Elizabeth Hurley, best known for a barely-there Versace dress and her role as the shagadelic Vanessa Kensington in “Austin Powers,” is very pretty in pink. In fact, as the face of Estee Lauder’s breast cancer awareness campaign, Hurley spends much of the month of October donning various shades of pink (a look she first rocked as a punk teen with pink hair).
At Bloomingdale’s department store in New York City, her baby pink dress, sky-high nude heels and youthfully long, flirtatiously curled hair give her the aura of someone much younger than her 46 years.
But her looks are largely beside the point. She’s here to spread awareness about how to prevent breast cancer and her reasons, she says, are selfish. “With breast cancer or other important issues, you almost have a selfish feeling,” she tells YouBeauty. “You don’t want your mother to be diagnosed with breast cancer and not get the right treatment.”
The cause is especially close to Hurley’s heart since her grandmother passed away from breast cancer in the early 90s. “I don’t think I know anybody who hasn’t been affected by breast cancer,” she says. “It affects all of us and we want to stamp it out faster.”
A notably unassuming celebrity, her deep, sultry voice gives an inviting impression of intimacy that is no doubt one reason why so many people have willingly shared their stories of struggle and survival with her. “It’s impossible not to be moved,” she says.
Though nonstop public appearances might sometimes be exhausting, Hurley’s volunteer efforts are a boon for her wellbeing and beauty. Studies show that the more time people spend volunteering, the happier and healthier they feel (not to mention that people prefer more altruistic mates).
When she’s not in the spotlight, Hurley keeps her beauty regimen simple. Her skincare routine takes no more than five minutes and her makeup “probably about four minutes.” If you’re a little jealous (I certainly am), she has quick tips to help you be as efficient. She recommends finding products that “give you what you need without spending all day long staring in the mirror applying ointments.” (For example, you might try a multi-purpose tinted moisturizer with sunscreen.) “It’s about knowing your face, knowing the products and asking advice.”
Hurley may be onto something with her low-maintenance approach to beauty. Psychologists who study body image suggest that minimizing your mirror time can actually make you feel more beautiful—and more confident—by helping you focus on engaging with the world around you in a meaningful way.
As a devoted mother and organic farmer, Hurley is doing just that.
Shortly after her 9-year-old son was born, Hurley gave up the big city lights for the much quieter English countryside, where she turned her 400-acre property into a certified organic farm. She’s always had an eye for nutritious foods, but now that she raises the animals that eventually end up on her dinner table, nutrition is a bigger part of her beauty regimen than ever before. “I eat a lot, as it happens, but I eat a lot of good food,” says Hurley. “My body responds better when I’m having fresh, healthy food.”
Learning to treat her body kindly started with caring for others.
“When I had my son, this little newborn who was so pure, there was not a chance I would have given him processed or canned food, so I started [eating organic] really with him,” she remembers. Soon, she was eating better too. “You think, well hang on a second, I just spent two hours making him a beautiful fish pie, so why am I eating fish sticks? You gradually clean up your act.”
Hurley knows that her choices now aren’t just for her own wellbeing—they also set an example for her son. Talking about how kids look up to their parents, she says, “Of course, they’ll also copy you, so if you’re drinking diet soda, how can you say to your kid that it’s hideous for you? You have to lead by example.”
Maybe it's just me, but that doesn’t sound selfish at all.
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