Celebrity Skin Interview: Kate Walsh

October 24, 2015 | | Comments 2

You asked for her back, and you got her! When I asked my readers to choose a favorite Celebrity Skin Interview, out of all the actresses that I’ve had chats with, Kate Walsh sat at the top of their lists. After interviewing her twice, seeing how much she interacts with her fans online and also knowing her personally, it’s no surprise to me that you chose Kate. For the first time ever on My Skin Affair I’m bringing a celebrity back, by popular demand. Also, another first, I’m giving you a Celebrity Skin Interview “mashup”. I’ve combined pieces for you from both of my interviews with Kate because some of you wrote to me about loving my first chat with her last year and some of you wrote about the second chat that I had with Kate this year about Boyfriend. (Seriously Kate, your fans are an incredibly loyal bunch.) Without further adieu, I give you…The Kate Walsh Interview Mashup!  Enjoy. Kate Walsh

I met Kate while we were shooting a pilot together for ABC in 2005. At the time, she had only shot a handful of episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and there was talk of her becoming a bigger part of the show if our pilot didn’t get picked up as a series. Consequently, when our pilot didn’t become a series, Kate was available for “Grey’s Anatomy” and from there…Kate Walsh quickly became a household name. Next came “Private Practive”, and you know the rest.

I knew a bunch about Kate before we had our first chat about skin care. I knew all about her talent, how funny she is, I know she’s a super cool chick that’s easy to talk to and work with and I know that she’s a fellow animal lover. But, I had no idea how knowledgeable Kate was about skin care and how passionate she is about it. So, chatting with Kate about skin care was a blast. Kate is a true skin care enthusiast. Enjoy!

katewalshpic2Photo by Roberto D’Este
Prior to our chat, Kate had told me that she is a huge fan of Kate Somerville’s products and services. So, I wanted to start there…

I noticed Clarisonic on the Kate Somerville site. Are you a fan?

Love Clarisonic! I have one for the face and body. It makes a huge difference. It’s not only good for cleansing but it’s great for circulation.

Why Kate Somerville?

Her products and services are great. It’s two for one…you go to her spa and she’s got the best services in terms of facials, muscle rejuvenation, lasers (red light, blue light, white light) all of these great things. Because I’m a big believer, I’ve not done anything, like I’ve never done Botox, I don’t have any fillers…nothing. And (she laughs) I’m not saying that I never will, but I don’t. So, everybody has their line in the sand and mine is I’ll do everything else other than put any needles in my face, you know…unless I cut myself and need stitches. (laughs) So, what I love about Kate Somerville products and her services there…it’s very natural. It’s great, beautiful skin, fresh, glowing, gorgeous…but very natural. But there’s also the lasers that I love. For example there’s the Titan laser that works on a deep dermal level and helps to stimulate collagen growth. But, I don’t do anything where I can’t go to work the next day. I love the lasers that she has there, and I love the facial.

Do you have a favorite facial you get at the Kate Somerville Clinic?

There’s the Quench Facial, which I love. They’ll do a regular cleansing and do extractions, but anybody can do that. And I’m not a huge fan of doing major extractions anyway. Mostly I take good care of my skin to where, unless it’s hormonal, I don’t have a lot of extractions to do. Luckily, I mean part of that’s genetic, my mom had really great skin and so I’m blessed in that way. But, Kate Somerville does this facial called Quench, that’s like an airbrush that they use to put this Quench serum into your face, pressuring it in with the airbrush. And it’s so super moisturizing and you can see your skin plum up and it’s great to do before an event or a big night or a photo shoot.

How long do the results last?

That just depends, a few days. But, the lasers are more long term. Their salon services are just fantastic. All of the different lasers! And then they have the muscle rejuvenation that stimulates the facial muscles to give it a little lift. And if you do that consistently you really see a big difference. You see it right away too. It gives your skin a little lift. And the other one’s (treatments) are long term. You just go in as regularly as you can, once every couple of weeks or once a month to do the laser stuff. You know, Botox is faster I think, but it’s weird. I mean, I just think we’re on the edge of an epidemic of weird facial stuff happening.

And people just look strange!

