Imagine meeting one of the world’s most beautiful women. Now imagine meeting her on the worst hair day of your life. You’ve pretty much nailed my interview with Salma Hayek. The first humid week after a painstakingly long winter in New York was brutal, largely because my waves weren’t sure whether to curl uncontrollably or fall limp in submission, so I did what any time-pressed woman would do: I pulled them into a less-than-perfect ponytail. Hustling between Manhattan to chat about the latest additions to her already-extensive Nuance beauty line (available exclusively at CVS), home to London to be with 7-year-old daughter, Valentina, and Cannes for the premiere of her latest film, Tale of Tales, the Oscar-nominated actress looked nothing short of incredible in a curve-hugging Gucci dress. In comparison, I was a hot mess wearing a Gucci bracelet that came up short next to her full-on, camera-ready ensemble. So Hayek stepped in to help, calling to her go-to hair pro, Jennifer Yepez, for assistance. “Let her do it,” she reassured me, as Yepez yanked the band out of my head and began misting liberally all over with the new Texture Enhancing Finishing Spray from Nuance (a cross between a dry shampoo and a volumizer). “We’re going to give you a makeover,” Hayek added enthusiastically. She praised the formula’s scent, distanced its results from traditional hairspray (“It keeps it from freezing,” she said), and directed my rapid renovation from editor to glamazon simultaneously. But our time together wasn’t entirely focused on my sad-looking ponytail—we covered a myriad of topics, ranging from her favorite skincare cocktail to her stance on Botox. Needless to say, I walked away from the experience wiser…and with a whole lot more oomph to my roots. Here, Hayek reveals her “secret weapon” to staving off wrinkles and the spot you’d never think to apply face cream but should.
There are so many new products. Which are you most excited about?
I love the AM/PM platform—it’s done so well. And because it has done so well, we have expanded to other products within the platform, like the serum and the face wash. And we have this new oil for the face—the Glow Facial Oil. OK, can I show you something? Can I show you my Nuance secret? When your skin is really dry, this is what you do. Give me your hand. You take the cream, and then you [add] some serum to make it more concentrated, and then you put on some oil. It’s my special recipe. And for the hair, I like the Raw Honey mask. The Cleansing Facial Oil is also fantastic for when you wear a lot of makeup. You mix it with a little bit of water, you put it all over your face, then you take a towel and everything comes off. All the mascara—everything in one go. And it doesn’t leave your skin oily.
In past interviews you said that you don’t believe in trends or Botox, but have you found any products that really work in terms of antiaging?
I believe that they’re going to find the new wonder, but I haven’t discovered it yet. It’s sad because sometimes it’s hard to convince people that simple things can have the most benefits. For example, my creams: They’re not expensive because I wanted to make the best cream that was affordable for every woman. It’s not fair that beauty can only be for the rich. And a lot of creams are cheap to make, but they sell at very [high prices]. I use these creams and I could have any other cream that I wanted. Do you know what is the best thing for your face, to keep it toned?
Do you have a technique?
Well, no, you have to find a good person that gives a good massage. I have a [massage therapist], but she lives in Japan. She only comes to London every once in a while. But when she comes, she’s my secret weapon.
Who is this wonder woman?
Maki Imato. She’s amazing. And I think she’s even come to New York a couple of times. I really believe in massage, and the way she does it is with two people. You have to take out your tongue and make sounds and all these crazy things. One person moves your leg while the other person is pulling your ear. I don’t know, but it’s really extraordinary! Massage oxygenates, activates the circulation, and keeps the muscles healthy and firm. I cannot tell you, even just for the lymphatic [system], what the massage does for the face.
Is your stance on Botox still the same? Would you really never do it?
Listen, I never say never. Have I done it? No, still no. And I’m going to tell you why: It’s just logic. When you exercise, do you notice a difference in your skin and the muscle tone?
Right? Because oxygenation and circulation helps immediately rejuvenate your body when you exercise. If you kill the muscle, if you paralyze it and your face is not moving, this is going to affect all the other [muscles] around it. So maybe do [Botox], but wait as long as you can because you’re going to age faster with it. You’re going to look better [in the short term], but you have to do more and more and more, and the whole face is going to start falling apart!
So you’re better off getting a massage than going under the needle?
I think so. That’s my philosophy.
It certainly feels better.
Yes! Oh, my God, it’s so much more relaxing. Would you rather a poke on the face with a needle or a massage?
It’s an easy choice. What is an area of the face or the body that you feel many women neglect but shouldn’t?
Hands. I use what I use on my face on my hands. I take the leftovers [after applying creams to my face] and put them on my hands, neck, décolletage, shoulders, and the back of my neck before I go to sleep.
You must go through a jar of your cream pretty quickly.
Yeah, but you can afford it! Let me tell you something. If you just put antiaging creams on your face and this skin [points to the back of her neck] starts giving up on you, it’s going to show in front. So the back of your neck is an important place that everyone forgets about.
—Amber Kallor, Style.com