By Claire Connors
Updated: October 26, 2017

FOR THE PAST 11 YEARS, Mariska Hargitay has played the tough yet vulnerable detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. If you're one of the millions of viewers who tune in each week to this hugely successful series (and who doesn't?), then you're familiar with her typical workday outfit: a fitted T-shirt tucked into blue or black jeans, and black boots. Good for busting criminals on Law & Order, but not exactly traffic-stopping. So when, at our cover shoot, the 46-year-old actress stepped out of the dressing room rocking dresses that clung to her voluptuous figure-each one hotter than the last-the entire SHAPE team was awestruck.

How exactly did she get so comfortable in her own skin? Here, Mariska Hargitay shares her secrets to feeling sexy-inside and out.

Mariska Hargitay's 6 Tips for Healthy and Happy Living

Plus a dose of her classic humor

Mariska's Favorite Things

Plus: The book that changed her life

Mariska's 'Got To Dance' Playlist

How does yours compare?

Mariska Hargitay's 6 Tips for Healthy and Happy Living

The star's diet and fitness advice.

Changing the World: Mariska Hargitay and SHAPE's Women Who Care

She helps turn victims into survivors

Click here for your chance to win a SHAPE magazine signed by Mariska and $500 Philosophy gift certificate.