They look weird. I’ve seen some actresses that I haven’t seen in a while and (laughing) you’re like “Whoa, okay! You look really different”. And I think it’s really difficult to be objective about your own face. Because we are all aging and our faces change and our bodies change so I think it’s kind of impossible to remain objective. So when you start doing things to actually alter how you look, really alter, it’s a slippery slope.

It is, you’re right. And there’s so much that you can do to avoid that or at least prolong having to do something like that, if that’s what you want.

It’s like working out. I mean, I feel like it’s just like going to the gym. You can’t just go on a crash diet and expect to be in great shape. You have to consistently take care of your body and you have to consistently take care of your skin. Inside and out, too! That’s another thing, in terms of skin care for me. I’m 42 now and your body chemistry changes, hormones change. It’s funny, in your twenties and early thirties you’re like “Yeah, I can do whatever I want”. Now, I have to take supplements and vitamins and eat well because it is the inside out. I make sure I’m taking fish oil to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized and vitamin E. I like Reservatrol. I love that stuff. It’s a supplement. It’s a natural substance that helps promote skin growth and cell growth and renewal.

And you notice a difference?

Yeah, I do. But that’s another thing. You can’t just go in and have lasers washed over your face, or the same thing with a filler or Botox or something. You see these people with the frozen face and then their necks look terrible or the rest of their body is going and it’s like, you have to go from the inside out.

Yeah, it’s like seeing people who get liposuction and then don’t change their diets.


What are your favorite Kate Somerville products?

The products are just ridiculous. They’re all natural, they’re very clean smelling. I love all of them. One of my all time favorites is ExfoliKate. It’s an exfoliating scrub for the face and you can also use it on your body. But I use it on my face and neck and decollete. And it’s got a little tingle to it. I’ll use the Clarisonic to cleanse first. Kate Somerville has a great gentle skin cleanser too, her Gentle Daily Wash. I use that. I put that right on the Clarisonic and go to town. And then I put the ExfoliKate on and I wash it off or use the Clarisonic to scrub it off. It’s a great exfoliator and you see a difference right away. And you can use the Kate Somerville Micro Glycolic Polisher in conjunction with the ExfoliKate. I love mixing that with the ExfoliKate. It’s a combination of glycolic and lactic acid and it’s a good exfoliator. It really minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. The other thing she has which is fantastic is her Mineral Mud Mask which doesn’t really need to dry. I do this in the shower in the morning because I don’t have the time to hang out…you know. It’s plumping and it also extracts. And, again, you feel a little tingle. It’s a Mineral Mud Mask and it’s genius. It’s a newer product of hers. It doesn’t get dry and tight like a traditional mud mask. It’s gives you a nice plump. So, you feel a little tingle in your face as it’s extracting and you feel a little plump in your face. I don’t have big, full, “bee stung” lips and you feel a little plump in your lips after the mask. I love it. And any of these products, you can finish with a Clarisonic too. One of the things that I love about Kate Somerville is that there are four basic things to use. It’s not crazy, complex…having to use six or eight different things. You can use as little or as much as you want of her products. And I love that all of her products sink right in. You can put makeup right over it. I love that. She also has a Quench mask that’s very hydrating as well. And I love the Quench Face Serum. It’s very hydrating. Also, I love the Kate Somerville Line Release. And then there’s just the basic stuff, like drink tons of water. Hydrating is a big thing for me. I get really dry skin.

My favorite, favorite thing, that’s not Kate Somerville is Emu oil. And that is sort of the best thing. It’s from the Emu bird. If you’re a vegan, I’d say jojoba oil is great. Emu oil has healing properties. It’s incredible. My makeup artist introduced me to it. It’s helpful if you have a scar or a scab or if you’ve picked at your face or if you have a burn. It heals scars and burns really well. A friend of mine burned herself badly with a curling iron and put Emu oil on it and it really heals. My boyfriend uses it for a moisturizer. I put it on in the morning before I go to work. After I get out of the shower, I put that on all over my face and neck. It doesn’t make you break out. And then as I’m in the hair and makeup trailer (on set), I let that set in. Your face just drinks it up. You can also put it on at night before you go to bed. Incredible!

Good to know! Is there a specific line of Emu oil that you love?

The kind that I get that I love is Laid in Montana by Montana Emu Ranch. I put it all over my face. It’s incredible. Honestly, it’s one of the best kept secrets. It’s awesome. It not only moisturizes, but it’s got healing properties.

