Coco Rocha, Model


“My beauty closet is actually the first thing I made in my house. I like my makeup—I like anything and everything, the more the better. That’s why I have it all. It’s funny when I see other models that I’ve worked with on the street and they say, surprised, ‘Were you working? Why do you have makeup on?’ almost like, ‘Why would a girl ever wear makeup?’ And I don’t understand, because every other girl does, at least something, but models don’t wear anything. I mean, they will not even wear cover-up. I just don’t understand because you learn everything…you learn all the tricks of the trade, why not use it on yourself? I honestly did not know how to put anything on until modeling. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, and then my mom started to be okay with it in high school. I used to be a dancer, and for dancing competitions, or even for our shows, you had to learn to do your own—but you could do it badly and it would be fine, because from far away you couldn’t tell. [Laughs] So finally when I did modeling, I got the hang of everything. But if I have to learn anything, it takes me a little while.

I remember in school the thing was to have white eyeliner instead of black—it was super cool to wear white. So when I was finally allowed to wear makeup I would have the white eyeliner on top, black along the waterline, and then really thick, thick lashes. You were cool if you had makeup like that. [Laughs] Now my favorite thing is to have shimmers, and to find lowlights and highlights. I remember when Pat McGrath found the best shiny stick [Madina] and she bought them all and gave them to her assistants. So my version of that is Smashbox eye shadow in Oyster. On photoshoots she uses lots of strategically placed shimmer—over and around the eyes, on the Cupid’s Bow—so we all look really awake…with the darker contouring, everything kind of pops. If I’m going to red carpet events then I will do something like that. I usually have a dark eye, and darker foundation, because if I don’t, sometimes I look dead. [Laughs] So usually you will see a little more tanned me. If it is something really special like the MET ball, then I will get someone to do it. But if it’s just going to a movie premiere, I am fine to do it by myself.

I’m not particular about brands—I don’t favor designer brands over cheaper drugstore brands. I mean, I came across the [Maybelline] Dream Mousse foundation when I saw the ad…and I was just able to pick the color because I’ve learned what kind of color I am; I know that I am 01, 02 or a C1 or a C2. L’Oreal Magic Smooth Soufflé foundation is another good one—it’s a cream, it’s puffy. I play around with color foundations. This huge palette is from Bobbi Brown, and I use all the colors for different things—as cover-up, for contouring. I also really like Rimmel and YSL concealer. When I’m super hot, and I put powder on my face, it all goes kind of cakey. So I use all liquid. I buy things but most of it has been given to me. If you’re going to give it to me then I will try it out. When I went up to the VOGUE office, they let me go into the beauty closet and take a few things. Everything I saw the main makeup artists use, I went and grabbed it. [Laughs] But I hold on to a lot of things too—I still have my first lipstick that my mom gave to me when I was six or something. It hasn’t been used for many years, but I kept it because it’s such a cool memory.

I notice that a lot of mascaras are flakey, but I use this one, Maybelline Great Lash Curved, and it’s really good. My thing is eyeliner, where I make a wing with a cream liner and a brush instead of using liquid eyeliner, which I find kind of bleeds everywhere. This way it’s done, easy. Makeup artists love using liquid eyeliner, and they have a steady hand, but the assistants for some reason want a paste rather than the liquid for a perfect line. It’s quicker and easier. I don’t use any pencil unless it’s under my eye, smudged. My favorite pencil was from MAC, it was kind of greasy and blended easily.

My favorite nail polishes are KO with a matte finish. I’ve also used the Sally Hanson Salon Effects nail polish strips, which I love; they stay on for a good ten days. And I’m in love with doing my own acrylic nails—I learned early on with modeling that you need to cover up your nails, especially for shows, because sometimes they buff them three or four times a day and your nails get ruined. Once I have these nails on it’s like, ‘Here, I have the perfect nail, you don’t need to buff it or file it, leave it alone.’ [Laughs] So I just use generic fake nails with the super glue. You can just file the white tip off. It sounds kind of stupid, but I saw some of the girls with nails on and I thought ‘Why don’t I do that?’ It’s a whole process going to nail salons for acrylics, and sometimes they’re not the perfect length, so this to me is just stick on, stick off.

