She's an Academy Award-nominated actress, producer of The Prophet, and basically gives the best damn life advice to ever exist. We sat down with the woman who ~does it all~ and asked her to answer your burning questions.
1. What's one thing women in their twenties shouldn’t worry about? —Amanda Kitchen
Making mistakes. I think that they should of course, be responsible. But at the same time they shouldn't torture themselves so much when making mistakes, because this is the time when you're supposed to make them. Now is the time you're supposed to learn from them, so in your thirties, you don't make as many. Sometimes when we're in our twenties, it's when we become responsible. And it's important to be responsible, but it shouldn't be overbearing and terrifying. "What career?! Is this the guy I'm going to marry?!" They should take life with a light heart and be kind to themselves. Just don't beat yourself up if you make mistakes. This is the time where you can make them and the most beautiful thing from the mistakes is that you can learn from it. As long as you learn from them, it's OK.
2. Tinder and other dating apps have become an insane craze and I'm just not sure if they’re for me. Should I give in and download all the apps, or just wait for the right guy to come around? —Candace Lowry
Well, I don't know how old you are, but I do think that for women after 40, [online dating] can be really helpful because you don't have as much time to be waiting for Mr. Right. By then, you're so busy with your work and you tend to be surrounded by the same people, or you're divorced and have kids. Also by then, you have a better sense of who you are and what you want. That doesn't mean that it can't be good for people, let's say, in their twenties. But I do really encourage to try to find the patience to organically find someone through life. I think it's important, that the magical moment of having an instinct and discovering another person, and letting yourself go with your instincts even if you mess up. But you learn something about yourself through it and you're exercising these magical parts of you, discovering chemistry.
I would say that the most wonderful thing about it is that sometimes you think, I want this, I want this. I want that, I want that, and you're casting someone that might be a person who is not right for you. It's what your brain is figuring out, and not really what your heart needs. That's why I said when you're in your forties, maybe you know better about what you want. But it's part of your own discovery, the mistakes that you make with other people. To be open to finding someone that never was what you imagined, but that you can fall in love deeply. So I'd say if you're not close to your forties, don't wait. Just be present in your life. And love. Love everything around you. And when you love everything around you, love comes to you. Life gives you love back.
3. What's the one piece of skin care advice that applies to all women, no matter their age, skin type, or race? —Sheridan Watson
It's hard to pick one. Can I please have two? Cleansing and moisturizing. That's it. Make sure that if you're cleansing, even if you have oily skin, it's not too drying. If you use something that is too drying, even if you have oily skin, it will make your skin reproduce more oil because you're drying it out. Nothing too harsh either. Everyone's skin is different and you have to find the right method for you, but really try to stay away from drying.
4. I feel that there's a lot of pressure, especially on social media, for women to look a certain way. How do you manage to ignore it all and truly love yourself? —Nicole Rayford
I think that the best way that you can love yourself is if you can apply no judgment to yourself. I think that there's two things. Society puts too much pressure on women. I think that we should try to focus on our health. That means sometimes too much weight is not good for your health. And too little weight is not good for your health. So finding a good balance, it's a way of exercising love for yourself and not aiming at a certain weight. You're not worried about pleasing anyone else. The trick here is that nobody's perfect.
We all have different challenges. I believe that we all have a little bit of self-destructiveness inside us. We find different ways to do it, all of us. And what's super important is that you don't judge yourself. When you catch yourself doing something that's not loving, the best way to love yourself is to observe it without an emotion. Without any judgment on yourself. Without feeling disappointed with yourself. Just observe it. And just by feeling that you're being observed with no judgment, already just that action makes you feel loved a little bit so that you can work with yourself to meet your goals. With a loving acceptance of who you are without judgment, but with the excitement of knowing that you can always be better. All the time, every day.
5. I use your Nuance hair mask and it makes my hair AH-MAZING. So, I gotta ask, do you have any other secret tips for gorgeous hair? —Erin La Rosa
You know, it depends on the kind of hair that you have. If you're looking for a mask, maybe your hair is dry. I know a lot of good things for hair that you can do but they're very stinky. They are SO stinky. You're better off using my mask! But anything that is greasy is actually really good for your hair. You can put guacamole in your hair. Not with the rest of the stuff, but you can take avocado and put it in your hair. You can take, believe it or not, mayonnaise. Mayo is really good for your hair. Another thing that's really good for very dry hair is — Are you ready for this? — egg yolk. One thing you can do to take away some of the stench is to take the skin of the egg yolk out, and put a couple of drops of lemon, but it's still going to stink. Coconut oil! That smells good and is really good for your hair, but of course it depends on how dry your hair is. If you want shine you can rinse with apple vinegar. Apple vinegar is good for you in many different ways.
