We’re excited to continue our new series, The Close-Up, where we take a closer look at celebrities, influencers, and pop culture phenomena. You’ve read about them on the internet and clipped their photos out of magazines—but now you’ll have the chance to get to know them personally through fun Polaroids, handwritten beauty advice, product recommendations, and so much more.
Katie Holmes has been part of the A-list since her debut as the loveable and complicated Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek in 1998. Since then, her star power has superseded that of a teen-dream girl, and the world watched as she grew into a poised, sophisticated woman with gritty roles in films like Pieces of April and blockbusters including Batman Begins. Then, she cemented herself as part of the pop culture zeitgeist yet again with a guest role on How I Met Your Mother. The entire time, her glossy chestnut-brown hair has been slicked back, blown out, and curled hundreds of times—with never a strand out of place. It’s mesmerising, to say the least.
When we sat down to talk about just that—her undeniably gorgeous hair—Holmes was quick to cite one brand in particular for the positive changes in her mane. “The longer I’ve been in this business, the more I’ve been exposed to wonderful things. Alterna is very high on that list,” she mused. “I’ve been working with Alterna for a couple years now. I love the company; I love how it began with a hairstylist who’s in this industry. Every product is made with wonderful ingredients—it’s paraben free. Using products with good-for-you ingredients is like eating well. It’s the same concept. Over time, it has this positive effect on you. I’ve seen it make a huge difference in my hair.”
We talked in depth about each product, smelling them, feeling their clean texture and weightless formulas. “I love all of these products, and I use all of them,” Holmes excitedly regaled. She wasn’t pulling my leg, either. The actress had a time and place for each product and spent the majority of our interview going through them all. “With the Moisture Milk (£23), you leave it in, and it gives you that shine without it ever feeling greasy,” Holmes said. “My absolute favorite, though, is the Caviar Shampoo (£28). It smells great and makes me feel great.”
Okay, I thought. But what about when you’re rushing out the door? No time for a shower, no time for a proper styling sesh. “When I don’t have much time,” Holmes explained, “I’ll use the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo (£17) and just throw it up—especially in the heat.” We both laughed because the day of our interview was a particularly oppressive one, humidity-wise. She continued, “It’s really just about embracing all of these things that make your beauty routine easier, faster, and better. With Alterna, they believe in putting good ingredients on your hair and really maintaining healthy hair. It makes the beauty regimen that much quicker because your hair already looks good. If you use the products over time, you have less to worry about when styling.”
We began to discuss her favorite red carpet looks of her career, and I figured she must have a few that hold a special place in her heart. I mean, I still remember the epic, ever-so-blessed feeling on my way to prom in 2007, my Lauren Conrad–inspired waves bouncing across my shoulders. “I went to the Met Ball in 2013 with Francisco from Calvin Klein,” she practically cooed, her eyes lighting up with each word. “Serge Normant did my hair—it was this big twist made to look like a mohawk. That was the year with the punk theme. It was my (very conservative) version!”
Holmes has been referenced as the girl next door since she actually played the girl next door on Dawson’s Creek. Her beauty style isn’t avant-garde, though she pulls off wholesome in an interesting and intriguing way. I asked if she broke any traditional beauty rules on a regular basis.
I personally am against the idea of “banishing frizz.” I think frizz is cool and should be celebrated, and Holmes was quick to agree. While frizz isn’t her personal issue (her hair is just as shiny and groomed in person as it looks on the red carpet), she doesn’t shy away from living on the edge when it comes to beauty. “I think I’m constantly breaking the rules,” Holmes explained. “I don’t really know what the season’s trends are. So I’m just kind of winging it. I’m sure I break them all the time.”
We bonded over our healthy love for kale salads and not-so-healthy adoration for all things pizza. Holmes feels at home in a “really great dance class” but detests squats. “Even the word hurts,” she joked.
Naturally, as with all my interviews, the subject of Beyoncé came up. Holmes loves her just as much as you do. I asked, “What is your favorite song to listen to while you’re getting ready?” To which she answered, “Anything Beyoncé.” I countered, “Which song do you know every word to?” She quickly responded with her signature laugh: “Anything Beyoncé.” And with that, she fulfilled everything I had hoped for out of the interview.
Want more celebrity beauty tips? Check out Kendall Jenner’s secret to clear skin.