Susannah Taylor spoke to film and Friends star Courteney Cox to talk shampoo, steak and spa weekends with her daughter.
Mother, movie star and forever ‘Monica from Friends’, Courteney Cox can now add Global Ambassador for Pantene's Expert Collection to her extremely fabulous CV. GTG’s editor-in-chief Susannah Taylor caught up with her on the phone to chat all things beauty, the content of her bathroom cabinets and her fast-track tricks to good health
Courteney on beauty…
ST: Have you ever been given a piece of beauty advice that you have always stuck by?
CC: I would probably say washing my face before I go to sleep - to make sure it’s clean as that’s when it breathes.
ST: If you could look back on your 20-year-old self and give yourself some advice, what would it be?
CC: To wear sunscreen, start moisturising and get facials now but not to do any more than that. I see young women in their twenties who are already seeing their imperfections and I feel like saying ‘Please wait! You are so beautiful at that age!’ Be ok to age gracefully, just start maintaining now. I don’t think I even thought about a moisturiser or washing my face until I was in my 30s. Now I have such a regimen especially with cleaning my skin - I use a hot towel to deep cleanse always. I would also say don’t over-pluck your eyebrows otherwise you may not have any left when you are older.
ST: Are there any beauty and health experts you have on speed dial / on your iPhone favourites list?
CC: For my hair I use Chris McMillan who has been cutting my hair for the last 25 years, and he also styles it for any red carpet do. For my show [Cougar Town] I use a guy called Grant Mayfield who Chris told me about when he’s too busy.
Genevieve Herr is the only make-up artist I would use to do a magazine cover or red carpet look - she is just a phenomenal artist. Genevieve takes your face and starts from scratch. She puts a serum on and tonnes of moisturiser, and makes it absorb, and then puts this amazing flawless foundation on and you’re sitting there and everything is soaking in and then she paints your eyes… it’s almost like a painting. I have tried to take pictures of how she does it. I’ve watched and written down step by step information but I still don’t know how she does it.
Courteney on skincare…
ST: Is there a particular skincare regime that you follow?
CC: I use the entire line of Mila Moursi . I’ve known Mila for years and years - she has a skincare institute on Sunset Boulevard. I adore her products which are natural, smell amazing, but not so natural that they don’t work. Mila always keeps up with the latest advances in technology - the textures are great and she has amazing serums.
Courteney on make-up...
ST: What have you learnt from Genevieve that you now do?
CC: I can’t do the artistry but she recommends products to me. For instance she recommended an Edward Bess mascara to me which is now my favourite. Genevieve also loves Laura Mercier Oil Tinted Moisturiser , £33, which is what I use, Shiseido’s eyelash curler, £18, Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer , £26, and Stila’s Convertible Colour Blush , £16. Those are like her basics. That’s all I have in my make-up bag and maybe a lipstick. I love NARS lipsticks and Laura Mercier lipsticks too, as they feel good – I can’t stand anything sticky.
ST: What would you say are your desert Island products?
CC: An eyelash curler, mascara, concealer, lipstick and blush.
ST: What about body products? Do you use self tan for example?
CC: I don’t really do self tan stuff, I’ve only been spray tanned once in my life and I forgot why! On my chest I will put base as I have skin damage freckles from when I was a kid.
Courteney on her hair...
ST: When do you think your hair looks its best?
CC: I would say that my hair is best either done loosely, really messily curled or done straight. If it’s done too much on a show I’m not nuts about it unless it’s really natural. A few years ago I went to the Golden Globes and Chris McMillan my hairdresser did my hair on the way to do Jennifer’s (Aniston) and he did this really simple messy updo and it took him about one minute but it was probably the best my hair has ever looked.
ST: Do you have any hair regrets?
CC: Whenever I overdo it I regret it. I don’t like it when my hair is too coiffed or too perfect – messy is better for me. If I put in hot rollers or something like that it doesn’t work either. I like it really natural with a lot of movement, nothing too perfect, nothing that you would put a brush through and it wouldn’t stay there. Also, obviously whenever I permed my hair when I was a kid that was generally a really bad idea.
ST: What is your daily hair regime?
CC: I just get out of the shower, spray my hair with Pantene and scrunch it. I don’t even brush my hair. My hair is better if it’s messier and I just like to have it really clean.
ST: Any hair and beauty disasters?
CC: I would say when I got my hair chopped like I did for for the Bruce Springsteen video a million years ago – that for me was a bit of a disaster and I felt like a little boy.
ST: Is there a particular product you use on your hair to make it glossy?
CC: No, I use drugstore hair dye. I’ll use any brand in a box from the pharmacy – luckily my hair is pretty shiny naturally. I also try never to use permanent colour, I think semi permanent colour is so much better for my hair instead of using something with strong ammonia which can strip the colour out and I end up turning red.
