Eva Longoria is holding on to the side of a fence outside a DMV parking lot in Los Angeles, wearing a bodysuit, a faux-fur cropped jacket, and heels. She looks stunning, and before long, a crowd of men who've been in line to get into the DMV building are inching closer, trying to catch a glimpse. A poor guy taking his motorcycle-license test mere feet from where Eva, 42, is standing keeps stopping and starting his bike, obviously distracted. She notices him and chuckles. "Sorry, guy. I hope you don't fail your test," she says with her trademark humor.
Eva is used to stopping traffic, of course: Ever since she first appeared on TV's giant hit show Desperate Housewives in 2004, she's been one of Hollywood's most glamorous—and busiest—women. On the big screen, Eva currently appears in the drama Lowriders and this summer will star alongside Jamie Foxx in All-Star Weekend. And then, of course, there are her business hits, including an eponymous clothing line and her luxury watch collection with TechnoMarine. She is also a longtime brand ambassador for L'Oréal. Perhaps closest to Eva's heart, she is an outspoken advocate for female empowerment. She founded the Eva Longoria Foundation to help Latinas build better futures, and she appears frequently on Real Time with Bill Maher, speaking intelligently about everything from immigration to the wage gap.
We caught up with Eva—who has been married since 2016 to José "Pepe" Antonio Baston, president of the Latin American media brand Televisa—to find out how she keeps it all together in her big life.
Your clothing line is about making women feel confident. How can the right outfit have that effect?
Oh my God, it changes the way you stand up. The clothing line has been my dream since I was a child. My style motto is comfort, and I mean that. Am I physically comfortable? Does it feel good against my skin? Are the pants too tight and I'm awkward all day long? Is the dress bunching up in a weird place? Is this me, or is this a trend I'm trying to pull off?
Is there anything you avoid wearing?
I'm not very comfortable wearing black. I just think it's boring, and I don't feel beautiful in it. Your wardrobe can really enhance your emotions, good or bad. My daily uniform is probably jeans, a silk shirt, and some heels. And a blazer. Or a dress. I call the dresses "the onesies" because you step in, zip it up, and go. There's not a lot of overthinking and accessorizing.
What about your red-carpet style?
Rules for the red carpet are different. What's on trend? What's the new color that everybody's wearing? And I don't put as much thought into that as my stylist does. She'll be like, "Oh my God—the cold shoulder is everything right now!" And I'm like, "I don't even know what that means! What are you talking about?" [Laughs]
Eva's wearing: Zimmerman swimsuit and Dsquared2 jacket.
You always look great. Any red-carpet regrets?
Oh, sure. This preceded my stylist. There was a Tomb Raider premiere where I wore all leather. It was very appropriate for Tomb Raider, but it was almost like I was going to a theme party. The rest I just look back and go, "Ugh, that was the style." It's like a time capsule, and there is a decade of me just showing my stomach. Like, "OK, Eva, can you stop wearing a crop top? Must you wear a crop top on every red carpet you go to?"
You're also inspired by strong females. Who are your role models?
I come from a family of women, so all of my sisters. My mother. They're working, independent women. They're busy, they're multitasking, they have children, they have jobs, they have big lives. They don't have time to overthink fashion or their hair color.
What's a typical workout for you like these days?
I'm a runner, first of all. I run a lot. But I also do SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga. I usually mix it up. Now I'm starting with weight training. I kind of laid off the weights for a while, but I went to my nutritionist the other day, and she was like, "Your muscle mass is low. You need to build muscle." And I'm like "Oh man..."
Do you have any least favorite exercises?
I don't like moves that incorporate a lot of stuff. Like, "Lunge while you're pressing and balancing," and I'm like, "Uuuugh. I just want to do a biceps curl." I don't enjoy working out. I like the way I feel after working out. I always wish my trainer doesn't show up. I'm always like, "I hope he cancels, I hope he cancels..."
Eva's wearing: Halston jacket ($795; halston.com).
How do you motivate yourself when you're not loving it?
