When it comes to both music-making and makeup, the star has good genes on her side
When Liv Tyler strides into a London hotel suite in head-to-toe black (leggings, sweater, and a pair of what she regretfully describes as "stinky and stretched-out" Lanvin flats), she looks more gangly rock star than off-duty actress-which is fitting, as the winsome 34-year-old has just recorded her first single: a slinky, revved-up cover of INXS's '80s hit Need You Tonight.
The song, which is being released as an accompaniment to Givenchy's latest fragrance, Very Irrésistible Givenchy Electric Rose-along with a video that debuted exclusively on ELLE.com-is unlikely to be her last. "I've been surrounded by music my whole life," she says, acknowledging that her DNA, thanks to father Steven Tyler and model turned singer mother Bebe Buell, might as well be imprinted with guitar riffs. "I tend to burst into song a lot. To be honest, I'm surprised I haven't done it before!"
What did growing up with a model as a mother teach you about beauty? My mom is super beautiful and elegant, but also kind of naturally punk rock. She always had a lot of earrings pinned on the wall of her dressing room with feathers and skulls and things-very Desperately Seeking Susan-and I used to love to play with her makeup, even though she would always say "don't get into my makeup." But then my grandmother is very formal. She's an etiquette teacher, and just impeccable. From her, I learned things like to run a white nail pencil under my nails when I'm in the tub because it keeps the tips really clean and bright. She taught me a lot about grooming, always smelling good, and taking extra time to care for yourself, even when you're being natural.
Your hair is ridiculously shiny. I use a lot of conditioner-like, a whole handful-and I leave it on for a long time. It makes my hair really soft and fluffy.
Surely your father has passed along some hair-care tips. We have really different hairstyles: He has a lot of things sewn into his hair, little jewels and stuff, and he likes to bend his head forward and blow it with two blow-dryers to get lots of volume in the roots, while I like to wear mine straight and flat. But we're always comparing face creams and masks-he has cupboards full of them.
What do you use on your skin? Every night I wash and tone. I use a Clarisonic on my face and all kinds of scrubs and gloves on the rest of my body, and I do masks a few times a week. I try to keep my makeup pretty simple, and I like natural-looking lashes, so I always lightly wipe my lashes with a tissue after applying mascara to get any excess off. When I have the time, I get them dyed, because I think it looks so beautiful.
Have you learned makeup tricks on movie sets? I do watch and try to pick things up. I always apply concealer with a lip brush, the tinier the better, because you can paint away imperfections really precisely that way. Foundation I apply with my fingers so I can really press it in. And I like to use a shimmer or a highlighter at the top of the bow of my lip and in the inner corners of my eyes to catch the light.
How strict are you about your diet? It depends on what's happening in my life. I'd love to do a juice cleanse, but it's hard when you live in New York and have a child and a job, so I just try to drink a lot of fresh juices, especially cucumber, with my regular food-I feel like it makes my skin look more radiant and hydrated. But I also drink wine, and I just ate a chicken pot pie for lunch. It was delicious.