Eva Longoria’s glam squad is waiting for her. She’s not late to the photo shoot—they’re just anxious to see her. A few days earlier, the 42-year-old actress had a snafu with her foot, an injury that resulted in her having to wear a medical boot, and longtime hairstylist and friend Ken Paves is hoping she’s feeling better.
When she arrives, hugs are exchanged, catch-ups ensue and plans for later are made. It’s apparent that this is a group with a close, long-standing relationship, one that goes deeper than the occasional photo shoot, red-carpet event or behind-the-scenes scenario.
A few minutes later, the friendly vibe switches to full-on work mode. Longoria is multitasking in hair and makeup; she quickly types away on her laptop to review documents and answer emails, and has what she describes as a “fine-tuned system in place” for knowing when to look up at the mirror. She is determined to have everyone stick to the schedule (the only time she breaks throughout the entire day is to offer the studio staff some Trader Joe’s chocolate chip cookies she’s coined as “the best she’s ever had”) and with a packed agenda that involves an evening event in another part of town, there’s not much wiggle room.
The Desperate Housewives alum may be known for her on-camera work, but it’s pretty clear she’s comfortably transitioned into the role of not only a businesswoman, but also the boss, even among friends. She’s a producer, director, entrepreneur, philanthropist, global brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris (11 years and counting), and recently launched her first fashion line, the Eva Longoria Collection. (As this issue hit newsstands, she also announced she’s expecting her first child with husband Jose “Pepe” Baston!) It’s a full résumé, and Longoria says 2018 is gearing up to be her biggest ever, as she’s set to star opposite Anna Faris in the cult-classic remake of Overboard early in the year and will receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame later this spring, but that’s just the beginning.
Your family is the focal point of many of your stories. What was it like growing up in Texas as the youngest of four girls?
There was a lot of makeup. My sisters and I were really into it. Lipstick was a big part of my life. My mom always had a red lipstick and I would steal it and use it for everything—I would put it on my lips, my cheeks, my eyes. I think I somehow managed to use red lipstick as a contour stick! I was convinced it could be used for everything.
Your sister’s battle with cancer is also something you’ve recently been vocal about. Why did you decide to discuss her diagnosis in such a public way?
I’m really passionate about it. It’s close to my heart. [In the fall, Longoria paired up with pharmaceutical company Novartis and its Kiss This 4MBC campaign. For every boomerang or selfie that’s posted with the hashtag #kissthis4mbc, Novartis donates $10 to metastatic breast cancer research.] Metastatic breast cancer is incurable. It’s a different type of diagnosis and the one we should be donating our time and efforts toward. My sister was lucky; she was stage one, she caught it, she’s in remission. But then there’s an entire community of women who aren’t so lucky—the cancer has spread and metastasized into other areas of their bodies. I thought, if I am going to lend my voice to cancer, I want it to be in an effective way. After talking to these women and hearing their stories, I knew this was a cause I needed to get behind.
On a lighter note, you’ve credited your dad—the only man in the family—for your good skin. Beyond genetics, how do you care for it now?
He does have amazing skin. I got lucky there. But, seriously, what don’t I do? I do it all. I try it all. Facials, scrubs, peels, masks. You name it, I’ll do it. I learned a long time ago that the trick to good makeup is good skin. So many people focus on the makeup instead of the skin care and that’s not a good idea. A good skin-care routine is crucial. I fly a lot, so I’m always looking for ways to stay hydrated. I’m that person on the plane who is constantly spraying some concoction on her face to keep it hydrated.
Beyond the sprays, what are some things you attribute to maintaining such a youthful look?
Sunscreen. I’m a self-proclaimed sunblock bully. I go around applying it to my friends’ faces; I’ve probably applied it to some strangers’ faces, too. I’m forever asking, “Do you have sunblock?” There’s a lot you can do to your skin to keep it healthy, but sunscreen is the big one.
What are some go-to products you swear by?
I’m a L’Oréal ambassador and I really do use and believe in their products. I’m very loyal to the brand. I’m obsessed with RevitaLift right now; there’s a great under-eye serum that I love. I love thick creams for nighttime, and they have all that, too. They also just came out with clay masks. Everyone thinks you need to spend a ton of money on products or go to the spa for a facial, but the technology for over-the-counter beauty products has gotten so much better in recent years. Everyone can have access to that. I also have gray hair and I swear by the Root Touch Up. It’s the best. It’s great for in between salon visits.
You’re pretty active on social media. What do you like most about the whole “sharing” culture?
It’s definitely a place of inspiration for me. I love makeup bloggers and influencers, and I love seeing the new tricks they come up with on Instagram and Pinterest. I turn to social media often for ideas for my looks—I’ll see a red lip I really like, or a purple smoky eye I want to try. It’s a great place for ideas.
And you’re fairly open on social media, showing some intimate moments like face threading…
I know! I hated it. I’ll never do it again. It hurt so bad! I’m not a threader. I was in Dubai and my makeup artist wanted me to try it, but never again. Not a fan.
You’re in amazing shape. Is working out a big part of your life?
I’m a runner. I love running. I also do Pilates and yoga and I’m a big SoulCycle person, but I need to do more weight-training. As I get older, I realize how important it is to incorporate that into your routine. I work out a lot, but I haven’t been able to recently with my foot situation. You definitely miss it when you take a break from it—I feel kind of horrible right now.
Your schedule is packed. Do you do anything to unwind?
I love spas. I’m a spa junkie. The first thing I do when I get to a hotel is ask where the spa is. Take me to the spa! I love massages and facials and just sitting in the Jacuzzi. I love being pampered; it’s good to spoil yourself.
What are you most excited about for 2018?
Getting my star on the Walk of Fame. That will be in April. Obviously, it’s going to be a huge moment in my life. It’s a dream beyond a dream beyond a dream. That’s going to be coinciding with the Overboard premiere, which is a really fun movie. I think people are going to like it a lot.
People think of you as an actress, but that’s almost a side job now. Did you ever think you would be part of all these different business projects?
I just had my first fashion show in New York and it was so surreal. I’ve always loved fashion—I’m a big sewer, I know a lot of the lingo and I have a pretty good understanding of textiles—but I never thought I would be showing at Fashion Week. It was so fun and exhilarating. It’s the first time I got to show the product to the world because it usually goes straight to the retailer. My goal was to create a line for the “woman who does it all”—the mom, the professional juggling her career, the woman who is going out for the night. I want it to be more than just athleisure; I want it to be comprehensive. Now, we’re focusing on being an e-commerce brand, so it’s a bit of a different marketing and merchandising approach.
Is it difficult to bounce between different industries?
The whole thing exercises a different part of my brain, my business side. I wouldn’t say it’s easier or harder than acting, but it is definitely different and there’s a learning curve. I felt the same way when I first directed. It isn’t necessarily harder than acting, but you have to sort of learn everything all over again. But it’s fascinating to me to keep learning. What’s the point if you’re not?
The question everyone wants to know: Would there ever be a Desperate Housewives revival?
I wish! I love that show. I miss it every single day. I miss being Gaby. I miss being on that set. I miss everything about it. But our creator [Marc Cherry] has said many times he wouldn’t bring it back. Plus, we’re all so busy. Felicity [Huffman] is always off doing some Emmy award–winning show. I’m busy with my projects. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I’m all for the idea!