"I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I always wanted to be a singer—my whole life, all I ever did was sing around the house. [Modeling and acting] all happened so young, before I even had a chance to really t...
"I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I always wanted to be a singer—my whole life, all I ever did was sing around the house. [Modeling and acting] all happened so young, before I even had a chance to really think about it. But I love what I do... People are always telling me how much they loved Empire Records. We had so much fun making that movie. I was so young—16 or 17. I still had a tutor! [Laughs] I wasn't really thinking about [making a fashion statement]. But those were my boots in the movie [photo 15]! Actually, we got into a huge fight, because I had this whole outfit planned, and then the night before filming, [the studio] said they wanted me in a mohair sweater and a plaid miniskirt. It was something about how they wanted to soften my look, but being a rebellious teenager, I was mad. I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me? Really? Fine, screw you, I’m gonna wear my boots with it!’ Well, that’s what I said to myself.
Everything has changed so much in fashion and beauty since the Nineties, when I was starting out. I remember going to the Stealing Beauty premiere, and I loved Dolce & Gabbana so I reached out to them to borrow a dress and they sent me one. I think I had my hair done. But I would go to things all the time where I did my own hair and makeup. Or, when I did Inventing the Abbotts with Joaquin Phoenix, we were dating at the time, and I threw on this red Prada dress with my weird vintage coat for the premiere [photo 16]. I remember Gwyneth [Paltrow] came to the premiere for Armageddon and danced with me at the after-party and she had no makeup on, this little slip dress and no bra, and maybe flip-flops. It was just a different time. There weren’t as many paparazzi, the red carpets weren’t what they are now—there’s a lot of scrutiny going on and the maintenance is intense! Think about seeing Julia Roberts on the red carpet in the late 80s and early 90s in a suit with no makeup on, and that was OK. I sort of miss those days a little bit.
I really learned about makeup and skincare from watching my grandmother [Dorothea Johnson] and my mom [Bebe Buell]. My grandmother was very elegant, very detail-oriented, and kind of meticulous about her routine and about how groomed she was. She started teaching me the importance of moisturizing at six years old, putting moisturizer on me every night when I got out of the bath. She also taught me things like, ‘Never go to sleep without washing your face,’ so, at a very young age, I was washing my skin. And then I watched my mom, who was totally different. My grandma is an etiquette teacher, who’s written books on the topic—we’re actually writing one together right now—and my mom had this rebel heart. She played in punk bands and worked as a model. Growing up, I’d always watch her do her makeup, and I would break into her bag all the time and use her products. But I started working at 13! So, I can’t remember ever not having makeup or skincare around.
I'm obsessed with beauty—seriously, one of my dreams is to write a book about beauty secrets and do a skincare line. Having said that, I haven’t even begun to venture down that road, but since I was a very young teenager, I would collect masks and moisturizers, and when my girlfriends would come over, I’d be giving them ideas for what to do to their skin. I still do that all the time.
When you put a bit more effort into some things, the results are wonderful, especially as a woman—in your health, your body, your skin, your hair. It can be about that extra five little minutes a day, 30 more minutes a week. Try to shut the world out. If you’re a mom, you just say, ‘Okay, here, you’re going to watch a movie, I’m going to take a bath.’ Take the time to have a bath, to do a face mask. It really makes you feel better! And that is what makes you more beautiful—the inner-sparkle that shines out. My whole thing about skincare is starting from the inside, out. There’s no cream that’s going to make you beautiful.