Caitlin Fitzgerald Says Comparison Kills Joy

Photographed by Danielle Kosann

Actress Caitlin Fitzgerald of Showtime’s Masters of Sex and Lifetime’s Unreal was no doubt the perfect candidate for our column The Closeup. Find out her health and beauty routines from morning to midnight…

From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

Avocado toast in the morning, with a poached egg on top. If I’m shooting, I’ll often ask for an omelette with lots of veggies and avocado. Sriracha in quantity on either of these things. A flat-white (or two) with almond milk. For lunch, a big salad with some kind of protein and dressing with apple cider vinegar. For dinner, salmon and veggies if I’m being healthy and pasta and wine if I’m being joyful. I also love cake – why do we only ever really get it at birthdays and weddings? This is not enough cake.

What is your morning and nightly beauty routine?

Commence my soapbox: I read a book about five years ago called Absolute Beauty by an Ayurvedic practitioner Pratima Raichur, in which she says that we shouldn’t put anything on our bodies that we wouldn’t put in our bodies. As our skin is our body’s biggest organ, this makes a lot of sense to me, and to that end (almost) all of my products are very simple and free of the frequently used toxins that are really harmful to humans and to our planet. Based on one of Pratima’s recipes, I make my own face wash out of powdered milk, almond flour and sugar (I know this sounds insane, but many of my friends have adopted it and love it, I promise). If I’m working and wearing a bunch of makeup, I remove it with coconut oil and a cotton pad before the face wash. In the morning, I use Vintner’s Daughter face oil and then Face Sunscreen and Amla Collagen Cream from Pratima’s lovely line of products. In the evening, I use True Botanicals hydrating serum with their vitamin C booster and then Pratima’s pearl cream. Once a week, I do a mask with pure bentonite clay. I have even started to make my own deodorant (best one I’ve ever had) and toothpaste (kind of gross, but boy, do I feel virtuous using it).

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Water all day long. Every variety of probiotic. Meditation. Cultivating love.

What are the five closet staples you have that you couldn’t live without?

Black ankle boots, jeans, a huge sweater, a black leather jacket, and a long soft scarf that can double as a blanket on the plane.

Are there any foods or drinks you eat a lot of, and any you particularly avoid?

It’s a really boring actress-y thing to say, but I eat a ton of greens. I just feel so much better when I do. I also drink a lot of coffee/black tea, probably way too much, but it’s my great pleasure so I allow it. I try not to eat a lot of really processed foods, as they just grind me to a halt. I live in envy of people who can throw down cool ranch Doritos and still function.

Can you tell us one thing you used to be insecure about and how you drew confidence and moved past it?

Driving, specifically driving in LA. I went to boarding school and then New York University so I didn’t have reason to get my license until I was about twenty, and then had barely practiced before I found myself shooting a movie in LA and having to drive long distances in my rented Pontiac. I remember just weeping with fear on the 405, going slower than everyone, missing exits while screaming curses at my GPS. After that first LA trip I never wanted to return to the west coast, and I certainly never wanted to drive again. But I forced myself to go back and to keep driving and to figure out the freeways, and slowly the terror I had kind of evaporated, and one day I found myself careening around the LA freeway with total confidence. While this is a silly example, it did teach me something about not being cowed by fear, and that on the other side of most fear is the good stuff – like the great California tradition of driving a group of your best friends up Route One towards Malibu at sunset, while singing along to some classic rock anthem.

The three beauty products you can’t live without…

When I’m not working I wear very little makeup but if I do it’s mascara and concealer by RMS beauty, and NARS matte lip pencils, which I think I have in every color.

What’s your personal definition of good content?

I am drawn to stories that have big ideas contained within them – that are asking hard, even unanswerable questions. I am interested in watching and playing characters that feel like real, dimensional, fallible, complex human beings. In this political climate, I am hungry for stories about underrepresented or threatened peoples, and also for stories that are unapologetically optimistic.

What advice would you give young girls, struggling to be self confident?

Oh man, self-confidence can be so hard and I’m real suspicious of anyone who has a pat answer for how to achieve it. I just found this Virginia Woolf quote that I love where she says, “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” That about sums it up I think.

Oh, and I would tell them that comparison is the killer of joy and to get the hell off social media.

Do you have a style icon? Who is it and why?

I love and admire any woman who doesn’t give a fuck and lives and dresses from a completely authentic place. Georgia O’Keefe comes to mind at the moment. So badass and so totally herself. Those black hats and long black coats against the brilliant colors of her paintings. What a woman.

What’s one item every woman should own?

Something in which she feels really good about herself.

What are your favorite cities and restaurants for food?

New York for everything, Portland, Maine for lobster rolls, Paris for pastries and cheese and wine, Florence for pasta and negronis, Istanbul for the full Turkish breakfast, London for clotted cream and a Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish.

If you could create a quote of the day to sum up your current mood and mode, what would it be?

Life’s too short not to spend as much time as you can doing the things that give you the greatest joy.

*Caitlin Fitzgerald, photographed at The Roxy Hotel Cinema in New York, NY. Caitlin wears an Ulla Johnson dress.

3 thoughts on “Caitlin Fitzgerald Says Comparison Kills Joy

  1. She was so good on a show that was criminally underseen — Rectify. Now since I’m thinking about Rectify, please do a profile on Abigail Spencer, okay? 🙂

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