The actress also discussed the one beauty product she has to hide from her husband and the beauty lessons she hopes to pass down

By Emily Kirkpatrick
March 23, 2017 06:29 PM
Courtesy Tide

Kristen Bell has played a number of epic TV characters, from precocious amateur teen sleuth Veronica Mars or the disembodied voice of your favorite shady Upper East Sider on Gossip Girl. But now the Good Place actress is taking on a very different type of role, teaming up with Tide on behalf of their #CleanPledge challenge, encouraging consumers to join the detergent company in pursuing small ways to make your life a little more eco-friendly, starting with your laundry basket. And to kick off their new partnership, Bell spoke with PeopleStyle about why she’s never buying white clothes for her kids again, hiding her beauty products from her husband, why you can catch her wearing shades indoors, and the important lessons she hopes to pass down to her daughters.

So why join on for this very specific initiative? It’s easy, says Bell: “I’m a mom, I obviously have to care about clean clothes because I’m not raising dumpster babies. I mean, I am, but I’m trying not to.” But it also resonated on a deeper level, she says. “I also genuinely care about the world that I’m leaving them, the environment, and I’m always impressed when big companies take a beautiful step forward with either givebacks or conservation,” – a step Tide is taking with its Purclean detergent, produced in a facility that has zero manufacturing waste, no landfill, and is made with wind power and electricity.

And if you’re looking to make your life slightly greener but aren’t sure how, Bell says that’s easy too. “I think everyone’s realizing that we only have one earth and collectively there are tips everywhere,” she says. “If you just look at your household and look at the amount of waste or usage in general, you don’t have to make big changes. It’s all about tiny little steps. Reuse that Ziploc bag. Shave two minutes off your shower. Save your toilet paper roll and use it for an art craft with your kids. It’s just really all about the small decisions that add up to a big change.”

As far as cleaning up her own beauty and fashion routine, Bell is proactive. She says Emma Watson’s new eco-friendly fashion Instagram account for her Beauty & the Beast press tour in particular “really, really impressed” her and inspired her to start, “researching where the clothes I buy come from and educating myself on dyes and how they can sometimes be harmful and how to support companies that are making the right decisions.” She’s also currently loving all-natural deodorant from Fat & the Moon: “I was learning about deodorants and I’m just not sure I want the aluminum,” she says. “So I was trying to figure out a solution because I live in California and you sweat because the sun is brutal. It’s like baking soda and coconut oil, a couple of different things, and I love it. It’s my new trick.”

The Tide partnership has also made Bell rethink the way she does her own laundry. “My trick is that I buy dark kids’ clothing,” she says. “I’m over buying white in any form for my children because it’s just going to be grey or brown and it’s going to look old.” To ensure that she and husband Dax Shepard have enough clean clothes of their own, she says, “we actually talk about it with our kids because we’ve had so many great t-shirts ruined.” So now, she admits, “We keep wet wipes on the table while we’re eating … we recoil a little bit when they run up to us at the table. Then it’s kind of like a fun game. Like, keep your hands off until they’re clean! And weirdly, just having that dialogue with my kids has saved four great blouses.” (That doesn’t mean she isn’t practical, though: “It’s cut way, way, way down on my dry-clean-only bin. I just can’t risk it.”)

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Outside of the laundry room, though, Bell says she’s all on her own, as Shepard is no help at all. “He gives me fashion critiques when I wear something, but he doesn’t get everything,” shy says. “I’m not really dressing for him, I’m dressing for myself and other women. So, when I wear a pair of paper bag trousers, which I think are divine, he’s like, What grandma did you get this from?! I’m like, you don’t get it. You just don’t get it.” (That doesn’t stop him from borrowing her beauty products, though, like her Hydroboost Night Concentrate from Neutrogena – she’s the brand’s spokesperson.) And she gets beauty inspiration from an unexpected source. “I try to wear hats whenever possible, but it’s not always possible because sometimes you’re having a great hair day,” she says, “but my girlfriend was like, Why don’t you just wear sunglasses all the time? Then you’ll never squint! So that’s my new trick, I’ll be wearing sunglasses indoors from now on. I’m going to turn into Jack Nicholson.”

And when it comes to teaching her daughters what’s really beautiful, Bell says, “The beauty lesson that is paramount, is your beauty comes from inside, not out. You can make yourself look however you want to look but you will not feel beautiful until you have self-esteem, and you will not get self-esteem until you participate in estimable acts,” she says. “So being a good person is the quickest way to feel beautiful. There’s no getting around it. … There are a thousand quick fixes to beauty, but really, it’s your inside heart. That’s what makes you feel pretty.”

Join Bell in taking the #CleanPledge on to take the challenge to start washing their clothes in cold water, use energy-saving washing machines, and learn how to extend the life of their clothing so that less winds up in a landfill. In turn, the company will donate $5 to support the World Wildlife Fund’s global conservation efforts, which as the actress puts it, “really benefits us all.”

What do you think of Kristen Bell’s beauty advice? Will you be taking Tide’s #CleanPledge challenge? Sound off below!