Cate Blanchett on Skincare, Style, and Life in Sydney

Cate Blanchett has her fair share of enviable traits–that soothing Aussie accent, Oscar winning acting chops, a fearless fashion sense (remember that purple Givenchy gown?)–but it's her skin that women of all ages covet. Though Blanchett owes her porcelain complexion to good genes and lots of sunscreen, she also has SK-II to thank. The actress, who is the global brand ambassador, swears by SK-II's Pitera based products. And in spite of a hectic travel schedule that leaves her shuffling between time zones, Blanchett always manages to look refreshed. Glam caught up with the actress to talk style, skincare, and life in Sydney.

You have the most flawless skin. What's your beauty routine?
Well, I've been using SK-II for 10 years, and I've actually been with the brand for eight. So it's pretty consistent. I use the Essence in the morning, and during the day I put it on over makeup. And then, I'll use the LXP range, which they've revamped it, and it actually has more Pitera in it, so it's even better. And I'll use that morning and night. And then if I'm going out, I'll use their moisturizer with the sunscreen. And their masks are amazing too.

Women in their 20s covet your skin, what did you do when you were younger to preserve and maintain that youthful glow?
Well, I've always been a “stay out of the sun” person. The sun's really strong in Australia, and fortunately, I had a mother who wasn't a sun bunny. I was basically out of it from when I was about 12, or sun conscious when I was 12. And she just used Oil of Olay, and she used to tell me to moisturize…so I moisturized, “ You don't realize you've got sun damage until you get into your late 20s or 30s. And then it's like a microwave. You realize: BING, you're cooked! So the great thing about SK-II, is they've got a whole lot of whitening products, which in a very gentle way increase the luminosity of your skin and even out that tone.

What SPF do you generally use?
The strongest you can get. I mean I think, they say that beyond 30, it's just all marketing.

So with all your jet-setting, how do you stay looking refreshed?
Well, sleep. I just flew in from Sydney last night, so it is a long flight. But, you know, when I… the only thing I'll do beyond using SK-II, and I find it actually enhances the products, is occasionally have an oxygen facial. It's not people prodding at your skin and using products, it's just oxygen. And I find that if I do that, it opens everything up. And then you put on a treatment mask. And that's the only thing I'll do. Because I've been using this exclusively for a decade. I think it's the consistency, for me, that has been good. And you know, you're always hypercritical of the way you look. But in the end, I don't have breakouts, I don't have any of that kind of stuff, because I'm not always… I feel like we turn ourselves into petri dishes.

So, you've had some iconic red carpet moments. Do you get to keep the dresses?
Sometimes. If you're lucky enough where they've actually made something for you, which is great. I'm working mostly in the theater, so I've haven't been on that circuit for a while, but I went to the Oscars last year and wore this Givenchy dress. I loved it and so I kept that one, which is fabulous! Underneath the top bodice was like another whole dress, which is much more simple, and I suppose, more safe, in terms of being criticized by whoever the police are that year. But, I loved, the bodice it was incredible and refused to take it off.

Is there a dress you wish you could have kept?
I wore a Gaultier dress years and years ago. It was really simple black, and it had this gold jewelry piece down the back. I loved that dress. I didn't keep that one.

Back in their archives?
I guess so. I hope it is.

So, what do you prefer: stage or screen?
Well my husband Andrew and I have been running the Sydney Theatre Company for four years, and we've got another two years to go. And I love being able to do both, but I haven't been able to make a lot of films because of my theater commitments. But you know, that's also because of the children being the age they are. I think things have really shifted in terms of writing for women. I feel that for women, you can have a longer career in film that you can perhaps otherwise could have. I did get into acting because I wanted to work in the theater. So, to not do that, for me, would be to have half a career. So what I've done on the stage in that last few years — and we're about to go on a European tour of a play we did —it's really fulfilling. Not as many people see you work, but it's a really rich way to spend your time.

Will you be at BAM again anytime soon?
Well no, we're coming to to the Lincoln Center Festival, in July, with a production of Uncle Vanya, which we took to Washington last year, so that's the next time I'm in New York.

You've become a fashion icon, what designers are you loving now?
There’s a really great new designer Juan Carlos Obando. He's really, really talented. But obviously, Givenchy, and, you know, the classicists, Mr. Armani, and Nicholas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. And the girls are Rodarte. And also, I think what the Olsen twins are doing with The Row is really interesting. And anything that's really sculptural. I love Jil Sander and Miuccia Prada… I mean she's so, she's so engaged in the visual arts as well. And Marc Jacobs is really witty. My taste is really eclectic.

Do you like to shop?
No, I hate to shop. I hate it. I hate it. I just go and look at things online.

What do you check out online?
Photos from the Couture shows. That's why it's so sad. I really hope that Couture lasts….I know it's really expensive, but that's the essence. That's the core of what goes on. And then from there, all the others.