Anne Heche has had many a tough role: a jilted-fiancée who moves to a remote Alaskan town in the TV series “Men in Trees,” the ex-wife of a high school coach turned pimp in HBO’s “Hung,” and a woman trapped on a desert island with Harrison Ford in “Six Days Seven Nights.” (OK, that last one actually sounds like paradise.)
Now the actress and mom of two, 43, is taking on what might be the most difficult task: trying to make sunscreen fun for kids.
Anyone who’s ever tried to apply sunscreen to the face of a child knows it is easier to herd cats while riding a unicycle. First there’s the wiggling and squirming, next the anguished cries of, “You’re hurting my neck and it’s getting in my eyes and don’t touch my ears and just stop!” Then it’s time to do the other side.
“Everybody thinks it’s a pain in the neck,” Heche told TODAY.com, “and it doesn’t have to be.”
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Inspired by the mineral makeup she uses on herself, Heche, 43, partnered with makers La Bella Donna and dermatologists to develop Tickle Time, a chemical-free powdered sunscreen for kids that is lightly applied with a brush. Instead of being absorbed like lotions and sprays, the mineral powder sits on top of the skin, acting as a natural barrier to light. It provides UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 20.
Heche said she came up with the name while experimenting with how it would work on her own boys, Homer, 10, and Atlas, 3. They giggled and played with it so much that she started calling out “tickle time” when it was time to apply it.
“I wanted it to be a toy, something fun for them to put on,” she said, adding, “Homer and Atlas made me understand that this could be called Tickle Time, and I wasn’t kidding. [My partner James Tupper] looked at me and said, ‘One day, this has to be for everybody.’ Make it a tradition for kids in the family having a good time putting on sunblock and be empowered putting it on themselves.”
With less than a month since its launch, Heche said she’s heard from satisfied moms and especially fathers, who might forgo sun protection to avoid the hassle of wrangling their kids. “Dads are the ones that are the most happy because they’ve given up, they’re not chasing them around.”
When not helping her kids stay protected from the sun, Heche is busy acting in Hollywood and sharing a home with fellow actor Tupper (“Revenge,” "Grey’s Anatomy"). We asked the red carpet veteran to share a few of her beauty tips:
What are your favorite beauty products?
“La Bella Donna foundation and concealer — that was to me just the best … I like the Rosebud Salve lip balm because everything that I use, all my family members use. If I’m using lip gloss, it goes on [Atlas’] face. I use stuff that he can get into.”
As a busy mom, what’s your beauty routine look like now?
“It’s maybe two-and-a-half minutes. I brush my teeth, pull my hair back into a ponytail, run downstairs, make sure the eggs are now flipped … Tickle Time goes on the face and we’re out the door.”
Who’s your style icon?
“If I had anywhere near the body, it would be Sofia Loren. I mean, when I see pictures of her, wow. But I was not blessed with that voluptuousness in the right places. I do love the old-time movie stars: Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn … there’s such a cool gorgeousness about her. The classiness of Grace Kelly, the sensuality of Sofia and the individuality of Kate Hepburn … I try to do a little bit of any of that before I go off to a carpet or something."
How do you manage your hair?
"When I’m not working, I don’t do a lot of anything for it. I’m in the pool I condition it … If I’m breaking from work, I’m breaking from everything. When I’m in style for a character, it’s about keeping it as healthy as possible — if the character’s healthy, of course."
Skincare/makeup tip to live by:
“Wear sunblock, wear sunblock, wear sunblock.”
What’s one beauty trend we likely won’t ever catch you in?
“I’m probably done with the miniskirts.”
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