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The pandemic may have had many downsides, but turning Andie MacDowell into a “badass” in the eyes of her children was not one of them. Like millions of other women, the 64-year-old actor, model and L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador found herself hard-pressed to find a colorist during the Covid-19 lockdowns. “Nobody was goin’ to the salon,” she tells us over Zoom, her signature South Carolina accent dropping the G. “My hair was turnin’ sort of salt and pepper and my daughters kept tellin’ me I looked badass. And nobody ever told me I looked badass before! I liked it.”
Her children, actresses Rainey Qualley and Margaret Qualley, weren’t the only fans of her badass new hair color: Last summer, when she strutted down the L’Oréal Paris runway sporting a riot of silver curls, the image went viral, with breathless headlines calling her decision “the ultimate power move.” While MacDowell says she doesn’t give much thought to her salt-and-pepper strands anymore — “it’s just who I am and I feel beautiful,” she says — it has come in handy on the set of “The Way Home,” the multigenerational family drama she recently shot for the Hallmark channel. “In the show, I have to play myself at two different ages, 19 years old and present day,” she says. When it came to portray her younger self, MacDowell says she threw on a wig, gamely disavowing 45 years of age and wisdom with the drop of a hairnet. Read on for more genius ways the legendary star is flipping the script on what it means to age gracefully in Hollywood these days.
“I don’t like to call my hair gray,” MacDowell says. “I tell people it’s silver — and this one-step toner you can use in the shower really helps bring out the silver strands and make them shine.”
“I am completely addicted to these peppermint balls,” she says. “I carry them around with me everywhere and I’m always giving them to people. There’s no sugar in them — they’re pure peppermint and they leave the best taste in your mouth! If you have coffee breath or just don’t feel fresh, you bite into one of these and it releases this very intense peppermint flavor. I like to pop one in before I go on set.”
“I am crazy about the smell of these incense sticks!” MacDowell says. “They make you smell like a spa. I wish L’Oréal would make a perfume to smell like this incense because I love it. I rub this on me and I get so many compliments.”
“I’ve always liked red lipstick. If you are just wearing a T-shirt and a pair of jeans, you can throw on some lipstick and you look glamorous,” MacDowell says. “It’s very French. I find with silver hair, a red lipstick pops even more. I love this orangey red shade because it really intensifies the color of my hazel eyes.”
“These reading glasses are sort of retro and modern at the same time,” she says. “They make the frames in all different colors: red, green, amber, pink, blue. I don’t like gray glasses. I prefer the tinted, reddish shades. They make you look mysterious.”
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“In my day-to-day life, I don’t wear foundation,” she says. “I just use a little concealer around my eyes and my nose, where it can get a little red. I like this concealer because it doesn’t look cakey.”
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“I know people are always worried about fine lines, but that’s not my big thing,” she says. “I have very dry skin, so for me, it’s really about hydration. I use this cream to take off my makeup at night and it leaves my skin glowing, plump and dewy.”
“I started collecting Hermès scarves 35 years ago,” MacDowell says. “I wear them to protect my neck and decolletage from the sun when I go hiking in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. And I’ll tell you why: I don’t go out! I don’t do anything. But I love to hike — I do it every day, and it’s my favorite thing in the world. So I figured, I might as well enjoy my Hermès scarves!”