Monica Padman

The Beauty Closet Questionnaire

Expert on (Beauty) Expert with Monica Padman

megan o'neill and jean godfrey-june

goop beauty editors Jean Godfrey-June and Megan O’Neill love to ask—and answer—questions. On their podcast, The Beauty Closet, they’re doing both. To familiarize you with each week’s guest, we came up with a goop beauty (and life) questionnaire.

This Week We’re Talking To:

Monica Padman, actress and cocreator, cohost, and producer of the podcast Armchair Expert

We are full-on Armchairies here at goop, so the chance to interview Monica Padman, half of the Armchair Expert brain trust (GP interviewed the other half, Dax Shepard, here— do not miss it), had us pinching ourselves. Whether Padman, cocreator and cohost with Shepard of the smash-hit podcast (she’s also editor, producer, and erstwhile fact-checker), was interviewing Yuval Harari, Glennon Doyle, Ibram X. Kendi, or perhaps Bill Gates when we heard her mention an enthusiasm for beauty, we no longer remember. All we know is we pounced and somehow convinced her to come on our podcast, The Beauty Closet.

Padman talks about feeling not beautiful growing up as an Indian American in Georgia and also about the ways that beauty rituals—glitter eye shadow with her friends and more serious makeup and skin care with a favorite aunt—brought her closer to people. She takes us through the ways she’s grown, self-image-wise, since moving to LA to become an actress, as well as on the podcast itself. (If you’re a fan, you know that she even ventured into dating during COVID—coached each week on her brilliant offshoot podcast, Monica and Jess Love Boys, by therapists like Esther Perel.)

“I love beauty—trying out products, all that,” she says. “The feeling beautiful I’m doing better at. On Armchair Expert, we had a hypnotist on. I told him I wanted to like what I saw in the mirror (the physical image) and he reminded me that beauty exists in the fact that there’s only one you. There’s only one person on earth with your specific configuration of features, scars, skin—you’re beautiful because of that uniqueness. I’ve adopted that as my beauty philosophy: Own it because it’s the only one.” We love the philosophy—and we love the specifics, below.

First job?

Teaching gymnastics to kids at a local gym in Georgia, Fantastic Gymnastics.

Go-to weeknight recipe?

Alison Roman’s slow-roasted citrus salmon with herb salad.

Hair look?

Most days, I let it air-dry and wear it down with a very cliché millennial side part. 🙂

Best book?

My favorite book in the last couple of years is Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. I also eat up anything Mindy Kaling writes.

Preferred form of exercise?

Running (on a track, preferably).

Drink of choice?

Matcha latte (Cuzen brand—I discovered it on goop!).

  1. Cuzen Matcha Maker Starter Kit, goop, $370
    Cuzen Matcha Matcha Maker Starter Kit goop, $370
Shower or bath?

I love a bath. Dr. Singha’s mustard bath is an incredible add-in.

goop pick
  1. goop Beauty Nurse! Under The Weather Bath Soak, goop, $35
    goop Beauty Nurse! Under The Weather Bath Soak goop, $35

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.