WHEN THE MOON WAS shining over Veracruz, her grandmother Maria Luisa Lopez would shave little Salma Hayek
's hair and clip her eyebrows, believing the ritual ensured a more luxurious regrowth. That was just one of dozens of natural—and supernatural—beauty tips (along with recipes for facial masks and fruit rubs for the skin) handed down to the Mexican actress. Well, break out the razors. Because Hayek's chili pepper charms were causing fender benders outside Mexican theaters even before she hit Hollywood in 1991. There, the 27-year-old daughter of a Lebanese father and a Mexican mother fired up Antonio Banderas in Desperado
and mesmerized George Clooney
in From Dusk till Dawn
. "She's very voluptuous," says David Arquette, her costar in the 1994 TV movie Roadracers
. "She moves like a Spanish Marilyn Monroe."
Still, says Hayek, "sometimes I look in the mirror and scream like the boy in Home Alone
." For those bothersome bad-face days, she has forsaken Granny's remedies for the pricey potions of L.A. cosmetologist Gabriela Perez. "My skin belongs to her," says Hayek. "Feel how it is moist but not greasy." She hasn't been bitten by the dream factory's obsession with pumping and toning, though. Salma avoids the gym because, she says with a shudder, "you're practically eating other people's sweat." On the positive side, she says, "I've never done drugs, I rarely drink, and I don't smoke. Except cigars, occasionally."