BEAUTY NOTES

Debi Mazar Does Self-Care on Her Own Terms

by Martine Thompson

Debi Mazar wearing her hair pulled back and red lipstick
Courtesy of Getty Images. Treatment by Ashley Peña for W.

Life as we know it is constantly changing form—from the places we call home to the experiences that fulfill us—and maybe that’s okay. Just ask iconic New Yorker Debi Mazar, who now calls Tuscany, Italy home. If you’re imagining Mazar, who’s brought her signature New York City pizazz to everything from Goodfellas and L.A. Law to Entourage and Younger, in some rustic fantasy of Italian life, sipping Prosecco and enjoying deliciously slow days under the Tuscan sun, you’d be mistaken. “I am just as busy here as I am in New York City,” Mazar tells W. Between acting, attending language school five days a week, prepping for her Italian driver’s test with driving lessons twice a week, being a mother and pet parent to puppies, and maintaining her social life, that familiar city bustle has remained a reality.

“I [got a lot] of crap from moving out of New York like, ‘Oh man, you're leaving us, what the fuck Deb?’ And I'm like, ‘New York is not going anywhere. I can always come back,” Mazar shares of her end-of-an-era departure. “I don't feel that there's anything that's changed much except that I have a hell of a lot more space, I'm surrounded by beauty, my quality of life is much better, I'm eating better, I'm sleeping better. It's exciting.” The star regularly returns to the city for work and with the range of social media platforms and the option to travel, staying connected with loved ones feels accessible as ever.

These days, Mazar’s priorities are shifting and she’s fully embracing taking time for herself. “I don't know, I'm trying to kind of balance where I came from and where I'm going, and I just feel so much happier. I'm doing me. I'm learning how to say no and do what's important to me, and taking projects that feel good for me now in my state of mind,” she says. “Everyone’s like, ‘Don't move, it's going to hurt you.’ I'm like, ‘No, it's not going to hurt me. Relax. You worry about you. I'll worry about me.’"

We caught up with Mazar about what taking care of herself looks like in this season of her life and what her favorite end-of-the-work-day ritual was when filming the Mike Myers-helmed comedy series The Pentaverate—which debuts on Netflix May 5.

In The Pentaverate, getting into character included a strong makeup element—wearing a blonde lace front, 10-hour days in hazel contacts, and layers of movie makeup, which can be a lot on one’s skin. Was there a relaxing way you liked to get out of character after filming?

I would take the wig off at work and I would rip the contacts out the minute they called wrap, like done. We worked with a lot of ambient smoke, so our eyes would get quite dry. Mike [Myers], who plays eight characters, was wearing contacts as well. I felt like there was sort of a contact lens and wig camaraderie. It was super fun.

My skin was really angry during this shoot so I would just try to come home and get into the hottest shower or a big bath. I love taking baths. In the house I was renting there was a wonderful bathtub. I would just buy different types of natural bath salts and wash my face first, jump in the tub, and just soak and steam. Put a washcloth over my face just to pull out the makeup from my skin.

Sometimes I might bring my iPad and either play some music or watch a show. I love to watch TV shows and films and documentaries. I just keep on putting more and more hot water in the bath. I get out as red as a lobster, but I feel like I sweat out toxins. I pull out the stuff from the day, the makeup. I relax my body, I relax my muscles. I follow it up with a quick shower afterwards. And that's something that I actually have in my contracts, when I go to do a film or a TV series, I won't stay in any home or hotel that does not have a bathtub.

What television shows are you binging?

The Andy Warhol Diaries, Gaslit, Maradonna: Blessed Dream, The Flight Attendant, Russian Doll.

What are you reading right now?

I’m a big reader! I’m in full immersion Italian school...so I’m glued to my Italian textbooks! I’m reading a few books just for pleasure: Once I Was You by Maria Hinojosa, The Florios of Sicily by Stefania Auci, Señoras de la noche by Giuseppe Scaraffia, Private Lives in Renaissance Venice by Patricia Fortini Brown.

You have a very special history with makeup that includes being Madonna’s makeup artist early in her career. What are some current go-to’s in your own beauty routine?

I love creams. I love the Dr. Hauschka on my body after I get out of the bath. I love to put oil mixed with cream and Dr. Hauschka has this lavender oil called moor lavender. It's so scrumptious and I mix it with whatever body lotion I have. I'm a big advocate of, believe it or not, the Nivea nutriente cream. It's 48-hour, it's the greasy one. I use it on my tattoos, I have it on my calves so my legs get a little glow to them.

I also keep a small refrigerator in my bathroom because I love all these products that don't have a shelf life and it keeps them fresh. I also always use a rose water spray, nothing fancy, I get it at the health foods store or wherever. I keep it in my bag in the summers just to refresh my skin. I can keep it moisturized and hydrated and clean from the city's dirt no matter where I go. It's always in my bag, a spray bottle of like water or rose water spray. Or even just your typical Avène thermal water.

What are some other go-to makeup products that you like to use?

Kevyn Aucoin’s eyebrow precision retractable pencil, Surratt’s eyeliner pen in all shades! Surratt liquid blush, Surratt smokey pencils that I smear into my eyelid crease. Laboratori Hur eye creme, Turkish rose serum, the 50 cream for the face, and toner!

What about hair?

I have a very specific hair routine. I have the water spray and then I have this wonderful hair spray from the 1960s, it's called Splend'Or Lacca. I use that and I have some edge control or sometimes some Three Flowers grease that I put in with lots of spray. I like my hair to shine in the front. My mother snatched my hair back since I would say five or four, my hair’s always been snatched up in a ponytail on top of my head. I just feel very comfortable that way so I still do those kinds of hairdos, it just makes me feel good. Even if a professional does me, I'm like, "Alright snatch it back, figure it out."

Are there any new changes in your routine that you find really refreshing?

I'm not doing my acrylics anymore.

Oh my gosh. Why?

I know, I know. I've been doing acrylics for like 30 years and I just decided to go natural because everybody has these long nails and I've loved them for my whole career. Unless I have to put them on for a character like I did for The Pentaverate, I'm trying to go natural. It’s kind of feeling very chic because not that I'm getting boring, I'm just trying to go a different direction. I'm also gardening. I really love gardening with my husband. We’re growing flowers and vegetables and with [our] puppies and everything, I'm just feeling like I'm more rustic and I don't have time to think about the glue or the nails popping off or a nail chipping, I don't have time. [Laughs.] It’s really refreshing. I love it. There's certain things that I'm not giving up, though: I'm not going gray yet.

Do you have any favorite places in Italy to find beauty gems?

I love the Santa Maria Novella. Santa Maria Novella is a pharmacy here and I use their hand soaps, some of their body creams. One of their body creams is a melograno, which is a pomegranate. It smells incredible. I use their tobacco soap in the shower. I'm big into products and specific scents. They were the pharmacy in the 1500s to the Medicis and it's still the same place, it's magical. They have a talc-free powder for the summer, I like talc-free things. They also have candles and room diffusers and oh I can't wait. It's like you step into the Renaissance period when you go into that building.