For Mother's Day this year, ishonest asked Hailee and Cheri to have a conversation with one another on topics ranging from their most beloved beauty products to what they love about their jobs. The results: a candid, honest, and emotional back-and-forth between two best friends who just so happen to be related.
HAILEE STEINFELD: Mom, I want to know: What advice do you wish you could give your teenage self?
CHERI STEINFELD: Advice I would give my teenage self? Wear sunscreen.
HAILEE: That's great advice. That's something I don't do, but I say I do when you ask.
CHERI: Shame. Shame, shame. You have to wear sunscreen. Very important.
HAILEE: I know. What's the first beauty product you ever fell in love with?
CHERI: I would have to say it was Lancôme, who had a pressed powder that was so amazing. It was like a foundation.
HAILEE: I don't know that there's a specific beauty product that I fell in love with at some point. I constantly discover new things when I have my makeup done all the time, and there's always a new product. There's always something new that people are onto. I will say though, Patrick Ta's lip colors and lip liners are amazing, and he also just put out this brow situation that is so good.
CHERI: I need that.
HAILEE: Same. What is your favorite memory with me?
CHERI: My favorite memory with you was when you were born.
HAILEE: Wow. That is so nice, mom. My favorite memory with you...there are so many. I don't remember the day I was born, so I can't say that, but you and I have been around the world and back together and we've seen a lot. You've seen a lot. You've been there for me for literally everything. I really don't know that there's a favorite memory. There has to be. Stop (laughs). Oh my God. The inside jokes that we're telling each other with our eyes right now.
One of my favorite memories would be when you, me and Griffin were on a walk one day. I had already auditioned for True Grit. We had no idea what the deal was, we had no idea of what was going to happen. A plane flew over our heads, and I remember looking up at the plane then looking at you and saying, "We're going to be on a plane soon, mom. I don't know where we're going, but we're going somewhere big." I just remember saying that to you because obviously traveling was something that you love to do before you had kids, and then you had kids, and you didn't travel as much. But look at you now.
CHERI: Thanks to you.
Left to right: Peter, Hailee, Cheri, and Griffin at the 2011 Academy Awards. Hailee received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her much-lauded role in True Grit (2010).
HAILEE: Mom, what is your favorite compliment you've ever received?
CHERI: The best compliment I ever received was when — is when, because I get it all the time — people tell me that my children look like me.
HAILEE: That's hilarious — you do get it all the time, but it's true. I feel like I got the best of both worlds.
CHERI: You don't think your brother did?
HAILEE: No, I do — are you kidding? The kid's so good looking. You look at baby pictures of us, I truly look like an alien and he looks like a porcelain doll. [And my] favorite compliment I've ever received: "You don't look tired. You look well rested."
Let's talk about products, because I know that we use a lot of the same things and have a lot of the same favorite products. First, mascara. We both use...
CHERI AND HAILEE (simultaneously): Eyes To Kill.
CHERI: Giorgio Armani.
HAILEE: It's so good. We also use the same foundation, Armani. It's the Luminous Silk Foundation. I just only recently discovered it, I think [makeup artist] Carolina Gonzales is the one who turned me onto it. What about moisturizer?
CHERI: Moisturizer, I like Environ. It's a product that my facialist recommends I use. It's amazing.
HAILEE: My favorite moisturizer is La Mer. I use it every day. It's the perfect base for my makeup and it's not too heavy, it's not too oily — it's perfect. Do you have a favorite manicure color? You go bold with your color choices?
CHERI: I don't do my nails that often. Toes, yeah, but I just beat my hands up. But when I do wear polish, I like going...
HAILEE: Bright. I'm the opposite. I love neutrals.
CHERI: Why do polish and do nude? What's the point of that?
HAILEE: That's the only thing I do. Neutral colors are dark, like a deep red or a deep purple.
CHERI: I like those colors in the fall. I wouldn't wear black in the summer.
HAILEE: Well, that makes one of us.
CHERI: Which step of your morning and nighttime routine makes you feel happiest?
HAILEE: I know what mine is. Do you know what yours is? I thought maybe we'd have the same one. Should we say it at the count of three?
CHERI: OK. One, two, three.
HAILEE: Taking my bra off.
CHERI: Brushing my teeth.
HAILEE: That makes you the happiest?
