Julie Bowen On False Lashes, Retinol, & “Child-Actor Skin”

julie-embedPhotographed by WireImage.
You know we like our thrilling, edge-of-your seat TV like House of Cards or Game of Thrones. But, on any given evening when we just want to feel warm and fuzzy after a long day of work, you best bet that we will be indulging in an episode (or five) of Modern Family. One of the best parts of the show? The gorgeous and hilarious Julie Bowen, who keeps the whole family in line as mom Claire Dunphy (and looks awesome doing it, of course).
We were lucky enough to take time out of a crazy day at the office to chat beauty with Ms. Bowen, who despite her demanding job and three sons (all under the age of six!), still manages to have an awesome sense of humor about beauty, Hollywood, and motherhood. Read on to learn how Julie makes it work — and which DIY beauty treatment she'll never, ever try again.

First, we have to ask you about your skin — it's so fabulous! How do you care for it? Do you have a strict routine?

"Well, truth be told, my skin has had its ups and downs, and I've had to learn what it likes and what it doesn't like. I usually don't have any time to mess around with facials and a million little steps, which is why I keep it simple and primarily rely on a good retinol. I swear by Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair which is so gentle that I don't have to worry about it. I just look in the mirror and literally think, 'Wow. Where did the wrinkles go?!' Seriously, it's that good.

"My routine is really basic: I cleanse, and I use the serum once a day, followed by either a day cream or a night cream and sunscreen on top during the day. I'm not very high-maintenance, but I do believe that if you have great skin, you have to work less hard at everything else. It's a very French sensibility."

Do you do anything different for awards season in terms of primping, or do you stick with your usual routine?

"In terms of skin care, I don't really stray too far from my routine. Sometimes I will go for a spray tan if I'm feeling pasty or an oxygen facial, but I find that if my skin is happy, I try not to mess with it too much. Skin can be like a houseplant, where if you mess with it too much, or try to move it to another part of the house, it will freak out. So, I just kind of let it be. That being said, I totally love doing wacky things with my makeup for awards season!"


What is the weirdest treatment you've tried in the name of great skin?

"Hm...well, it seems that we're in the Golden Age of the gift basket, so I've probably tried some weird things. But, nothing is as bad as this treatment I tried back in the day from a teen magazine, where it said to mix olive oil and mayonnaise to create a hair treatment. Well, we didn't have olive oil, so I used peanut oil. And, then I covered it in plastic wrap and sat in the sun. The smell was terrible, and I couldn't get it out. Plus, it made the shower so slick that I slipped and fell! And, then there was the hydrogen peroxide..."

To bleach your hair?

"Oh, yes. Bad."

Wow, you were a pretty adventurous teenager. Are there any beauty tricks that you're secretly awesome at?

"Oh, I'm really good at false lashes. You have to take the time, pour the glue, and let it dry and get sticky for 30 seconds. And then, just use just a little bit of it on your lashlines, and apply the false lashes. My boys think that false lashes are the funniest thing they've ever seen. Whenever I get home from an awards show, I lie down with them and let them pull them off!"

What's the best beauty advice you've ever gotten and from whom?

"The best advice I got would have to be from my mother, while she was baking in the sun with that silver reflector. She was like: 'Don't do this. Go put on your sunscreen!' It was like this attitude of, 'My ship has sailed, but you still have a shot.' So, I always put on sunscreen. And, the one time I didn't, and I went skiing, I got the most terrible bubbling sunburn. So, I definitely follow that advice."


Do you ever dole out motherly skin care advice to your on-screen daughters?
"Oh, Sarah (Hyland) and Ariel (Winter)…we talk about everything, and they're the closest I will get to actually having daughters. And, I love them. [Check out our story with Hyland here.] They have 'child actor skin' though, so it's just genetically superior. So, no…I don't give them advice!"

If you could invent a beauty product, what would it be?

"I would invent a tinted moisturizer sunscreen that could read your face and be like, 'These are cheeks, so we'll add some rosiness here, and mattify the forehead, and lighten under the eyes.' Basically, one product that can just do everything skin-care related. Which I feel like could actually happen in a few years!"

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