Salma Hayek: This Is 'The Best Time in My Life'

06/18/2008 at 08:05 AM EDT

Salma Hayek: This Is 'The Best Time in My Life'
Salma Hayek
Craig Barritt/JPI

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

Is it hard being over 40 in youth-obsessed Hollywood? No way, says new mom Salma Hayek.

"I'm 41 now," she said while being honored at Tuesday's Women in Film Crystal+Lucy Awards. "And I have to say, it is the best time in my life."

That prompted Jada Pinkett Smith – who was also being recognized, along with her costars from the upcoming chick flick, The Women – to shout out, "You look good!"

Hayek – who gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma last September with billionaire fiancé Francois-Henri Pinault – said she is finally coming into her own.

"I have learned to enjoy time to be a woman. I have learned to enjoy how to do the most that I can with what I have," the Ugly Betty producer explained. "It is a good thing to be a 41-year-old Latina woman in America."

She also gave a shout out to fellow Latina Eva Mendes (another star of The Women), who responded with a loud, "I love you, Salma!"

And when it comes to balancing motherhood and her busy career, Hayek has already learned the most important lesson. "I delegate a lot more," she told PEOPLE at the L.A. event. "I'm very lucky because I have great people around me."

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