Eva Longoria Says She Treats Her Shoe Collection Like 'Babies in My Closet'

"I'm like, 'Do not touch this,'" the actress jokes about her most prizes heels in PEOPLE's Beautiful Issue

When Eva Longoria gets a new shoe she loves, she's not parting with it any time soon.

"With my shoes I never say, 'Thank you and goodbye.' I'm like, thank you and I move it to the other closet," the multi-hyphenate star, 46, tells PEOPLE for the annual Beautiful Issue. "I can't part, and my husband goes, 'Why do you keep all these shoes?' I'm like, 'I'm a shoe collector.' As if I'm an art collector. It's a thing."

The actress and director pulled out her most favorite pair — nude Christian Louboutin pointy-toe pumps — to wear during a special photo shoot for the Beautiful Issue.

eva longoria
Brooke Nipar

"I feel like Louboutins came of age when I was coming into my fame, or when I was coming into my popularity. I feel like we have a relationship of growing together. So it was like the shoe to have at the moment when I started Desperate Housewives," Longoria says of the hit drama which premiered in 2004. "I just remember just craving having a collection of many Louboutins. But really the main pair I wanted, which was very hard to get because I have a very small foot, it was always sold out, this patent leather nude."

Once she finally tracked down a pair, she "never let go." Adding, "I treat them like babies in my closet. I'm like, 'Do not touch this.' And the crazy thing is, they stood the test of time. They are still in style. The craftsmanship and the pitch, and everything about this particular pump has never gone out of style."

While her go-to pair of heels have stayed consistent, Longoria says her style choices have evolved from fashion risk-taker to classic and curated as she shifted her focus from acting to directing.

"Before I probably would probably be like, 'Oh sure, I'll wear those feathers.' And then I'm like, 'Ah, why did I wear those feathers?' When you're young, you're like, 'Yay, this designer wants to dress me. Sure, I'll wear the ostrich,'" the star explains. "And then you look back and you're like, 'Why did I do that?'"

These days, whether she's dressing for day-to-day or getting glam, Longoria says she opts for "classic" styles and investment pieces that are more sustainable. "Keeping that same blazer for 10 years — it's always going to be there and it's always going to be in style," she says as an example.

Another staple? Her go-to "onesie."

"I've been a jumpsuit fan for almost my entire life," she says. "I call them onesies. I love a onesie. One, because you don't have to think about it. You put it on in the morning, you zip up, and you're out the door. There's not a lot of accessorizing."

Longoria continues, "I really got into them more as I started directing, because on set you've got to be comfortable, and you've got to move around, you're going to get a little dirty. I'm always on the floor, and I'm behind a couch, and I'm trying to get the shot. I want something that doesn't scream 'shlumpy' and 'blah,' and something that's comfortable and something that is also fashionable."

The star will need to pull out her jumpsuits for her new directing gig after snagging the upcoming feature Flamin' Hot, a biopic about the inventor of the popular type of Cheetos. "I fought so hard to get this, she says of the film. "I just told them, 'I know I can do this.'"

For more of PEOPLE's exclusive interview with Eva Longoria, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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