas”—she oversees and has clearly poured herself into every bit of it. And it’s a lot! Not only are the products held to rigorous standards for natural formulation and eco-friendliness, but the sheer variety is impressive: There’s a face mist with hyaluronic acid, three kinds of lip makeup (in 16 hues), and a dual brow brush and pencil, to name a very select few. Not to mention fun details like online tutorials (featuring the actress herself, natch) and a subscription option that allows customers to receive a mailing of three products per month. Needless to say, Alba and her team really did think of everything. (And that mascara she recommended? Life-changing.)

But though the opportunity to preview the expanse of products certainly provided ample distraction, nothing could trump the opportunity to chat with Alba herself—about Honest Beauty, yes, but also the general beauty regimen and go-to tips of someone who not only has spent plenty of time in a makeup chair but now has perspective from the other side, as well. Here, she tells us about the one product she never leaves the house without, what surprised her most about developing her products, and her very favorite beauty splurge.