Jennifer Garner’s beauty advice: ‘wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, and smile at people’

Jennifer Garner, who has generally maintained a medium-to-long brunette hairstyle, recently got a new haircut: a bob. It looks really cute, actually! It’s not as short or as drastic a change as Jennifer Love Hewitt’s mom-bob, but it looks good on her. I will periodically cut my hair above my shoulders but then immediately remember why I grow it out every time. Apparently, when it comes to my hair, I am a goldfish. Anyway, Jen Garner is also an ambassador for the hair care brand Virtue and did an interview with Harper’s Bazaar promoting Virtue and talking about her beauty routine and more, including the best piece of beauty advice she’s ever gotten. Here are some of the beauty-related excerpts:

She loves a good retro look: “I really loved the look of hair in the ’40s,” Garner tells Bazaar. “[The ’40s] was such a rich time in beauty, if you think about a deep matte red lip and the big, cool finger curls. Let’s bring that back.”

On her new haircut: “I thought that I was being original, chopping all my hair off. Then I looked around and realized we were all doing it at the same time,” she says, laughing. “I think I did fall prey to a trend, but that’s okay. It was fun to do, and it was fun to see my colleagues out in the world with their short hair.”

Her skin routine: I am so lucky because I’ve worked for Neutrogena for about 17 years or something—a really long time. So I get to talk to them and learn what is really effective for skin. I know that at my age, it’s hyaluronic acid, it’s retinol, it’s vitamin C. So it’s a combination of those things that I really use. I really use the retinol serum and the retinol eye cream, or I’ll use the hyaluronic acid. And I trade off, because you don’t want to use retinol every night.

Her makeup routine: There are a few things I really love. I really love the Westman Atelier Vital Foundation Stick. There’s so few things that I use and run out of and buy again, just because I don’t really pay that much attention. I have my Virtue and my Neutrogena, but otherwise, it’s whatever [product a makeup artist] has left at my house. But in this case, I really do love that foundation stick.

Her everyday hair routine: I almost never touch a blow-dryer on my own—truly, almost never. Then you really just need to have the healthiest hair possible. If your hair is healthy, it’ll be shiny, it’ll have volume, it’ll be buoyant. It’ll be all kinds of things. So that’s why Virtue has just always been the easiest, most natural fit for me. Because just alone, the shampoo and conditioner give your hair a whole new vibrancy.

What she hopes to teach her daughters about beauty: I love that they look in the mirror and like who they are—that is the most beautiful. The most beautiful thing you can have is a smile on your face, and being willing to smile at strangers is pretty much the happiest thing you can do. So I always just encourage all of my kids, “Look less in the mirror and look more at other people.”

The best beauty advice she’s ever gotten: My favorite quote came from dermatologist Doris Day, who I worked with once for Neutrogena. She said, “Nothing looks better in your 50s than sunscreen in your 20s.” Or 30s. Or 40s—you just have to wear sunscreen. So the best advice would be to wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, and smile at people.

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

I definitely agree with her about wearing sunscreen and not smoking. I have olive-colored skin and am fortunate enough not to burn easily, so I was absolutely horrible about putting on sunscreen in my younger years. I do it now, but I wish I had taken it more seriously sooner than I did. As far as the smiling thing goes, I guess that’s meant to imply that you look more beautiful when smiling and looking happy, like she mentions when talking about her daughters? Does that feel a little dated? I’d also add in to get a good night’s sleep and drink a lot of water.

Photos credit: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Avalon, BauerGriffin/INSTARimages, Jeffrey Mayer/Avalon

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18 Responses to “Jennifer Garner’s beauty advice: ‘wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, and smile at people’”

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  1. FancyPants says:

    I’ve had to wear sunscreen and keep all my skin covered all my adult life because of lupus photosensitivity, and in my 20s and 30s I was resentful about it because I stuck out like a sore thumb in my full coverage pants and long sleeves and neck wraps at the beach (or any daytime outdoor activity), but now I call myself “the control group” among people my age- my porcelain, unlined skin is what everybody else could have had without all the sun damage. I’m being facetious about it, of course, because I would not have done it if I didn’t get baseball-sized blisters in the sun, but it is kinda fascinating to see the difference now between me and other people my age. I have definitely noticed a difference in the last 10 years in the number of people wearing UV protective clothing at the beach. I’m still the only one in full head-to-toe coverage, but significantly more people now wear the longsleeve tops and capri-length swim bottoms, especially children. I think people would be a lot more protective of their skin if we called sunburn what it really is: radiation burns.

