Just how does Martha Stewart stay gorgeous at 73? Hint: it requires waking up at 4 a.m. to put on a face mask

By catherinekast
Updated February 09, 2015 06:51 PM

Many starlets are happy to share their beauty routine, but it feels a little “Yeah…duh,” considering that a 23-year-old with perfect skin is telling you all she does is drink a lot of water. What we’d rather know is what magic potions and beauty secrets Martha Stewart subscribes to — after all, she’s 73 and looks as good as she did at the height of her modeling career. Now, in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, the mogul shares how she’s spiced up her makeup routine.

Credit: Fadil Berisha

Fadil Berisha

If you follow Stewart’s musings (both online and in her latest wellness book, Clean Slate) you’ll know that she owes her looks to much more than just fantastic makeup — it’s all about knowing how to take care of yourself. But the first and most important lesson? No one, not even Stewart herself, is perfect. “I have learned a lot over the years, but think everyone needs improvement,” the former model tells PEOPLE. “I could weigh 10 pounds less or comb my hair more often, for example.” Read on for key tips from the pro:

When prepping for a beauty shoot, you’ve got to cut back: “There wasn’t anything particularly intimidating about this shoot,” she says. “I [started] preparing several days in advance by making sure I didn’t miss a work out, drink any alcoholic beverages, and I made sure I got enough sleep because I wanted to look really good.”

The biggest compliments she receives these days include “How great my hair is, how much people have learned from me, and about what lovely skin I have,” she says. And just how does she get that hair? “I use different shampoos,” she explains. “For me haircare is like skin care: I try to use a variety of products. Frederic Fekkai Ageless shampoo and conditioner and Shu Uemura, the green line, are my two favorites.” Editor’s note: the Fekkai shampoo has been discontinued, but if you have a black market connection (or above-average Amazon.com search skills), let us know.

Fadil Berisha

Her actual routine is pretty spiffy, but results come with maintenance: “I spend anywhere from seven to 30 minutes getting my face and hair ready each morning,” she says. “This doesn’t include the time I spend doing advance prep like my daily face mask, which I apply at 4 a.m., and I use hand cream with gloves.”

She relies on an arsenal of investment products, but stays true to her favorites: “I use a Yon-Ka Gommage mask, Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap, Susan Ciminelli Hydrating Formula, SkinCeuticals Serum, and Cle De Peau La Crème as part of my beauty routine. I’ve also been wearing Fracas as my fragrance since I was 19.”

Still, not all her go-tos are high-end: “I always have Johnson’s Baby Oil in my medicine cabinet. At night, I wash my face really well, because I have to have my makeup done a lot,” she says. “Johnson’s Baby Oil with a warm washcloth is one great way to take it off. I like oil because it keeps my skin very moist, and it works for me. I don’t get clogged pores.”

For more from Stewart on creating stellar everyday beauty looks, pick up the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, on stands now. Thoughts on a 4 a.m. beauty routine?

–Catherine Kast