Why Olivia Wilde Wants You to Join the EIF Revlon Run/Walk

03/21/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

Olivia Wilde
Frazer Harrison/Getty

What are you doing on May 5 or May 12? Olivia Wilde hopes you’re joining her for the EIF Revlon Run/Walks in New York and Los Angeles. The Revlon spokeswoman is drumming up support for the events — both of which raise money for cancer research, a cause close to her heart.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a friend who doesn’t have a connection to cancer in their family,” she tells PEOPLE. “I certainly do. I’m really proud to represent that person as I do the run/walk this year in New York — and I really encourage everyone to come out and join me.”

Since 1994, the event has raised $65 million for cancer research, treatment, counseling and outreach programs. “Even if you don’t have more than five dollars that you can afford to give away, if you can show up and run you are contributing in a major way,” Wilde says.

Working for a charitable cause was one of the main reasons Wilde got involved with Revlon in the first place. “It means much more for me than being a model for their ads,” she shares. “It’s about representing everything that Revlon stands for, and that includes this incredible movement to research the cure for women’s cancers.” In fact, the actress participated in the run/walk for the first time in 2003, right after moving to Los Angeles. “It was incredibly moving, and now I’m beyond thrilled to host this run — it’s very full-circle for me.”

However, Wilde does enjoy playing with the company’s makeup, too. Noting her eyes as her favorite feature — “It’s a family trait,” she explains — the actress likes using Revlon’s gel liners to make her peepers pop. “They come in this nifty little pot with a brush built into the cap,” she explains of the cosmetics. “They’re great because they’re easy. I’m certainly not the woman who leaves an hour for herself to get ready, and I really don’t want to reapply throughout the day. I’m all about ease and I like things that last.”

She also believes in Revlon’s bigger message. “It’s all about embracing who you are, and having fun with beauty, not about creating a mask,” Wilde shares. “I really wanted to be a part of something that had a positive slant on that whole concept [of beauty].”

Her co-spokeswoman, Emma Stone, also considered that message when joining the Revlon family, Wilde says. “I know she feels, like I do, really lucky to be ambassadors for a company that takes this so seriously,” she adds of the run/walk. “We were thrilled from the beginning that we would be able to do this event together.”

Join Wilde in New York City on May 5 — “I’ll probably be walking,” she jokes — and learn more about both run/walks at revlonrunwalk.org.

–With reporting by Catherine Kast

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