Laura Dern’s secret to staying radiant all day is about as low maintenance as it gets


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Photo: Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez

Laura Dern is radiant. I meet her on a terrace smack in the middle of a New York City heat wave, and I was dripping in sweat, but she was beaming—and wasn’t wearing any makeup.

In real life, she’s the complete opposite of Renata Klein (her character on Big Little Liesif you aren’t familiar). As in: Dern is low-key, super friendly, level headed and warm… and, well, not screaming. (Though she does tell me that she stays sane by “playing characters like Renata Klein.”)

So I’m really not surprised to learn that her beauty routine is as low maintenance as she seems. “I’m all about keeping it simple and pure, and saving time,” she tells me, which is why her new partnership with the brand True Botanicals (which is all about using pure, simple ingredients that pack a punch) is such a fit. “I am from a Southern grandmother, and she loved really simple products. She loved using natural herbs and curatives and honey to heal things, so I was raised in that environment. But—she loved her lipstick.”

A bold lip is Dern’s go-to… and she pairs it with nothing other than a face oil. “Since I was a teenager and even in my early twenties, I did a film where basically I’m in no makeup and red lips—Wild at Heart—and that was very me,” she says. “I can have no makeup but just my face oil and a great lipstick, so that’s sort of my thing.”

Actually, when she’s on set, she doesn’t even touch up with more makeup—she uses a facial oil instead. “If I’m filming, my makeup artist will use the True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil ($110) just to touch up, so we don’t even add more makeup,” says Dern. “It just refreshes the skin a little bit for a glow, but also, if things are getting into lines or pores, you can just smooth out the skin a little bit [with it] which is really nice.” Besides the oil, she tells me she just uses the Renew Nourishing Cleanser ($48), and the Vitamin C Booster powder ($90) at night.

The rest of her beauty routine is totally no-frills, too. She lets her hair do whatever it wants after she shampoos it, which gives her the natural, wavy texture you’ve likely seen on-screen, packs a refreshing facial mist into her purse…. and that’s it. Less is more, after all, and Dern is bona fide proof of what simplicity can do for the skin. “I’m aging—it’s not like it goes in reverse—and I’m getting more compliments on my skin than I’ve ever gotten,” she says. “I’m very natural in terms of how I take care of myself and how I age and all of that, and I’ve been using this face oil for the past couple of years. So I feel so lucky to get to talk about it now—it’s great to talk about something you really love that’s genuine.”

Dern’s passion is palpable. Ever since I left that one-on-one, I’ve been wearing less and less makeup, dabbing bits of oil onto my skin, and doing my best to channel my inner Renata Klein (in terms of the badassery and confidence, not the screaming).

BTW, even derms agree that less is more—here are the four skin-care products that are actually the most important for your routine. And here’s how to get your beauty regimen down to a 10-minute morning routine. 

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