Kate Hogan
April 23, 2012 01:00 PM

Jon Furniss/WireImage

Thandie Newton’s fashion icons run the gamut from her mother to Jimi Hendrix, which in part explains her eclectic sense of style. But an aversion to trends is another element of the star’s one-of-a-kind aesthetic.

“The idea of following trends makes my palms sweaty,” she tells PEOPLE. “I think that we have all these wonderful things available, [and] you have to find whatever speaks to you in terms of style — something that allows you to then speak to the world.”

For Newton, that means everything from Monique Lhuillier gowns and Stella McCartney dresses to T-shirts and yes, even Birkenstocks. “I have a gold pair that I’ve had like for the last decade,” she admits.

But she obviously has an eye for fashion; the actress styles herself (“I’ll find the dresses [for events],” she says) and often does her own hair and makeup for the red carpet. “If my favorites are busy, or I’m in another country and they’re not around, I’m doing my own,” she shares.

However, in her everyday life, Olay spokeswoman Newton — a mom of two — is a bit less glam. “If I’m getting ready for the school run and I look in the mirror and I just look exhausted, I will get some Julie Hewett cheek rogue,” she admits. “I’ll put that on the apples of my cheeks to make it look as though I’ve had a wonderful run in the morning — even though I haven’t!” For more with Newton, pick up the April 23 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

–Reporting by Pamela Edwards-Christiani

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