Lea Michele might have had a rough 2013, but the actress has gone on to release a debut album, Louder, write her first book, a collection of beauty secrets titled Brunette Ambition, and got married. "It’s really hard to not swear when I talk about this album,” she says. “Because I am so fucking excited! It’s a beautiful, personal thing.” To celebrate her projects we chatted with the actress and singer about the beauty secrets you’ll find in her book and her eclectic beauty routine.
Michele favors natural ingredients, which is why you’re more likely to find her at a health food store than a makeup counter. “My bathroom looks like a Whole Foods!” she says. Her shower holds Dr. Bronner’s Eucalyptus Liquid Soap ($16) and Dr. Hauschka’s Lavender Bath ($30). “This soap makes my skin smell good all day,” she says.
To say Michele is dedicated to exfoliation would be an understatement. She starts by dry brushing her skin, then uses a homemade scrub and hand mitts in the shower. “I have a whole basket of concoctions I’ve made in my bathroom,” she says. “I’ll mix coconut oil and brown sugar or sea salt and olive oil, and put them in little containers.” Try Garden of Life’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($14) with brown sugar after using Aromatherapy Associates’ Polishing Body Brush ($32).
It’s hard to believe that Michele once had skin problems: she battled acne for years. “I went on Accutane twice,” she says. Now she keeps her skin in shape with prescription products from her dermatologist and La Mer’s The Moisturizing Soft Cream ($85) when her skin is dry.
For Elle’s December 2013 cover, hairstylist Harry Josh slicked Michele’s naturally-curly locks back. “Harry used coconut oil to create the slicked-back effect,” Michele says. “So I got a nice conditioning treatment all day on set!” The trick is a Byrdie editor favorite too.
Michele lets her location dictate her lip color. “In New York, I’ll wear one of YSL’s red lipsticks,” she says, but while at home in L.A. she sticks to Fresh’s tinted Sugar Lip Treatments ($23).
When not working, Michele keeps her locks in good health with L’Oreal products, for which she’s a spokesperson. “I feel so bad for my hair because it goes through so much on set, but L’Oreal’s damage repair line totally saves my hair,” she says. After lathering up with Total Repair 5 Restoring Shampoo ($5) and Conditioner she applies the brand’s Ever Everstyle Smooth and Shine Serum ($7) and wraps her hair into a high bun to dry.
“I’m a really big fan of a smoky eye for the red carpet,” Michele says. Try Smashbox’s Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Double Tap ($22) to get her look.
When traveling, Michele keeps her skin hydrated with a mist of Evian’s Mineral Water Spray To Go ($14) followed by a quirky tip to avoid catching a cold mid-flight. “I put Neosporin ($8) in my nose because I’ve heard it blocks the germs when you travel,” she says.
Michele stays loyal to nail polish shades as well, using Essie’s Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers ($9) on her fingers and She’s Pampered ($9) on her toes. “I keep these two in my purse for touch-ups,” she says.
“I do yoga every single day in my backyard and I go on a long hike every week,” Michele says. “I’m not a big gym person.”