Molly Ringwald On Getting The Pretty Back

For many people, Molly Ringwald will eternally be the teen star of classic ‘80s films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.

But the actress is all grown up and the mother of three — daughter Mathilda, 6, and 9-month-old twins Adele and Roman — with writer husband Panio Gianopoulos.

Now 42, "so far my 40s have been great — far better than my 30s or my 20s. Life sort of happens to you before 40 and then for me, after 40 it's like you make it happen," she says in an exclusive interview. "All of a sudden it's like I've been kicked into high gear: I've written a book, I have three kids, I'm recording my jazz album, I'm working on a television show (the ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager). I just keep saying, ‘I've got to tick it off.' Everything I've ever wanted to do, now is the time to do it."

Searching for a book about the subject of turning the big 4-0, she couldn't find one that appealed to her — so she wrote one herself, Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick, which she calls "a book about being an It woman rather than an It girl." The title came from a friend's comment about how giving birth to a girl can "suck the pretty right out of you." Then "I really felt like it happened," says the actress with a laugh about having her first daughter.

Below, an exclusive video where Ringwald talks about really thinks about her teen icon heritage and why it's surreal going from playing a teen to playing a mother of a teenager seemingly overnight.

This post originally appeared on the site iVillage. Republished with permission.