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.
First off, you look amazing, as always! Can you tell us about your makeup look and what you’re wearing right now?
Alba: I used the Eyeshadow Trio ($25) in Heather Mauve, as well as our Crème Blush ($22) in Truly Flirting. I love that. I also used our Concealer Duo ($20) and the Luminizing Powder ($25) in Dusk Reflection. I contoured with Everything Cream Foundation ($30) in Java, and I’m also wearing our Lip Gloss ($18) in Playful Kiss.
Shopping for makeup online can be such a challenge. Since you’re selling Honest Beauty online exclusively, was it important to make the experience really interactive?
Alba: Absolutely. We’re doing shade matching so people can choose which girl is closest to their skin tone, and then you can choose any of these colors and you can see what the makeup looks like on any of those girls—even the eye shadow trios, the eyeliners, the lips. You can try everything on those girls who have similar coloring. And then we have all of these “looks” [we created] so that you can try the entire makeup look on—you basically take a selfie and see what you look like with that look and if you want to buy it. I did tutorials, as well, so people can shop the tutorials and see if they like the way it was applied and if they like the makeup.
Since you were clearly so involved in every step of the process, what was the most surprising part for you when developing and launching the collection?
Alba: Just building a product from scratch. Going to labs, dealing with chemists. A little bit of this and a little bit of that makes such a big difference. If you dial back a percentage of mica, what does that do to the product? For example, perfecting the Everything Primer, which is my favorite thing—I put it on before I do anything to my face. It was about getting the right amount of mica so you don’t look like a disco ball but you still get this flawless, poreless finish. Or finding the balance of hyaluronic acid to plump up fine lines and wrinkles. Just the balancing act of the types of ingredients to use and what percentage you want of everything.
What is the one product to take home if you had to pick one from the entire collection?
>Alba: It’s so hard! Our skincare products are amazing. But you have to cleanse, you have to wear an SPF during the day, and at night you have to hydrate, so you have to have more than one step. And I love this mascara: You use the primer on your upper lashes, and then while that’s drying, you do your lowers and then coat each with the mascara. No smudges or mascara dust.
From all of your years kind of being in the makeup chair and obviously doing your own makeup, what is your favorite game-changing beauty tip?
Alba: Sleep and hydration. If you’re dehydrated and tired, you’re going to look broke down no matter what. Even the most incredible makeup products and retouching can’t fix that.
What’s your favorite way to splurge, beauty-wise? Do you like to pamper yourself every so often?
Alba: Definitely getting a facial. I have a great facialist, Shani Darden. You should go see her—she’s amazing. She is my good friend too, but she is next level. Changing people’s lives.
Finally, when you’re leaving for the day, what is the one thing you always have to have on your face?
Alba: Concealer. When I’m going to the gym, it’s just concealer and Magic Balm ($18).
>What do you think of Alba's new makeup line or her go-to tips? Tell us in the comments below!