We’ve adored her for decades, so we suppose it makes sense that Kate Winslet turns 40 today. And although she’s the polar opposite of “just a pretty face,” the Oscar winner, Glamour cover girl, and Lancome spokeswoman has taught us plenty about beauty over the years. Such as:

It’s OK to not do Botox.
Winslet has no problem letting her natural smile lines and utterly normal (and beautiful) crow’s feet show in a sea of frozen, relatively expressionless faces on the red carpet. In 2011, the actress told The Telegraph in the U.K. that she’d never cave to pressure to use Botox or get plastic surgery. “I am an actress, I don’t want to freeze the expression of my face,” she said at that time, when she was 35. “It goes against my morals, the way that my parents brought me up and what I consider to be natural beauty. I will never give in.”


A bold red lip is always the right choice.
Like any timeless Hollywood icon, Winslet can work a red lipstick like nobody’s business—and she always reminds us of its effortless impact. Here she is applying Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Definition #195 before the Steve Jobs premiere yesterday. But no, she didn’t apply her own makeup for the event; who do you think she is, Superwoman? This photo comes courtesy of makeup artist Jillian Dempsey.

A photo posted by Jillian Dempsey (@jilliandempsey) on Oct 3, 2015 at 9:56pm PDT

Looking less than pretty can feel powerful.
As anyone who’s ever posted a makeup-free selfie knows, there’s something empowering about showing the world a less-varnished version of yourself. While the image of Winslet’s auburn-haired gorgeousness in Titanic is forever ingrained in our cultural consciousness, since that time, the actress has eagerly taken on characters that aren’t as pretty, like Hanna Schmitz in The Reader. “I love it when a character requires me to look less than my red-carpet best,” she told us in 2011. “It’s more fun playing a character that requires you to look like dog s—t. I’ve never understood the notion that actors and actresses should look great on-screen just because they’re on-screen. That doesn’t make sense to me.” And to win the coveted role of Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs, Winslet gave herself a make-under. “I threw on this short, dark-haired wig, took all the makeup off my face, took a photograph and sent it—with no subject, nothing,” she tells The Wall Street Journal Magazine.

That said, making a bold beauty statement can be empowering too.


Though she often sticks to classic makeup and beautiful updos, Winslet occasionally reinvents herself for the red carpet—and kills it. A few of our favorite examples: the playful, clip-in blond ponytail she wore to Lancome’s 80th birthday party last summer (above) and her short-lived tanned blond bombshell phase in 2009. Add to that list the hauntingly beautiful pale makeup look she’s currently wearing on the cover of The Wall Street Journal Magazine, courtesy of her longtime makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge.

A photo posted by Lisa Eldridge (@lisaeldridgemakeup) on Oct 1, 2015 at 9:49am PDT

You can be glamorous and still not know how to style your hair.
Glamour readers have repeatedly voted Winslet the No. 1 most glamorous person. Her response: “Sophia Loren is glamorous. I don’t know how to do my hair.” And that’s precisely why everyone adores her. (Now if only the rest of us had stylists like Ben Skervin on call to get the job done for us.)

A photo posted by benskervin (@benskervin) on Jun 18, 2015 at 3:27am PDT

Happy Birthday, Kate!


Want to know what’s trending in beauty now? Check the Lipstick Index: