Erin Wasson


“I got really lucky with modeling. The only casting I went on was with Mario Testino...and then it was kind of, you know, my whole life got flipped upside-down. But with acting now, it’s not walking into a room and being like, ‘Hey, nice to meet you.’ It’s like, you walk into a room and you put on an effing performance, and then you leave the room. In the world of modeling, you just show someone a book and you’re completely objectified from your surface. But with acting it’s like, do you have a fucking skill? Do you know what you’re doing? Did you put the work into it? Are you emotionally available? You can’t even compare the two worlds. Acting is fucking hard. Modeling is easy; you just travel a lot. I didn’t always know I wanted to segue into acting; it was serendipitous. I totally ended up with that role [in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter] because of a fluke. You know, my whole thing is being a conduit of creativity. It sounds totally esoteric and hippie, but the more things that you can do to challenge yourself, test yourself, and find a new medium of creativity…I’m all about it. I don’t believe in being a ‘muse,’ though. That whole concept is a fleeting moment. It’s not a person that inspires you, it’s someone that’s personifying a bigger picture—it’s not the actual person, you know? There is no way one person walking this earth can forever and always be a muse to anyone. Everything’s fleeting in life, like every, single, solitary thing…maybe including my acting career! [Laughs] You never know.

I wouldn’t say I was really into fashion before modeling; I was into creation. Like, I always made jewelry. I would save my money and go to MJ Designs and do arts and crafts projects and stuff. My mom says that I was always making things. But clothing? Not so much. Clothing is disposable; it’s made out of fibers. Jewelry is alchemy: throw it in the bottom of the ocean, it’s still there. And trends are scary. I think they totally hold us by golden handcuffs. It’s really unfortunate that women feel…that we have this desire to covet things that might personify something we’re trying to gain access to. But it’s like, you can’t get the access to it without the experience, itself. So, if you’re into some trendy-ass print, then figure out what the nucleus of it is and maybe go visit the country, instead of being like, ‘Oh I spent 12 grand on this piece.’ It’s funny because girls want to emulate my style, but you can emulate my style for, like, 20 bucks. Go to a thrift store! [Laughs] I don’t spend money on clothes. I’m not that person. I don’t do the whole Isabel Marant thing. I love her as a person, and I think what she does is fucking amazing, but am I going to buy into a world of a French woman selling me what I grew up with? Do you know what I mean? Am I going to sign up for that? I’m sorry, but I’m not going to spend $1,200 on a Western shirt and go back to Texas and get it for five bucks. I meannn. [Laughs] Dude, I’m wearing Free People right now. I love me some Free People.

I like it now because I don’t feel as though I’m booked as a model anymore—I’m booked as me. I show up and I’m allowed to be me. There’s no more glamazon/dress-up/Barbie-doll shit going on in my career anymore. I think charisma and pizazz definitely get you far in the business. Sometimes you’ll be on a photo shoot or job with a group of people for 12 hours, and it’s like, do you want to be with a girl with zero personality who’s really beautiful, or do you want to be with a girl who’s kind of beautiful and has a great personality? I think you’ve got to have something to say. You know, ‘cause that whole idea that models are to be seen and not heard, I just think it’s rubbish. And I think modeling is shifting towards an older woman because you have to own yourself, man. I always used to say that you could tell the girls who lost their virginity between seasons. It’s like, at the end of the day, if you haven’t had sex then you can’t sell sex—let’s be real. To be in the fashion industry there has to be a fire inside of you, where you have to understand yourself, your body…all of that kind of stuff. I mean, I’m half way to 31! [Laughs]

I think beauty is all in your head at the end of the day. I’m a hippie of the heart, because I don’t smell like patchouli. [Laughs] I think that if you’re a hippie you just understand that everything is always bigger than you at any given time; it’s never really about you. There’s always a bigger picture. I’ve always looked at women like Lauren Hutton—she doesn’t wear any makeup. It’s the women who always let themselves shine that I was always drawn to. It was always the ones who don’t wear the makeup. Lauren Hutton would throw a three-piece suit on and show up for a red-carpet event. I mean, my mother was so bare bones—it was, like, Dove soap and Oil of Olay. My mother was a flight attendant for 32 years, and I’m like, ‘Mom—eye cream. We need to add something to your beauty regimen because, trust me, Oil of Olay is not going to cut it. You need to be doing something more.’ But, I buy it for her and she still doesn’t use it. She’s such a humble woman.

