Makeup & Skincare
Most women know that the celebrities we see on television have hours of make-up, hair and special lighting to look as good as they do.
But, "what they don't always realise is that the actors on television who seem thin are probably unable to enjoy themselves day-to-day socialising with friends because of their unhealthy dieting. Who knows how unhappy and osteoporotic most female actors are in Hollywood these days?"
This is what Sydney psychologist, Dr Chris Basten asked in a recent article. He was commenting on the increase of Australian women starving themselves to try and emulate the stars they see on TV, like Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher.
Ingrid Seaburn can help to answer that question. As Hatcher's skincare therapist "for about five years" she has the inside information on just how desperately hungry the Hollywood Housewives star is.
She contacted Life&Style in response to the article saying: "I hadn't heard of 'Desperate Housewives Syndrome' or realised the impact it was having on everyday women to look good and be fabulous the whole time ... Teri would be horrified to think that women are putting themselves under pressure to be as thin as that.
"A working mum's week is crazy - to then think they have to look like this perfect woman they see on TV is unrealistic. [Looking like that is] a full-time job."
Seaburn, whose other clients have included actresses, Marcia Cross, Brenda Strong and Rachel Griffiths, imagined Hatcher would "tell people to find a healthy balance." But, just how healthy is Hatcher's balance?
"She doesn't have a lot of balance," Seaburn admits. "She's paid to look a certain way and maintain that. She [is not] balanced, but she's in a unique position."
A part of that unique position is being a real women playing a fictional character.
"She's getting paid a lot of money to maintain that and part of her job is to look good. She watched what she ate, but [she was skinny mainly] because she was run off her feet. I don't think she had five minutes to pig out," Seaburn says.
"She has ... 5am calls [to be on set] and is often not back at home until 7 or 8 at night. If they're not doing the show, there are interviews and appearances. She'd literally come home, have a bath and then hop onto the table for a facial and then go to bed. Her days were full on - she was run ragged."
Despite running on empty, Hatcher, unlike most women, has abundant access to help so she can maintain her appearance.
Hatcher was predominantly into natural treatments, Seaburn says. "She wasn't in to spending a lot of money on things like botox. She was maintaining her looks and her health ... [through] a combination of keeping fit, eating well and regular facials.
"I'd give her different treatments. I used a massage technique for toning the muscles in her face - it also oxygenated the face. [I also used] vitamin A, exfoliated [her] regularly and used a micro-current treatment with positive and negative [currents] to tone the muscles."
Apart from having her own facialist, on-set hair and make-up, stars like Hatcher have everything from personal training to people picking up their children from school if needs be, Seaburn explains.
"It's a whole other world. Teri could call someone to get a specific salad from a specific restaurant - she wasn't going to the catering trucks with the crew.
"She didn't have a chef, she cooked for herself. But she wasn't home much ... I know she wasn't having dinner."
Although Seaburn says that Hatcher wasn't "obsessed" by food or diet, she does acknowledge that she felt the Hollywood heat. "She's a gorgeous person and giving and kind and generous ... [But] she has the same vulnerability issues that all of us women have to maintain a certain image.
"The whole thing in LA is everybody is blonde, everybody has boobs, everybody is skinny. Terri probably felt stressed by that - being a woman in hers 40s competing with younger women. She's confident in herself, but felt under immense pressure to maintain that level of thinness."
Even Seaburn found herself succumbing to LA's idealised image of beauty.
"I found myself trying to look thinner, getting more highlights in my hair," she says. "But, is that the definition of beauty? [shouldn't it be about] looking nice and being healthy, fit and confident?"
She was relieved to find that, upon moving back to Australia, being healthy, fit and confident seems to be where the emphasis lies.
"Women here are more healthy looking," Seaburn says. "They all start to look the same over there."
Seaburn's top tips for natural beauty
1. Take care in the sun. "The number one tip is sun block. Use one with zinc because that acts as a physical barrier."
2. Activity is the key to positivity. "Exercise and be happy."
3. Exfoliate twice a week. "A lot of women over-exfoliate using harsh scrubs. I used an enzyme peel on Teri. It's non-inflammatory."
4. Remember that beauty is a combination of inner and outer care. "For inner care, lots of green vegies, protein and water."
5. Get rid of unnecessary product. "Spend less on your cleanser and cut out your toner. Toners are a nice way to refresh and mop up oil on oily skin, but they don't do anything. They won't make you look younger."
6. Keep an eye out for hyaluronic acid. "That's the number one thing in moisturiser that will plump your skin ... I used it on Teri too."
7. Look for natural products. "Chemical-based products can iritate the skin causing inflammation which causes aging. [They can] cause more damage in the end."
8. Update your skincare regime. "My advice is: instead of cleanse, tone, moisturise; cleanse, serum, moisturise."
9. Invest in a good serum. "It's worth spending money on a vitamin A serum - look for a high retinol percentage. Every celebrity in Hollywood would be putting that on their skin. Or use an antioxidant serum - look for vitamins C and E, Co Q10, green tea or peptides."
10. Change up your routine seasonally. "In winter surface dehydration elements can cause breakouts. Because the skin send signals to the oil glands [and they can overproduce oil to compensate for dryness]. A hydrating mist can help prevent breakouts.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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