Beauty Beat: Blanchett on SK-II

Cate Blanchett doesn't mince words, particularly when it comes to her skin.

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

Photo By Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cate Blanchett doesn't mince words, particularly when it comes to her skin.

"I am a practical girl, and I don't really like using things unless they work," said the Oscar-winning actress — who is up for two more Academy Awards later this month — during an interview with WWD at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel here. "A makeup artist friend of mine introduced me to SK-II about seven years ago — and then I fell pregnant and saw big changes in my skin. I've been a little evangelical about it since then." She's pregnant again — this time with number three, due in April.

Blanchett began working with the Procter & Gamble-owned brand a little over three years ago in her native Australia, around the time the beauty giant launched the luxury brand in the U.S. Last October, Blanchett was named global ambassador for SK-II, and her first American ads for the brand will break in Elle magazine tomorrow.

It is her first — and only — beauty endorsement. She admits there was a learning curve involved with the products, however. "When I got my first bottle of Facial Treatment Essence [one of the brand's best-selling moisturizers] I wasn't quite sure what it was because the instructions were in Japanese," she said, joking that she didn't know whether to apply it or drink it. "But once I tried it, it unlocked the rest of the brand for me. There is a myriad of products, and within that, you can make your own ritual catered to your needs, which is what I do."

Part of Blanchett's ritual involves caring for skin that often takes a beating, depending on what role she happens to be working on at any given time. Her role as the elf Queen Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was one that presented cosmetic challenges for Blanchett and several of her costars, due to the prosthetics involved. "Prosthetics are really tough on your skin...there have been times when I was in makeup for six or seven hours," she said. "You have this chemical glue on your face — you have to use alcohol to remove it —and you have to be careful, because it's really like taking a layer off your skin. I'd put the Essence on and leave that on for an hour and then put another moisturizer on top of it. Artistically it was worth it, but I needed to make sure that I had a strong regime to counteract it. I was literally passing out the [SK-II Facial Treatment] masks and Essence to everyone. But I don't know if I'll be jumping into a project with prosthetics again."
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