The actress and Honest Company co-founder shares her beauty and fitness routine in the October issue of Shape
Jessica Alba is not shy about admitting what she doesn't do. ￼She does not: work out every day; eat a vegan, alkaline, or fill-in-the-blank trendy Hollywood diet; or walk around without makeup when she's off the red carpet. "I'm a makeup girl! Hell, yeah!" says the 35-year-old actress, mom of two daughters, and co-founder and chief creative officer of the $1.7 billion Honest Company. "I've been wearing it every day since I was 12."
She can whip through her daily makeup routine in about 10 minutes ("My husband was annoyed because it took 12 minutes today. I was like, Are you kidding me?" she says), but fitting workouts in is much more of a struggle. "I'm not good at it," Alba acknowledges with a sigh. "I have a hard time sticking to it. I just wish I had a better schedule." When she does exercise, however, she isn't afraid to work hard and get dirty. "I sweat pretty bad," which is one of the reasons she just launched her Honest Beauty Haircare line. "I don't like the smell of scalp sweat. Ugh!" Alba's approach to beauty, like her approach to exercise, is real and down to earth. She wants to do as much as she can as quickly as possible so she can get on with her daily life juggling jobs, kids, and marriage. Here, she shares her get-it-done strategies for looking her best, and pick up the October issue of Shape on newsstands September 13. (Also, see: All the Times Jessica Alba Inspired Us to Live a Fit, Balanced Lifestyle.)
Find what works for you. Repeat.
"When it comes to my daily beauty routine, I concentrate on enhancing the features that I like—namely, my eyes and lips and the tops of my cheekbones—and covering up the things I don't, like my dark circles and certain little capillaries. I'll even do a slightly smoky eye for day-time or a bold lip. One makeup trick I use every day is spot concealing. I do it under my eyes or just around my nose—that's where I get a little bit red. I put concealer there, then follow with some powder between my eyebrows, around the sides of my nose, and under my bottom lip. I used to think you had to cover your whole face with powder. But that just makes you look old. Put powder only where you really need it."
Exercise when you can. Don't feel guilty.
"If I work out four times, I consider it a successful week. But it's typically more like two to three days a week because that's what I have time for. I take Spin or hot yoga classes in the morning, and I sacrifice sleep to fit them in. For me, the benefits of exercise are more mental than physical. Working out takes away that little edge so that I feel happier and more productive and my brain can get kick started." (Check out last year's cover interview with Alba for more on her workout routine.)
The right food makes all the difference.
"With exercise, I get a little more toned and I definitely feel stronger, but my diet is much more important if I'm trying to slim down. In that case, I usually don't eat gluten, dairy, fried foods, or processed foods. I try to stick to a diet that's low in sugar and carbs and high in lean protein and vegetables."
But indulge a little, too.
"I'm not big on carbs, but...some of my Honest colleagues and I just ate like a gallon of popcorn! Also, while I don't usually have dessert, I do really like strawberry shortcake. I mean I really, really like it." (As Alba told us last year, she's 'addicted to popcorn' and eating it helps her to concentrate. Who knew?)
Appreciate what your body can do for you.
"I love my shape because it does what I want it to. If I want to go on a hike or a bike ride or go for a swim, I know my body will do everything I tell it to. I also appreciate that I can push myself through when I'm feeling tired. There's always a little extra something to get me past the tired moments."