This month Melora Hardin is sharing her skin care and makeup favorites with us. Melora is probably most recognized for her portrayal of Jan Levinson, Steve Carell’s rigid former boss and love interest, on the hit NBC series, “The Office”. She is also known for playing Tony Shaloub’s dead wife in the hit USA Network series, “Monk.” Melora has a new live album titled “All the Way to Mars” making this Hardin’s third album, but first studio-released album. “All The Way to Mars” features songs from Broadway, standards, pop, and a few that she wrote herself. The album was released on February 9th and is currently available in stores nationwide.
Melora most recently starred in back-to-back #1 weekend theatrical box-office features as the adult female lead and love-interest to Billy Ray Cyrus in the big-screen, “Hannah Montana: The Movie” alongside Miley Cyrus as well as the film “17 Again,” opposite Zac Efron in April 2009. Melora was given the opportunity to perform in New York City starring on Broadway as Roxie Hart in “Chicago” from late December 2008 – mid February 2009. Prior to this she had played the lead part of Fantine in the Hollywood Bowl rendition of “Les Miserables in Concert” for a one-weekend performance to sold-out audiences in August 2008.
I met Melora while we were shooting an episode of “Without A Trace” together for CBS. I had no idea, until we had the following chat, that she was a very impressive triple threat. And not only can Melora sing, dance and act… but she also has great taste in skin care and makeup products. I loved hearing all about Melora’s favorite products and her life-long love for performing. Enjoy!
I asked Melora about when she became a much bigger part of “The Office” after we worked together.
I had been recurring on “The Office” for about a year and half when we worked on “Without a Trace” together and consequently, I was unavailable to “The Office” for that week we worked together so they made me a regular because they were bummed that they lost me for that episode.
By the way, I didn’t know you were a singer.
A lot of people don’t know that. I’m a singer and songwriter. I starred on Broadway last year in “Chicago” as Roxie Hart.
That’s fantastic! How was it?
Oh my god, it was amazing! It was incredible. I’m also a dancer so for me to be able to be singing, dancing and acting all at once was like heaven. I think I should have probably been born in the musical era. That’s what I want next. I want to star in a musical movie.
Do you have a first love?
I don’t know. People ask me that all the time and I’m not sure how to really answer that because I feel like at this point in my life they are just things that I love and have continued to do all my life. I started acting professionally when I was six, and I started dancing when I was five and I’ve really been singing all my life. My mom said I wrote my first song when I was two. The point is that I would have told you as a kid that I was going to be a ballerina and that acting and singing were my hobbies but as I got older I realized that ballet was sort of limiting for all the different interests that I had and I guess in a way it ended up being kind of something that I would always do for my heart and my soul, and my body of course, to dance… but not a career that I ultimately wanted to pursue.
When did the acting really come in?
I’ve really been doing it all my life. I come from an acting family. Two actor parents and it seemed like the thing to do and I loved it and I worked all the time as a kid and kind of always worked all my life.
I rarely chat with actresses who truly do it all. My hat’s off to ya! Let’s talk skin care. What are your favorite skin care products?
I love La Mer at night. In the day time I’ve tried so many different things. I also love the Guinot Neck Cream. It’s a French line. I love that it’s specifically a neck cream. I’ve been using that for probably 20 years. I always use a hand cream at night. I love Tensolift by Natura Bisse. That’s an amazing hand cream which I love. And it’s also got an SPF in it, so you can wear it during the day too. Right now I’m into the Yves Saint Laurent Eye Cream. I wash my face at least twice a day, morning and night, and I like to use the Yves Saint Laurent Toner. That one I really love. I’ve tried so many different kinds of creams on my face for the day time but I have to say I continue to go back to Dermalogica. I really like their Intensive Moisture Balance. I let that soak in and then I put on the Barrier Repair. I have more Dermalogica products in my bathroom than anything else. I love their Skin Prep Scrub and if I’m even low on my Skin Prep Scrub I’ll buy two more of them so I have little lines of Dermalogica products on my shelves. (laughing) It’s ridiculous. I just think their products are amazing. I love the Special Cleansing Gel. I think I’ve been using Dermalogica for over 20 years. I continue to return to them. I’m willing to try other things but I do continue to come back to them. Their Intensive Moisture Mask, their scrubs…I just love everything about Dermalogica.