I certainly don’t know the tricks of the trade. I don’t know any secrets; I don’t think there are any secrets. I mean, certainly facials are a dream come true. The only woman I let touch my skin is Terri Lawton in LA. She does craniosacral therapy—she’s actually like a spiritual healer. She sticks her fingers in your mouth and moves around energy. She does all of this stuff where you lie on an infrared mat. It’s not about the superficial layer of your skin, it’s about all the deeper layers and what’s going on inside of you. She’s extraordinary. Even if I went in there and she never touched my skin, I would still see her because of her presence and just who she is as a person. She’s totally into the metaphysics community; she talks to scientists in Switzerland about movements and progressions in skincare. She’s so epic.

Everything really needs to be paraben-free for me. I mean, because if I’m going to smoke cigarettes, then I need to be aware of all the other bullshit I’m putting into my body. For my skin, these are the jam: Julisis Silver Wash Night and Gold Wash Day. I got it all from Terri; she found some crazy dude who makes all of these things. It’s all based on different rocks and stones that have been blessed by shamans. And oils, I’m an oil aficionado—the Julisis face oil is the best, but Rodin cream and the Olio Lusso body oil are great, too. And I'm all about DDF Glycolic 10% Toner. It's a godsend for whenever you’re getting breakouts—you put it on at night, and it tends to just dry everything out. It’s like chemical warfare. But I do feel there’s a bit of a placebo effect with skincare. I think that we look at ourselves too much, and we try too many fucking products that agitate and aggravate our skin, and that’s sort of what’s dooming us. If you’re using something and you think it’s doing something for you, it’s in your head. It’s all genetics, really. At the end of the day, if you’re going to get lines, it’s probably because your mom and your grandma had the same lines in the same place on their face.

The only thing I’ll wear in terms of makeup is the RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up. I think it’s the most amazing beauty product ever created. It’s like skin. Foundation grosses me out, but this is like a natural foundation. All of her stuff is natural—you could eat her products. And I’ll do mascara, Maybelline Volum'Express. But I just don’t wear makeup unless it’s to events. Foundation and covering up is just the worst; I’m all about being able to see your skin. I mean, listen, we all have these weird, slight idiosyncrasies to our skin. I think that old-school makeup artist mentality of ‘blank canvas and build back’ is very dated. For me, I’m like, tinted moisturizer, some of that Rose Marie Swift shit, maybe some blush, but I don’t do sparkles. [Laughs] I’ll do literally a taupe eye shadow. I will literally sit there with a makeup artist and be like, ‘Can I see if there is any sparkle in that? Is there any glitter in this, because if there is, get it away from me.’ [Laughs]

Every day, after I go in the ocean, what I do with my hair really depends on what I’m doing afterwards. [Laughs] The one thing I can’t live without is conditioner. I think I should have bought stock in a conditioner company years ago… I literally use half a bottle at once. I was really into that Oribe shit for a while, but it got real expensive. Now I’m just using Biolage. That’s all I need. I don’t even shampoo my hair. Unless I’m working and they put all the crap in my hair, I do not believe in stripping your hair of all the oils. So yeah, I’ll get in the ocean and a little bit of salt will be left over, and then I’ll condition it and then it’s done. Maybe some oil—a hairdresser gave me this hair serum, Rose Veil. It’s like Moroccan Oil, but it smells like rose. It’s kind of intoxicating. Or sometimes I’ll use Kérestase Fiber Architecte if it feels damaged. I do color my hair, because, girl, I’m pretty much gray. [Laughs] I just do my roots every three weeks. I mean, my mom and dad basically went completely gray in their mid-twenties. So I’m lucky I’m just now having to deal with it in my thirties. Harry Josh does it in New York. I don’t always do it every three weeks. He texts me being like, ‘Dude you need to come in!’ But I’m not the type of person who really cares. Right now, there are all kinds of terrier gray hairs coming in, but I’m like, whatever. You can’t see it…. If  it was darker you’d be able to see it more. But there is, like, a fucking national forest going on in there. [Laughs]

