Laverne Cox Shares Her Best Anti-Aging Tips, Makeup Essentials and How She Stays Balanced

Laverne Cox Shares Her Best Anti-Aging Tips, Makeup Essentials and How She Stays Balanced featured image
Photography by Bret Lemke
This article first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

She’s a trail blazer, an award-winning actress, an LGBTQ+ advocate and now a voice of healing via her podcast The Laverne Cox Show, where she explores timely issues that get down to the heart of the human experience. “A lot of it is about the stage I am at in my own life and what happens when you get older, wanting to be here longer, and how to be psychologically or emotionally well enough to be a better person.”

For the 48-year-old who stars in Netflix’s upcoming Inventing Anna, doing deep dives on topics like shame, dating after 40 and fat phobia has helped her navigate her own spiritual and emotional journey while inspiring others to take theirs. “My first episode with Brené Brown was incredible, and she’s been a huge part of my healing with her work on shame and vulnerability, so getting to sit down with her felt really special for me. She has been motivating people to do the work for a long time, and I believe that right now, when there is so much social and political discord, we need to start with our own internal healing before we can come together collectively.”

The advice I would give to my younger self:

“Everything happens for a reason. What is happening right now, even though it may be frustrating, even though you might feel awful and like you may not make it through, this is all for a reason and there are lessons in all of this. So, you’re on the right track and there is a plan in place that is being activated by an energy and power that is greater than you. You’re on the right path, so just keep doing what you’re doing.”

The beauty advice I wish I had followed:

“Never, ever, ever bleach your own hair. Back in the day I used to do those microbraids that Beyoncé had in Destiny’s Child. I would wear them blonde or with a slightly dark root. One time I bleached my hair myself, and as I was washing out the bleach, my hair came out with it. I also burned my scalp. It was really traumatizing. So don’t ever do that! It was a painful lesson.”

My best anti-aging tips:

“Sometimes I think I should be getting more rigorous with my skin care as I get older, but then I’m afraid of doing too much. I do use eye cream now, but my routine is to moisturize and stay out of the sun. I think about doing more peels and facials, but I have a lot of other things to think about, too.”

A year 2000 throwback photo of Cox wearing her signature Destiny’s Child microbraids. “I was also really into those midriff-baring low-rise jeans, but I was really skinny then. That was the look.”

How I stay balanced:

“I made some really intense decisions around my health last year, just because I want to be here on the planet. I worked really hard on my overall health and well-being. For me, self-love is really about the actions that you take toward practicing it. It’s how I treat myself. Like today, I’m so busy, but I can turn around and look outside and appreciate my view and really take it in and let it land in my body and my nervous system. Take in the moment with gratitude. These are the things that I’m doing by making deliberate choices to act differently. I’m really proud of that.”

Makeup essentials I’d take with me on a desert island:

“My bare minimum is pressed powder.I like MAC Mineralize Skinfinish ($37) and I usually use two different shades. I always need a good brow, so an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pencil ($23) and then some Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara ($21). It coats and plumps up every lash.”

Three things everyone should do once:

“First, great sex with the partner of your dreams is one thing everyone should have at least once. I’m also in a love affair with New York City right now, so going to see a beautiful view and experiencing the energy of the city is something everyone should do. And then being proud of something you’ve done in life that gives you that feeling of accomplishment or of having made a difference—I think everyone should know that feeling.”

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