Most women only dream of the life Mandy Moore has. Starting at the age of 15, the Florida-bred beauty had experienced more face time with America than what most of us could ever conjure up in our wildest dreams. From singer/songwriter to actress and beauty ambassador—her latest role is the face of Garnier—Mandy built a name and reputation for herself throughout the years as America’s sweetheart.
Today, America is still as madly in love with her as ever, if not more. Yet this time, the 33-year-old beauty has stolen the hearts of millions with her role as Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s hit drama This is Us, in which she puts her best acting foot forward playing a mother spanning multiple decades. Mandy is just one of those people you want to grab and hug, even if you don’t know her well. She has this uncanny ability to make everyone feel special, worthy and appreciated whether they’re her biggest fan, the driver taking her to a meeting or someone on the other end of the phone speaking to her for the very first time. Be it intentional or just her true nature, she’s the kind of woman everyone wants to be like and be friends with, and she’s never wavered.
Quick to admit she “doesn’t do all that much” to prevent signs of aging (although she does seem to be well-versed in what actually happens to skin as it ages, along with the proper lingo), Mandy is in the minority in a town where many women her age, and even younger, often become hooked on plastic surgery and fillers sooner than they can legally drink. We sat down with the happy-go-lucky actress to get her take on beauty, what it means to play a woman twice her real age and what she hopes the futures holds for her.
NewBeauty: This Is Us really tugs at the heartstrings. What is your favorite thing about your character and the show in general?
MM: I love that I get to play a fallible human being. She’s not a perfect wife or mother, and I think that’s part of the secret to the show’s success. People really relate to these characters because they see themselves or their own families and the choices they’ve made. It circles back to the connection our audience has with us and our stories. I have never, ever been a part of something that people connect to like this, and it resonates so deeply. People want to come up to you and talk to you about the most vulnerable things in their lives and the experiences they’ve had. They want to get real with you and talk about the nitty gritty of life and that’s pretty unbelievable. It’s very humbling.
How does it feel to play a 66-year-old woman on the show, even though you aren’t one?
I love it! If it is any indication of what is to come in the future, then I would want to know all of my character’s [Rebecca] secrets because I doubt I will look like that at 66. Clearly, she’s worn sunscreen and gotten sleep—her face does not look like she’s lived the stressful, grief-laden life I know she has—and she wears her age well. I wasn’t freaked out by the makeup the first time I had it done. I kind of find myself still searching to see if I recognize my grandma or my mom in it. And I don’t see that, which is fine. I just see the character, not Mandy at 66.
What does the transformation into the older Rebecca actually call for?
I tried to Instagram the process a couple of times during the season because it’s fascinating and people ask me about it a lot. We have it down to a science now, but it’s a process. First is underpainting, so painting on age spots, sunspots, broken capillaries and what not. On top of that is the actual ager, which is this material that almost feels like dried glue. They’ll do this process called “stretch and stipple,” so they’ll stretch my skin out and contort my neck, face and eyes and then stipple on the ager and dry it with a hair dryer. It creates this soft, crepey texture like when skin ages and loses its elasticity. Then, they put on the prosthetic pieces—I think I wear 10 of them. I have a neck waddle, two pieces for jowls, two nasolabial folds, eye bags, crow’s-feet, something for right in between my eyes where you get those deep wrinkles between your eyebrows, and the rest is painted on. It’s about a three-and-a-half-hour process with the wig and all the makeup. And then there’s makeup lightly put on top of that like eye shadow, eyeliner and lipstick. It’s a pretty arduous process and it takes a little over an hour to take it all off at the end of the night.
Speaking of getting older, is there anything you do to prevent signs of aging?
I feel like if we keep going for a couple more seasons, I joke that they won’t even have to do all the hair and makeup because I will have aged. I don’t do anything preventive yet, but I probably really should. I know people start well before my age. For now it’s just the sunscreen aspect and trying to sleep and not live a crazy hard life or stress out about it either. I don’t use retinol or anything, but maybe I should. I’ll skip around and try facials at different places, but nobody has pushed that sort of product on me yet, so until they do, I’ll just keep plugging along.
How do you feel about one day having kids and is it something you see in your future?
Absolutely. I am so excited to hopefully be a mother one day. I feel like I have a little bit of a head start with the show. I’m getting practice with babies and toddlers and 10-year-olds and teenagers and adults—every chapter of life. I have had much more experience dealing with the bigger issues they all have to contend with. I hope that is in the cards for me, sooner rather than later.
You’ve said in the past that you were blessed with good skin. What do you do to maintain it?
My skin is super sensitive, and having to wear makeup every day, especially the old-age makeup on the show, is really hard. I try to get a lot of sleep, drink water and wear sunscreen—all the cardinal rules of skin care. I’m not a particularly big drinker, so that helps because I don’t have to contend with completely dehydrating my skin. Beyond that, I guess I have my mom and dad to thank. However, that’s not to say I don’t have breakouts like everybody else. I’ve gone through patches where my skin was just completely awful. But when I feel like I’m taking care of myself, it’s evident in my skin.
Can you walk us through your typical daily beauty routine?
I wake up and wash my face. If I’m going to the gym, I’ll put on a tiny bit of moisturizer and sunscreen because I don’t want to clog up my skin. But if I’m going about my day or if I have a day off, then I use moisturizer, sunscreen, maybe a little bit of Wonderglow and some clear eyebrow gel. I’ve had my eyebrows microfeathered, so they need a little gel. I usually add a pop of color to my lips—that’s sort of my go-to. It makes me feel instantly polished without having to go through a whole routine. Just keeping it really simple like that is important to me.
You mentioned you had your brows done. Why did you decide to get them microfeathered and what’s your take on the whole experience?
I am really good friends with the Streicher sisters, and Kristie Streicher is the eyebrow maven. She developed her own offshoot of microblading called microfeathering. It’s lighter and uses soft, feathery strokes. I was a bit of a guinea pig because I was one of the first clients she did it on. I love how she does my eyebrows, and she’s the only person I would ever trust to touch them. As soon as she decided to start doing this, I was like count me in and sign me up! I wanted to be the first in line. I love it. It’s one less thing to do and it’s changed my whole beauty routine because I was constantly trying to fuss and fix my eyebrows so they would look the way they did when she did them, which would never happen because I’m just terrible at doing my own eyebrows.
Let’s talk about your diet and what it consists of. And, how dedicated to it are you?
I try to be healthy, but I will also absolutely indulge when the mood strikes. I won’t say no to French fries, chocolate chip cookies or a glass of wine. I’m not too regimented. I try to take it all in stride. I understand that food is fuel, so I really try to view it from that lens—I’m not going to count calories.
What’s your favorite way to shed five pounds fast?
Is there a way? I’d love to know! Before a big event I usually stop eating anything unhealthy and up my water intake. Oh, and have a full 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
What is the craziest beauty treatment you’ve heard about?
The vampire facial where they take your blood—YES! That is scary, and it seems painful on multiple levels. I know people swear by it, but I just don’t think it’s a path I could ever venture down, but maybe. I’m curious as I get older to investigate all the things that are not super invasive, like lasers. I want to try all that stuff. I have to find some friends who are a little bit more in the know and can help me with those sorts of things because I don’t feel like any of my friends are doing that stuff. I’ve got to start investigating with NewBeauty—now I have a new resource for it all.
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