The thing about Jennifer Garner is that she’s essentially everything we want to be. She has a very successful career, with acting roles ranging from an ass-kicking spy in Alias to the ultra-sympathetic and progressive Dr. Eve Saks in Dallas Buyers Club, and she’s a mother — a good one at that. Garner recently fought and won for legislation to be put into place that bans paps from taking photos of celebrity’s children. Plus, under the bizarre microscope from which she is constantly examined to we non-celebs, she just seems like a down-to-earth, nice person.
So, I was pretty much anything but surprised when Jennifer called me at around 10 a.m. on a weekday — 7 a.m. her time. She was on her way to work, but she managed to squeeze time to give details on her predictably low-maintenance beauty routine (she is a spokesperson for Neutrogena, after all), her most recent film, and the Oscars dress she’ll never forget. Here’s what she had to say.
What is your average morning routine like?
“I get up early and I work out with the same trainer I’ve worked out with forever, Valerie Waters. She’s my sunrise sister, because we’ve watched the sun go up together forever. We have coffee and work out and switch to water when it gets hard. Then, I go up and try to get lunches made and make some breakfast and hopefully see if I can grab a shower before or after taking the kids to school, and I’m off and running.”
What’s your nighttime beauty ritual?
“I definitely wash my face and always remove any makeup with a wipe, and then I use a night cream and an eye cream.”
What’s your current perfume?
“My current perfume is this rose roll-on scent by a nun who walked around hugging people and she smelled like roses. There’s a roll-on named after her! I got it in my stocking.”
What’s your favorite beauty product right now?
“My favorite these days is the new Neutrogena Brightening Eye Perfector because I don’t like a lot of makeup. A lot of times, all I wear is a little concealer. There’s also Healthy Skin Glow Sheer that’s just a tinted, which I’ll use just around the nose or under the eyes or anywhere that looks different. And, recently, I’ve been loving Hydro Boost Water Gel. It’s like a moisturizer that puts hydration straight into your skin. Your skin will just suck it up — you won’t believe it — you’ll have a more dewy, plumped up, fresh look. It’s very fancy…it feels more like a prestige product than something you would find in a drugstore.”
What’s the best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever received?
“It’s not advice, it’s more an example: My mom is the woman who is the least marked by vanity of anyone I know — but in the best possible way. She just isn’t focused on it, and doesn’t do makeup and hair — she’s just herself. So, [seeing] that allowed me to grow up without feeling like [beauty] was something I needed to do.”
If you’re getting ready for a big event, what music are you playing in the background?
“Oh gosh, probably something so boring like Coffee House on Sirius or, like, Singer/Songwriter on iTunes.”
It’s red carpet season. Do you have a favorite red carpet look you’ve worn over the years?
“I can never remember my red carpet looks! Whenever I’m with my hair and makeup people, they always say, ‘Remember the Globes when you wore this?’ and I always say, ‘I have no idea what that was!’ But, there is a Valentino one-shoulder dress I wore at the Oscars — I think — that I just remember feeling great in; it was comfortable and that was just a happy day.”
What’s a project you’re working on that you’re most excited about?
“There’s a movie coming out in March called Danny Collins: Al Pacino plays [1970’s rock star] Danny and it’s with Annette Bening and Christopher Plummer. I play Bobby Cannavale’s wife and I love that movie with my whole heart; I’m so excited for people to see it.”
What would you like to tell your 25-year-old self?
“I would give my 25-year-old self a lot of advice — like learn to type, and I’d tell [her] to learn something about makeup, actually, because I didn’t know a thing and I was auditioning and I could have benefited from that. And, also, not to trust the guy who sold me a Honda Civic that wouldn’t go above 60 miles per hour. I’d also tell my 25-year-old self to travel and enjoy being 25.”
Fill in the blank: My job has taught me…
“To take risks.”
Fill in the blank: Being a mom has taught me…
“To let go of control.”