“There's a sense of just being present without needing to impress anyone," the Like a Boss star says of going makeup-free in this week's Beautiful Issue

By Hanna Flanagan and Julie Jordan
April 23, 2020 04:30 PM
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Salma Hayek Pinault is seeing herself in a whole new light.

“When I look at pictures of me in my 30s or in my 40s, I see myself more beautiful than I saw myself at the time,” the actress, 53, tells PEOPLE in this week’s Beautiful Issue, where she posed makeup-free along with stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Rita Wilson and Sarah Paulson.

She continues: “I used to criticize myself so much. Now when I look in the mirror and there are things that I don’t see, I think about how much I’m going to like me in 10 years.”

Courtesy Salma Hayek

While the actress’ perception of beauty has changed over the years, her interest in beauty products has always been a part of her life, ever since she started wearing (then doing others’) makeup as a teenager.

“I started wearing makeup at 14 but tried to pretend that I wasn’t wearing it because I was not allowed,” the Like a Boss actress says. “I would clean the brush of the mascara and very lightly pass it over my lashes I would put some sheer lipsticks on and then dab it off and rub it on my cheeks. Always making sure there was no glitter in it.”

“I actually started putting makeup on others when I was 13,” Hayek Pinault, who will star in the upcoming film, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, continues. “I had a lot of ‘clients’…I have to say, I was quite good.”

Even though she still considers getting glammed a “fun activity,” she would rather spend her free time doing other things than sitting in a makeup chair — “even if it’s just watching TV.”

And Hayek Pinault appreciates those makeup-free moments now more than ever. “Normally, when you don’t [wear makeup], it’s because you’re in a situation where you don’t feel the pressure to look your best,” she explains. “There’s a sense of just being present without needing to impress anyone.”

Watch the full episode of The Beautiful Issue: Barefaced Beauties streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Being present, and not putting pressure on herself, is what she has been focusing on amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. “At the beginning of the quarantine I felt like I have to take advantage of this time — be very productive in the house, or exercise, or meditate extra. But then I realized that I was already having a lot of expectations and pressure on accomplishing a lot in this time.”

Instead, she takes in the beautiful moments each day presents, while quarantining at home in London, which includes listening to the sound of birds, looking at the moon and watching her family sleep. “I actually have time to stare at my husband and daughter as they’re sleeping and I love it.”