    • Brenda says:

      Fancypants- me and my MD degree love your spin on sunburns. This is one area where the Australians are definitely ahead of the US.

  2. Ameerah M says:

    I’m assuming she is actually taking about being kind and over-simplifying it with “smiling”. If that is what she actually means then I agree. But if she’s being literal…Nah. Don’t teach your daughters to smile at strangers. As for the rest of it, I’m Black and lightskin, but don’t burn easily. I started taking sunscreen seriously in my early 30’s and when I got serious about skincare. And now I am incredibly serious about it. I wear it everyday, year round. If it’s daylight and I am going outside I have sunscreen on. And I re-apply – which is the part a lot of people skip on – your sunscreen doesn’t last all day. You have to reapply it every couple of hours. Otherwise you are not protected. I also have never smoked and I don’t drink and I do think those things play a huge role. I was on Tretinoin for awhile and plan on going back on it because it did wonder for my skin in tandem with keeping my skin hydrated.

  3. Digital Unicorn says:

    The ‘smile at people’ is a bad move – it invites weirdo’s to harass you and I say that from experience. I used to do it when i was younger but no more.

    • Chanteloup says:

      The ‘smile at people’ seems less troublesome if I take it in context as part of her “beauty advice” — I think of the ppl I want to look nice for, friends, family, a date, a harassed cashier, my kid’s teacher — those are the people I’m going to smile at, not some jerkwad trying to harass me on the street.
      🙂 I’m smiling at you now

  4. Twin Falls says:

    I think she means a smile that’s reflective of how you’re feeling, the if you’re feeling good on the inside, your outside will follow thing, not smiling to please other people.

  5. girl_ninja says:

    I don’t agree with the smiling at everyone thing, But she probably means being kind.

    I am a dark skinned black woman and use Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer Mineral SPF 47 along with tinted moisturizer. Add mascara, a light colored lippy and I’m good to go. I wish I could just wash and go but I’m too old for that, I’m not 20 anymore.

  6. SusieQ says:

    I second the sunscreen recommendation. It took me a while to find sunscreens I liked and didn’t irritate my skin. But I have two mineral face sunscreens, one for warmer months and one for colder months, and I love them. They make all the difference in the world!

  7. Kate says:

    Don’t smoke, don’t drink and use sunscreen.

  8. Sean says:


  9. Sunny O says:

    Using sunscreen, not smoking, and having a happy smile is great beauty advice.

    I wish I followed that advice when I was younger.

  10. RoyalCommoner says:

    Didnt recognize her on the post pic. Her beauty tricks didnt say injections. But I agree with her advice. I wouldn’t say smile to everybody but I would say dont always look like a btch 24/7

  11. Lens says:

    She did a product thing on her IG with air drying your hair with just using virtue products and I was surprised at the amount of people who didn’t believe she air dries her hair. Like they basically accused her of LYING! Do that many people blow dry their hair every single time? It’s very drying and I’ve seen her plenty of times with wet hair so I certainly believe she does.

  12. Maybelater says:

    I just cut my hair maybe a few centimetres shorter than Jen’s and thought the blunt cut was too much. Was considering getting it unevened with a recut but saw this and realised maybe it’s in fashion! I have slightly thicker hair than her thought and it’s pretty blunt looking.

    Her “wet” look in the second photo gives me a bit of inspiration for a new look. Might do that next time I go out.

    I use a parasol to cross the road (I live in Australia where we have v high UV). I don’t like sunscreen but the pavement reflects light so try to slap it on during the summer months even with a parasol open.