Last summer, I attended a dance class with Julianne Hough and her brother Derek. I know, right? I was so stoked thinking we'd take it nice and slow and I'd maybe pick up some new *moves* I could bust out when I'm a few glasses of wine deep at a party with friends, but this was… definitely not that. I was almost certain they had planted professional backup dancers in the room with me while we moved at a lightening-fast pace through choreography to Jessie J's "Burnin' Up" just so I could look like even more of a dancing NARP than I already am. Afterward, I hung my (grotesquely sweaty) head in shame while I met a perfectly refreshed-looking Julianne and Derek and apologized for my lack of coordination. Now, I look back at the video any time I want a good laugh.
My second time chatting with Julianne, however, was much less stressful. It was over the phone, for starters, and didn't involve any sweating or speed-dancing. Instead, we chatted about her partnership with Proactiv, her in-flight skin tricks, her tips for staying lean—there was even a surprising Kanye West cameo involved. For the full details of our conversation, keep scrolling!
First, because I'm always obsessed with what celebrities carry in their handbags, I asked her to tell me all of the contents of her purse. Totally game for the challenge, she opened up shop and gave me every last detail. "Let me look through my purse right this second actually—what do I have in there? I've got my sunglasses, I've got a
"Let me look through my purse right this second actually—what do I have in there? I've got my sunglasses, I've got a Fitbit ($100), I've got lip balm, I've got my Proactiv Makeup Wipes ($20, I’ve got credit cards, got my car keys, I've got gum… and some dog treats!" (Her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Harley and Lexi are completely adorable).
Everything is sort of in moderation and it's about protecting the things that are important.
Moving from dog treats to skincare, I asked Julianne about her role as a brand ambassador for Proactiv and why she's such a big fan of its products.
"My story is kind of different because I didn't really grow up with acne when I was in high school and stuff like that. It started basically when I first got on Dancing With the Stars 10 years ago and I think the stress of being on camera for the first time ever and having the spotlight and the stress of having to teach partners dances and the makeup and the lights and sweat all of that. I think I hit puberty a little late. I don't know, it caught up to me at 18 or 19 and that's when I broke out, and I was like, Holy cow, this has never happened. Aren't I supposed to be an adult at 18? What's going on? So my sister is an esthetician and she was like, 'Why don’t you just try Proactiv?' And I'm like, Yeah, I guess so, what have I got to lose? So I started doing that and immediately everything cleared up, so it's just always been my go-to. I know that not only will it kill breakouts, but it's also going to prevent them because it's working on it all day, every day basically."
How exactly does she keep these breakouts at bay? Simple.
"It's a twice-a-day thing. I wake up in the morning and shower and wash my face, and it's usually the three-step system ($50) in the morning. There's a purifying mask ($35), which is one of my favorite products actually, and that's for when those little nasty buggers are so deep, and sometimes you just can't win and they just pop up, so that's sort of my go-to for that. And then at night, I do the same thing—there's Proactiv and Proactiv Plus, so sometimes I mix the two. Proactiv Plus is a little bit more luxurious and hydrating so I definitely mix them up throughout the week," she explains.
Right before our chat, Hough was doing a photo shoot. The night before, she was hosting Dancing With the Stars. Her schedule is going at 100 every day with plenty of travel in the mix, so I asked her how she makes it all work despite the assumed jet lag.
"I always say that [balance] comes from the inside out, so you know, hydrating and making sure that I first of all have a happy and positive attitude when I first wake up and I'm traveling, so when I'm at my best, I feel healthy from the inside-out. But that's definitely water, hydration, eating really well, and making sure that I make it a priority to clean and wash my face, especially when I travel on a plane or Dancing With the Stars makeup or doing press or shoots during the day, I have to make sure that I make that a priority because the makeup and the sweat and everything can be enough to make it all start back up again. I guess I might treat myself, though, so I'm not just completely healthy. I might have a glass of wine on the plane or something like that. Everything is sort of in moderation and it's about protecting the things that are important."
Speaking of traveling, I wondered how she's able to look so bright and refreshed on my television screen every Monday night. Turns out she's got a pretty cool unconventional tip.
"I always have my lip balm with me [Ed. note: Julianne uses La Mer The Lip Balm, $60] and if I feel a little dry or something, I won't put it on my lips, but ill put it around my eyes or something like that because I feel like if it's good enough for my lips, then it's good for my eyes, too."
As a human being, I feel better after I've worked up a sweat and work out, so I make that a priority.
Considering her tight schedule, I'm convinced she must be doing sit-ups in her sleep. With my own work schedule, I'm lucky if I make it to yoga once a week, so I can't imagine what it's like for Hough. But she's learned how to make it all work.
"It's a little tough, not gonna lie. Some days, I'm better than others, but again, it's about protecting the things that are important to you. It’s not, Ooh I hope I can fit it in, but it's more so I base my schedule around my workouts so that I can get that in. As a human being, I feel better after I've worked up a sweat and work out, so I make that a priority.
For staying lean, I mean, I don’t cut out all carbs or sugar, but if I'm getting ready for something, then I try to cut out sugar, which is like the devil for me, and I love candy, so I take sugar out of my diet or wine and stuff like that, and then if I'm really trying to lean-out, I'll cut out bread, but I'll keep rice or quinoa and sweet potatoes, stuff that's still going to give me energy but not going to weigh me down."
It's clear Hough's a bit of a beauty mogul and skincare and wellness expert, but I wondered if she's ever gleaned any tips from big bro Derek.
"I don't steal any tips—I actually got mad because when we were on tour, he would cover himself in lotion, so when we would dance, and, you know with the sweat and the lotion, I would slip right off of his hands or his arms, so he was definitely moisturized. So it worked for him, but when I'm dancing, I don’t do that. I don't steal tips any from him, he steals from me!"
As our conversation came to a close, I figured I'd ask one last fun question. And considering how game she was to dig through her purse, I wondered if she'd dig through her phone and tell me the last text she sent.
"The last text I sent? Let me see, let me see… one second. The last text I sent was to a friend who was wondering if I wanted to come to the Kanye West concert and unfortunately, I would have loved to have gone, but I said that I wouldn't have been able to wrap in time and I still had work to do tonight before tomorrow's deadline for some things so I couldn't make it, but thanks for the invite."
I left this conversation with Julianne feeling a lot less exhausted and embarrassed than our first encounter, and I loved how down she was to share her life's (and purse's and phone's) contents with me. "Til next time, Julianne—just don't make me dance again.
Up next, check out Julianne's $3 secret to glowing skin when she gets out of the shower.