My skincare routine is pretty basic. I use Lancôme or Chanel makeup remover, but sometimes I’m really bad—I’ll go to sleep with all my makeup on then take it off in the morning. I’m the model with black still on her eyes from the last shoot, and they say, ‘Can you just remove that?!’ and I think, “You’re just going to put it on again, so why do I have to do it?’ [Laughs] I also use Lubriderm moisturizer as makeup remover—my mom used it constantly when I was younger. It cleans everything without burning. And that’s the other thing: my skin hates perfume. I’ve tried a few cleansers but I’m super sensitive so I just use something like Dove soap. Skin care for me isn’t as exciting as makeup.”

—as told to ITG

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • marcela

    I love this post. I know that I say that I love the posts, but I really like this post. You see I am into a make up phase and it's great to hear from a person who is constantly in contact with it and loves the process, she gets all the tips and then applies them on her everyday life.
    I love all the makeup that she has and how she displays it. I think that makeup is beautiful, it is useful and it can be lots of fun.
    Love, love, love this post.
    By the way I love her I think she is great, she is beautiful and I follow her career whenever I can.
    Once again great post. This is why I love top self.

  • Gina

    LOVE this post. I thought she would be all fancy-schmancy with her makeup and skincare, it's surprising to know that she isn't! Also makes the rest of us feel okay about only being able to afford mostly drugstore makeup : )

    Love ITG and Coco Rocha

  • gorete sousa

    love it


  • Toni

    Her make-up collection is great! So jealous of the Bobbi Brown palette- I've wanted that for ages!

  • Cary

    So nice to read about someone who loves makeup, the whole process and experimentation of it, and shrug off the skincare element. Not that I don't respect good skin habits, but Coco's perspective is very honest, youthful, and refreshing.

  • Jackie

    love Coco's mix of designer & drugstore makeup.
    i still have my Chanel lip gloss that i wore to senior prom.

  • sara

    another Top Shelf entry! y-e-s! these are my favs.

  • Ashley at The I on Fashion

    I am so glad that you did a post on Coco Rocha, I love her. She's so humble and beautiful. I like how she says that she uses both drugstores and expensive brands of make-up - you would think models can have any make-up brand that they want. I love her approach to this.

    The I on Fashion

  • TheBeautyPhilosopher

    What I love about Coco's beauty story is her unabashed love of makeup. Lots of girls will say they use a little bit of this and a little bit of that and their collection is a small, disciplined collection of carefully selected every day products. But Coco's collection is massive and democratic. I love it!

  • Mioara Roncea

    I can't believe how organized is Coco!

  • Fiona

    LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I just want to play in that big old pile of colours.

    Finally, a gorgeous model who also likes to wear make-up :)

  • Christina

    I think this is one of my favourite posts makeup wise. No coyness. Love it!

  • beauty, naturally

    Top shelf always is so candid and relaxed - and her attitude towards nails is awesome!

  • dana

    ommmmgggg! I just had an attack! this is crazy good! Thanks gain for another post for me stare at allll day :)

  • kate

    are you kidding me?! you are spoiling us with all these amazing posts! so excited to see almost daily ones. now time to read article :)

  • Copper Etiquette

    I love makeup to! This was great way to get to know you:)

  • Mitica Fashion Illustrations

    Really so inspired, chic and classy your blog!!

    Im follower of your blog :)

    If you need fashion illustrations on canvas or framed, prints or greeting cards, you can visit my blog!

  • Denise

    So glad you finally posted someone who loves make up!

  • Emily

    I love the photo of all her makeup, especially! The colors are so beautiful!

  • Melanie

    I love this post - she is so pragmatic and honest. I thought I was the only one who resorted to fake stick-on nails when my natural nails needed a break! It is true, from time to time they benefit from the fake cover, so long as its the drugstore versions, not the full acryllic nail salon versions.

  • kate

    amazing top shelf! now there are so many things i need to learn - all about that madina shiny stick, how she "tans" herself without look like she has a foundation masks, and the contouring! oh and how she applies the plastic drug store nails and they don't look completely phony. and that KO polish sounds devine.

    this has left me with so many questions!

  • Emily

    I love how down to earth and honest Coco is. This interview makes me like her even more.

  • PhotoGirl

    SO HAPPY to read about someone who loves makeup!
    And in spite of my best efforts, I, too, have fallen asleep with a face full of makeup. Of course at my age one really can't get away with that sort of thing on a regular basis. I finally put a pack of Neutrogena makeup remover wipes under my pillow. That way, there's absolutely no excuse...

  • Dianna

    Lovely post, as usual, Emily!
    I would die if you could get to interview Natalia Vodianova about her beauty routine - PLEASE!!

  • Gemma

    She's gorgeous and I'm not much of a makeup person but enjoyed reading about hers and how excited she is about it!
    You know who I would love to see on ITG? Keri Russell! Love her and would love to hear about her routine.

