This month actress Mayim Bialik, from “The Big Bang Theory” is sharing her skin care and makeup favorites with us, along with sharing her personal recipe for homemade baby shampoo. Mayim is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo on the popular sitcom “Blossom” in the early 1990s. I remember the first time I saw Mayim. She played the young Bette Midler in “Beaches” and had a tremendous amount of charisma and talent at a very young age. Mayim also had guest roles on some of television’s most beloved shows of the 1980s and 1990s, such as “MacGuyver”, “Webster”, “Facts of Life”, and “Murphy Brown”. She also appeared in Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” in 1994, HBO’s “Fat Actress”, and the HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Recent appearances of Mayim’s include recurring roles on “Secret Life of the American Teenager”, FOX’s “Till Death”, and she’s most recently been added to the cast of the CBS Chuck Lorre hit “The Big Bang Theory” playing Jim Parson’s nerdy, brainy girlfriend.
Mayim is married to a graduate student who she met in calculus at UCLA, gave birth to a son in 2005, and a second son (born at home, largely unassisted) in 2008. Mayim is devoted to a lifestyle of natural family living, homeschooling, vegan cooking, and even makes her own baby shampoo. We recently had a chat. Enjoy!
The first time I saw you was in “Beaches”. You bounced off of the screen. I would imagine that playing the young Better Midler was exciting.
Yeah, I don’t think I fully understood the impact. I was a pretty naive kid and I really just sort of did my best and was a hard worker. But I don’t think I really understood the cultural significance and how it was going to change my life. All I really knew to go from was to be a diligent performer and do my best.
Big congrats to you on “The Big Bang Theory” and becoming a series regular. Are you enjoying it?
Yeah, it’s great. It’s obviously a well-oiled machine. They know what they’re doing on the show and they know what’s funny. It sort of feels like the first day of high school, being transfered to a new school. Because I’m working with a bunch of people who already know how to work together. So, I’m learning the ropes.
Was it a no-brainer for you to join the cast?
No. I auditioned for it last season just for one episode that, at that time, might have returned into a recurring role. So that’s kind of what it turned into. And now I’ll be seen sporadically throughout the season. I mean this in a good way…it’s a high pressure set in that they are constantly re-writing, even in front of the live audience. It’s a real challenge for an actor. So you kind of have to be able to roll with the punches on that show. So, I’m very flattered that I’m sort of surviving. Because it’s pretty intense, to have stuff changed on you at the last minute. “Here, memorize this new speech. Let’s see what this sounds like!”. It’s a real challenge, but it’s exciting too.
What are your favorite skin care products?
In general, I’m a pretty low maintenance female. Sort of an unadorned woman. Obviously when I go out I need to take good care of my skin and wear lots of makeup. But, for the most part, I don’t really have a lot of products that I use. I’m also kind of a holistic/green person, so I’m pretty careful about ingredients. I love the Dr. Hauschka products. Their Black Thorn Body Oil is one of my most favorite scents in the world. I will pretty much use anything Dr. Hauschka on my skin. It works really well for me. And I love the philosophy of the company and the ingredients. I use Baby Oil as makeup remover. I don’t really use a lot of complicated products. My mom gets a lot of Lancome and Clinique samples that she passes on to me. I try to keep it really simple. I’m also sensitive to a lot of fragrances, so that limits what I use. I try to wear sunscreen every day. And I don’t wear sunscreen in a moisturizer, I prefer to wear a sunscreen over my moisturizer.
What are your makeup fave’s?
I have some Dr. Hauschka stuff. A lot of companies don’t do animal testing, so that’s really wonderful. I have some Vincent Longo stuff that I really like that I got at different gifting suites. I really like their lip gloss and I love their eye shadow. I’m kind of a MAC person. I love MAC lipsticks. Those are my basics, my standards. But I also got a Hard Candy mascara at a gifting suite and I love it.
I heard that you make your own products. Tell me about that.
We have little kids, so I make their baby shampoo and I make all of my own cleaning products. But as for beauty stuff, that’s kind of it. The recipe for the baby shampoo is Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, water, a little bit of either jojoba or almond oil. And then whatever essential oils that you want it to smell like. And that’s it!