CHERI: When I get to brush my teeth and go to bed. It's actually a whole routine, but yeah, you're right: It comes after taking the bra off — that's a good one. Who are your role models? Besides me.
HAILEE: I've had a lot of favorite artists and a lot of favorite actresses, all who I had looked up to at one point and still do. But I've never found the need to look much further than you or Nana, my aunt Sandy. I have so many incredible cousins that I love and aspire to and look up to. They're my role models. I feel so lucky that I've literally grown up with them around me.
You said that there was another piece of advice that you would give your teenage self if you could. What was it?
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CHERI: I think it would be to document everything. It's amazing that today you guys are able to document everything you do, every day. You post, you take photos — I don't have any of that from my teenage years.
HAILEE: Well, you didn't have a cellphone with four cameras on it.
CHERI: No, but I could have written a diary, and take pictures.
HAILEE: You know this because you bought them all: I just have an obsession with journals and writing, [and] I wrote all through school. They're under my bed at your house. There are so many where I would literally pick the book up a year or two later and be like, "Sorry, I haven't written in two years." I would literally write this. It's the craziest stuff, but I would recommend [journaling], too.
CHERI: But you have everything. Everything that you've done in the last 10 years has been documented.
HAILEE: Yes, I guess you're right to some degree. If we go on a trip, I document all of that for us. I think that there are parts of my life that aren't documented that I probably should still for myself.
CHERI: Well, 20 years from now, you're going to be able to look online and know exactly where you were and what you were doing on a specific day, and that's crazy. Think about it.
HAILEE: It's terrifying.
CHERI: How do you practice self-care?
HAILEE: Working out five, six days a week. I find that it's truly the only thing that keeps my mental health in check. And luckily, I have my dad, who is the best personal trainer in the game. Of course, I never go to sleep with makeup on my face; I make sure my skin routine is intact. That's something that I care a lot about. I love using products that are natural, that have natural ingredients, that don't have a lot of ingredients. What about you?
CHERI: Massages. I think I've had one everywhere we've ever gone around the world. That, and I have to get my nails done, and there's nothing better than having a great foot massage.
HAILEE: A thing about nails: I hate getting them done, but I love having them done. Obviously beauty comes in multiple forms, and I find that you are such a creative person. You're so artistically inclined when it comes to so many things: Interior design, drawing, painting. You're so amazing with colors and you have such an eye for beauty. When did you discover that that was something for you? And what is it about interior design that you love so much?
CHERI: Creating. Being creative. That's what I love. Transforming things. I used to do makeup.
HAILEE: Oh yeah, you did! Oh my God. And hair and nails. Damn, you've done it all mom.
CHERI: I have my cosmetology license...I got my license and that really wasn't my thing.
HAILEE: How long did you do makeup for?
CHERI: A few years. [After that,] I became a flight attendant and I met your dad, and then I went in a whole different direction.
CHERI: Met him, got married, and got to decorate my house, and then I got into that.
CHERI: If I could go back in time and talk to one person in history about beauty, it would be either Estée Lauder or Max Factor.
CHERI: Do you know who Max Factor is?
CHERI: I used to watch I love Lucy and the credits would roll, and her makeup artist was Max Factor. He was, I think, one of the first major makeup artists ever, that came out with his own products.
HAILEE: Oh! No way. Oh my god. His own makeup line?
CHERI: Yeah, it was huge. And Estée Lauder was beautiful and just...
CHERI: Yes. She had amazing makeup and skin-care products. And her perfume — I used to wear her perfume. I can't remember the name of the fragrance, but I'm sure they still have it.
HAILEE: This was so fun. I realized that I have a lot more questions to ask you.
CHERI: I know. We should do this more often. Why do we have to do this when there's a tape rolling?
HAILEE: We don't... We should, but we'll just do it outside of that. Well, we spend every living moment together...
CHERI: You know what? This is what's cool about this whole isolation thing. We're actually sitting here talking about stuff other than, "What do you have to do today?"
HAILEE: Work. Yeah, exactly. Well, I will just say a quick thank you to ishonest for this opportunity. My mom and I really enjoyed this. And mom, I love you. I don't even have to tell you how much, maybe I do.
CHERI: I love you.
HAILEE: Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for choosing me to be your child. You are the best mother in the entire world, and I owe it all to you.
CHERI: Oh, stop. I love you.
HAILEE: I love you, too, mum. OK, over and out.
This interview has been edited for space and clarity.
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