Ready for Your Close Up? Viola Davis, beauty and me

SHARE Ready for Your Close Up? Viola Davis, beauty and me
SHARE Ready for Your Close Up? Viola Davis, beauty and me

HOLLYWOOD — I was on the phone with Viola Davis when it happened. We started to talk beauty.

She is the gorgeous, Oscar winning star of “Ender’s Game” where she looks cool, calm and collected as Major Gwen Anderson. We were talking about the movie based on the best-selling book about teens that have to fight off a mutant alien invasion.

Yet, Davis looks gorgeous even when impending doom in the form of large, nasty bugs are knocking on her spaceship door.

PS: It’s not an act.

“Right now, I’m standing in my backyard and I’m taking my wig off,” she says. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I know I feel beautiful.”

Now comes the confession: Lovely readers of the Sun Times have known me for over two decades as a film feature writer. But, I’ve also written several best selling beauty books on the side focusing on Hollywood under “The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets” banner.

Turns out that stars love to talk about beauty (including the guys), so inevitably the conversation will start with movies and eventually wind up with what’s on their bathroom counter.

Let’s close the bathroom door for a moment and be honest: Being a Midwest girl out in Los Angeles all the time covering the film beat presents several beauty 911 moments on a personal level.

First, there are body image issues after seeing Michelle Pfeiffer walk into our interview at the Four Seasons Hotel looking skinny in blue suede pants. (Who can wear blue suede and look like they still need a big lunch? Hello, Guinness…) Then there are motivational moments like when Jen Garner told me the best workout secret I’ve ever heard in my life and it involves lying to yourself. “Get your butt on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Tell yourself it’s only for 10. You will go longer. It’s how I lost the baby weight,” she says.

I’m lying on a daily basis now. Thanks Jen.

Sometimes, I even have pure beauty envy. What lipstick is that other Jen, as in Aniston, wearing to look like she’s not wearing lipstick? Inquiring minds.

In this new blog, we’re going to have some fun by combining your favorite A list Hollywood stars with exactly what they’re doing to look good. They are not allowed to say they drink water and wear sunscreen. That’s like saying they breathe and sleep. We know that already. I’ll ask them what products they use, what cutting edge treatments they trust and their favorite DIY home recipes that you can make for pennies. I’ll also go to their top makeup and skin pros to answer your questions.

Remember, it’s their jobs to look amazing. They know their stuff…and their people can fix anything. (By the way, I’m not a ‘tox or filler girl, so we’ll look for other solutions first. Two words: pain wuss.)

I’ll ask stars of various ages how they manage stress and mentally deal with aging and stress (a beauty killer). In fact, one star told me she sings show tunes on the top of her lungs on the way to all awards shows just to clear her head…and you actually can do that on the Dan Ryan. “Ok…la…homa!”

The other day I read a stat saying that only four percent of women consider themselves beautiful. Less than 10 percent would even say “pretty.”

That made me frown, which you’re never supposed to do in Hollywood because of a doom worse than alien mutant invasion: fine lines and wrinkles. That’s also the reason to write this blog. If you walk out that door feeling better about yourself, it might just be a much better day.

So how does Viola Davis, a beauty maverick, do it?

Let’s go back to her hair for a quick moment.

The star of “Ender’s Game,” who turned 48 in August, says that she really knows how to embrace her inner beauty.

Me: “I’m from the Midwest. My hair frizzes the moment I leave the house. We’re talking…not even on the driveway yet. Bam! Products don’t work in August in Chicago. Can I borrow that wig you just took off?”

Davis laughs warmly. “You’re not embracing, Cindy,” she says.

Me: “I don’t embrace. I lament.”

Davis: “Okay, let’s start with the hair. I know when I took the wig off for the first time, I felt so wonderful.

“That’s hiding,” she says. “If someone came to the door, I was putting my wig on. That’s a crutch. That’s like saying, ‘I’m not enough.’ Finally, I said to myself, ‘What are you hiding? Because you are enough.’”

She added, “My husband is the one who encouraged me to take my wig off. He knew I’d find it liberating …and I did.”

“Liberated is the most beautiful feeling in the world!” Davis said.

There’s our first beauty tip. Looking forward to 1,000 more.

NEXT BLOG:Beauty secrets from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” set

Do you have a beauty dilemma? Or wonder how a celebrity looks so good? Ask Cindy and she will find the answers.

Follow @CindyPearlman

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