Fresh from Sky Atlantic's Mare of Easttown Kate discusses red carpet tricks, letting go and the moisturiser her husband pinches
With a penchant for flannel shirts and a zero make-up look, Mare marks a departure from the glamorous roles we're used to seeing Kate in. But, the actor is almost as low-key in real life. I don't really wear make-up', reveals Kate. If I was coming into London, I might throw on a tiny bit. If I haven't got time to wash my hair, I scrape it back into a high ponytail, clean off my face.'
We're here to talk about her attitudes to beauty and how she's managed to maintain self-care while parenting daughter Mia, 20, and sons Joe, 17, and Bear, seven, while creating a critically acclaimed show (Kate executive produces as well as stars in it). She says the year of lockdowns meant getting reacquainted with the concept of free time. I had to teach myself how to relax. As a mum, I find I'm constantly juggling things for other people and suddenly there was time to do something for myself.' Me-time for Kate comes after the school run. If I'm not filming I get up at 6am, make breakfast for everyone and take the boys to school. Afterwards, I'll take the dog for a walk. I try and exercise several times a week so I might do barre cardio or a Peloton bike ride.'
Kate does factor in time to sit still, too. I try to switch off after Bear is in bed.' And her pleasures are simple. I love getting into a good old towelling dressing gown and putting my feet up.' Is there anything she has missed during lockdown? I would kill for a pedicure', she admits. And going without a wax, that's one thing I've found really distressing. It's no bad thing, though, learning how to go without those creature comforts and letting go. It means less pressure, you know?' she says, before adding that we should all cut ourselves some slack.
This is a time when we are becoming less judgemental of one another. It is giving people permission to love themselves more. That's happening for me as well. I feel I don't have to worry so much about that stupid bit of cellulite.'
Long before body positivity became a buzz word, Kate was anti-plastic surgery and retouching, in an industry rife with it. Her views about beauty standards are famously relaxed and self-assured. We are allowed to love ourselves and it's important that we do. Looking after your soul doesn't mean you're being vain or indulgent, it means that you're taking care of your mental health. It matters how you feel when you look in the mirror and say, Hello face. Here we are. Let's do this. Things are changing for the better. I'm very grateful for this time actually', she adds.
Not that she has sworn off glamour. When preparing for the red carpet (a very specific, time-consuming glamour moment') she builds in forward planning. I find I need to really look after my skin and get a good couple of facials beforehand.' In New York, she visits Tracy Martin on Fifth Avenue, and books in with Glenda Barton at The Skin Company in the UK. I try to do a facial with Glenda two to three times a year. Who's got time to have weekly facials? Not me!' Then there's the main event itself. On the night, you hope that a great make-up artist and hairstylist are going to work their magic. You hope the dress isn't going to rip and your feet aren't going to hurt. My feet always hurt!' Kate rolls her eyes, But I try to go easy on myself. You're only human and there's no such thing as perfection.'
The make-up chair features heavily in the life of a woman whose career spans three decades. So, what are the beauty lessons she's learned? It's all about less-is-more', she says. Titanic involved a very cosmetic look. Rose's look required quite a lot of make-up, it was all about porcelain skin, but playing Tilly, in The Dressmaker, I learned how to use a little make-up and make it go further. And to use paint brushes. I had to wear a very thin line of eyeliner and we ended up using a teeny tiny paintbrush to apply it.' Kate is no stranger to experimenting with make-up. I remember being about 13 or 14 and figuring out that if I mixed brown eyeliner and kiwi fruit lip balm it made a decent lipstick. My mum would say, Oh darling! I don't like you with all that mud on your lips! and I'd go, Mum! It's not mud. It's my lipstick! Now when I look back at myself it 100% looked like I had mud on my lips, my poor mother.'
Nowadays, Kate rarely wavers from her signature look, especially when it comes to her hair. I colour it properly three times a year and touch it up in-between with L'Oral Paris Prfrence. I do like it when it's freshly coloured, it makes me feel a little bit brighter.' And she keeps her ponytail in check with L'Oral Paris's Elnett hairspray (it's been my go-to for years'.) I always wash my make-up off at night, no matter how exhausted I am', she says. There's also a L'Oral Paris moisturiser I've been using.' Kate falters as she tries to remember the name [Age Perfect Cell Renew Revitalising Day Cream SPF15, 24.99] and it's up to her husband Ned to remind her over text. Kate laughs. It was sitting on his side of the sink so what does that tell you? Taking my moisturiser, stealing the goods!'
Disclaimer: Kate Winslet is a global ambassador for L'Oral Paris and the face of L'Oral Paris Prfrence Hair Colour.