Penelope Cruz cuts her family and friends' hair.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

The 43-year-old Oscar-winning actress enjoys pampering women so much, she admits she could make it a second career and one of the biggest test of her grooming skills came when she had to get her best friend Salma Hayek ready for a red carpet event.

She said: "I like my career, but I love getting people ready for something because it's a part of me. I can cut anyone's hair no problem. I can do a blow-dry, I can put in rollers, I can wax somebody's legs. I could have another job.

"The power had gone at Salma's house and her make-up artist couldn't come, so she called me and said, 'You have to get me ready for this premiere', and I lit some candles and did her hair and make-up too. No one noticed that it wasn't done by a professional, so I was very proud of that."

The 'Zoolander 2' star learned a lot about both beauty and acting by hanging out in the salon her mother ran when she was younger.

She explained to Stella magazine: "My mother had a salon that did hair, nails, waxing. I'd go there after school and pretend to do my homework, but would be watching the women and the way they related to my mother. They would sit there and share all their deepest secrets about their love life.

"Getting a little time for themselves was so therapeutic - it was more than just a haircut. For me, it was more than just a salon, it was my first acting school."

Meanwhile, Penelope - who has children Leo, six, and Luna, four, with husband Javier Bardem - admits her priorities have "really changed" since she became a parent and she is no longer interested in working as much as she used to.

She explained: "My priorities have really changed over the years. I want to raise my kids and I don't want to be away from them,' she explains. 'The first question I ask about a film is where in the world is it being shot, the next question is when, and then I look at the project. I don't want projects that would represent that challenge, in terms of not being able to be together.

"This year, I've started to work a bit more, but my rhythm is never going to be the same as when I was 25, when I was doing four films a year. Because that's not the rhythm I want in my life: I want quality time with my family, and I'm very lucky that I have a job that I love and I can combine both."