Jennifer Coolidge on the Time a Spray Tan Sent Her to the Emergency Room
The award-winner for her star turn in The White Lotus (and everyone’s favorite Emmy dancer) speaks about the perils of flying while spray-tanned, wisdom that comes with age, and gift baskets she’s preparing for friends — including a face roller, a dry brush, and something that vibrates.
Sometimes I’ll be on the phone talking to a girlfriend and we’ll be in an intense conversation. Next thing I know, I’ve completely done my makeup. Then it’s, like, two in the morning and I forget and I go to bed with it on. But I really do like makeup. When I wake up and I look in the mirror, I’m like, Oh my God, I want to at least wear lipstick. I guess I’m very shallow.
At one point I went to makeup school, but I wasn’t brilliant like the others in my class. I’ll never forget my final. You just had to take anyone and make them really beautiful. I wasn’t going to cheat and bring in a model and I thought it was unfair because there were a couple of people who did just that. I brought in a regular person. It wasn’t like a work of art. You know, sometimes these makeup artists come to your house and make you up for events, and they leave, and you’re like, I have never been able to make myself look even close to what they did. Some people are just makeup geniuses.
I just cared about what it looked like on the skin. I was never someone who cared very much about ingredients. Then, I’d say the last five or six years, I started getting allergic. My eyes would always be tearing up, but it never occurred to me that it was my makeup.
You have to be really careful because even if you buy makeup where they say it’s clean…even the clean brands are not all the way clean. They still have things in them that shouldn’t be in there. You realize it’s maybe not good for our health to be using all that stuff.
For The White Lotus, I didn’t want to look like a big, white marshmallow on the beach in Hawaii, so I got a spray tan. I got on the plane and I started to feel really weird. By the time I got off the flight, I had to go to the emergency room. [During the production], I think we ended up using regular makeup. The minute we stopped filming, I would shower.