My husband. He loves it. He's like, "We gotta do it." And I'm like, "I knoooow." We motivate each other. My motivation is also the glass of wine at the end of the day. I'm like, "Eva, if you want that glass of wine, this is what we're gonna have to do."
Pre-event or pre-photo shoot, do you ramp up your fitness?
When I have a red-carpet event, it's all about skin care. I go, "Oh shoot, I have this coming up, so I have to get a facial, I have to get a peel, I have to get my eyebrows done." But if you get a peel, you have to do it three days in advance. And if I do microdermabrasion, I have to make sure it's not the same day, and I have to stay out of the sun because I have sunspots.
You have to time it all perfectly.
Yes. But I hosted the FIFA [international soccer] awards in Zurich earlier this year, and I did my fitting before Christmas because I was going on vacation. So when I got back, there they are, trying to squeeze me into this dress, and I'm like, "I just fit this three weeks ago!" And they're like, "Yeah, before Christmas!" So now they're running around Zurich trying to find me some Spanx.
Have you ever double-Spanxed?
Oh yeah. I think we did double-Spanx that day. So when you see that gorgeous white dress in Zurich, just know that nobody was breathing in the photo.
Do you have any body issues that affect your self-esteem?
No. I mean, I'm running around trying to get two pairs of Spanx, so of course I care about how the outfit looks, but at the same time, I'm like, "Well, here we go. We're going out there. Let the Spanx fall where they may!"
What is your advice for women who struggle with body positivity?
We do have a lot of pressure when people are telling us what we should look like. And I think you have to find your own truth. I don't feel like we should go by these rules and social constructs of society, where you have to be a certain size to be pretty. But I've had friends who don't work out or take care of themselves, and all of a sudden, there's a health issue.
What is your approach to healthy eating?
My husband and I went vegan for a while, and we liked it. It's easy to do in big cities. L.A. is Vegan-ville. I live in Mexico City, and I was like, "Oh God, this is gonna be hard in Mexico—land of the tacos." But we've found great meatless, soy, and plant-based products that mimic that stuff, and it's pure vegan.
Are you still vegan?
We've kind of carried it through, except we've added eggs back in. And every once in a while we'll eat fish now. But we haven't eaten red meat or chicken since January.
What makes you happiest?
My husband. Hearing him breathe makes me happy. It's not like, "Oh, I love marriage." I love being married to him. He's just—I can't even believe we found each other. We complement each other. We're supportive of each other. We adore each other. It's really sickening, and anybody who's around us is like, "Ugh." [Laughs]
Have you had any amazing dates lately?
Last night. We had a special dinner, and our big joy is just drinking a really great bottle of wine. He'll be like, "Where do you want to eat next Christmas?" And I'm like, "It's January. I don't know." But he wants it to be special. He's from the 1940s, I think. He must have time-traveled here.
Eva's wearing: Missoni bikini ($469; net-a-porter.com), Azzedine Alaia sweater .
Skin product. My skin care is all Revitalift series from L'Oréal. Night cream, serum, eye cream—it's amazing. And I'm the sunblock police with everybody. I'm like, "Do you have sunblock on? Do you have sunblock on?"
Beauty splurge. Facials. The power peels are expensive. Light treatments. Those red lights and purple lights, I don't know what they do, but I want 'em!
Flattering jeans. Mine. They're constructed based on every pair I've ever owned. We found a four-way stretch fabric that's like a big Spanx.
Night-out look. I'm a white-jeans girl. I wear white jeans year-round. I don't follow the Labor Day rule. I wear them with everything.
Reads. I'm kind of boring: I read studies. I just read the International Labour Organization's report on women and the future of work in the world. It was a global study about the value of women.
TV binge. I'm a fan of TV in general. I come from TV, and it's the greatest storytelling. I'm obsessed with The Affair, The Americans. I love Black-ish, and I just directed an episode of it. I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I love any Real Housewives show. If it's on, I'll tune in. I love the drama.
Styling by Karen Shapiro. Hairstyling by Frankie Payne at Opus Beauty using Number 4 Hair Care. Makeup by Elan Bonglorno for Exclusive Artists using Diorshow. Manicure by Tom Bachik for L'Oréal Paris.