I started getting tattoos when I was 17. I don’t have a grand plan with my tattoos, never. I’m the girl who just thinks up something as I’m walk into a tattoo parlor and I’m getting it an hour later. I believe in ornamentation of the body… I believe if you feel it, you should just do it. Don’t overanalyze anything in life too much—you’ll make yourself crazy. I’m into symbolism; all of my tattoos are very much based on symbolism. And they’re all very sneaky. So, if I’m just standing straight in front of you, you wouldn’t really see them. But, if I was naked and you saw me from behind you would be like, ‘Damn.’ [Laughs] All of my tattoos are in the place where I want them; they’re not hidden because of work. It’s been a problem for sure over the years, but whatever! You know, I started in this business when it was 35mm film. Now, everything is digital anyways, so you just push a button and every blemish and tattoo just disappears."

—as told to ITG

Erin Wasson, in a Free People shirt, photographed by Emily Weiss in Venice, CA on August 16th, 2012.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Bird

    "It’s really unfortunate that women feel…that we have this desire to covet things that might personify something we’re trying to gain access to. But it’s like, you can’t get the access to it without the experience, itself." This is EXACTLY what makes me love Erin Wasson. Thank you for posting this!

  • Nomadic D.

    She sounds so grounded and smart, what a great interview. And of course, if I had skin like hers I wouldn't be wearing any makeup either, but hey, reality, right? Also love her bit about Isabel Marant, it is so crazy the way we americans are buying into that strange frenchified americana at crazy high prices. Don't get me wrong, I like the stuff, but it's just like Erin says, we have access to the originals, what are we doing? Anyway, great post!

  • Edith Zimmerman

    I think I just fell in love with Erin Wasson.

  • Kate @ Glossy Pages

    This has completely changed and opened up my opinion on Ms Wasson, it's really quite refreshing to hear this all from her. Thank you for these lovely features Emily!

  • Denis R

    Perfect post adn work. Great.

  • Marta E

    She has one of the best styles!! Love her!!


    (Could you help me just clicking "like" HERE It's for a scholarship, thanks!! :) )


  • Bonnie Clyde
  • Alison Bell

    This was a really interesting read. She seems to have transcended the model-turned-actress thing and evolved into a full-blown philosopher!

  • Cmarie215

    She's a total rockstar. Love her vibe

  • mad cute
    • Gina Carpellotti

      Indeed! A number of years ago, she created a line of cosmetics for women over 40.

  • Sam

    I had no idea she was frickin hilarious. And THANK YOU Erin for the Isabel Marant thing, it really has gotten out of hand. I'd rather have authentic, made in Texas cowboy boots any day. ;) Always a pleasure, Emily & Co.

  • Isla

    the most refreshing and unpretentious ITG interview thus far! totally agree with her on the whole Isabel Marant ideology!!

  • gothamlight

    The whole RMS line is heaven. I can't live without the "Un"Cover-Up, Living Luminizer, and Sublime lip shine. Rose Marie Swift really knows what she's doing—the whole line is made of food-quality active natural ingredients. The body is a torus, we have to feed the outside as well as we feed the inside.

  • Julius

    whenever i think of cool laidback surfer chic i instantly think of erin. great post!

  • Nicole J

    I love her! She such a great inspiration for young 20 somethings, thank you for finally posting her!

  • kathleen

    What bothered me more than her use of "like" was her frequent use of curse words. It came off as disrespectful and disinterested.

    • Cathew

      Agreed. I actually found her a little too pretentious for my liking, but, whatevs.

    • becca

      it actually makes her sound like a budding 21 year old "artist."

      • Roberta Barros

        hahahaha exactly! and what a dirty mouth...

