Reese Witherspoon is an extraordinary mix of a modern-day Hollywood role model and the girl next door. “My grandmother Dorothea always said that it was a combination of beauty and strength that made Southern women ‘whiskey in a teacup’. We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, but inside we’re strong and fiery. We all have a lot to learn from Southern culture,” she writes in her debut book, Whiskey in a Teacup.
The book has been met with mixed reviews. This is to be expected, given the difficult history of the South. However, it also enjoyed the respect many have for Reese’s outspoken views and work to achieve recognition for women’s rights in the entertainment industry. Most would agree, though, that she has a knack for finding joy in and appreciation of the simpler things in life: happiness, health, family, talent, and beauty.
What is Reese Witherspoon’s secret to an abundant life?
Reese is an inspiration to thousands of women worldwide because of her drive for success and female entrepreneurship. Her hands may be full, being a mother and a wife, but she has also had a wildly successful career as an actor, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. How she managed to achieve so much and still carve out pumpkins for her three children on Halloween must have something to do with her Southern roots.
This is what makes her role as Elizabeth Arden’s Storyteller-in-Chief so compelling, and why her March On campaign in support of UN Women meant so much more than most lipstick launches. And then there is also her Southern-inspired line of clothing, accessories and home décor, called Draper James, which launched in 2015. Despite it all, this 43-year-old doesn’t look as if she has aged a day in 30 years.
Her skin is glowing and her smile is brighter than ever before.
Although the actor is new to authoring books, she is no stranger to reading them. She loves reading. Her best screenings, such as Big Little Lies, Gone Girl, and the upcoming Little Fires Everywhere or Luckiest Girl Alive, are adaptations of books. Born in New Orleans and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Reese says her Southern heritage has informed her whole life. She believes your home and childhood have a major impact on the way you choose to live your life. She says sharing the “gospel of Southern living” is a beautiful obsession of hers. The South follows her everywhere she goes bluegrass country music, big holiday parties, and Kentucky Derbies. Jugs of Dorothea’s Sun Tea, Dorothea’s Brined-and-Battered Fried Chicken, Vegetable Plate-in-a-Jar, and Brother John’s Ribs. Brunches, Steel Magnolias, and monograms.
Happiness is the small things
Reese always tries to find the little joys in life. Many of us spend our days on autopilot, without stopping for a moment to soak it all in. When you do this for long enough, it’s easy to forget who you are and that there is no place like home. No matter where you end up, it’s good to remind yourself where you come from.
Reese prides herself on being welcoming, hospitable, and warm. She treasures friendship and holds her family and community close to her heart. However successful she gets or whatever city she finds herself in, she always returns to her roots. More importantly, Southerners never exclude anyone, and they always remember their manners. They certainly know how to throw a good dinner party!
Reese says her Southern heritage shows in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids – not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair. I bet you would never have guessed that she uses hot rollers to style her hair every day. It may be an old technique, but Reese’s hair always looks fabulous.
Reese talks style
From decorating to entertaining, cooking, dressing, and taking care of her skin, Reese is a natural at looking her best. She says she has her grandmother, Dorothea, to thank for her style choices and makeup skills.
Dorothea always taught her to dress appropriately and to get out of her sweatpants by 10 o’clock latest because sweatpants are for sweating only. More importantly, she learned that you should always choose to wear what makes you feel good, rather than follow fashion trends. You also need to know how to shop for the silhouette, color, and print that suits you best. Reese is blonde, so she has bright colors in her closet and usually opts for a “fit and flare” silhouette. She believes your makeup should always look natural. If you have freckles, you should still be able to see them through your foundation and powder. And lipstick goes a long way. She is obsessed with lipstick. After all, it makes her feel ready for the day and the world – especially red because it’s a powerful political symbol.
Reese believes beauty comes from within
Reese believes every woman should stop looking at or following accounts on Instagram that don’t make them feel good. One standard of beauty doesn’t exist. Instead, women should look at people or brands that stand for different expressions of what women are.
Beauty is not just about what is on the outside; it’s about how you feel. She thinks a lot goes into discovering the best version of yourself, and that isn’t only what you’re putting on your skin and how you’re taking care of yourself; it’s about what you are reading, too. The messages you choose to consume make you who you are.
Use an eyelash curler
But even Reese admits to seeing wrinkles and fine lines as you age. That is why you should moisturize and use quality products that hydrate and nurture your skin. She cleanses her skin every night and never goes anywhere without an eyelash curler. And no, your skin products don’t need to be expensive. There is so much choice today.
Reese dedicates time to her skincare routine, especially at night. She does this because it’s a wonderful way to close every day with something that is taking care of you. Moreover, she often has to remove heavy makeup after being on set. She uses coconut oil for her eye area and then retinol before her night cream. Reese has been using Retinol Ceramide Capsules by Elizabeth Arden for a year now, which she says has significantly improved her skin tone.
She believes cleansing and moisturizing should be part of your everyday ritual. That way, you will never have to do the heavy treatments. Don’t skip the small steps, such as putting on sunscreen and keeping hydrated. Click here for our review of the Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment. With resurfacing ingredients like polyhydroxy acid (PHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), this facial peel helps to improve the appearance of dullness as well as combat the aging effects of sun damage.
Success and beauty require energy. That is why you need to focus on regular exercise and a holistic diet. Reese believes you can’t support beautiful skin if you forget about your diet and lifestyle. What you eat plays a huge role in how your skin looks.
She drinks liters of water and has a green smoothie every day. She tells Harper’s Bazaar that this includes a generous portion of romaine lettuce and spinach, along with an apple and banana. Then, when she has a breakout, chlorophyll drops in water help to get rid of spots.
Exercising with friends helps her to keep motivated. Although exercising is not her favorite thing, she aims for four to five days a week. While it’s not easy to wake up early, she must do it in the morning. If it gets to 11 o’clock there will be no exercising.
She enjoys running outside two or three days a week, lifting weights twice a week, and yoga.
At Glamour’s Woman of the Year gala, Reese told the audience that, coming from a male-dominated industry, she now encourages every woman to stay away from a man who cannot manage an ambitious woman. And if there is a strong voice inside telling you to start something, don’t keep quiet. Work hard and try to find an environment where it can grow into a strength.
If those around you don’t appreciate your strength, it’s time to move on. Surround yourself with people who support you. If we encourage more women to be ambitious, the world will change, she says.
This article was first published in Longevity magazine’s South African bi-annual edition 2019/2020
If you enjoyed reading about lovely Reece, then you will enjoy reading how Jennifer Aniston stays so healthy and fit. Read about it here.