Still have lingering allergies? Private Practice actress Kate Walsh can relate. “I have major allergies!” exclaims the Zyrtec spokesperson, adding that she went through years of denial about her condition. “It took countless times of me showing up on set and facing my poor makeup artist with a runny nose and watery eyes before I was finally able to admit I had allergies,” she laughs. “I’m very reticent about taking medications but Zyrtec is actually something that works for me and makes me feel better.”
Other must-haves for Walsh include antihistamine eye drops, frozen coffee grounds for depuffing swollen eyes—and Clé de Peau concealer. “I get a little red around my nose because of all the nose-blowing, and it really helps,” she says. “It’s a stick and not a liquid, so it gives great coverage. It’s also yellow-based, which is good for neutralizing redness.” While red is an unwanted color around her nose, Walsh loves it for her hair and lips: “You know, a lot of people say redheads shouldn’t wear a red lip, but I don’t believe that’s true. There’s this bright, orange-y red shade by Tom Ford called Wild Ginger that I’m really into at the moment.”
As for her famously fiery tresses, Walsh says her color is less red than usual, due to time in the sun and water. “It’s vacation hair!” she says. “I’m on hiatus from Private Practice right now, so I was in the Caribbean. I used a couple of great hair protectants, one by Rene Furterer and another by Kérastase, but salt water fades color quickly.” Fortunately, Walsh’s longtime colorist—Christopher Pierce of the Andy LeCompte Salon in Los Angeles—has taken fading into account. “My base color is more of a golden brown, and we’ve made a conscious decision to keep the red in that range so that when it fades, it looks more natural,” says Walsh.
Regardless of the exact hue, Walsh—who will appear in fall’s highly anticipated film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower—says there are perks to going red. “I was blond nine or 10 years ago, but then I went red and never looked back,” she says. “It’s sassy, and I like it! It’s a little mischievous and feels on point with my personality.” As for the movie, which also stars Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Nina Dobrev, and Dylan McDermott (just to name a few), Walsh says she can’t wait for its release. “I haven’t seen it yet, but I think it’s going to be amazing—Stephen Chbosky, who wrote the book, also wrote the screenplay and directed the film, and he was just incredible,” says Walsh. “It feels blasphemous to say, but the book is like this generation’s Catcher in the Rye. It’s a coming-of-age book and it’s that good, so to be a part of the film adaptation was beautiful. I think it will resonate with a lot of people.”
Currently resonating with a lot of people—Sephora and HSN customers, to be exact—is Walsh’s Boyfriend fragrance, which launched last year. The scent was so popular, Walsh followed it up with Billionaire Boyfriend this past February. “I plan on introducing a new Boyfriend for every Valentine’s Day,” says Walsh, who hopes to eventually expand the Boyfriend brand into a lifestyle empire. “I imagine a Boyfriend store down the road that sells fragrance, clothing, jewelry, and home products.”
For now, though, Walsh is content to unwind and take advantage of Private Practice’s break in shooting. “This is the first time that I’m actually taking my hiatus off,” she says. “I’m looking forward to just relaxing and hanging out with my friends and family.”