        • Lera

          Yes. I really like what she was saying but the way she was saying it made me skip the paragraphs. Although I wasn't really surprised as she tends to use the F-word quite often.

    • Jessica

      Some people swear, it's not "out of place" or gratuitous, she's simply being herself, and Emily isn't editing it out. I think that's the reason everyone loves ITG, it's people being honest and THEMSELVES, and it's portrayed as exactly that, instead of it being edited to bits and pieces, where the "subject" is no longer visable and everything is PC and advertorial

    • Marchebouvier

      People swear. It's not hurting anyone. Deal with it.

  • Cay

    She's awesome--thanks for doing her. She's so right that she's one of the few models who shows up and it's HER, not whatever the photographer/designer makes her into.

    That said, you can do all you want to stay healthy, but if you smoke, you're killing all of that effort that you're putting into other areas. It's really just one of the worst things you can do.

    • beeswaxnoneofyour

      Yes, I don't understand it when people think doing everything else right somehow negates or balances out the badness of smoking, excessive drinking, etc - or if you don't use x product with x ingredient you will automatically never get cancer.

    • Katie

      totally agreed. how can a woman as intelligent as Erin be so ignorant as to think her "natural" and paraben-free skin care routine negates her cigarette use. i mean really?!?!

      • Kate

        I don't think she believes that it negates her smoking, but rather she realizes she has this terrible vice and does her best not to exacerbate it.

        • Melody Lam

          True, but I also feel that it is to even out the effects of her vices. Take care of herself in one area to balance out the damage she has done in another area. The "logic" is there, but it is a misconception. While taking care of her skin very well may cover up the aging that might be progressed through smoking, the skincare routine does not help with the internal damage that she has done to her organs from her smoking.

    • jay vee

      agree and hate to tell you Erin but there are parabens in your beloved Glycolic Toner.

    • Firsthowl

      And let he who is without sun cast the first stone.......
      Everyone has a vice, at least she is aware of it.

  • Kim2geer

    I love Erin Wasson. She is a true spirit and embodies beauty in this way. Love how honest and independent she is. She's an inspiration.

  • Fashion Follows Her

    To be in the fashion industry there has to be a fire inside of you.......Couldn't agree more!

  • Rachel

    Beautiful interview. She is an inspiring woman

  • charlotte bentley

    I love her look, and her attitude is awesome. She is so grounded. What a great piece.

  • Alice

    It sounds like she really tries too hard to be the cool hippy person with the banging personality she's describing but it didn't come through in my opinion. She doesn't seem natural to me besides her natural beauty ( that hair, wow).

    • Beautyidealist

      totally agree with you! also, as a big skincare junkie, I was surprised to see how little she really knew of the products she was using! Julisis is not a line that has anything to do with "rocks and stones blessed by shamans"- it is a line that combines liquid metals with natural oils. Also for someone who says "everything really has to be paraben free for me", she then goes on to rave about DDF's Glycolic Toner, which guess what- has parabens, just check the ingredients list on the link.

      • JC

        THANK YOU, Beautyidealist, for clearing up that Julisis thing because we all know how models and 'personalities' can get carried away and exaggerate things.

        Personality aside- one thing I will say is that although she gets a paycheck from Maybelline she doesn't try to bullshit people and tell them that she uses things from their line when she really doesn't. She only mentioned using their mascara which is believable, unlike some of the other women featured on here getting bankrolled by major brands.....*coughcough*. I respect her for that.

      • Lu

        I think you took it too literally.... Her paraben knowledge isn't as good as yours, you win!