I love that! How old are your kids?
I have a two year old and a five year old.
Do you have a favorite spa?
I like the Kabuki Spa in San Francisco. I prefer to go on the “women only” days, that’s just me. In Los Angeles I haven’t really found one that I like. I’ve been to Century Club more than any other spa, which is in Korea Town, for the traditional scrub down on the table. It’s not a fancy, LA kind of place, but it is hard core. They also have great massages…they walk on your back. It’s really great. It’s not a frilly spa. I don’t do that well with filly spa’s, in case you couldn’t tell that from my personality already. With two young kids and no nanny and no baby-sitter my beauty regime has taken a serious hit. So, a lot of what I try to do is home stuff. I do my own little treatments or masks, just to get a little bit of relaxation at home. But, also for budgeting reasons…our luxury spa/resort desires have taken a hit.
I’m not a mom yet, but being an actress myself, I have to say that I have a fear of my kids wanting to be actors one day. Where do you stand on that?
I don’t like the industry for kids. I started acting when I was eleven, which I know sounds young, but a lot of people start their kids at two, three and four. I think a lot of it has to do with personality. I haven’t raised my children to work on reward and punishment. So I don’t think the industry would work for them because you need to be able to sit when they tell you to sit and smile when they tell you to smile. It’s not that my kids are defiant or not good listeners but if someone offers them a cookie and tells them to smile…it just doesn’t register with them. So between that and them being sort of just gentle and shy kids, I’m glad that I don’t think I’ll run into it. But I also feel like there’s definitely a place for theater. We’re a home-schooling family and we have a great theater program that’s run by a mother in our community and it’s a real legitimate theater experience. So I think there’s a real place for make believe and for learning those skills. But as for a lifestyle and me driving someone around to auditions…I don’t have to if I don’t want to, as a mom. (we share a laugh)
What do you carry in your purse that’s related to skin care?
It depends. I usually basically do everything at home. I carry blush with me. I carry the Vincent Longo “Verosa”. That’s sort of my standard “go to”. I can always throw it on and it will look good. And I carry MAC “Spice” lip liner. Depending on the event…I have a really simple Sephora clear sparkly gloss. I’m all about the same lip liner, and then just mixing that with different glosses. I also love Paul Frank Fried Ice Cream flavored Chapstick. And it’s my favorite. I can’t even describe how delicious it smells. They make one called “Cha Chis Fried Ice Cream”. It smells SO good. It smells like a churro. And I’m a terrible nail biter so I always try to carry some moisturizer so that there’s something on my hands to remind me to not bite them.
What makes you feel especially beautiful/sexy?
Sleep! (she laughs) I think being rested and relaxed really puts me in a better mind set. I love to take a hot bath, with no one disturbing me. And that’s something that really can rejuvenate me and that actually goes a really long way. I actually wrote a book on holistic parenting and it’s one of the things that I talk about. That, and a little bit of being nice to yourself, can go a really long way and can really recharge you for longer than you’d expect.
Do you have a favorite skin care tip or advice?
The best advice I was given was to not pick anything on my skin. For me, I’ve noticed that when I’ve tried to fix things (like a pimple) instead of letting my skin just cycle through and take it’s course, I found that leads to more scaring and problems. So that’s actually some of the best tips I’ve been given is just to leave it alone. And that skin usually has a three month cycle that it needs to got through to get rid of the total residue of a pimple thats stubborn or something. I’ve gotten cold sores since I was about six years old and that’s also something that I just need to let it go, instead of bothering it and try to speed up the process of healing. Sometimes it just needs to run it’s course. So, I’ve learned to resist the urge to pick and fuss with these things.
Do you feel that the entertainment industry was kinder to you when you were younger, or do you feel that the business has been overall kind to you throughout the years?
I think for someone who was teased for most of her life for being funny looking and having a weird voice, I seemed to have found a niche where that’s totally fine and I get paid to be exactly who I am. So, it’s great. To have the opportunity to be on television as a teenager, to go get a graduate degree, have two fantastic kids and live a relatively normal life and then to come back again and have the industry interested in me again is really a blessing. It’s really outrageous and I’m totally in shock and disbelief that I get to work again as an adult. So, I’m very grateful.