Jennifer Hudson is nothing if not a multitasker. When I log in to our Zoom interview, she’s sitting in front of her gorgeous piano—where I’m convinced she’s just spent the last few hours belting out Aretha Franklin tunes—when I spot a pyramid of skin care products. It’s Olay’s Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer SPF 25, which J-Hud can’t wait to talk about.
“I’m very particular about my skin and what I use on it,” she tells Glamour. And who could blame her? She’s positively glowing, and I suddenly want to know her secrets for everything. “I don’t like heaviness in a moisturizer, so I love that this allows my skin to breathe,” she says of the cream, which is formulated with an amino-peptide complex and has an SPF 25. “This way it keeps my skin healthy because it’s a sunscreen as well.”
And given Hudson’s busy year ahead (she plays Aretha Franklin in the biopic, Respect, out later this year), she’ll take all the support she can get. In Glamour‘s latest edition of Big Beauty Questions, the Oscar winner shares how she finds moments of calm among the chaos, and the music that brings her peace.
What’s one beauty rule you swear by?
Just making sure you have your skin-care routine. Don’t neglect yourself, especially in times like these when you can cater to yourself. You gotta make sure your core is right.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard?
My mother used to say the only thing you can be the best at is being yourself. And too often we look at others or the image that is created and the expectation we’re expected to live up to, which I feel is a huge misdirection and misconception because the only way you can be the best is when you’re yourself.
How do you take a moment for yourself?
Normally I don’t get a lot of time to myself, but I’ve come to truly love that more than anything. Getting in tune with what I want, what I like, and how something makes me feel is so important. Too often we put everything and everyone before us, and are quick to do it. But as soon as it comes time to do what we want to do, we’re like, “I don’t need to, I don’t have to.” But no, you need to. So that’s what I’ve learned, and it’s helped me embrace myself more. At the end of the day, it makes you happier.
If you could only rely on three products the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
What’s your go-to perfume?
I don’t have anything particular favorites, but I do like a specific scent. If I have a candle, I like it to smell like chocolate or cookies. If I’m wearing a perfume, I like vanillas and caramels. I’m not big on a brand, but if it smells right, I’m all for it.
What color are you loving on your nails?
I’m loving an amethyst purple right now.
What’s your go-to-getting ready music?
That varies on the day. It was raining today, so I wanted some nice, calming music as I was getting ready. It feels like a day you should just sleep all day and stay inside, so why not make it cozy? That’s why my choice today was H.E.R. It was relaxing and the vibe of the day.
How long does it usually take you to get ready?
If I’m on mommy duty or a school day, it’s not about me. I gotta move, cause it’s all about the kid, and I might only have 15 minutes. But if I’m on a Jennifer Hudson day, that could take about an hour or two! It varies.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.