    • Maoli

      I agree. I think she overplayed her "hippie/holistic" vibe, probably because she is going for a "look/style" instead of a lifestyle. Real holistic/spiritual people would never smoke cigarrettes because it goes against the body and mind, it is destructive not constructive to a person's health and nature. She obviously isn't taking care of her spiritual well being if she is still being destructive to herself. How I understood her to be, and mind you I might be wrong, is, completely contradictory to herself. 1. She is above fashion, yet works in the fashion business 2.She is into the spiritualness of Holistic medicine, but hasn't yet worked on the real reasons behind her smoking habit 3. Judges others for their shopping and consuming habits yet works for the very people who profit from it...
      I think she should go work with a real Shaman in the amazon of Peru instead of some dubious holistic practicioner who exploits their ancient knowledge (this reminds me of her Isabel Marant rant, isn't her Hollywood Therapist just an expensive version of a "real" shaman?). I'm pretty sure he won't be telling her to wash her face with X in the morning and Y at night. He will say, drink some Ayuasca and find out for yourself.
      And, Genetics aren't everything, hate to break it to you Erin.
      It's not what you say, it's what you do, and I think this is what was missing from her Interview, I believe this is what all the people with critique also noticed.

  • Kitty224046

    it seems like she is trying way too hard just to prove a point. also, free people is hardly a $5 t-shirt from texas. i'm just saying...

  • Andrea

    i totally love her! she is such a beauty and has a great personality what makes her even more fabulous!

  • Akilah Hughes

    I think it's petty to complain about her use of "like." She's a real person, this is what she really said. She had plenty of articulate, interesting, deep, witty, thoughtful things to say, so quit nit-picking!

    I was only vaguely aware of her before, but I think in another reality, we would be friends.

  • Maddie

    Amazing interview. So fun to read!

  • becca

    Erin is beautiful. Her face is so naturally radiant. I've always admired her dewy olive complexion.

    Although I think she is trying too hard to come off as "not giving a damn", too original and "socio-politically conscious" with her personal style and beliefs.
    I want to point out that what she's saying is quite contradictory. Remember "homeless people have the best style"...
    Yeah, right. And has she ever been homeless? And her jewelry line Low Luv taking too direct cues from creatives such as Pamela Love and Bliss Lau?

    I dunno man. That sh*t is wack yo.

    • Guest

      Exactly. The homeless people have the best style comment was completely ridiculous. And same with the jewelry line.

  • America Cavaliere

    GREAT interview!!!
    <3 <3 <3

  • kat

    erin, if you're reading this, try hypnosis to stop smoking. you're beautiful!

  • Les Cahiers d’Héloïse

    I love her ! She's so genuine. I love the way she talks and I find her inspiring !

  • DS

    Okay, I've always loved EW. But I have a theory with the "I don't give a shit how I look, no makeup, no product attitude"... only models can REALLY pull this off. Because genetics are on their side. HELL, anyone that rolled out of bed, with leftover salt water in their hair and looked like that, wouldn't bother with makeup/product either. But the majority of the female population DOES NOT in fact look like that naturally. So brush on a little powder, and mascara...don't not do it just cause the model doesn't.

  • Beautyidealist

    she's really beautiful and has a lot going for her. it's kind of unfortunate about her blanket statement that trivializes all modeling as 'easy' just because she's moved beyond that, which is good for her. hopefully she'll get to a point where she doesn't have to try so hard to be hip, it's kind of obvious.

  • Chesley

    What are the fragrances she has in the pictures?

  • Denisse

    I definitely agree with the fact that I found this difficult to read, and I didn't even bother finishing it. Just another pretty girl talking about how fashion and make up is beneath her. She's obviously trying to emulate other people, because this didn't seem natural at all.

    If she was really herself, this wouldn't feel so staged. Yeah she's pretty, but from what I have seen of models going into acting, they don't usually have any substance.

  • anindoortree

    There are parts of this that are really intetesting and funny and admirable -- Her interest in things that are more natural, her comments about Isabel Marant, and the idea that its better to have been to, say, India and experienced another culture, rather than to own an expensive paisley print scarf -- but otherwise, honestly, mostly what comes across is pretentious and, well, contradictions, which is my nice way of saying, lies. Lauren Hutton does wear make-up. If she really only uses the handful of products she listed off what are all of the other open products doing in her bathroom? Natural face wash and holist facials have nothing to do with lung cancer. Did she get her role in Abraham Lincoln because she's "putting creative energy out there" or "as a fluke"?

