Beauty


Talking to Elizabeth Hurley, you get the sense you can ask her anything. She is, after all, the woman who just told Today Show viewers what a mammogram feels like. So when the 52-year-old model and women’s health advocate phoned us from her car in midtown Manhattan, we were amped on both Joe’s Coffee and a serious case of tell-me-everything curiosity.

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You’ve been working with the Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign for 22 years. What’s been the biggest change since you started?

When this campaign started, there was no pink ribbon. Nobody talked about breast cancer; magazines didn’t write about breast cancer; there was no Breast Cancer Awareness month. Today, we can really see what we’ve learned over the years: medical progress, research, seeing what our money is being spent on. And we feel really good about awareness and fundraising. Which makes us very, very keen now to get on with it and bring this whole thing to an end.

How close are we to ending breast cancer entirely?

Closer than ever. We’ve known since the ’80s that survival rates are up 38% because there are better treatments, and better research. We just know more. So we’re saying in 25 years, we hope I don’t have to do this anymore. That’s the dream and the aim.

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You have a teen son. How do you talk to men and boys about a women’s health issue?

Because it’s a human health issue. My son has been educated since he could talk about breast cancer, because I’ve been with the campaign for all that time. He’s part of the campaign. But it seems that everyone I meet in every walk of life has been affected by breast cancer somehow. Most men have mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends. (As it happens, we know that 1% of breast cancer is found in men, too.) And even though great progress has been made, every 2 minutes, somebody is diagnosed with breast cancer. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. So like it or not, men will be involved in this fight, too. They should be as informed and prepared as we are.

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You’re pretty active on Instagram, but you were a supermodel before iPhones were even invented. Do you like that social media has essentially become part of your job, or no?

I think if social media is used properly it can enhance one’s life. For me, from a personal point of view, I love that I can see what my friends are doing. I feel part of their lives, even if I’m not there, you know? I can be like, “How was the South of France?” You feel a little like a stalker, but it’s okay.

I always feel like a stalker! I get so embarrassed.

But we can’t be part of everyone’s life all the time. We just can’t be. And Instagram is good to keep us in the loop with our friends. So from that point of view, I love it. From the work I do with breast cancer awareness, it’s invaluable, because we can show people what we’re doing and be involved. For my beachwear brand, we can show new products and pictures and where to buy stuff. Used well, it’s superb.

But used badly…

Sure, there are some lunatics who use social media to bother people, but I haven’t had a problem. And I think I use it for a very positive way. Same with Twitter and Facebook. I consider it valuable and life-enhancing, as long as you’re not on it all the time.

What about FOMO?

Yes, I know about that, but I don’t have it. I have NO-MO. No worries about missing out! It’s the best.

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I need your advice. You are famously great friends with your exes. I’m friends with mine, too, but my boyfriends always get insecure. How do you keep your exes in your life without it ruining a current relationship?

Two of my best friends in the world are my ex-boyfriend and my ex-husband. What’s important is that your new boyfriend understands that your exes have possibly become like family to you. The question of not being friends with them is like losing a brother.

That’s what a boyfriend never understands!

Look, relationships end because they end. We’re all free agents. If we want to be together [with our ex-boyfriend], we could be! That’s important. Discuss that. Let him realize he’s the chosen one now, and to have faith in you. Platonic friendships are very valuable with either sex. It’s not a competition. We all need to have meaningful friendships because that’s what makes the world go round.

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Your mod makeup from Austin Powers had some runway moments this season. Do you still have any of your old costumes, or use any beauty tricks from the set?

Oh, the hair and makeup on that movie was just fantastic. I loved the high hair, the ponytails. And do you know, the makeup artist from that movie, who designed my look, I’ve worked with her for years at Estee Lauder. She did my makeup for Austin Powers, and she does it now! I still do the smoky eyes and heavy liner from that movie all the time.

What about the costumes?

Funnily enough I have all my costumes in a trunk in my attic. I have them all.

When was the last time you wore one of them?

When I was on set filming the movie! It was a different time. A very different time.



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