Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Samantha Jones of "Sex and the City" fame may be known for her brazen and outrageous antics, but actress Kim Cattrall says she had to step outside of her comfort zone to play one of television's most memorable characters.

"I'm actually a serial monogamist. And I'm very much like any woman out there; I'm hard on myself, I work very hard and I can feel insecure. I have the same wants and desires. I want to look good, to feel good, to be liked and to be part of something bigger, like a relationship," Cattrall tells StyleList.

We chatted with the blond beauty at New York's Surrey Hotel, where Cattrall was making her debut as Olay's newest face. In an industry where women over 50 are rarely called upon to sell anything but wrinkle cream, the Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash spokesmodel says that fact wasn't lost on her.

"I'm 54, and Olay isn't scared to put a woman of my age up on a poster for their campaign. I think that communicates an incredible message for women everywhere," says Cattrall.

The Brit-born actress says she pairs the rejuvenating body wash with a scrub brush to get off all the body makeup her work requires her to wear.

"I have very white, English skin. It always broadcasts the truth. If I'm tired, it shows. If I'm embarrassed, it shows. And I rarely get a tan, so I sometimes spray tan to look healthy. But when I scrub myself clean at the end of a long work day, I can just hear my skin say, thank you!"

Cattrall says a lifetime in the business has taught her to treat her skin with a calming regimen, or else suffer breakouts, rashes and stubborn redness. She splashes her face with tepidly warm water while cleansing, and treats dry patches around her cheeks and nose with moisturizer, while leaving the oily T-zone to settle itself.

"I think most of us are a mix of dry and oily areas through our face and body. My advice is to treat areas differently as needed, and not to box yourself up into only an 'oily' or 'dry' camp, because your skin may have more complex needs than that," says Cattrall.

On days off, Cattrall lets her skin breathe with minimal makeup if any, opting only to curl her lashes -- even though they rest underneath her usual vacation day armor of a big, fabulous pair of sunglasses. "Don't ever take away my eyelash curler!" she warns. "I go nowhere without it."

And when it comes to maintaining the playfully sexy look Cattrall is known for, the actress says it's more about what you don't use than it is about what you do.

"I never wear lip liner all around my lips. If at all, I'll use it to lightly define the two peaks of my lips, which aren't perfectly even for most people. Anything more than that, and I think it looks hard. I think you should always aim to go softer and simpler, especially as you get older," advises Cattrall.

Cast of Sex and the City

The ladies of "Sex and the City." Photo: AP Photo/Warner Bros., Craig Blankenhorn

In fact, Cattrall says that simplifying her grooming routine and wardrobe has allowed her to feel free and beautiful.

"I like a clean, natural mani and pedi. I don't wear much jewelry. This dress is one of my staples because it speaks for itself," said Cattrall, pointing to a Michael Kors black lace and cream sheath dress that elegantly draped across the actress' trim yet healthy figure.

"The older I get, the more relaxed I am. The statement is more about me, instead of what I'm wearing, or who I'm wearing. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. But you don't know who you are when you're young, and you follow all these different trends and ideas that can ultimately bring you to find and embrace who you really are," says Cattrall.

As for what's next, Cattrall admits that it has been a little difficult getting past being typecast as her most famous character, Samantha Jones.

"It's a double-edged sword in the sense that people think they know you or what you do, based on that one character. I think the thing to do is to move on, and not hold onto what was, and instead embrace what's to come. That's what I'm trying to do, with the career choices I'm making now," explained Cattrall.

After performing in two plays in London's West End the past couple of years, Cattrall will star in an independent film, "Meet Monica Velour," which will debut April 8. The comedy follows the friendship that develops between a socially awkward 17-year-old boy and his favorite 50-year-old '80s porn star (played by Cattrall), whom he tracks down while on a road trip.

"It's very funny, offbeat and yet sweet and endearing," says Cattrall of the film.

You didn't think that Samantha Jones was completely extinguished, did you?

And if you can't get enough of her sex appeal, check out the sensual shots from Cattrall's new Olay campaign here.