So, it would be great for people who have acne scaring?

Totally! And, going back to Kate Somerville, she’s got great lasers for acne scaring as well. And, by the way, Kate’s products are not a fortune. They’re really reasonable and it’s very accessible. I’ve been using her line for about five years. Also, there’s an old one too that I do at night sometimes which is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. It’s been around forever. It doesn’t make you break out and it seals in the moisture at night to give your skin a break. I’ll put on the Emu oil and then the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream over it before I go to bed and wake up in the morning and have baby skin. It’s incredible.

It sounds like your “must have” product is Emu oil?

Yeah. I’m a big fan. And again, if you’re vegan, you can use jojoba oil instead. I did a movie in New Mexico and it was so dry and windy and the makeup artist there suggested jojoba oil. And you can get it at the grocery store and it’s super cheap. It’s so good for your skin and healing as well.

Do you have any favorite body products?

I’m obsessed with Pure Figi Coconut Sugar Rub. It’s the bomb! I use it in the tub, in the shower…and it’s awesome. The other thing I’ll say for a cheaper option, that’s super hydrating, is Cetaphil Ultra Hydrating Lotion.

Yay, Cetaphil! I’m a big fan of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. It’s really affordable and really great.

The Cetaphil Lotion is awesome. I’m obsessed with finding stuff that works and that’s not scented, so I can put my perfume on and not have conflicting scents. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for feet, elbows, and knees. I love that stuff! By the way, a good tip…while you’re in the shower, put an oil your skin while you’re still wet and then when you go to put your bathrobe on or your towel, you just have that little moisture in there and then you can put your lotion over it. That’s particularly great for people with dry skin. And I love L’annine Hand Cream.

Let’s talk makeup!

I don’t wear it when I don’t have to. If I can get away with it, I wear none. My guy at work (“Private Practice”) uses Armani foundations. I love them. My favorite mascara on the planet, other than Maybelline Great Lash that everyone loves…is Make Up For Ever mascara. I love it. It never clumps and it looks super natural. I don’t like to put a lot of foundation on, but I still use a little bit of Chanel foundation. I use their Lumiere Fluid.

What do you keep in your purse?

I love Jao Hand Refresher. It smells great. Love that! For under eye (dark circles), other than the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat pen that everybody has, I love the Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer. I’m obsessed with Cle de Peau. I use the Cle de Peau Concealer in “Ocher”. I use that in combination with the YSL Touche Eclat. If I’m going out and going to do my own makeup I just do a little bit of that under my eyes, super moisture, and maybe mix a little Chanel foundation with a moisturizer and just rub it on almost like a lotion. And then I have a Stila Sheer Pressed Powder. But I try not to even use a lot of that because I try not to have any creasing. I always carry a lip gloss. Right now, I have the Face Lip Gloss that I love in my bag.

Are there any spas or resorts with great spas that you love, out of town?

I like Montage Laguna Beach. And Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is always good.

katewalshpic31Photo by Tim Calver

So, I have to ask…when we worked together I think you had only done a few episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy”. What was it like when all of that blew up and then turned into a spin-off for your character on “Private Practice”?

It didn’t happen over night. I had a really great time shooting “Grey’s”. I shot the pilot with you and when the pilot didn’t go I came back to “Grey’s” and it just became huge. It’s something you can’t ever anticipate. It was a crazy ride. I could have never anticipated that.

Kate is a very proud supporter of Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation.

What Kate shared with me about Oceana:

”I’ve been working with Oceana for a couple of years. I’m working to preserve the ocean. It’s a food source for a billion people on this planet. We have to help maintain that. Since I can remember, the ocean has been a part of my life. I’ve always been by the ocean. I even thought I’d be a marine biologist at one point…(she laughs) or play one on tv one day”. – Check out this beautiful picture of Kate swimming with a sea turtle.

katewalshpic42Photo by Tim Calver

Less than a year after I had my first skin care chat with Kate, we had another chat about her new creation. Kate created the hippest and sexiest fragrance and body care line…Boyfriend. Boyfriend is romantic decadence. Just the way you want your Boyfriend to be. Sexy, cozy, comforting, warm and chic. One of the things that I love about Boyfriend is that it’s so personal. Kate really put her own story and heart into it. Everything about Boyfriend feels personal. It’s personal to Kate and it will be personal to you. From the Boyfriend ad campaign…”Wear Him”. How sexy is that? Wear him!!!