ST: Do you have any key tip-offs to getting a beautiful mane of hair?
CC: Hairdressers use heated products every day at work on my hair which I think is ok as long as you protect your hair. I use the Pantene Pro V Advanced Expert collection Repair Shampoo and Conditioner , £5.99 each, and then there’s a product called the Keratin Repair Split Ends Fuser which is amazing. Pantene Pro V also has a great Heat Defence Gloss Spray , £2.99 which is a great leave-in conditioner that I use. I just get out of the shower, spray my hair with that, scrunch it and don’t even brush it.
ST: How do you think your hair and beauty look has evolved since Friends?
CC: On Friends I was so much more willing to change my hairstyle all the time as I’d get bored, but now I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t; I think having longer hair is better for me. I’m getting a little bored right now though and would quite like to cut it a bit. It’s very long – it’s right where my boob is!
Courteney on fitness...
ST: What sort of fitness regime do you follow?
CC: I do reformer machine Pilates 2/3 days a week, I love to play tennis, and I run or run/walk - I run for two minutes and walk for two minutes. My perfect week would be Pilates two days run/walk three, so I get five days of fitness in. That would be a perfect week, but my call time for work is 7am and I wish I cared enough or had the stamina to get up at 5am to workout but I don’t. I’m much better working out when I’m not working.
Courteney on nutrition...
ST: Do you follow a particular nutritional plan?
CC: I eat pretty well. I feel my body really needs protein so I eat a lot of steak - I just feel better when I have protein and vegetables. I love anything green, I’m not a big carb person, and I drink a lot of water and take vitamins. I am definitely a healthy eater. I eat tonnes of eggs and I love turkey bacon. I don’t eat a lot of fruit even though I’m looking at a beautiful bowl of it right now! But I love tomatoes.
ST: What supplements do you take?
CC: I always take omegas – 3,6,9 - which is great for your skin, and it’s also good for your heart, and I take vitamin D and B. Everything else I get through food.
When I get a physical examination I get my bloods looked at and my doctor will tell me what I’m lacking as far as vitamins are concerned. I love the idea of having a nutritionist but I don’t have one; even if I did have one they might say to me ‘You shouldn’t be eating so much red meat” and I know there is no way I’m not going to do that as I love it so much. Or if they said “You can’t drink red wine…” I’d rather not know!
ST: Everyone’s making healthy smoothies - do you?
CC: I don’t make smoothies, but every Saturday and Sunday when I’m not working I make a shot of turmeric, ginger, Manuka honey and lemon. I also make a green juice. I use kelp, this mineral powder, kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon and apple and I have that as my morning breakfast. It’s actually disgusting but I know it’s good for me.
ST: Do you feel if you look after yourself, then your skin and hair look better?
CC: I think besides the products you use, the shampoos and conditioners, I feel that sleep is the most important thing. If I haven’t slept well then I can even have a bad eyelash day and they won’t curl well… sounds ridiculous, but for me it is all about sleep.
Courteney on de-stressing….
ST: You live a very busy life – how do you relax?
CC: The best way for me to relax is to get away from my surroundings or my home. I’m such a potterer and I notice everything so it’s very hard for me to sit still in my house as there’s always something to do. I get most relaxation if I go somewhere else even if it’s to a fun big city like NY – just to be somewhere where it doesn’t remind me of the things I have to do on a daily basis is good for me.
ST: If you need to de-stress on a daily basis what do you do?
CC: I would like to meditate but I don’t, although on the weekends I feel I have the chance to breathe. I get a massage every Saturday and I get my nails done. I hate doing it but I have to do it for the show. I also workout – that’s probably the best stress relief for me.
Courteney on sharing her beauty tricks with her daughter Coco…
ST: Do you have an essential piece of beauty advice that you would pass onto your 9-year-old daughter Coco?
CC: I do, besides washing your face, I wish my mother had told me about sunscreen as a kid - I always make sure that Coco is always wearing sunscreen.
ST: Do you have mother and daughter pampering sessions?
CC: Coco is so into beauty and she puts herself through little spa treatments at the weekend. She loves to take a bath, light candles - she is very much a girly girl. We will go on vacation together just the two of us to different spas, it makes her feels very grown up.
ST: I have a daughter too and I am very wary of her being too obsessed with her looks at such a young age – is this something you worry about?
CC: I do, I do, but I don’t think there’s so much you can about it because if you turn on any show at their age, it’s all about that – these girls have more make-up on and fancier hairstyles than I have ever seen. Everyone is just obsessed, so I don’t know if we have a choice other than to keep the TV off unfortunately.