Fiery red hair and voluptuous charm may be the much-envied trademarks of Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks, but she’s out to prove that beauty actually does run deep. As the newest face of Latisse, she’s doubling as their ambassador to the lash growth drug’s Wishes Challenge campaign, aiming to raise $500,000 in support of the Make-A-Wish-Foundation by this fall. Donations made to Latisse’s website will be matched by the brand up to $250,000, and all donors will receive a one month free trial of the popular prescription lash lengthener.
We sat down with the star at the Lambs Club in NYC (a fitting place for a cocktail with Joan Holloway), and talked red hair, lipstick, and, of course, lashes.
ELLE: Are you actually using Latisse?
CH: I’ve always felt like my lashes were sort of piddly, especially in comparison to all of the false strips and strong eye makeup I wear for the show. I just started Latisse a month ago, and I can gauge how the length is increasing when I use my eyelash curler in the morning. My mom and girlfriends are watching intently to see how this goes.
ELLE: Has Mad Men‘s retro makeup inspired your own beauty choices?
CH: I’ve worn a red lip since I started wearing makeup, and especially during my goth stage. I always had to wear a slash of deep red or that Clinique Black Honey everyone was wearing at the time. But I’ve stopped wearing red lipstick so much because I’m always kissing my husband, and he hates when he’s the one who ends up with the red lips!
ELLE: Is it true that you’re a natural blonde?
CH: Yes, the rumors are true—I’m naturally a dark blonde. I couldn’t tell you what shade, because I haven’t seen it in ages. I started playing with red hair when I was 10 years old. I recognize how odd it is now, but my mom let me do it. I was obsessed with Anne of Green Gables and Ginger of Gilligan’s Island, and lusted for that red hair. My mom said, “Well, let’s throw a rinse on it,” and the next day, my teachers asked what had happened when I arrived at school with red hair. My mom also put Sun-In in my brother’s hair because he wanted to be Flash Gordon. We would walk around in costume at home.
ELLE: So you’ve been a red head ever since?
CH: In high school, I started experimenting with permanent color. My mom nearly cried one day when I came down the stairs in jet black hair. I got purple, pink and black out of my system during those years.
ELLE: You sound like you were ripe for styling! Did you ever consider a career in beauty?
CH: In fact, I did. My first job in high school was as a shampoo girl for the salon at the mall. My brother’s girlfriend worked at a hair salon, and I thought it was the coolest job because she got to listen to Depeche Mode and wear stylish clothes. I did a lot of community theater growing up, and I knew I wanted to be an actress, but I didn’t know you could be an actress for a living. I hatched this master plan to work at the hair salon by day and do community theater at night, and I figured that would be the perfect life. Things of course changed when I moved to New York to pursue acting fulltime. Whenever I’m back in Virginia, I’m always sure to visit that hair salon. They’ve been so supportive of my career.
ELLE: Do you have any porcelain skin beauty tips?
CH: I have very dry skin, so I’m never without moisturizer. I’ve been using Lancôme’s Génifique serum, and I apply Dermalogica sunscreen every day. If I’m not careful about sunscreen, I’ll freckle, just like a real redhead. It’s like I’ve tricked my body in believing I’m really a redhead.
ELLE: When you’re traveling, what’s always in your beauty bag?
CH: I’m in love with Dermaologica’s Daily Resurfacer, and always throw a few into my toiletry bag when traveling. They look like little finger puppets—you put one on your finger, and gently scrub your face. They’re absolutely adorable and really work, too.
ELLE: What’s your number one beauty secret?
CH: If there’s only one thing you wear, make it blush. A little on your cheeks, and you’ll instantly look pretty, lively and fresh. Isn’t that what we all want?