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The Surprising Beauty Skill Busy Philipps Taught Herself

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The Surprising Beauty Skill Busy Philipps Taught Herself featured image
E! Entertainment / Contributor / Getty Images

I could talk to Busy Philipps about beauty—well, really anything—for hours. The charismatic actress lights up talking about every treatment under the sun, and it’s no surprise she took full advantage of her time at home during last year’s lockdown to experiment with some treatments she had previously only left to pros. This week, I caught up with the A-lister about her latest beauty-centric collaboration and so much more.

Did the pandemic change your perspective on wellness or self-care?

“I think it certainly has impacted all of our lives in a multitude of ways, but for me personally, the idea of self-care became a clear priority in the pandemic. We know that a lot of the burden of responsibility was put on women in the household and it was the first time I sort of fundamentally understood that I was getting overwhelmed and tapped out, and if I didn’t take anywhere from three minutes to an hour and half for myself in some sort of self-care way, I just wasn’t going to be useful to anyone in anyway. And now in this new normal, it’s important to remember that self-care is about your ability to care for yourself well, as well as other.”

And speaking of self-care, tell me about this cute collaboration you’re partnering with.

“I love that for International Self-Care Day on July 24, Oui by Yoplait and essie put together these OuiFresh Kits: six essie nail colors inspired by six flavors of oui, which genuinely is one of my favorite yogurts of all time. I think both brands have a similar view of taking time for yourself, and Oui by Yoplait’s idea of having a French-style yogurt that’s thicker and more luxurious can give you your own five-minute break of the day. I think it’s just a really fun collaboration. They’re doing a sweepstakes on Instagram, and they made 1,000 of these kits you can enter to win. I love the Key Lime and Lemon. I love the zesty, tart flavors.”

Let’s talk about nail art. [Philipps is wearing the cutest rainbow tips during our Zoom call.] Did someone do that for you, or are you a nail art genius?

“You know what’s interesting, I did just touch it up myself, but no, my friend Aki came over—she does my nails here in New York—and did my essie rainbow for me. But, I love nail art and I’ve been a fan for many years because I like changing my manicures. My mom always had a perfect manicure when I was growing up, so I just love having my nails look pretty.”

Do you prefer gel, dip, regular or something else?

“I don’t know what the dip is really, but I know that’s like a thing. I’ve never done it. I was a person who always got manicures—I rarely painted my own nails—but during the shut-down, I found it really soothing to paint my own nails and I’ve kind of continued to enjoy doing it.”

What are you good at beauty-wise; what do you love?

“I’m good at everything beauty-wise (laughs). I’m sorry, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I really am just that person. I’ve always loved makeup, skin care, hair care, nail care—I can do it all. I even gave myself bikini waxes during the pandemic so I could wear my cute bikinis. I can’t shave—nobody needs that pain in their life—so I taught myself how to use a hard wax. You can buy the kit and heat it up and use the sticks and cloths and the whole thing. I’m essentially an aesthetician is what I’m saying. I got really good at it.

I also gave myself full facials during lockdown. I have so many tools and devices and lights. I’m the person who didn’t get the reasonably priced face light a long time ago. I was like no, no, no, I need the medical, professional-grade light, so that’s what I have in my own. I’m really intense about being able to do my own beauty treatments.”

Like the LED lamp that hovers above your face during a facial?

“Yes, like the one that’s in your facialist’s office. I also love cold facials. I use cryo sticks at home. I’ve also noticed that people from Canada have great, younger-looking skin. You gotta moisturize and keep it cold. Oh, and I used to put yogurt on my face, plain yogurt. I wouldn’t waste my Oui by Yoplait on my face because I want to eat it.”

I have to ask you about your brows because they look fabulous. Do you do them yourself?

“I learned how to do that during the pandemic too! I dye my brows darker. My hair is lightened right now, but my brows are fairly light naturally and I really like the way they look a little bit darker. I go to Kristie Streicher in Los Angeles for brows, and she fully walked me through how to dye my brows during the lockdown. You have to paint it on very carefully and I leave it on for three to five minutes—sometimes I leave the ends on longer. When I can’t see her now that I’m on the East Coast, I still just do it myself because I don’t trust other people.”

What about in-office treatments?

“I did get into roller microneedling during the shutdown because I love microneedling. I’ve done PRP [platelet-rich plasma]—I really like that, but that’s really it. I don’t do injectables or filler in my face, but I have no shade or judgment. I just turned 42 and I’ve never done it, and I feel like I look most like myself. Sometimes I think, oh I should be doing that, but I just feel like it’s really not for me. I prefer things like microneedling facials with the machine because they go deep, or PRP because it stimulates your natural collagen. Can I just be honest too? I’m very, very sensitive, and I just think I’d be the person who has the reaction and would have a droopy eye. I would feel so stupid.”

What kind of results did you get from the PRP?

“I really liked it. The first time I did it was right before I turned 40, and I did a round of three treatments in two months I think, and it’s not like a hugely noticeable difference. It’s not like when someone gets Botox and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, your forehead is just flat; your eyebrows are so high.’ It’s more of a subtle, ‘You look great, you look really refreshed.’ But all the natural things that people tell you to do like drink a lot of water, eat balanced meals and don’t drink too much—those are all the secrets to not looking haggard too.”

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