Kate Hogan
December 08, 2011 05:00 PM

JeffKatzPhotography.com for Proactiv

Julianne Hough always looks radiant on the red carpet, but the Footloose star insists that wasn’t always the case.

“When I started Dancing with the Stars, that’s when I started getting acne,” she told PEOPLE at her latest shoot for Proactiv in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “Makeup, lights and sweating definitely took a toll on my skin.”

After being introduced to Proactiv (the cleansing bar and refining masks are two of her staples), Hough’s skin finally cleared up. Her beauty routine now includes washing her face twice a day, “hydrating with water, getting enough rest and putting good food” in her body, she shared.

And now that the star is blemish free, she has more time to play with her looks.

“I love fashion, I love beauty, I love makeup, I love hair,” she said. “When I was on Dancing with the Stars, it was fun to experiment … I hadn’t been able to do that so much because I was afraid [of my look being] so different.”

So what’s been giving her an extra experimental push lately? Her recently chopped locks! “I took the bold move of cutting off my hair, so I might as well keep going on the bold move streak,” she said, laughing. “I can look different with each hairstyle that I do, so I almost feel like I’m playing a different character every time I get ready.”

But while we’ve seen her with every hair color ranging from red to brown, the former Dancing pro said she’ll forever be a blonde at heart.

“I’ll always have blonde hair when I’m not working,” she shared, adding. “I’m trying to get my hair healthy so I’m not coloring it right now.” And though she obviously enjoys playing with her look, it’s when she’s not thinking about it at all that she’s most content.

“I think the thing that’s most me, especially right now, is my hair up in a pony that’s rolled up into a messy bun,” she shared. “No makeup and just casual.”

–Melody Chiu


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