Busy Philipps Talks Self Care, Border Crisis and On-Set Style

Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment
Busy Philipps

The 'Busy Tonight' host also recommends wellness products like Olay SPF, Lekfit workout classes and cooled jade rollers.

Busy Philipps had quite the busy weekend.

On Saturday, the talk show host traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, to learn about conditions at the border through Zoe Winkler's organization This Is About Humanity. On Sunday, Philipps showed up to the Daily Front Row Fashion Los Angeles Awards to fete inclusive designer Christian Siriano, honored as a Fashion Visionary at the event.  

"I had kind of a long weekend," Philipps laughs to The Hollywood Reporter. "Just the dichotomy of my fucking life, right?" She rounded things out on Monday with the launch of her campaign with skincare brand Olay, including videos of her touting the Olay Regenerist Whip with SPF 25. 

But first she had her daily workout at Lekfit, which she raves about to THR. "I stopped focusing on the thing that I think was the message to me for a long time in my career, which was like, 'Get skinny, girl.' And I started to really embrace the idea of just being strong and empowered. And I think that that has changed the way that I view everything in my life and my career," she says.

Here, Philipps speaks more about self care, wellness and style, including her "beauty hack" (on-set jade rollers), working with stylist Erica Cloud for a colorful Busy Tonight aesthetic, and the advice she received from Stephen Colbert.

You had a big weekend in Mexico and at the awards show.

I had kind of a long weekend. Here's the thing: I'm not a person who really says no. I like to show up for people, and especially my friends. Going to the border with This Is About Humanity and going to Tijuana and speaking with some of the refugees and the asylum seekers down there was incredibly important to me. Because I feel like, as someone who lives in Los Angeles, this is very close to home. I have donated money to causes, but I didn't have a full understanding of what was happening.... At the end of the day, it can get reduced to numbers, and I think people feel better about that when they're thinking in a political sense, but these are human beings with lives and hopes and dreams and children. I hope that people don't lose sight of that. Just the dichotomy of my fucking life, right? Like I go there and then I'm at a big fashion awards event last night with Christian Siriano, and in between I was with my children. Now I'm going to do my talk show. Life just continues to move. 

And why did you want to get on board with the Olay campaign? 

Skincare truly is something that I do feel very strongly about. I'm a person who has lots of beauty marks and moles. So I know that protecting my skin is important to my health. Then of course there's the superficial reason, which is that I'm an actor and a person in front of the camera, and I don't want wrinkles. When Olay sent me the product and I started trying it and utilizing it in the day-to-day, it was so incredible, because it's not often that you get a skincare product that has the SPF that handles all of your needs, instead of having to do a moisturizer and then an SPF on top, which would end up feeling greasy or I feel like would cause you to break out or make my face look chalky. I've tried literally all of them.... I love it. We put it on under my makeup before I do my show every day.

What other beauty tricks have you found since starting your show? 

I don't inject stuff into my face. I really believe in trying to keep it as natural as possible.... I do get a fair amount of facials. Like I really do, but also I think that's part of when I'm doing a show or working — and this has been most of my career — you're wearing so much makeup, you're sitting under lights all day, you're putting powder on top of powder on top of powder. You just need to get that deep clean. You need to get your skin really clean every couple of weeks.

Other beauty hacks since I've started the show, my makeup artist Kindra Mann, who has been doing my makeup for years now, bought this little mini refrigerator for our glam room at Busy Tonight, and she keeps these rollers in there. There's like a jade roller and a rose quartz roller, and she'll like roll my face and under my eyes in the morning and it is very refreshing. It feels like it does something? And so I enjoy it. I don't know if it does do anything.

For Busy Tonight, what was your vision behind the colorful fashion choices?

It's incredibly important to always be true to myself and the essence of who I am on the talk show. It was actually a piece of advice that Stephen Colbert gave me, which was, "Don't ever stop being you, because that is the thing that people have responded to. It's the thing people want, and your job is to put that into the world in the purest way you can when you do a talk show." Which I thought was such amazing advice from him. And I really try to implement that in many different ways, obviously, but for me as a woman and as a person who has always been a colorful dresser, has always enjoyed fashion, has always loved using clothes as a daily costume.

Even back from when I was in high school, this has always been a part of who I am. The conversation was always to me and Erica Cloud, who is my stylist on the show and an incredible stylist, that we have that expression of me in my wardrobe. We wanted it to be very feminine and girly, for lack of a better word, and very colorful. We wanted whatever we're feeling that day.

Erica pulls the most amazing clothes for me. I'm doing all the other things, we're writing the show, we're figuring out the bits for the guests, I'm getting prepped by my producers for what the guest wants to talk about, and then we decide what the vibe of the show is that day. Sometimes it's like a sexy '70s vibe and sometimes it's a suit, and sometimes it's jeans and a blousy top. And we build the entire look. I really don't take it too seriously, but we are thoughtful about it. Between Kindra, who does my makeup, Kristin Heitkotter, who does my hair, and Erica Cloud, who does my wardrobe, we really do think about every day, "What do you want to look like? Who do you want to be today?"

You also start your day with Lekfit and are a big proponent. What do you like about that workout?

I just did two classes back-to-back right now, so I'm kind of dying. I love the bounce classes. She's got amazing streaming classes and classes online that you can do, which I did when I was doing I Feel Pretty in Boston. I bought a trampoline and I did it on my balcony like almost every day. I love it because the trampoline makes it low impact. I have bad knees and hips and all of the things, and I get a huge cardio and endorphin rush from the workout, which is incredible.

I really feel like it's changed my body in the last several years. I feel really empowered by it. I stopped focusing on the thing that I think was the message to me for a long time in my career, which was like "Get skinny, girl." And I started to really embrace the idea of just being strong and empowered. And I think that that has changed the way that I view everything in my life and my career.