Let’s talk makeup!
My favorite, favorite thing that I cannot live without and have like 50 of them around the house is called Karite Lips. I like the Shea Butter Vanilla Lip Balm. And I literally have two in my purse, one next to the bed, one in the bathroom, one downstairs, one in the kids room, I literally have them all over the house. My husband uses it. The stuff is fabulous! So that is a real mainstay, have to have that. I have two powders that I like. I have the Chanel powder but I also really like Philosophy The Supernatural. What’s really cool about it is that it has sunscreen in it and it also has a little bit of pigment in it. It’s nice. Really loving the MAC Mineralize Foundation. It has SPF 15 in it and it’s small enough, it’s in a compact, so you can put in your makeup bag and it has a little sponge and it’s really nice. I love it. I am totally obsessed with Cargo blush. It’s got a little bit of gold in it and it just makes you look so healthy. I also love the Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencils. They’re in the most amazing colors and they small enough so you can stick them in your bag and I always keep a black one and a brown one. And you can just smear it around your eyes and just suddenly your eyes look fantastic. I’m still addicted to the “Spice” Lipliner from MAC and I will always be. It’s just a great thing. I do love the Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat. Totally awesome!
Do you have a “must have” product?
My must have product is definitely the Karite Lips. I have to have that all the time.
What are you favorite spas?
I love Dtox Day Spa in Glendale. I think it’s really charming. It’s really quiet. There’s never anyone there. I like it. They do a really nice hot stone massage. And I also have to say I really like Terranea Resort and Spa. It’s only 45 minutes from LA. It’s a really beautiful place. It’s brand new. It just opened last year, I think. And they have a beautiful spa there. It’s right on the bluff there. It’s just really cool. So, that I really love. I like the Beverly Hills Hotel Spa. They use only La Prairie products. I do like La Prairie products.
Do you have a favorite spa treatment?
I like getting massages. I like getting hot stone massages and deep tissue massages. But I like doing those packages where you get the facial and the massage. Those I love. The scrubs, the massage. And the other one I love is Beverly Hot Springs. That’s a real gem in Los Angeles. And they do the most incredible body scrubs. Your body will feel like a baby’s butt when you’re done. It’s unbelievable. And it’s kind of sensual, the whole experience. It’s really cool. I love it there.
Being a mom, do you have any products for your little one’s that you love?
I have two girls. One is eight and one if five. I love the Kiss My Face Sunscreen because it doesn’t have any of the bad chemicals in it. It’s a spray on. Jason makes a really nice shampoo and conditioner for kids that you can get at Whole Foods which doesn’t have a lot of chemicals in it. People don’t realize that your hair and your skin are drinking up all of these chemicals every time we wash out hair and wash our face.
What’s in your purse?
I always have my Karite Lips. I always have a MAC “Spice” Lipliner. I have a L’Occitane Hand Cream, a small one. I have a shea butter hand cream. I have a Stila Lip Glaze in “grapefruit” which just sort of goes with everything and is easy. And I usually have MAC Studio Fix and I usually have a brush. If I have that, I’m usually pretty set. And I’m carrying the Stella Eau de Parfum Roll-On by Stella McCartney.
Do you have any skin care or beauty tips that you’d like to share?
When you’re styling your hair, always put something in it that protects it from heat. Bumble and Bumble products have a protector in them so if you spray your hair with the Bumble and Bumble thickening spray, that has a little heat protector in it. I also just discovered the most amazing product for my hair. It’s the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil. And it’s beautiful and you just use the tiniest bit but it keeps your hair so soft. It also keep your hair from not being frizzy. It’s really lovely.