Surprise! Giada De Laurentiis's Beauty Secret Involves Olive Oil

(Source: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)If there's ever an opportunity to combine our two greatest loves, food and beauty, we jump at the opportunity to do so. Needless to say, when we were given the chance to pick the brain of chef, author, and mom Giada De Laurentiis, we were thrilled. De Laurentiis, who was in New York promoting Clairol Natural Instincts hair color, revealed to us her go-to homemade hair mask, her secrets to living a healthy life, and the beauty blunder she still regrets. Read our full interview, below:

SB: So what does your daily hair routine look like?
GDL: In the morning, I brush my hair first thing. And then I sometimes put a little creamy conditioner just on the ends. Then a lot of times I'll get my hair blown out. At night, I brush it, and I put it up. And sometimes I put a little conditioner on the bottom of my hair and then put it up and kind of hide the conditioner and the ends inside the bun and let it sit overnight. But this changes whether I'm at home or whether I'm on the road. Like at home, I can do a little mask of avocado and olive oil. But on the road the best thing—honestly I know this is going to sound a little weird—is the conditioning packet in the Natural Instincts box, because it's easy for me to take from place to place. It's just a little bit, and I can dab it and leave it on while I shave in the shower. But at home, I have more of a natural mix of things I use like avocado, olive oil. All that kind of stuff.

SB: Tell me about the homemade hair mask. Sounds yummy.
GDL: What I do is I smash avocado and oil into a paste, and I apply it from the middle of the hair down—I don't want to apply right on my scalp, because it will be too heavy—and I rub it on there, and I leave it as a mask when I'm in the shower. The steam and the heat of the shower will allow the hair follicles to start absorbing the moisture, and it gets a shiny, soft, buttery kind of feel to it, which is really, really nice. Especially for someone who goes through so much with their hair between the blow drys, the curling, the flat ironing, and everything else that happens. 

(Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)SB: Do you have any other food-based beauty tips?
GDL: Coconut oil is fabulous. It's not only just good for the hair, it's good for the cuticles, it's good for the lips, it's good for your skin. I wouldn't put a ton on because a little bit goes a long way. And it smells great. And you can cook with it!

SB: Are there any foods you consume to achieve certain beauty benefits? 
GDL: For hair growth, it's hard because I think it's different for everybody, but I think eating naturally, eating healthfully will help your hair grow. I like a balance, so I eat a lot of olive oil. In fact, we had a salad today, and I don't do salad dressing. I do olive oil and lemon or olive oil and salt. Olive oil to me is sort of the thing that I think keeps my skin glowing, my nails growing, and my skin soft, because it can get really dry. Especially as we get older, everything gets really dry. So olive oil for one and also cooking with coconut oil and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. And also as much as people want to be vegan and vegetarian, a little bit of meat is really good for you. It's got a lot of acids, a lot of protein that you just can't get from being a vegetarian or eating beans only, so a little bit of meat I find also helps the glow in my skin.

SB: Important question: you're around a lot of food. How do you resist temptation?
GDL: And I will tell you, sugar is probably the biggest enemy. It's enemy number one, because it really does breakdown your cells and actually makes you older faster.

SB: Don't say that. I just had M&Ms...
GDL: I know, it's really sad. It does several things. It causes inflammation in the body, which is not good because it breaks down your immune system, and it breaks down your cells, which makes you older faster. Having said that, I love sugar! I love chocolate. It's something that is always on my radar that I watch. I just had a little piece of brownie, but I'll have a corner. Luckily I'm a person that has a lot of self-discipline, and I can put it away.

SB: I need to work on that. So what's your biggest beauty splurge at the moment?
GDL: My biggest beauty splurge is probably coloring my hair every few weeks. I think that as we get older our hair just needs a little tune up a little bit more. So I'd say that, plus my nails. Those are the two things I splurge the most on.
(Source: Caitlin Miller/StyleBistro)SB: You currently have amazing nail art. What inspired your look?
GDL: I'm desperate for spring. I'm so over dark colors. I'm so over things that look a little bit dingy and sad, which is sometimes what I feel like the cold weather is. I just came from Miami, and I wanted to carry Miami with me through this trip, so these are my spring hands, my spring colors. I figure if they make me happy…

SB: What's one big beauty trend you are excited to try?
GDL: I think that right now the big thing is red lipstick, and some women are really fearful of red lipstick. I have found though that in the past, I've never wanted to wear red lipstick, and for a reason—because I get red cheeks during the day when I get excited or tired. I was like, "I don't know. I don't want to do red lips and red cheeks, that just seems like a clown." And I would say in the last six months, I have invested in buying different shades of red lipstick. I find it's phenomenal when you don't have time to do a lot of makeup on your eyes and your face, because the attention goes straight to your lips, so you forget about the rest. I can take my daughter to school, put my hair in a ponytail, put red lipstick on and not worry about the rest. It's phenomenal. People are like, "Wow, you look so bright today," and I'm thinking "Mhmm, it's the red lipstick." So I think red lipstick right now is huge.

SB: Finally, what's been your biggest beauty blunder?
GDL: Short hair I would say is my biggest beauty blunder...and blonde hair. I tried it once, and it was not…you know people liked it. I think that I felt like I wasn't myself. I think the goal for most women is to find the right color for their skin. And it's different for everyone. 

Needless to say, we left our interview with Giada hungry and eager to make an avocado and olive-oil hair mask.

Be sure to check out Giada's complete lookbook:
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Senior Associate Beauty Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @CaitlinSMiller Follow me: Google
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