Cate Blanchett is used to layers of thick makeup, for example her star turn in the "Elizabeth" movies, or a wig and leather jacket for her portrayal of a young Bob Dylan in the upcoming "I'm Not There."
But it's still surprising to picture her serving breakfast at home wearing an actual mask. Donning a white cotton, full-face moisturizing cover akin to a soft hockey mask is part of her skin care ritual, says Blanchett, who has been hired as the U.S. face of SK-II, a high-end skin care line from Procter & Gamble Co.
Her two kids are not always impressed. "They see it and just roll their eyes," said the Oscar-winning actress, speaking from Rome. "They'll wake up in the morning, and I'm making their sandwiches for school and I've got the mask on."
Blanchett joins a long list of celebrities endorsing personal-care products, but she says she's used SK-II for seven years to keep her skin in its famously good shape.
SK-II, whose products retail for between $60 (42 EUR) and $300 (210 EUR), is available in a dozen countries, mainly in Asia. The products are also available in a few U.S. department stores, and P&G is preparing to roll it out more widely. Blanchett previously represented the brand in Australia.
Because her roles have frequently demanded heavy makeup application (two-and-half-hours worth daily for "Elizabeth"), her skin requires extra attention, Blanchett says.
She says she even handed out the white mask to Brad Pitt, her co-star in next year's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," after they both endured prosthetic makeup.
"I'm evangelical about it," Blanchett says.