“I didn’t always want to model; When I was younger I would actually always pray to get taller. My dad’s 6’3” and my mom’s 5’8” so I was always hoping to be at least 5’9”. I grew like three inches during my freshman year of high school. I just started modeling a little bit in Miami and then, I came during a school break, to New York and fell into it. I got the idea to model when I was nine, I was in Whole Foods and there was this former model who came up to me and told me that I should try it because I have a good look and this little skinny body. So I got the idea in my head then and when I finally was tall enough I tried it out.
I wear makeup for work all the time so I try hard to take care of my skin and also my hair. When I wake up in the morning I always clean my face no matter what. I use a bunch of different cleansers but I started using this Rare Minerals powder where you add water, Renew and Reveal. It exfoliates a bit and you use it with this brush. It really cleans my skin and makes it brighter. If it’s really sunny I use La Roche-Posay sunscreen, it’s really light and I can wear it under makeup. If I have a shoot I will put on the Embryolisse moisturizer. I noticed people backstage were putting it on so I tried it and it stuck. I have dry skin so just using the Bare Minerals alone can be a little bit drying.
I always need conditioner for my hair, it would be uncontrollable without it. I use a lot of Bed Head products. My hair takes forever to dry. It might be wet all day if I don’t blow dry it a little bit. I don’t know how to use a diffuser, it’s like some big contraption that sticks on there, and so I don’t mess with it. I talked to a hairstylist once who told me that a diffuser makes your hair more full but I don’t really need that.
People usually think I am Brazilian or Canadian. I guess Canadian because I don’t sound very American when I speak, I don’t know. As long as I don’t speak people think I’m Brazilian though. It takes them a long time to figure out my nationality. My mom is actually Jamaican-Chinese, she was born in Kingston but she grew up in New York pretty much. She moved when she was two. And my dad’s American but he’s Russian and German. Both sets of grandparents are very different. My grandma looks very Asian but she has a Jamaican accent and then that whole side is like very Jamaican. My other grandma speaks Russian, French, German, English and probably Italian. She is very European.
I started using Bare Minerals powders, but just a little bit. I use medium beige with the brush. I’m scared of using too much makeup on my face and getting breakouts. For my dark circles I use Instant Light Brush-On Perfector by Clarins, which is similar to Touche Éclat. I use a lot of Clarins. It matches my skin pretty well, I think, and I use the Clarins eye makeup remover and face masks. For a bronzer I use a tan powder by Bare Minerals, I don’t really put pink on my cheeks, I’m not a blush girl. So I put on the tan powder as a contour mostly. I like to do up my eyes with eye shadow. If I’m going out I’ll probably use a gold color and some silver under my eyes. I have MAC and Maybelline eye shadows that I usually wear. I can’t really do my makeup that well; I’m not really crafty with the whole eyeliner thing so I just don’t do it. I try to keep it natural and bronzy. Sometimes I’ll fill in my eyebrows or brush them out because I don’t have very much eyebrows. After that I may put a little bit of vaseline on my lips for a casting and some Bare Minerals mascara. I’m not really big on mascara because my eyelashes are really curly so I don’t curl them. I just put a little bit of mascara maybe.
When I did the Chanel Couture show they did this amazing cat eye. Depending on the eye shape of each model, they used the Chanel black eyeliner and drew around the eyes to get this almond shaped Cleopatra look. I attempted it afterwards with my own things and it didn’t work out. But it was so good; I wish I could do it. I’m sure you can’t wear that everyday anyways unless you’re Daphne Guinness.
I think I have like six lipsticks in my bag right now. Sometimes when I am going out to brunch or during the day I’ll use Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in 236. It has a little bit of shimmer, it sparkles but it’s not sticky. It’s kind of like a nude but with an extra punch. Sometimes I’ll wear red lipstick but I feel like it makes me look really old so it depends on where I am going. I’ll wear red lipstick for a Williamsburg party I guess. Oh and I do have the moisturizing lipstick that Chanel makes the one that’s just clear that’s great for castings.
I just graduated from high school, actually I graduated a bit early. I was doing correspondence the last few years. See I’ve gone to school my whole life and I got a Calvin Klein exclusive, my agency was like, “you’ll probably have to leave school.” I decided it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I made the decision to transition out of my junior year, I left half way and I finished through correspondence. During fashion weeks I was always doing my homework instead of going to the parties, it wasn’t that fun, but now I’m all done. And so yeah, I get to have a little bit more fun now.”
-As told to The Formula / Photos by Aimee Blaut in New York