• Shirt by Maje; jeans by Current/Elliott; boots by Isabel Marant; belt by Gucci; bracelet by Carolina Bucci; bracelet by Chan Luu

    sweatshirt, a Bulgari ring and diamond earring through the top of her ear serving as subtle reminders of a more glamorous alter ego.

    Her alter ego is, of course, mainly that of a high-profile actress; films such as Sin City, Valentine’s Day and Machete filling out her resumé. But over the past few years, when she wasn’t getting married – she and Warren met on the set of Fantastic Four in 2004 – or giving birth to Honor and her 20-month-old sister, Haven, Alba has been busy carving out multiple careers for herself. In 2012, after a long search for financial backers, she launched The Honest Company, a business aimed at providing non-toxic, eco-friendly products that also deliver in terms of design and efficacy, primarily for mothers, but for anyone concerned with wellbeing, too. Then, last month, she became a bestselling author when her book, The Honest Life, hit number three on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

    The book reveals a surprising side to Alba. One of Hollywood’s most beautiful stars, her sex appeal

    has been, one imagines frustratingly, a defining factor of Jessica Alba, actress. But the book is an antithesis to Alba the temptress, the woman directors usually see fit to clothe in skintight Lycra, midriff-baring leather or, in the case of Into the Blue, the skimpiest of bikinis. The Honest Life is about Alba’s experiences as a mother, her childhood illnesses and ongoing allergies – later, she shows me her garden covered in artificial grass, due to the welts she gets from real grass – and how they shaped her quiet campaign to help others live “a healthy, natural lifestyle – without being boring, beige or blah”.

    “[Writing the book] was daunting. But I wanted this information to be easy to understand,” she says. “There are so many different sources that have such strong opinions. I wanted to have no judgment: here’s the information, take from it what you will.”

    The Alba of her book – full of detail about her home life, friends and stories, such as her trip to the Dior show in Paris, when an adverse reaction to her makeup caused her eyes to swell shut hours

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