  • KateSouth

    She has a fantastic and organized collection of makeup. Great post. I'm definitely her opposite, though. I love the skincare and tend to go more minimal on the makeup...but whatever she does it's definitely working!

  • Alix

    An entire beauty CLOSET -- love it!!

  • chic noir

    Love this. Coco has been one of my favorites for sometime now. She has the personality of a 90's supermodel.

    I also love that she really loves makeup. I'm sure some of the girls who wanted a Top Shelf with a real makeup lover will be pleased.

  • Lisa

    Brilliant post, Emily! I am with those other commentors: it is fantastic to see someone who enjoys make up as much as Coco. I love experimenting with make up and my collection is enormous, but I get such enjoyment playing with my look day after day.

    Thanks so much for this amazing blog you share with us :)

    xo, L.

  • Isabel

    FINALLY! A makeup junkie! Proof that makeup need not cost a fortune. I wish she shared more of those insider tips, though.

  • Liz

    This girl has such a great vibe, lovely top shelf

    Liz Lizo

  • kittywnyc

    she is gorgeous and I love the fact that she embraces make-up! most models off duty walk around bare faced and pale.....not that pretty of a sight honestly. Would a little bronzer and mascara kill you?? However I am surprised to hear about her lame skincare habits. Going to bed with your makeup on and using soap to wash your face?! with all the amazing and effective skincare products out there, maybe she should invest in a good moisturizer...she'll need it in a few years. even models can't stay young and wrinkle free forever!

  • Jessica


  • amarie

    Great interview. She seems super down to earth.

  • Maria

    omg i die for beauty closet. what a luxury!

  • Katelyn

    She is one of my absolute favorite models! I love her even more, hearing how candid and down-to-Earth she is. I have to say, I rarely wash my face before bed these days... And my skin has never looked better!

  • Laura

    Wow it is good to see someone loving makeup that much. I wouldn't be able to find/decide on anything with so many products there.... I'm surprised that she puts so little emphasis on skincare....nice post though.

    • chic noir


      I think coco just has good genes so she can get away with not taking care of skin much. Plus I think she's a non smoker.

  • Ali Kay

    Another great post, Emily. I love Coco... enough said. Also, I've noticed she does incredible smokey eyes for evening. But, I really like her eyeliner look in the picture taken above. Much more natural, yet still defined.
    Anyone know how to recreate a natural, everyday eyeliner look (as seen on Coco, above)?

    Ali Kay

  • anita

    I want a makeup closet! I agree, the more the better. I have a lot too and I love everything! Although on my days off I prefer to go without makeup - the goal is to use age appropriate skincare so that you won't even need concealer - if you use lash enhancers eventually you won't need mascara.
    xoxoxo love the pictures!!!

  • FashionFreak

    Great post. I really like your blog.^^

    my blog♥mfashionfreak

    Please follow me if you're not already. I'd love to get more followers! I'll follow you back.

  • martha

    she's just so naturally gorgeous !

  • Sarah

    I love Coco Rocha. But with her skincare regimen (or lack thereof) -- it'll catch up to her within a couple of years.

  • Madison Blake

    This is hands down my favourite interview on ITG to date. LOVE her beauty philosophy! It's so fresh and different from most of the models featured on here, who (like she says) don't wear any makeup.

  • Antoinette

    I love that you featured Coco Rocha on your site! I aslo love that she uses Lubriderm. Her whole routine with everything is so simple!

  • Lou

    What an amazing make up collection!! I love it.


  • Mariela

    Looooove her, so nice how she's not afraid to admit she uses foundation!
    I agree with her, dove soap is the best face cleanser out there (not to mention cheap).♥

  • Alexis


    Thank you for giving me another reason to love Coco. As if I needed one.

    I would love to play makeup artist in her little makeup closet - so cool, I need a makeup closet!

  • lara / the glossarie

    it is insanely refreshing to hear coco say that her sensitive skin means boring skincare. peels and creams and lotions and potions are my face's enemy - glad to know i'm not alone!

  • Anna

    hi! you can find Madina Chic&Shine stick on the website together with other revolutionary products!


Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation
Magic Smooth Souffle Blush
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Eye Palette
Rimmel London
Rimmel London Hide The Blemish
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
Maybelline Great Lash Curved Brush
Maybelline Great Lash Curved Brush Washable Mascara
Lancome 'Effacil' Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Lubriderm Daily Moisture
Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion