Matthew McConaughey may be getting a lot of press for his work on True Detective (oh, and that Oscar), but it’s Michelle Monaghan’s heavy-hitting performance that’s made us die hard fans of the new HBO thriller. Alongside McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the actress has been delivering can’t-look-away scenes every single week. And it turns out, we’re not the only ones tuning in.
“Yes, I’m watching, too!” she told us in a phone interview. “It’s just such a beautiful show, I’m so proud of the extraordinary job everyone did.” Of course, we also had to ask her about all things beauty, including her cure for puffy eyes, her go-to fitness routine, and her must-have products. Click through our slideshow for all the details.
“I try to go for products that are natural,” Monaghan says. “I’ve learned that it’s the best thing for me because my skin is sensitive.” That includes her daily skincare routine: she uses Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser ($42) and Hydrating Floral Essence ($72) before a light moisturizer she gets from her dermatologist. To keep her skin smooth, the actress gets a facial every six weeks and uses Dr. Lancer’s Polish Exfoliator ($75) once a week to “slough off all the dead skin.”
“I’m so addicted to RMS’ Lip Balm ($25). I have four or five going at any given time,” Monaghan says. “I figure if I’m going to put something on my lips, it should be paraben-free and organic.”
Emotional scenes and early mornings quickly result in puffy eyes for an actress. Monaghan’s trick? “I wear these I eye pads from Koh Gen Do,” she says describing their Macro Vintage Stretch Eye Sheet ($60). “They’re these little eye masks that make you feel like a super hero—but they really take down any puffiness.”
Monaghan’s experimented with numerous hair colors over the past few years. Her favorite? “I loved being red,” she told us. “It was such a fun change.”
“I try not to wash my hair very often; normally only two or three times a week,” Monaghan says. In the actress’ shower you’ll find John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo ($16) and Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner ($22). “It smells beautiful and the packaging is really nice,” she says. “I’m such a girl about packaging.”
When it comes to exfoliating her body, Monaghan swears by St. Ives’ Apricot Scrub ($4). “I’ve been using it for years,” she says. Post-scrub, the actress uses RMS’ Raw Coconut Cream ($18). “The smell reminds me of being on vacation,” she says. “It’s really light and soaks in well.”
On a day off, Monaghan starts her routine with SuperGoop’s City Sunscreen Serum ($42). “It isn’t greasy or white on your skin,” she says. Then she applies Stila’s Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer ($34) and her favorite cover-up. “I’m completely devoted to Cle de Peau’s Concealer ($73),” she told us. “I’ve been using it for years.”
“I really love a bright poppy lip right now,” Monaghan says. Her go-to? Dior’s Diorific Lipstick ($36) in Dolce Vita Red No. 14.
Monaghan’s fragrance sums up her high-low beauty philosophy. “I’m obsessed with Tom Ford’s Lavender Palm ($210),” she says. “I try to move away from it but I never can.” The only other scent that’s earned a permanent place on her vanity is Pacifica’s Persian Rose Perfume ($22). “It’s really light and all-natural,” she says.
When asked about her nails, Monaghan is quick to reply: “I love gels,” she says. When the actress’ shooting schedule doesn’t allows her to wear the same shade for two weeks, she favors Essie’s Nail Polish ($9) in Wicked and Mademoiselle.
Monaghan’s red carpet trick? “Whenever my legs are exposed I apply Pretty Peaushun’s Body Lotion ($39),” she says. “It’s natural and gives you this really beautiful glow.”
“I really like to change my hair,” Monaghan told us. “It’s one of the privileges of being an actor and living in someone else’s shoes for six months [while filming]. Plus, I think my husband likes it too.”
“Soulcycle is my religion!” Monaghan told us. “I started working out after I had my first daughter and I’ve really taken to it. I’m in better shape now than I was in my 20s!” Her weekly routine includes alternating spin classes, hiking, and jogging. “I try to do something for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it’s just going on a walk with my daughter,” the actress says.
Products and tricks aside, Monaghan stresses the importance of hydration. “Honestly, my number one beauty thing is that I drink a lot of water,” she says. “I find that the more I drink the better my skin looks.”
We like the Soma Water Filter ($49).