Mandy Moore is known for her candor, which is why it feels especially fitting when she blurts out, "My natural hair is like dirty dishwater," with a laugh, during our phone interview. Of course, given her newly-appointed role as brand ambassador for Garnier, it helps to know she's talking about the color: "It's a light brown — there's not a lot of blond in it. I feel most like myself when I'm a brunette, even though I was bright blond for the early portion of my career."
Though, if you had access to TRL at any point in the early 2000s, you probably already knew that. Back then, Moore was the quintessential pop star: With her radio hit "Candy," Cali-girl hair, and an endless supply of bubblegum pink lip gloss, she was one Juice Couture tracksuit away from becoming pop princess royalty. But boy, have things changed.
Today, the actress stars in the award-winning NBC show, This Is Us, and, for Moore, there is no looking back. "I would probably never go blond again," she says, "if not purely because of maintenance." Not that she's one to shy away from switching things up in the beauty department — in fact, that's her forté — but, as she tells Refinery29, there are just some trends she'd like to keep firmly in the past.
Like in Princess Diaries, for example, when her character Lana Thomas was the poster child for butterfly clips. "I remember going to Claire's and buying them out," Moore laughs. (Same, Mandy, same.) "Those things are hideous. I'm also vehemently anti-scrunchies, and anti-those weird plastic headbands that push your hair back. I used them all the time. I had clear ones, colored ones, shades to match my hair. If those make a comeback, I'm putting my foot down. That's crossing a line."
But those were the times — when hair was flat-ironed into submission and painted with chunky highlights, and lip gloss was swept on with abandon. "I didn't go anywhere without a MAC lip gloss," she says. "Back then, that shit was sticky. It was always pink and iridescent, and you couldn't move your head to one side without your hair perpetually sticking to your lips." She notes that, sometimes, she still has to wear the stuff for This Is Us. But, for the most part these days, Moore has a team of trusted pros to keep her off-screen beauty style on track.
"I told my boyfriend [Dawes musician Taylor Goldsmith] that if I ever want to cut bangs again, take both my hands and lead me away," she says. "It's such an arduous process to grow them out, and I feel like I'm not a bangs girl."
What she is now, however, is a bonafide beauty girl — something Moore says she grew into over the years: "I have more fun with makeup and products now that I'm a 30-something-year-old than I did when I was younger." Which makes sense, considering — much like fine wine — all the things that make Mandy Moore, well, Mandy Moore, only seem to get better with time.