By Marissa DeSantis
Forget all of the celebrity interviews where the “big” beauty advice is drinking plenty of water or getting eight hours of sleep. Over her 20-plus years as a model and actress, Molly has never hesitated to pull back the curtain on what really goes into Hollywood’s most glamorous moments (that’s the goal behind this site and her Lipstick on the Rim podcast, after all). We asked Molly for the real insider tips and tricks she picked up on set, and the not-so-great lessons she learned the hard way.
From the beauty products that actually work to her cringiest red carpet moments, here is the best (and worst!) beauty guide according to Molly.
“There was a Met Gala where I was in a strapless Calvin Klein — it was a simple ponytail with beautiful, glowy makeup. I remember not liking what I was wearing or feeling like I didn’t look good. And I look back now and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I did great!’ I wish we would appreciate when we have those moments more.”
“I wore a beret with a crop top for the VMAs one time, and that, my friend, was probably not the best moment. At the time, you’re like, ‘This is amazing,’ and then you look back a few years later and you’re like, ‘What the f*ck was I thinking?’ My advice to girls, women, moms, and anyone out there getting ready for a special event is to just aim to make yourself a little bit better than you normally would. Don’t go crazy and try something you’ve never really done before — especially brides.”
“The worst skincare mistake I’ve ever made was putting toothpaste on a pimple and traveling eight hours without washing it off. Toothpaste dries the pimple out, but you cannot leave it on for hours like that — it completely burned my skin! I was going to film MTV’s House of Style for my big promo moment, and I had pretty much a hole in my skin.”
“Of course, I love me some Biologique Recherche P50 1970, but Royal Fern, and Augustinus Bader make great exfoliating toners, too. I also love the Seiso Cleanser and Sarah Chapman’s Overnight Facial. The Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads are definitely an oldie but goodie, and most recently I’ve been trying a newer serum called Eighth Day that I really like. Dr. Lara Devgan’s C+B+E Ferulic Serum is incredible. For eye creams, RéVive has one that’s awesome that has a cold wand on the end, and Natura Bisse’s eye cream is incredible because it almost looks like a bit of makeup as well. I could go on for hours.”
“I love anything Westman Atelier, and the Tom Ford eyeshadow quads for makeup for a more high-end purchase. But on the less expensive side, you can’t beat the Maybelline Sky High Mascara and L’Oréal Infallible 24-Hour Foundation. That foundation is a great matte powder foundation that gives you really good coverage. Laura Mercier’s Translucent Pressed Powder is a ride-or-die product, and I also am obsessed with the Rodial Soft Focus Glow Drops.
“White eyeliner or a beige-y eyeliner in the water line can make your eyes look more open. Mascara on the bottom lashes, as opposed to just doing top mascara, can also make your eyes look a little bit more awake.”
“Make sure to watch out for anything too shimmery or too shiny if you’re getting your picture taken or you’re being filmed. You don’t want to be matte, per se, but you also don’t want the flash to pick up every oily glimmer or shimmer on your face. I like to put highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones, my eyebrow bones, and my cupid’s bow, but it can’t be all over your face or you’ll look greasy. And definitely use powder on your T-zone — I don’t care if you’re 20 or you’re 50, everyone should do that.”
“Prepping your skin with too much moisturizer before you put on makeup can leave your face too greasy or oily and then the makeup sort of slips and doesn’t hold as much. They make primers for a reason, and you want to find one that sits right so your makeup doesn’t feel like it’s peeling or flaking off. Everyone’s skin is different, but the Rodial Glass Primer is a really good primer.”
“I know we’re into the very overdone, done look, but there’s nothing prettier than a brow, a great cheek, mascara, and a little bit of a glossy lip. More doesn’t always mean better! And that goes for skincare, too. Don’t try every new product at once, like I used to do. You won’t even know what works! Give a new product a couple of weeks and be consistent with it. You also want to be careful about overdoing it. I love a great peel every now and then or a laser, but too much of anything can be bad. ”
“Paris is the fashion week OG. That’s where the biggest shows are, and they really do set the space when it comes to what the trends are going to be. And let me tell you there is nothing better than a French pharmacy — I could live there. You’ve got Embyolisse, Avène, and Nurofen (which is the best headache medicine in the world if you’re hungover).”
“I love We Care Spa if you want to do an overall body wellness treatment. Blackberry Farm also has an incredible spa, and so does Canyon Ranch. I also like the Sauna Bar here in Brentwood Gardens. It’s like a hot sauna pod that you can just sit in and relax and listen to your music or your podcast (or mine). In New York, there’s the Great Jones Spa and then Chillhouse is amazing as well. There’s also this great lymphatic drainage place in New York that is the f*cking end all be all. In LA, there’s a place called The Tox that people are obsessed with for lymphatic drainage. I also love going to Nurse Jamie here in LA for laser hair removal, body contouring, and the Emsculpt.”