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Beauty

Helen Mirren Dishes on Cutting Her Own Hair and Pulling Off Red Lipstick at 68

Updated

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better style icon than Helen Mirren — at age 68, she dyes her hair pink after seeing it on America’s Next Top Model, unabashedly adores her “stripper shoes” and beats out women half her age for “Best Dressed” titles. So when we heard she opened up about her beauty routine in the August issue of Redbook, we decided to take notes.

Helen Mirren cuts her own hair
Mike Marsland/WireImage

First, Mirren puts to rest rumors that she cuts her own hair. By confirming them, that is. “Not always, but yes,” she says. “I can’t handle going to the hairdresser every six weeks, so I only go about once a year. In between, I get out the scissors and do something, usually rather disastrously. Sometimes I’ll even chop my hair the morning of a big red carpet event.” She’s always looked on-point when we’ve seen her, so she should probably bottle and sell her “disastrous cut” remedy.

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Mirren does confess that she has made one concession to the aging process (and it’s not retiring her two-pieces!). She says that her beauty routine has had to change recently. “I wear makeup every day. I love putting it on, and I get really into it: a little bit of this here, and little bit of that there,” she says. “But then I stand back and look into the mirror and it’s awful! So I take it all off because I’ve gotten too anal about it. It’s absolutely true that as you get older, you have to wear less and less makeup.” So what’s her trick? “You can get away with naked eyes if you’ve got red lips. Or red lips and sunglasses!”

Julianne Hough Redbook
Courtesy Redbook

And though she seems to be doing fine in the self-esteem department, Mirren admits being a little in awe of her celebrated French chef character in the upcoming film The Hundred-Foot Journey. “Oh, God, she’s so not close to me,” she says. “As a Brit, we’ve always looked to the French and [wondered], ‘Why do they never look untidy?’ We’ve got a terrific inferiority complex when it comes to them.”

Check out the new issue, on stands July 8, and tell us: What do you think of Mirren’s beauty tips and tricks? Would you cut your own hair?

–Alex Apatoff