Summer’s sexiest new show Mistresses on ABC may be over for now, but the good news is we can still get our fix of Alyssa Milano as host of Project Runway All Stars, premiering October 24 at 9/8c on Lifetime. We went one-on-one with the brunette beauty for the launch of her partnership with Febreze Sleep Serenity Collection to talk all things Alyssa. So just how does the ageless 40-year-old balance motherhood with work and still look amazing at the same time? Read on to find out!
SHAPE: First off, tell us about your new partnership with Febreze and the National Sleep Foundation.
Alyssa Milano (AM): Febreze has come out with a sleep serenity collection for the bedroom, and it’s so serendipitous that they contacted me about this product because obviously with me having a baby, I have become obsessed about his sleep and my sleep. We’ve lost sight of just how important sleep is. There’s so much we have to do and it’s hard to fit everything in, but after we put our kids to sleep we forget to think about ourselves. Our sleep is just as important. I love all the scents that Febreze offers, but Moonlit Lavender is my favorite. The Warm Milk and Honey scent is obviously delicious, and the Quiet Jasmine is great too.
SHAPE: As such a busy mom and actress, how do you balance motherhood, your career, and taking care of yourself while still managing to squeeze in enough beauty rest at the same time?
AM: That’s a work in progress for sure! I definitely don’t have all the answers for that, but the most important things to me are my son and my marriage. Those don’t function to capacity unless I take care of myself, so I try to do the best that I can with everything else. It really comes down to after I put my baby to sleep; I have to spend quality time with my husband. It’s so important. Whether we have a conversation and talk about our day or just watch TV together, we have to have that connection. After that, it’s time to turn off all the electronics, to completely shut down, and try to pamper myself. I try to have a cup of tea or put a mask on my face and make my bedroom smell delicious. Those are all really important things.
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SHAPE: How do you stay in such great shape with so many things going on?
AM: Because my time is so limited, my philosophy about working out and staying in shape has become accomplishing the most in the shortest amount of time. And I need to always make sure I’m accomplishing something. I’m way more likely to take my son for a walk to the park and back in the morning than go to a gym. It’s the perfect way to get my cardio in! I get to spend time with him and be super active myself at the same time. I also just started to take dance class, which I love. It’s time for me when no one else is around, and it’s a great workout. I like to take burlesque classes due to my friend who was totally raving about it. It really is just a wonderful way to stay in shape and also have an hour to myself every single week.
SHAPE: What about your diet? Do you follow any specific plan?
AM: I always like to say, ‘eat less, live more.' Everything in moderation. I like to eat pretty clean, but I let myself splurge a few times a week. We’ll go out to eat once a week and I have a home-cooked Italian dinner on Sundays, but other than that, I don’t care for rich things. I love good foods where you can taste the natural ingredients, so I’ll have oatmeal for breakfast, and lunch is usually a delicious salad. For dinner, I really love fish. I grill it with vegetables—that’s probably my favorite food!
SHAPE: You were on the cover of the July/August issue of Maxim and looked super fit! Did you do anything special to prepare for that shoot, knowing you would be showing a little skin?
AM: It was so great doing Maxim! I loved the photographer and everyone made me feel really comfortable. I felt very protected. A weird thing happens after you have a baby… you realize what your body was meant to do. Appearance is not as important as the confidence you feel with being a mom and being comfortable in your own skin. With this shoot, I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard to be sexy. I just wanted to look like a woman who is happy! For 10 days leading up the shoot, I cut out all carbs. It was really hard to do but also very effective. That kind of thing is never a long-term reality for me but if I need a quick firming fix, it works, especially if I don’t have time to work out every day.
SHAPE: Let’s talk about your show, Mistresses on ABC! We were definitely on the edge of our seats during the season finale. What do you hope fans took away from the first season?
AM: I hope they feel fulfilled going on the journey with my character. And I hope that throughout the season, they’ve learned to have some passion for her and what she’s going through. The biggest challenge I had was making my character likeable after she did such a horrible thing in the first episode.
SHAPE: Were you surprised about which direction the finale was going in when you read the script?
AM: YES! I was like, wow… crazy! But it was so smart because I feel like everyone expected to eventually learn who the baby daddy was and that would be a climax moment for my character. And then, after you find out, she flatlines! That was such a smart move by the writers to keep things twisting and turning.
SHAPE: What are your hopes for the future of the show? And are you rooting for your character to end up with a particular guy?
AM: I just hope my character lives! And I hope her face heels (laughing). That would actually be a really interesting way to start next season. Will Savi make her marriage work or try to go on her own? I’m not on any particular team. I’m on Savi’s team! I hope she just finds happiness and learns to forgive herself for the decisions she’s made.
SHAPE: You’re the new host of Project Runway All Stars premiering in October. What was that experience like?
AM: It was such an amazing experience! I loved it! It was a little scary at first, because I’ve never hosted a show before. But it was so fun just to be surrounded by all that young talent. It’s so inspiring to be part of the reality show and realize how real and raw the emotions of a contestant are, and how much they have at stake. You hold their fate in your hands as a judge! And of course, just the be able to wear all the amazing clothing was incredible.
SHAPE: Speaking of clothing, tell us about your female sports apparel line! We know you’re a big fan of baseball, is that what inspired you to start designing?
AM: Oh, yes! It’s called Touch by Alyssa Milano. I’m just a big sports fan in general, and I was never able to find anything cute or flattering for fan apparel. I learned the stats on how many females there are attending sporting events, and it’s literally 50 percent of the crowd. I figured at least 10 percent of those women were looking for cute, fashionable fan apparel so I decided to try and bring it to them! It’s a really rewarding business endeavor. To see fans wearing it, it blows my mind every single time. It’s also changed bigger corporations into listening to the fashion wants of a female fan, and I couldn’t be more proud!