  • Tai

    I'll wonder if she'll read this back when she's 40 and cringe a bit - she comes across very young. She sure is pretty though.

    • daria

      totally agree.

      "she comes across very young"
      she actually reminds me of a ranting eight grader who just discovered what it means to be a non-conformist. there's a little bit of angst inside of her.

      it's interesting because she says that clients are now looking for "older" models because they have experienced something. for some reason, erin just comes across as inexperienced, immature and spoiled even though she may not be that way.

  • PearlGirl1998

    I may be in a bad mood today, so forgive me but, seriously? This woman comes off as -- not stupid or unintelligent -- but uneducated and immature. I would have thought this was a model in her late teens who dropped out of high school to work. The subject is beautiful and perhaps has some worthwhile insights, but it's hard to find them or take them seriously in the among the cursing and stream-of-consciousness rant. It reminds me of when I was in my twenties and you'd meet up with friends halfway through the night and they'd be all strung out on coke and shit, you knwo? Just like, just swearing and shit making craaaaazy insights and thinking everything they had to say was so f***ing brilliant, you know?

    Since its inception The Top Shelf has always had a very personal, conversation feel to it and that is one of the things that has made it unique; however, some editing might be necessary. For instance, when a subject is rambling on about models losing their virginity, etc. it might be helpful to keep them on topic somehow. Like many readers, I discovered The Top Shelf and devoured its content because it was about insider products and favorites -- what products and routines and service providers those who have easy access to all the best and newestfavor and why. This installment seemed like, the products and routine were thrown in at the end and completely incidental to the cult of personality this individual wants us to believe we should promote on her behalf.

    Into the Goss and, in particular, The Top Shelf, should stay true to its spirit and make some tough editing decisions, which might mean not running a piece like this, running an edited version of it, or at least not running it as "the top shelf."

  • PearlGirl1998

    I totally agree. I thought she was sort of offensive and definitely obnoxious. She is beautiful. How in love with yourself do you have to be to go on and on for 4 paragraphs about your super-awesome insights into Isabel Marant before getting to the beauty stuff. Also, whenever anyone goes on and on about how down to earth they are, it is usually a pretty surefire sign they are the exact opposite. Just sayin.

  • jenn

    wow i used to really admire her style and laid back approach to life. my opinion of her completely changed after reading this interview. foundation is gross? i'm sure maybelline is so glad they paid her to represent their brand. also free people is hardly in the $5 range. she brought up models being seen and not heard. this interview is exactly why that phrase was invented.

  • Mona

    Too much green smoking :P
    The Isabel Marant thing is hilarious, the french r good at taking American things and re-selling them for 10 x the price (Christian Audigier shirts, Von Dutch ...etc)

  • aubreynichole

    Genetics only play a percentage of your aging, (it's a lot about how you care for yourself) SPF, which she never really talked about, is the best anti-ager. Also, smoking, really, that is beyond bad for you and ages you like a (in erin's language: motherfu*ker...I am sorry, but nothing she does for her skin, or eats will help her with that, she just has to quit, sorry Erin. Although I understand the whole makeup thing, I to don't wear foundation, or powder; but I've been told I look like her from numerous people and you better believe I am wearing tinted moisturizer and concealer ( i have the same tone/coloring in my eye area as she does, which I think makes me(her) look a little sleep deprived and there's nothing wrong with enhancing your natural beauty. side note: I passed her walking through a cross walk one night and she is even more gorgeous in person, if that's possible...I couldn't say she wasn't wearing no makeup, but she looked pretty natural.

  • Jessica Wilson

    Biggest babe out.
    I love how she's such a free spirit. I'm surprised about the conditioner though. Out of all the things... She can't live without conditioner?! It's the one thing I, and a lot of people I know, never ever use!

    The Lovelorn

  • ROKderm

    Oh my, I'm in love with this woman! I love that she's a hippie and yet so down to earth.

