On TV, actress Julianna Margulies has played an emergency room nurse manager, a drug-addicted real estate agent to Tony Soprano, a malpractice lawyer, and, most recently, a lawyer-mom-wife to an unfaithful politician in her Golden Globe– and SAG Award–winning role as Alicia Florrick on CBS’s “The Good Wife.” Her next part, however, looks to focus — finally — on her beauty, most notably her skin and even her well-earned laugh lines as she becomes the face of RevitaLift, the $100 million-plus antiaging brand under L’Oréal Paris.
Margulies, 44, said joining a beauty brand whose tag line she grew up reciting — especially to her mom — seemed a natural fit.
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I remember the first time I heard [“Because You’re Worth It”]. I was young, and I said to myself, ‘When I have money, I will buy beautiful products and feel I’m worth it.’”
More importantly, if not a little surprisingly, Margulies said the partnership, just a few weeks old, has been enlightening in that L’Oréal seems genuinely interested in more than just having landed a pretty face. “From what I gather, they seem truly more excited about my feelings about being a woman and what that means to me and how I take care of myself, which is telling about a beauty company. They are not just worried about how women look but how they feel. [The ‘You’re Worth It’ tag line] really is true.”
The Manhattan resident, who is a wife, a mom and often works up to 13 hours a day, said she’s like many women who just don’t have the time to browse the cosmetics area of a department store. The drug store, she said, plays a role in meeting her beauty needs “as long as I can get excellent quality and affordable prices.” Her favorite L’Oréal items include Kérastase and EverStrong hair care, Revitalift Complete SPF 30 Day Lotion and Preference hair color, which she said she has been using since 1996. When she has the time to indulge, Margulies said she treats herself to Tracie Martyn facials (which average $400 a pop) and massages at Soho Sanctuary. “They are my two biggest indulgences. It’s like putting money back into the product,” she said.
The RevitaLift print and TV ads Margulies is slated to appear in next year were shot in New York and are in the editing process. They will focus on her skin, which she said hasn’t been cosmetically enhanced or subjected to needles or fillers, such as Botox, which freezes facial muscles, making it difficult to show expression.
“I always have considered my skin [my best beauty asset] because I got lucky: I have small pores. I am also very pale so I have stayed out of the sun most of my life.”
But the actress is open to cosmetic enhancements.
“I would never say never. The beauty of being a woman is you are allowed to change your mind. I value that my face moves. I am an actress. I have earned my laugh lines. That is part of my age and beauty. I think everyone has their own path in aging, but you have to find what works for you.”
The actress, who rose to fame alongside one of Hollywood’s leading men, George Clooney, on the TV drama “ER,” said the standards for women versus men in terms of aging and appearance is evolving, depending on who you talk to.
“I had a great conversation with George about what women are doing to look young.” He told Margulies it was challenging to cast a 40-year-old actress in a Fifties period piece who hadn’t had too much work done to her face and looked the part. “He had a tough time. So I thought, ‘Hmm, I’m going to be OK.’”
For fans of “The Good Wife,” a big beauty moment is in store for the usually buttoned-up Florrick in an upcoming episode.
“There is going to be a big black-tie gala and you can see she is coming into her own as a woman not emotionally attached, who is finding her own feet in the world. She’s wearing eyeliner, red lips and curled hair. She also has on a red Roland Mouret dress!”
Margulies joins actress Andie MacDowell, 52, as a face of RevitaLift. Perhaps Margulies can help lift sagging sales for the brand, which, for the year-to-date period ended Sept. 10, saw antiaging sales fall 8.6 percent to $45.3 million in food, drug and mass stores, excluding Wal-Mart, club stores and convenience stores, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.