Helen Mirren on ageing "disgracefully", quarantine make-up and staying fit

Katie Intner
·3-min read
Photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Dame Helen Mirren, Academy Award-winning actress and the face of cosmetic brand L'Oréal Paris, rarely follows traditional beauty rules. She boldly debuted pink hair on the Cannes red carpet, for example, and frequently posts make-up free, unfiltered Instagram selfies to her 900,000+ followers at the age of 75.

When it comes to ageing, Mirren’s rule-defying mindset is no different. “I don't want to age gracefully, I want to age disgracefully,” she says. “Ageing is a cause for celebration and the reality is that it’s a non-stop adventure. That’s what I enjoy.”

Mirren says her approach to ageing is one of the many reasons she aligns herself with L’Oréal Paris. “The L’Oréal family brought me on board in my sixties, which is sort of unheard of but very cool,” says Mirren, who is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the brand’s Women of Worth event this year virtually.

The annual ceremony, which honours extraordinary women making a difference in their communities, has a special meaning for Mirren. “I want to encourage and help young people find their own sense of worth and ability to go forward in life," she says. "In my experience, self-worth and confidence doesn't come from looking inward, but from when you start to look outward at the things you can do in the world for other people."

Mirren admits she found moments of confidence in quarantine when she indulged in a little make-up and clothing (not of the loungewear variety). “Every day, I got up, put on really good make-up, fixed my hair, and got out of my pyjamas and into real clothes, not to go out in the world, but to be at home," she says.

Dressing up was just one part of Mirren’s quarantine routine, which also included a new fitness regimen with her husband. “My husband and I, because we’re both older, agreed we had to get as healthy as possible during lockdown,” she says. “We both adopted our own exercise programs; I did yoga and he did pilates. It was a great opportunity to reset."

Like many others who were in isolation this past year, Mirren also took the time to experiment with beauty products. “I'm not the sort of person who does the same thing every day,” she explains. “Some days I'll wear a bright pink or red lip, and other days I’ll keep it minimal. And I’m always mixing up my moisturisers.” The actress credits the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Moisturiser as her current favourite.

In fact, the actress says the humble high street is often her biggest source of beauty inspiration. “The drugstore is a place of wonderment for me,” Mirren adds. “It's a very inexpensive way to treat yourself. It’s my greatest indulgence.”

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