For over two decades, I've had the privilege of interviewing some of the biggest and brightest names in show business as a celebrity columnist for the New York Times Syndicate and the Chicago Sun Times. I've spoken with Barbara Streisand, Cher, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Alec Baldwin, Jane Fonda, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Jack Lemmon, Angelina Jolie, John Travolta, and Will Smith to name a few.
I even blushed while Russell Crowe held my hand through an entire interview for Fox News. Then he made me walk down 14 flights of stairs in high heel boots to do a print interview. With celebs, you always get the good, the bad, and the impossible.
I'm also a Hollywood beauty expert with five bestselling beauty books including "The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets," "The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets" and "The Beauty Cookbook." For the past year I've loved writing daily beauty and style stories for StyleGoesStrong.com and I adore asking stars the big life questions for my What Do You Know Now column for StyleGoesStrong.com
WHAT I KNOW NOW THAT I DIDN'T KNOW AT 20
What I know now that I didn't know at 20 is to slow down and appreciate the moments. Covering Hollywood is a fast business. You move from one thing to the next in the blink of an eye. It's really important to hit the brakes, slow down, and savor the times that make your heart soar, especially in your personal life, which in Hollywood is called your real life as opposed to your reel life. I know your real life is much better. Watching the Oscars on the couch holding the hand of the man you love is better than being there backstage tripping over someone's train.
I also know that you need to learn to say a mental health no – at least once in a while. Years ago, I was in the midst of doing a book for a major fashion personality in New York City. If I said his name, you would know. True Story: He was such a mean guy in real life that it made me cringe. He not only crushed the souls of his poor interns, but one day he was screaming at the top of his lungs at our cabbie (for nothing) and the driver took off while I was only half in the cab – one leg in, one leg out in the middle of busy Fifth Avenue. I started screaming as my leg dragged over the pavement. My shoe flew off, my tights ripped and it was a miracle I wasn't hurt beyond a few nasty, cuts and bruises. After the cabbie hit the brakes, the fashion guy yelled at me for not moving faster. It was the same day the Captain "Sully" Sullivan saved the lives of all those people when their plane went down in the Hudson.
I quit that day and my book agent was shocked. He was after all….well, you would know his name.
Life is too short to let other people make you miserable – no matter what the cost. And that fashion guy still owes me a Cole Haan black flat, size eight.
WHAT I KNOW NOW ABOUT BEAUTY
As for what I know now about beauty, which is, of course, what I cover for StyleGoesStrong, here we go…
- I know that I should thank my mom Renee for great skin. You can't buy it. If you got it, take care of it.
- When I worked at Kelly's Day camp as a teenager in Chicago, I should have used damn sunscreen. I've been fighting that sun damage ever since.
- I know my wonderful fiancée loves me without Botox or filler. I still haven't done it — and I'm holding out. I'm not saying never, but just not now.
- I know that you should get off the diet soda…asap! It's not just that your skin will look better, but your energy levels will soar. Why didn't I figure that out ten years ago?
- I know that only three things work in skincare: retinol (be careful, check with your derm first), peptides (amazing), and vitamin C. The rest of it, including that $400 cream from yak milk in France, is a rip.
- I know that wearing my glasses and actually seeing things at this age is better than being blind and (in my mind) cuter.
- I know that all those celebs that say to drink water aren't lying. They're always hydrating like crazy.
- I know after losing my parents at young ages that birthdays should be celebrated and not lamented.
- I know that the happiness you receive from your family and friends is really the best beauty secret.
- I know that Bruce Springsteen really is a beauty secret. Singing, dancing, fist pumping at this age…oh, that was me. They should bottle that feeling!
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