Getting Pretty with Actress Kiersten Warren
Hi, FFFers! Today I’m primping with the always funny, eternally youthful, ethereal sprite who is my friend, Kiersten Warren. You might recognize this talented actress, writer, wife and mother from Desperate Housewives, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Bunheads, Independence Day, Life Goes On, or Saved by The Bell: The College Years.
We chose to meet at Chateau Marmont for a light lunch, and, of course, primping. We had some fun with makeup in the middle of the Chateau and giggled a lot.
Tell us about your beauty routine. Makeup?
I wear Cle de Peau foundations for the light, silky coverage. I never feel like it’s heavy, and it reflects light really well. With that I’ll use the YSL Touche éclat combined with the Chanel concealer. I have allergies and sometimes my undereye region gets really puffy, and until the meds kick in, I just have to deal. I loved the Tarte Maracuja concealer you introduced me to. I’m always up for concealing. Then I like Shiseido powder in a compact to take along. I use Dior’s Diorshow mascara and usually Mac eyeshadows for their vibrant colors. As far as lipsticks go, I’m really liking my Mac reds.
I feel verySteel Magnoliasasking this. In fact, I shall do it with a Southern accent. What is your signature fragrance?
For years, I’ve worn La Chasse Aux Papillons Eau de Toilette by L’Artisan Parfumeur.
But lately I’ve been feeling unfaithful and reckless and have switched it up with those naughty Marc Jacobs triplets, Lola, Daisy, and Dot.
Naughty, indeed. And, as for your lovely locks?
I have dreadlock, curly, cotton candy hair. Hair like a 19th-century Irish street orphan.
Nicole Kidman’s is the classy version of my natural hair. So it needs to be dealt with by way of keratin treatments and then letting it come out to play a bit. Good thing with hair like mine is that there’s always volume. Bad thing is that it does what it wants if you let it, and that’s decidedly not pretty.
I think we have very similar hair, thanks to Mother Nature. Mine is post-Brazilian blowout right now. Getting my volume back! Everyone wants it when they don’t have it. But, honey, it takes a village, doesn’t it?
Gabor, my hair guy on Desperate Housewives, would take a deep sigh, close his eyes, do one cleansing yoga breath, and say over my head as a daily mantra, “The hair will not win!”
That is hilarious.
Always made me laugh. Which is key. I prefer to work with a high level of joy. Chuckle-headedness even. Sutton Foster on Bunheads is fun like that as well.
So what’s your go-to ’do?
Since I have curly hair I don’t wash it very much. Like every three or four days. So day one it’s down and wavy and bouncy and kind of perfect. Day two is curlier. Three is a ponytail with a pretty headband. Day four is a hat.
Shower or bath?
I prefer a bath. Showers to me are like an aquatic assault. Something you do when that’s all that is offered in your hotel room in Moscow.
Oh, my gosh. I could not love the way you put that any more. I always consider a shower basically a workout. Hmm…that might explain a few things… Brows: wax or tweeze? Who’s your go-to?
I go to Anastasia and let Katie Crecion work her magic on my brows.
And what about those gorgeous, lush lashes? Amazing!
Latisse. I use it, yes. If it turns my eyes brown…whatever. I prayed for brown eyes as a
child after reading Anne Frank. I wanted to look like her. To date, they are still blue. But will keep you posted.
You are lean and lithe. I cannot lie. I also love alliteration. How do you stay fit?
I take a ballet body-sculpting class that is brutally efficient. I always wonder when I’m staggering around the next two days in agony, saying “why is it that I do this?” It can’t be to look sexier. Not when I look like an injured chimp staggering around wearing an adult diaper. Because that is how I walk after one of those workouts. I’m very hard on myself physically. And it’s a shame, really. As a competitive gymnast once upon a time, the capacity to even enjoy pecan pie has pretty much been beaten out of me. And so the end result is what? That I’m thin. It’s something to be pitied more than anything. If I said I’d been hungry for just about half my life, it wouldn’t be a lie.
That reminds me of that line from Julia Roberts in Notting Hill: “I’ve been on a diet every day since I was 19, which basically means I’ve been hungry for a decade.”
Kirk (Acevedo, her husband) has a hugging gauge and tells me when it’s pasta night (laughs).
I need a man like that!
I do make a mean corn chowder with shrimp and poblano chiles. And my vices are candy and coffee drinks at Starbucks. My candy choices are Red Hots and black licorice. Then Hot Tamales.
What is the best advice you received from your grandmother?
My Grandma Inez gave me the best advice, which was delivered to me while I was ironing my dress, whilst wearing it. Like you do. Grandma looked at me and giggled and goes, “Lazy people work the hardest.” And over the years it’s resonated with me. Because they do, don’t they?
What’s one of your earliest beauty memories?
My first significant beauty memory was feeling the power of transformation in the chair of a champion hairstylist as she dragged my hair straight with her blow dryer for the first time in my life. Up until then I’d thought I was destined to roam the earth looking very Muppet-like for all of my days. Her name was Bronwyn and it was at the J.C. Penney salon. She changed my life. Thanks for that, Bronwyn.
Shameless plug, Kiersten. What beauty faux pas did you commit that you look at now and cringe?
I remember when I was 7, my mom curled my hair in curlers and I slept in them all night for picture day. I thought I looked so very pretty. And while I was being driven to our Christian school I remember making eye contact with all the passing cars. I thought that I might very well be discovered by a huge talent agent, looking as pretty as I felt. Terribly funny considering I wasn’t even allowed to see movies in a theater as a child. And yes, we were Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, if that explains things a bit.
What would the 13-year-old version of you think about you now?
My 13-year-old self would be sorely impressed with how we turned out. She would think me both wicked and divine. Then we’d try on my expensive shoes and she’d remind me how when we were 14, we snuck out to see a movie and it was The Muppet Movie. And then we’d laugh at our ridiculous rebel selves.
Speaking of girls, what advice would you give to your daughter, Scarlett?
I would advise Scarlett to never compare herself to anyone ever. For it’s in that instant where we siphon off all our power in comparing and contrasting. And it’s at that fetid well that girls first drink of inadequacy and self-loathing. Then jealousy steals their joy. Keep your joy from the get-go and compare yourself never, ever, in the history of ever, to anybody else. “You are miraculous” is what I tell Scarlett.
And I’m crying. That is some wonderful mother stuff right there! Napkin please. OK. Nearing the end, so finish off that glass. One word that describes you right now:
Merrimentmerchant. It’s kind of one word.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Very proud of my writing. I’m currently shopping my book Pocket Stories of a Ramblin’
Aaaaaand I’m in! Tell me more.
It’s a deconstructed memoir written in little single-consumption reads. Literature for those with an attention span of a caffeinated ferret. I store my pieces here. It’s been so nice to unburden myself in the retelling of these stories — stones I’ve pulled out of my pockets, if you will — and am now free to float down the river of life unburdened, free from fetters and fools. I’m proud that as a pregnant 15-year-old I was able to forge ahead and have a successful career in show business. I’m proud of my children and my marriage.
You are a shining example of a mother doing her best for her kids and following her dreams!…What role has been the most fun to play fashion- and beauty-wise?
The most fashion fun I’ve had playing a role was probably to play Necie in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which was written and directed by Callie
That is one of my all-time favorite books and films. Brilliant. Details, please.
It was vintage, and going to sleep with loads of pin curls was more fun than the law should allow. Pretty dresses just make me happy.
Me too, me too! What would you like people to say about you behind your back?
That they wish they were me. I’m kidding. Kinda.