Kate Walsh

How was this brilliant idea hatched?

About five or six years ago I had split up with my boyfriend and I was in New York and I was shopping and I missed his scent. I missed his cologne. I missed him but I really missed how he smells on my skin. (she laughs) You know when you hug your guy and you have that smell? So I went and bought a men’s fragrance and it wasn’t quite right because it was just a men’s fragrance and it was too strong and not right. At the time I thought, I’m just going to go to the men’s fragrance counter and you don’t need to have a boyfriend to have a boyfriend, ya know? And then I thought, wait a minute, that would be a great idea for a perfume. And I thought of the story of it. The everybody’s got a boyfriend story and the ad campaign was sort of spinning, ya know? You don’t need to have a boyfriend to have a boyfriend, my mother loves my boyfriend, my girlfriends want my boyfriend, even my husband loves my boyfriend. But I thought, oh I don’t want to do a fragrance, because there are people who are much more famous than me and everyone has their fragrance. I wasn’t interested in doing a “celebrity” fragrance or an endorsement deal. For me it was really about creating it, the concept…the guy’s scent on a girl’s skin and it was really the creative venture of it that was really interesting to me. So, the guy who actually inspired it, my ex-boyfriend, who is a venture capitalist…I called him up and he told me that I should just make it, but make it like I would make a pilot. Create it, shoot it, spend the money on it and then go around and shop it. And if you sell it, then you can get a loan from the bank and do it that way rather than going to get investors. So that’s what I did. So this was totally inspired by my ex-boyfriend. And I didn’t do it right away. The idea sort of wouldn’t leave me alone and the thing that was blocking me was just “who needs another perfume in the world”. But I couldn’t find what I liked out there so I thought, well this is a perfect opportunity to create it. So I did!


This is my new favorite smell. It’s a very, very sexy scent. Was it difficult for you to make a final decision on the scent?

Yes! It was very difficult. I went to a perfumery in New York and I liked everything that was being put together. They first asked me what I was inspired by and I remember I loved this candle at the Gramercy Park Hotel. I loved this smoky, kind of woody, really sexy scent. But that wasn’t right on it’s own. But I brought that in. And I loved the memory of my first boyfriend’s cologne, which was Polo by Ralph Lauren. I wanted to have these masculine notes but it had to be feminine too because for a while I wore just sort of straight up men’s fragrance but it’s too strong. And for an every day thing, it’s just too much. And I wanted more floral. So we found the balance. So this fragrance opens up with a floral and then the woodiness and vanilla and amber come in later. And it’s a fragrance that you can layer.

But yes, it was very difficult to make the final decision. I kept questioning it and we went round and round…and we got it right! It was an important piece to have the feminine in there too because it’s not just a men’s cologne for a women. It’s really the marriage of both.

That’s exactly what it is. You completely achieved that! And, by the way, awesome idea for the body oil. I love it, it’s light, it’s not greasy. I love it for my arms and legs.

For The Boyfriend Kit itself I wanted to do something that was cute and chic, and I liked the idea of making it portable. So you can take your Boyfriend with you wherever you go.

Kate Walsh Boyfriend

So, why a train case? Where did that come from? It’s such a cute idea!

I think it’s kind of romantic and vintage. And I was inspired by old movies and also wanted to design something a bit kitschy and fun for Sephora.

Did you choose all of the names on the case?

I did!

Well, I love everything about Boyfriend and The Boyfriend Kit. It’s going to stay on my permanent list of favorites.

And it has…and so has Kate!

For more info on some of Kate’s favorite products, check out my review for the Kate Somerville Clinic and Kate Somerville products!

Super huge congrats to Kate for being YOUR favorite Celebrity Skin Interview. Until the next time I catch up with Kate on all things skin care, check out the awesome Kate Walsh Site for all things Kate.

katewalshpic5Photo by Brian Bowen Smith

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  1. Hannah says:

    Love the interview mash-up! Hope you interview Kate again for the site.

  2. Iymasta says:

    Hi, re makeup, do you have any suggestions on how to create the dark look with eyeliner? I have tried a few times but been not very successful unfortunately. Thanks!

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