  • An opinion

    She's gorgeous to be sure but I found her to be contrived in this interview. Like others have said, there seems to be a lot of posturing and condescension. Okay! We get it! You're so above modelling, make up, fashion, fibers, shampoo and caring. We get it! You're totally non-conformist. Touting that Isabel Marant sells expensive replicas of a real experience...well Free People is just a cheaper version (at $90) of an expensive shirt that is copying the real shirt. It really doesn't make sense to me and all seems a bit inauthentic to me.

  • freudianslippers

    Loved how her personality shone through in this interview.

  • Avery

    Generally when I find myself annoyed by girls in the Top Shelf post, I think about about it and find that I was just really being jealous. I think in this case, however, what a lot of people are reacting to is the fact that this woman was blessed by genetics and was lucky enough to be able to take part in an industry that I assume most readers here are really interested in and passionate about. And she seems totally uninterested and ungrateful to be a part of that world. As a student working to be part of the fashion industry, I would kill to have the kind of access she has. There are people every day working really hard with a genuine desire to be a part of the industry. So it rubs to listen to a woman who is granted all this success and access disparage her own career and the industry that made her famous and successful. It's fine if fashion isn't your thing, but to be in the industry and then act like it is so irrelevant and unimportant compared to your many high-minded views? It certainly never hurts to be humble about one's profession, but this goes too far.

    • Darien

      You have an interesting point and I agree with your conclusion.

      There are also a lot of other models who aren't as shall I say "cookie-cutter" like Erin (yes I said it. Erin is cookie-cutter). If I had to clarify it further, there are well known models who have something holding them back like their race (black, asian, latina) or the size of their breasts (Lara Stone anyone?) or their unconventional features and have to work hard to get past the politics affecting their career. (I'm saying Erin is cookie-cutter because she is 5'10", blond and blue/green eyed. She doesn't really have anything that puts up a fight for modeling)
      It's not easy sh*t.
      That's why I respect someone who is humble, grateful and owes their success (cosmetics contract, blue chip campaigns) with hard work like Joan Smalls, Lara Stone etc. If anything, I'd say a model who recognizes the obstacles and works hard to tackle them is a better model and than someone who doesn't need to work hard because they're cookie-cutter. At least the models I mentioned before will promote some kind of change in advertising and the way women feel about themselves.

    • A Veteran

      Avery, I completely agree with you that a degree of jealousy inspires most if not all of the vitriol that is expressed in the comments on Top Shelf posts. I feel it often myself. But I’ve also worked in the NYC fashion industry for almost 15 years, and I think the attitude Erin displays is not uncommon among many people who have long lived it from the inside. I promise you, it’s not what it seems from the outside. It can be an ugly and thankless business, one that preys on insecurities, fosters completely unrealistic expectations and is, ultimately, somewhat unsustainable. Compared to most other pursuits, fashion IS irrelevant and unimportant, no matter how much designers, marketers and media try to cloak it in some veil of “art.” Erin’s right – fashion is just fibers, a simple commodity like anything else. We wear it, we wash it, it soon decays. Yes, one should look upon with gratitude a career that has offered them so much, and not bite the hand that feeds them, but the glitter fades and anyone who’s been here for a certain amount of time starts to become jaded. Your passion and enthusiasm are admirable, and I wish you much success, but a healthy dose of reality is probably a good precaution for entering the business. The fact is, Erin’s comments on fashion in that second paragraph are some of the most honest and insightful ones I’ve read on a style blog in, well, forever.

  • Ona_in_Barcelona

    It is so, so absurd to avoid parabens (which most research suggests are unproblematic), while still SMOKING. I mean, ffs. This is the definition of illogical.

    Hey, but, she's amazingly gorgeous. So at least we have that.

  • Kirstin

    Interesting interview. I've seen her in person before and her skin definitely looks like a smoker's. Perhaps 'lines' are genetic, but smoking doesn't help. I'm not sure oils would do much for the damage either.

  • Fashion Cappuccino

    I love Erin and her interviews are so interesting! Can you please do an interview with Jamie King? She's one of my favorites!

  • em

    Oh my god, this is amazing. Erin Wasson!!! Love her, and love her a million times more after reading this. She's effing brilliant, clever and totally grounded. Beyond inspired by her!

