Kyra Sedgwick: “I Don’t Want to Be the Airbrushed Version of Myself”

A free bit of advice from me: if you are in a face-to-face discussion with Kyra Sedgwick for some reason, I strongly recommend you take notes. You’ll walk away with a fresh product to order in only a few minutes, some incredible jokes, a sexy Hollywood tale or two, and some expertly-dispensed life advice.

The career of Kyra Sedgwick has brought her to every part of the entertainment business, from a lengthy, varied film career to producing and acting in long-running dramas, such as her Golden Globe-winning stint on The Closer soap, or featuring on Brooklyn Nine-Nine audience favorites. Today, on ABC’s newest family-centered hit, Call Your Mum, Kyra Sedgwick is back in comedy, for which she is thankful, she told me. If your mother were Kyra Sedgwick, however, you possibly wouldn’t really need the impulse.

MDC speaks to Kyra Sedgwickhere about her all-time favorite brands, tips and tricks she gathered from her decades in the biz, and why she feels makeup needs to become a bit more authentic.

What are the five items that offer you pleasure right now?

Kyra Sedgwick: My show, I have to say. And that’s not because I just want to plug it in. In some situation, I can’t think of anything else than going to work every day and smiling is just a blessing. It’s always nice to chuckle at your nervous system, and I honestly feel I overlooked it before the pandemic. Before, I did improv, but it wasn’t until I guided Grace & Frankie that I was like, Oh my Goodness, they’re just having fun all day. They just laugh and laugh and laugh every day. And I was saying, ‘I want to do something.

I love my castmates, I love the creator, and I love my female producer, Pam Fryman, who has guided several of them. So, that gives me a great deal of pleasure.

I must confess that I purchased my Always Pan from Our Location ($145) at the onset of the pandemic, and I really, really like it. It is not successful at all; it is not good at looking. P.S., I roast, just as an aside. Kevin [Bacon, husband] and I are preparing, we’re cooking for each other, he’s a chef, he’s a really nice chef. I’m like a person following the recipe and wishing for the best and becoming really nervous. I have been cooking a lot more and I have to clean up all the food.

But I love Always Pan because it’s easy to clean and it gives a lot of joy to me. It’s nice for a few people, but it’s very good for one guy, too, because for quite a few months I’ve been really really lonely doing the show. And it’s beautiful, too, which is incredible. I’m a huge fan of such offensively costly Biologique items, but I don’t want to go through them too much, but I guess this one is a little less offensively expensive than others, and that’s the Biofixine Creme Contour Yeux et Lèvres ($120); it’s an eye cream.

What’s nice is that it’s kind of… it’s not Botox, but it does some type of thing where things look smoother for a little bit afterward!

[LAUGHS] It’s not a negative thing, okay. Biologique, I promise, however their goods. And they don’t owe anyone anything extra, by the way. I don’t care who you are. Maybe some stunning French stars would have it, but this American? Oh, no.

I’m one of those people whose makeup flows like a wild madman. I suspect part of it is because my eyes are so deep-set. There are very, very, very few mascaras I can use, and waterproof runs on me that don’t run on me! I don’t know what my chemical composition is all about, I’m just peculiar that way. And it’s actually a drag, because with my mascara, I have to walk around. I have to make sure they get it or I bring it, even when I do shows and things.

This is the Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara Estée Lauder Double Wear ($29) in black. And I’m really a fan, and it’s the only thing that’s not going to run against me. It’s sort of a clump, but in a really nice way. I used a Julie Hewett Cheekie Cream Blush ($28) in my video [for MDC]. The only thing I really use with beauty is a tinted moisturizer and some concealer, some mascara and blush. I don’t have an idea, even after 40, 45 years of people doing my makeup. I’m just keeping to what I know and I’m not going to step too far out of my comfort zone.


In the winter, how does the skincare and makeup routine change? Some must-haves of winter?

Kyra Sedgwick: This cream I just got is yet another offensively costly commodity. MBR renders this extra-odinarily costly cream named Cream Exceptional ($372)-cream! I still believe that putting on-and I really believe I spend 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and 10 to 15 minutes at night doing skincare and I have been doing skincare since my twenties and it’s not even a concern for me anymore, I just do it-necessary it’s to put a little oil on afterwards. Future, which is currently manufactured in Israel, a really not offensively costly line, has a very good crude, Future Golden Touch Oil ($132). After I finish my moisturizer, I just take it, like putting on all, serums and moisturizer, so I take a little bit and just pat it on. I am so dry; I have always been very dry.


Some beauty products without which you will not leave the house?

Kyra Sedgwick: I really like this Love Lip Gloss ($8.50) from Hemp Organics that I’m actually wearing right now. It’s not pricey, and it’s nice, actually. It’s a pure, organic pigment. Whatever, you do! [LAUGHS] But you see, I’m no longer wearing gloss, lip shimmer, or something. I used to enjoy doing this, but we’re all wearing masks now, so it just gets all over my mask. I prefer tints, though.

If you could send anything from your makeup bag or medicine cabinet to 30-year-old Kyra, what would it be?

Kyra Sedgwick: I think the Lotion P50 ($103) is created by Biologique and that’s pretty cool. It’s a toner that, I guess, is certainly the secret to their magic. Caution: should not be in the heat. When I was pretty young, I avoided heading into the light, but I recall being a younger person in my late teens and early twenties and being like, “[The sun] is good for me!” I have been wearing hats and visors for years. “Since when did you become Visor Mom?!”Since when did you become a Visor Mom?! (LAUGHS). You wonder what I’m hoping for? I wish I had placed sunscreen on my face.


