BEAUTY NOTES

Halle Berry, Internet Meme Queen, Unplugs With “Just One Glass” of Red Wine


halle berry leaning against a wall
Halle Berry photographed by Mario Sorrenti for W magazine, 2016.

For about as long as she’s been in the public eye, Halle Berry has always made a point to put her health first. But in recent years, the actress has officially pivoted toward becoming a bit of a fitness influencer with her health and wellness platform, rē•spin. Now, she’s taking things a step further by partnering with Flow (an alkaline water brand you’ve probably seen stocked up in a few celebrity fridges here and there).

In our hydration-obsessed culture (and we should all be trying to get more water into our systems, especially during the pandemic), it seems it would only be a matter of time until Hollywood’s finest helps us expand our palates to include more alkaline waters—Berry’s partnership between rē•spin and Flow is no exception. “Back in the day, the craze was to get a Kangen machine to convert your water,” she explained over the phone to W. “That’s still a cool way to approach it, but having alkaline water that you can grab on the go and be packaged in a sustainable way makes this really special.”

By now, you’ve probably also noticed that Berry, in addition to sharing fitness tips on her wellness platform, has amped up the amount of meme content on her personal Instagram and Twitter accounts. Some have even referred to her as the “caption queen.” Rest assured, if there is a meme circulating out there, Berry will find it and execute her version of it on her social media platforms.

Here, Berry gives her wellness tips that she’s found have worked for years—from exercising every day to dipping into the CBD trend—and explains why, even though she’s become a bit of an Internet meme queen, she’s holding off on joining TikTok for now.

Why did you pivot to becoming a wellness influencer?

I just feel like collectively, as a society, we are all moving toward health and wellness. We’re rethinking everything we thought we knew, and the basis of rē•spin is to help people rethink things, to admonish old ways of thinking and look forward with new technologies. The truth is, when we know better, we do better. We’re trying to put new information out there so people can figure out what their health and wellness journey should be, and then help them find ways to stick to it and stay on that journey.

What’s the best bit of wellness advice you’ve ever received, and who was it from?

Probably a doctor I met when I was 19 years old, who told me I was too healthy and too young to be on 36 units of insulin every day. He said, “You have to tell your body, you have to jumpstart your pancreas, you have to wake your body up. If not, you’re going to die slowly.” It was a wake-up call to me. That piece of information inspired my whole fitness journey to live in a more healthy way, to exercise, to be mindful about every piece of food that went into my mouth. It changed my life.

What’s the worst wellness or beauty trend that you participated in?

I used to feel, especially when I was younger, really insecure about staying true to my own nutritional goals. When you’re younger, you’re going out with your friends and everybody’s drinking and having sugar or dessert—all the things I knew I couldn’t have. For a while, I had a hard time walking to the beat of my own drum and standing in my own truth and accepting that I just can’t do all the things they are doing, and if that makes me a boring sad sack, then oh well! But I have to stay on my journey and eat and live the way that’s going to allow me to live, and continue to be here. That was a hard transition for me. When you’re young, we all want to fit in and we all crumble to peer pressure. I really had to find a way to walk down my own path.

What’s your favorite form of self-care now?

There are lots of things. The food I choose to eat and not eat, long baths in my favorite oils or CBD bombs, facials that I make at home. Because we’ve been in a pandemic, I have turned into a chemist over here. [Laughs.] I make my own facials and put whatever I need to put in them.

What are some of your favorite ingredients for your at-home facials?

Yogurt is normally a staple. That consistency is for every one of my facials. Honey, lemon, cucumber water, different types of dairy, sometimes mint, sometimes CBD, peaches. All kinds of things.

A lot of people have struggled to stay healthy and exercise during the pandemic. How do you stay motivated to work out?

My motivation has always been life. When I got diagnosed with diabetes my doctor said, “If you want to live a long life, you’re just going to have to change your life. You have to exercise and eat right, and you have to do some form of exercise every day.” That’s my motivation. I want to stay here as long as I can. I’ve got two little children and I want to be around, hopefully to see my grandchildren someday. I can’t think of a better motivator.

You share a lot of your fitness journey on Instagram, and you’ve been really into boxing lately. Do you have a favorite workout?

Not really. I’ve really been into jiu jitsu in the last couple of years. I don’t really post about that so much because what I do with my Fitness Fridays [on Instagram] is more for helping everybody in everyday life to do an everyday thing at home. In the past few years, I’ve been learning a lot about different mixed martial arts, and jiu jitsu and judo have become my fast favorites.

In addition to Fitness Fridays, you are a pretty open book on your IGTV series “Bad and Booshy” with your best friend and stylist Lindsay Flores. You are also so on top of every meme on Twitter. How do you do it? What about being online do you enjoy the most?

Well, I do have an 11-year-old, who has required me to stay cool. [Laughs.] He’s like, “Mom, you cannot become one of these fuddy duddy moms that don’t know what’s happening!” To keep my cool points with my 13-year-old, I have to stay online. And I want to! I want to stay on top of culture, and be a part of my kids’ lives. I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be younger than I am, but to stay connected to them, I have to stay connected to what’s happening in their world and how it’s evolving and changing. I have to understand the trends, understand what they want to do, where they’re going. They’re my motivation for all of that.

Will you ever join TikTok, or is that just a step too far?

You know what? I might. My daughter has been telling me, “Come on!” I keep saying, “Honey, that’s another thing that I have to manage.” You can’t just go on TikTok once or twice. If I’m gonna start TikTok, I have to keep TikTok-ing. She might convince me! She’s working hard on me. I just have to figure out a way I can do it that makes sense in my mind. If I can, then I’ll figure it out.

How do you unplug?

I unplug with a great glass of red wine. That’s been my thing for almost 20 years. It’s good heart health for me. The key has always been just enjoying one glass, and enjoying what that brings to my life. It’s a great way for me to relax and unwind, and I love to share that with my friends. All my friends are also into the wine, and it’s a great connector. It’s my vice.