Andie MacDowell has been a staple in the film industry and American pop culture for decades. MacDowell has also been a vocal fan of L’Oréal Paris since the 80s, and this year, she was the brand ambassador of the brand’s Women of Worth, which celebrates 10 change makers alongside prolific spokeswomen, influencers and tastemakers. We caught up with the star to chat about silver hair, beauty tricks you shouldn’t try at home and wisdom she’s imparted on her kids.
What does it mean to be a Woman of Worth to you?
“Oh, wow. Well, the women we’re honoring are the kind of women that I am just totally in awe of. They are dynamic and dedicated to their different charities, and changing the world, and taking all of their energy to do different philanthropic endeavors. I met one of the women, Cass Forkin, who started the Twilight Wish Foundation. It’s an organization that gives wishes to seniors 65 and over, which I am now in that category. They’re just beautiful women. These are the true Women of Worth. These kinds of women are so valuable and inspiring.”
After being in the industry for so long, you’ve probably learned a lot of lessons about beauty and self-confidence. So what’s the biggest lesson you’ve passed on to your children who have gone on to have public-facing careers as well?
“Oh, so many lessons. Being authentically true to themselves. I think it’s really difficult to not worry about what people think. I think that’s one of the hardest things. There’s a lot of judgment out there, and you’re going to hear a lot of different voices, but I think you have to stand true to yourself and your own values and make your own choices, like whatever kind of characters you want to play or how you want to live your life. I think that’s a really important lesson for anybody that’s going to live a public life.”
Speaking of being over 65, you have been proudly rocking gray hair for a bit now. Was there a moment you just felt like, “I’m sticking with the gray?”
“Well, I like to call it silver, and I use a product by L’Oréal Paris that enhances the silver. I think it’s a pretty color. I think it’s up to the individual as they age to make whatever choice they’re comfortable with. My mother died when she was 53, and I was 23, so I never really got to see her age, but I did watch my father age, and he was kind of my inspiration. My hair is very similar to my dad’s in color, and I love father’s silver hair. I thought it was very debonair, is the word you would use, and I like to use that word for a woman as well.
We used to see women like this and men like this, but now I think we’re allowed to be in the same vein as a man. We’ve always given them the power to be older and sexy, and I think that’s a power that I wanted to embrace for myself in the same way a man does.
So many reasons came into play for me to feel the way I feel about myself that other people might not feel the same way. But I feel that it’s me being authentic like I want my children to be authentic, and to not try to please other people but please themselves, and this is me pleasing myself.”
The shade of your hair has recently been getting a lot of attention, but your curls have always been iconic. How are they always so beautiful?
“It’s different products a lot of times. This new shampoo and conditioner that I use—the EverPure line has the lighter silver option—the texture of my hair is so much better when I use it, and the color is so much better. I need to condition a lot because my hair is dry—usually curly hair is dry. So it’s just a matter of taking good care of it and the conditioners and products I use. Also, I like curly hair. I think it’s harder for people that don’t like their hair curly. I’m very comfortable with natural-looking curly hair. I like it.”
Have you learned any little-known beauty tips or tricks on set?
“Well, I remember years ago there was this makeup artist that used to curl my eyelashes with a spoon, but I don’t think that’s something you can try by yourself at home.
I’m a big advocate for sunblock. I love to hike and be outside. I like to walk on the beach. There’s a sunblock that L’Oréal Paris makes now that comes out super fine, and you don’t see it, and it doesn’t make your skin look weird—it’s called Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum 50 ($33). I’m huge on wearing sunblock. My sisters used to lay out in the sun that was their generation, and I was lucky that I don’t like to sit still, so I would go lay out with them for about two seconds. I remember my mother yelling, ‘You’re going to ruin your skin,’ and she was so right.
She really was ahead of her time in so many ways. She did organic farming and different kinds of farming in 1974. So I learned a lot about how to eat and take care of myself, which is also, I think, a really important part of beauty because I do think it matters what you put into your body. Taking good care of yourself, watching what you eat, how you exercise, whether you sleep, what you drink, I really think it makes a huge difference, all of those things.”
If you’re leaving the house and can only put on one beauty product—what would it be?
“I do my eyebrows. That’s my trick because as you get older your eyebrows will thin out. I see you have nice thick eyebrows, so you’ll probably still have eyebrows when you get older, but for many, they thin out. I think that, for me, my face doesn’t feel right unless my eyebrows are done. So I always do my eyebrows, that’s my big thing, and L’Oréal Paris has some really nice eyebrow pencils that are not expensive, and they do the rollout just the same as really expensive ones, they’re very nice, and you can get them at the drugstore.”