Are there any goods that you have sworn in for 10 or more years now?

Kyra Sedgwick: Curler of an eyelash! Shiseido used to produce a very nice one, but they really don’t make it anymore? Or else I did not notice them. I really like Yves Saint Laurent’s strong concealer, too, and I use it. I used to use Touche Eclait, the one from Yves Saint Laurent, but that one didn’t do the trick as I got older. As I said, my eyes are very deep-set, but here and around my eyes I still get darkness, so I need something brave to help me glance around this place not too gloomy.

Stim-U-Dent, getting stuff for your teeth, is also the other thing that I think is relevant as you get older. It’s like a toothpick, except it’s not, but it’s a larger wooden toothpick because it strengthens the gums. Sister, you ought to hold your teeth! Teeth, for the remainder of your life, are all you want to keep.


How, over the years, has your beauty philosophy changed?

Kyra Sedgwick: I think it’s very cool because I was really young when I started out in the industry and new faces when I grew up… well, that’s not accurate, the ’80s were like tons and lots of lipstick. But I feel like it wasn’t like wearing a bunch of mascara for a lot of my business period… like, fake eyelashes really weren’t a trend when I grew up. Even for things and activities! And so, whether you’re Saint Frances McDormand or someone who’s super relaxed with her own skin, it’s like you’re not going to be found dead at a function without fake eyelashes.

So I suppose the way eyelashes have been such a trend for days is really an odd thing. And in practice, people get used to it, including not getting on the red carpet. With the description and this and that, we’re desensitized to having as many as we see. That’s a number, and that’s a lot more than I’ve been used to seeing. I lack the look that’s normal. That brings me in. When I see a natural-looking image of somebody and their face seems like they’re breathing, and their eyes don’t have cow’s eyelashes… Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic and it has a position and a period, but in life, people who pull me in are people who are happy with their skin, comfortable with whatever happens to their body, whatever happens to their face.

That’s Great!!

I’m able to accept these stuff a day at a time. It’s rough. I’m not going to pretend. It’s tough. And as an actress, it’s confusing because you’re used to seeing yourself all the time in the mirror and then you look at images that have been touched up for you and you’re like, “God, I look amazing!” And then you look in the mirror like, “Oh my God, I look like a monster, like a gargoyle.” Recently, before they were touched up, I looked at some pictures and I was like, man, I sure look like a monster, like a gargoyle. The thought I had was that I appeared like an airbrushed image of my face.

I want to reassure you now that I don’t want to be an airbrushed image of myself, since this version is unavailable. I want to be the age that I am, to be the guy that I am. As I grow older, I want to be an indicator, not an alert, of these kinds of stuff. And it’s demanding. I’d rather see the face of something at the end of the day. This is the true deal, without too much of a facade.

What is there in your medicine cabinet that people would be shocked to find?

Kyra Sedgwick: Witch hazel, perhaps? For this, I use witch hazel, which is odd, but often I bite my lip. And I don’t know whether anyone else has this issue if I bite my tongue, but often it can get ouch-y and swollen and it helps if I pour witch hazel on it. It’s making it go down. Yeah, and I got stuff like a pin curl that I use because I don’t use a hot iron. My hair is naturally curly, but I typically have to twist it a little more, like this top layer from all the years or something. If I have time, so I’ve got these silver clips. I’m going to get in the taxi, wait a bit, and undo it.

Why do you love pampering yourself these days?

Kyra Sedgwick: I’m really grounded by default and I feel really fortunate to be here in L.A. This is where I can go hiking at any time. I really live near Griffith Park, so that’s a blessing, I go hiking a lot, a few days a week, either by myself or sometimes with someone who is, of course, socially remote. I enjoy listening to a podcast or just listening to myself speaking, really. Enjoying pools, but I don’t have a bathtub here in Los Angeles, sadly. In New York, I’ve got a nice one, but I really miss the pools. They always just quiet me down totally. I’m just fitting down. It’s been challenging for my nervous system, guy. I don’t find someone that, given all that’s gone on, wasn’t in a certain degree of trauma. In terms of that, the bar tends to lower or rise.

It was a nice day today. I strive not to glance at the news too often, but that’s virtually hard occasionally. I love this lady named Jessica Yellin as well. She’s an Instagram news presenter, and she’s doing something called News Not Noise. She’s not offering you the craziness, that crazy-making stuff. She used to be a correspondent for CNN at the White House, and she’s a badass and she’s very clever and very chill. I look at her feed once a day, whether there’s a major deal going on once or twice, and then I realize there’s nothing else I have to look at. She’s going to tie it up, because she’s not going to be compensated for any sites that render it shifty. She’s absolutely backed up by Patreon. And it’s her I love. And for me, it was really relaxing.


Over the years, do you have any favorite tricks, items or strategies gathered on-set?

Kyra Sedgwick: I sound like it was a lifetime task of discovering when to blush. I used to place it here [at the apples of my cheeks] all the way down, and then I began to realize that you have to start here [at the cheekbones] and just push it down a little bit. My logic is a bit warped about blush: there shouldn’t be too much blush for me, but too much blush can really be there, and it can go too deep. Nobody inherently told me this, but they taught me when to place it and where not to put it. And I take some of my tinted moisturizer and go over it if it drops down a little short, because I don’t have to target it exactly.

The only other thing is, I place whatever eye cream I use on the top of my lips as well. I don’t have a lot of lip lines yet, or some, actually, and I believe that’s due to the fact that I’ve done my skin regimen for so long, and before I go to bed, I usually do the eye cream and place it right here.

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