Christina Hendricks may be best known for the flash of red hair and dangerous curves she flaunts as Joan Holloway on AMC’s “Mad Men,” but the 36 year-old actress is looking to shift the spotlight to a cause that’s close to her heart.Last evening, as Hendricks glided down the red carpet at The Emmy Awards as a nominee for her role, a 17 year-old named David was at her side. It’s the teen’s greatest wish to attend the glitzy awards show with the actress, a feat made possible through the Make-A-Wish-Foundation—a non-profit that fulfills the wishes of children and teens faced with life-threatening medical conditions.

Christina Hendricks, left, with Make-A-Wish recipient David, center
Christina Hendricks Make-A-Wish

Hendricks, who is the newest face of lash growth drug Latisse, became involved with the initiative via the Latisse Wishes Challenge Campaign, which aims to raise $500,000 in order make a wish come true in every Make-A-Wish chapter across the country. Consumers can donate at—and the first 10,000 to donate a minimum of $20 will receive a free trial certificate for Latisse, which otherwise sells for an average of $120 per tube. A prescription from a physician is required to redeem the certificate.After having been on the lash grower for 17 weeks, Hendricks says her flutter is longer and thicker, giving her “more to work with” when she curls and mascaras her lashes. “It doesn’t take as long to put on eye makeup,” Hendricks told YouBeauty. “And when I do, I get a more dramatic effect with minimal effort.”MORE: All About LashesBut fluttering lashes aren’t the Tennessee native’s only beauty obsession; Hendricks admits to strategically stowing moisturizers all over the house and in multiple handbags the same way people do lip balm, saying that she loves the feeling of applying moisturizer to her naturally dry skin. Her favorite of the moment is 3Lab, a luxury skincare brand that is well known for its antioxidant technology.In her role as Joan Holloway, Hendricks says she has learned the most she ever has about style, primarily from the stylist made famous for her keen eye on the retro-themed set. “Janie Bryant has taught me that anything can look good on you with the right tailoring,” says Hendricks. “The best fashion tool you can arm yourself with is a talented local tailor. It doesn’t matter if what you buy is designer or from a discount store, if it fits you perfectly, you will look great.”MORE: Dress for Your Body ShapeAs for basics that are worth spending your money on, Hendricks also takes her inspiration from the famed TV set. “Mad Men has converted me into a pencil skirt fan,” she says. “Pencil skirts look professional, but they’re also sexy, and you can literally go from the work into the evening in them. And a good white silk blouse is always timeless.”It’s confidence and a sense of feeling comfortable in her skin that Hendricks is even better known for, pulling in Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive title in 2010, as well as a high ratio of female fans across the country who often cite the actress’s refreshingly healthy body image as a positive respite from typical Hollywood stereotypes. The actress emphasizes that it’s the things she takes the time to do to feel good on the inside that make her feel more confident about the outside.QUIZ: What’s Your Body Type?Unlike most celebrities who claim to lead a travel-heavy, nearly sleepless existence, Hendricks says that sleep tops her daily indulgence list, and that she can easily capture up to 12 hours a night if left to her own devices. Gardening in the peaceful outdoors also keeps her spirits high. “I love playing in my garden and really getting into the earth, and I can be lost out there for hours on end,” says Hendricks.Yet it’s charitable work that Hendricks says has the greatest impact on her sense of self—an observation that has some scientific backing.In a study of 29,000 people across 29 states, researchers found that regular volunteers had significantly greater rates of stated health and happiness than non-volunteers, and that people view altruism as a highly desirable trait.THIS STUDY, EXPLAINED: Volunteering Makes You HappierIt’s this heart-to-self-esteem connection that Hendricks says makes her work with the Latisse Wishes Challenge all the more satisfying.“These children are going through very adult and traumatic situations that children shouldn’t have to deal with,” says Hendricks. “Granting a wish helps them be kids for a little bit and bring a smile back to their faces. When you see that, and know that you did that, nothing makes you feel more beautiful.”