6. Music is great, but some songs are so degrading and depressing towards women. UGH! Do you have a favorite empowering song to listen to? —Gretchen Stevens
"I Will Survive"! [laughs] I have a lot. Now my teenager introduced me to one, "Fight Song," but I have a lot of them! I think all the new girl artists have the most empowering songs. Katy Perry has a lot of good ones like "Roar" or "Firework." Even Christina Aguilera did "Beautiful," which is a beautiful song. I love it that, whereas a lot of the male guys are doing songs that are really degrading to women, the girls are coming out and are just reminding us of how fabulous we really are. No matter what they say!
7. I feel like I’m always comparing myself to other people on social media. They're a mom, they have an awesome job, they go on fabulous trips, they look great. How can I stop focusing on them and just be happy with my own life? —Jenna Schill
This is a wonderful question and a very honest question because I think most people do that, and this is the recipe for unhappiness. I think that one way you can inspire yourself and stop comparing yourself to others is if you think about the evolution of your soul. Whatever religion that you are, just think that wherever you came from, you are here to evolve as a person and everyone is here to evolve as a person. And you are born with the circumstances and the tools that are going to provide the challenges for you to evolve, as if life was a test. Success cannot be one thing. As long as you are evolving, you are successful. Maybe somebody has many things, but that was what was easy in their life. The real challenge, the real challenge of the evolution was somewhere else where they have not advanced at all. Therefore, they're not successful.
You have to redefine what success means. And you have to look in everything you do for joy. So don't focus on success, on failure, or on what other people are doing, or on what you thought you were going to accomplish by now and you haven't. Focus on every moment to be present, and to find the joy in all the simple things and in every moment that you are. And by that, you will be surprised by how things begin to change around you. That is a very good question because it's true that everybody does that, and it's hard to know what to do. But I want to say one more thing. Just the fact that you asked me that question and you're aware of what you're doing, makes me know that you are very, very, very special. So try to find that. I know it's inside of you. Embrace it.
8. Hi, Salma. I'm married and am looking for new ways to spice things up! Do you have any tips to keep your relationship alive and keep that spark going? —Kate Threader
I think that guys always like to feel spoiled. I think it's good to spoil them in different ways, and it's always good to surprise them. When was the last time you took the time to give your man a massage? Do you sometimes cook him his favorite food? Do you dress up sometimes when he's not expecting it? Do you take him on a surprise date? Did you do something new to your bedroom? Maybe flowers? Not where everybody is going to see them when you have guests, but flowers in your bedroom to change the atmosphere. Have you tried to become involved in his health routine or do something for his hair? A scalp massage or something new that is good for his health?
They like to feel spoiled and appreciate that you are thinking of them, and hopefully he'll do the same for you. Don't do it all the time because then he'll get used to it, and then they just assume that that's part of your everyday routine and that you're supposed to do it and then when you don't do it, they get an attitude! So I think it's also good to remind them that you like to be spoiled too and that you like to be surprised. But don't nag about it because nobody likes to do things because somebody told them to do it. It kind of defeats the purpose. You have to be smart. You have to be strategic. Don't compare though, that never works. "Oh so-in-so did for so-in-so…" No. It's way too obvious and you have to be clever. I think that by doing it for him, he might come up with the idea of doing it for you.
9. Hi, Salma. I struggle with keeping up with my workout regimen. How can I incorporate fitness easier, without having to take too much time out of my everyday life? —Mary Donaldson
This is a very good question for me because I detest a workout regimen —although I do like yoga, but I have to push myself really hard to start. Once I get going, then I like it. I think that there are many things you can do, but it's not going to get you into amazing shape. It's going to kind of keep you. Be aware of your body at all times. If you are aware of your body at all times, instead of just moving automatically, you can actually work it in a different way, even when you are getting dressed. But you have to really visualize the muscles contracting, even when you're driving. You can be contracting your stomach, your butt, your thighs, your arms. It can really be a workout!
Try to be in your body and aware of it, in communication with it and listening to it. In time, it can keep you toned. Going up the stairs, sitting up straight, contracting the muscles of the stomach, even brushing your teeth! Try to use the muscle and be aware of it. When you're going down to pick up things, use your body. If you use your body all day long, it does make a difference. We're meant to use it that way. We just kind of let the bones move instead of really connecting to what we're doing. It's also a way to keep you present instead of thinking so much. It could even be considered a form of meditation, in a way.
10. I just found out my boyfriend regularly has little text chats with his ex-fling, whom he said he was never serious about. Is there any reason to text your ex-fling, other than because feelings are still there?
I don't think that texting your ex-fling necessarily is to remind you that you two should be together, but he definitely has the need to get attention from other women. He wants to feel like there are other women looking at him or thinking about him. Unless it's a best friend for a long time and it's somebody that contributes something into his life that you have also been a part of, or maybe someone from his childhood. But if it's with a fling, I don't necessarily believe that it means they belong together, but it means that he likes the attention. I would be a little bit careful with this level of insecurity in a man.