Janet Montgomery is not a doctor...but she plays one on TV. The English actress is best-known for her role as Dr. Lauren Bloom on NBC's New Amsterdam, as well as roles on highly acclaimed shows like This Is Us and the original UK version of Skins. She also happens to be both absolutely stunning and one of the most down-to-earth, charismatic, and just plain fun people we've ever had the pleasure of interviewing.
But, behind that joyous spirit is also someone willing to get real about the challenges of being both an actress and a woman in a society so willing to judge and value women based on their conforming to a certain aesthetic. Over her many years in the industry, she's faced her fair share of hurdles and self-doubt — but she's also found her own path to rise above the critics.
For this month's The Regimen, we spoke with Janet on her beauty routine, the biggest beauty mistake she's ever made (something quite a few of us have been guilty of at some time or another), and how she overcomes that appearance-based criticism to stay positive and grounded.
Keep reading for her revealing (and hilarious) interview.
Name: Janet Montgomery
Skin type: Dry
Hair type: Straight
Duration of beauty routine: Each day is different, but if no make up is involved it’s usually 15 minutes and with makeup it's 45 minutes.
Walk us through your daily beauty routine
My hair is relatively low maintenance but I am always trying to create more volume. I was introduced to Christophe Robin's Volume line
by my hair stylist Jillian Halouska
, and it’s really helped to give me volume without pulling moisturizer from my hair. It also smells incredible. My hair is colored but I don’t get to the salon nearly as frequently as I should. Christophe Robin has a temporary color gel that lasts for a few weeks. It’s an absolute must for roots in between salon visits.
What is your philosophy on beauty?
Enhancement and maintenance. My thirties have been a transition from plonking everything onto my face to now being very selective as to what I will and won’t try. Some products that were recommended to me or sent to me actually made my dryness worse.
What is your best beauty advice?
For me I find mixing it up works well. Your skin stops responding to products if you use the same things over and over again. It’s good to rotate your products.
What is your biggest beauty pet peeve?
Packaging that gives the illusion of a lot of product when in reality it’s just a big jar.
What is the best beauty advice you've ever been given?
When I was 26, I worked with Jacqueline Bisset on the miniseries Dancing On The Edge and she told me to stop smoking. Honestly, it changed my skin almost instantaneously.
What are your top three must-have products?
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Treatment Serum
is the best face oil I have found. I use it every evening on the set of New Amsterdam
after removing my makeup. You can literally feel it working its way into your skin and it leaves your face super plumped and full of moisture.
I've tried cheaper brands, but Dr. Sturm's Hyaluronic Serum is by far superior. I don't know exactly what makes it better but trust me, it is.
I just discovered Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation
recently and it’s my new favorite foundation. It gives a beautiful finish and is easy to use on the go. I apply with my fingers for spot coverage or a sponge for full coverage.
Do you have any special application tips or techniques?
I find that nearly all skin care and makeup products sit better on my skin when I apply with my hands.
What's the biggest beauty mistake you've ever made?
I have shaved my face before. Entirely unnecessary and felt awful when it was growing back.
What do you love most about your job?
Becoming someone else — getting to live someone else’s reality and honor their story.
What's the biggest career obstacle you've faced and how did you overcome it?
I think many young actresses end up conforming to a certain, albeit dated, aesthetic and in doing that they lose their own unique qualities. It’s hard having to look at your face every single day in the hair and makeup trailer and not start to pick it apart. I try to steer clear of comparisons and I make a conscious decision to stop focusing on my appearance the moment I leave the trailer. You cannot do your best work as an actor if you are self conscious or worried about the way you look.