  • Couteau

    Does she have a part in the Zoolander sequel?

  • julia wheeler

    fuel to the fire of my erin wasson obsession. such a good piece!

  • mickey519

    this is so frustrating! What a sell out. If you are a "hippie" of the heart don't sell a brand/idea you're not into, and don't go around saying "we have this desire to covet things that might personify something we’re trying to gain access to" when we [women] have to go into a store or look in a magazine and see you with bright blue eye-shadow over your eyes, and clearly that is not who you are because you don't wear makeup, and you wonder why we have desire to covet such things. but i guess i shouldn't waste my time overanalyzing it right?

  • Aaron

    Really? I see a lot of makeup there in her makeup bag!
    I see 3 NARS looks like a lipstick.
    I think I see a MAC eyeshadow.
    Is that NUXE lip balm?

  • bay

    coolest chick eva

  • Jill

    I love making jewelry too! :)

  • Holly

    * I'm a writer/editor.


    • Janine

      "...and she writes too fast!" Ha ha. Thank you!

  • ck

    i think she's just a California stoner girl. i don't think it's meant to come off that harsh, but maybe that's just how i'm reading it? to me she just sounds like a regular California skater/stoner/hippie who just happens to have been born in the body of a model. idk, i definitely have a soft spot - would love to go smoke a bowl, grab brunch, maybe go shopping for sterling silver jewelry together in venice...

    • lola_cola

      I agree about her coming across as a regular Cali surfer/hippie chick with a hot body and model features. The great thing about Top Shelf, what really makes it interesting, is the coverage of a diverse cross-section of people involved in the fashion industry. Kudos to Erin for staying true to herself and speaking honestly about her opinions on modelling, fashion and beauty - swear words and all (and what's so wrong with that in this context?)

      • ck

        i don't know what's so wrong with it :-S i mean, i get that this is a really great blog and they're putting out quality content, and so Emily and her team totally deserve respect. but at the same time, what i like about this blog is that people really are real, you know? if i wanted something that was fit for a press release i'd go read a magazine. but it's just makeup, man - have fun with it. some chicks are a little bit grittier and more laid back, but we still mean well :)

  • Guest

    I think Wasson is an incredible model, but she reminds me of a lot of people I know who often come across a bit bratty, self righteous and oddly ignorant, despite ridiculous amounts of travel, doing degrees like law etc. True hippies aren't really around because the socio-political climate doesn't necessarily call for their ideals, and it frustrates me when people apply the term so liberally. You're not a hippie because you have the financial backing to 'live free'. Anyone who chooses to model for a living - a most superficial career, because it revolves around your appearance entirely - is not a hippie. It's like with Miranda Kerr... I appreciate you're good at your job, but why not just stay true to your beliefs in the first place and not model? I don't understand it. You won't find anyone who really cares about 'being the change they want to see' in the fashion or beauty industries. You won't really hear about them at all, period.

    That being said, as a Top Shelf, this could have been edited down... I think ITG does need to figure out what it wants to really deal with. As long as the upcoming Top Shelves are more product heavy, cool. I understand the multifaceted nature of beauty but more of actual makeup, skincare, videos etc would be great.

    • Anne800

      Great comment!

  • Marisa

    her interviews sound exactly the same every time...OBNOXIOUS

  • Someone

    Really cool. The only thing that really came off as stupid was that bit about cigarrettes, I had to read it twice to get what she was saying. Shit, the skin is basically a freaking barrier, is not like you rub something and your organism absorbs it! Guess it's more acceptable to inhale (scientifically proved!!) toxic cigarrettes.

  • monica noir

    Erin is one kooky but ultra cool girl. A friend in my head *for real . I love how she keeps it real on expensive clothes that look like they came from the thrift store. I wonder if Erin is still on contract with Maybeline? Emily please do a top shelf with Eniko, Anais Mali or janelle williams

  • monica noir

    What is with all the vitriol for smokers here? Some folks are acting like Erin drinks the boiled blood of newborns. It's her life and her choice. Its'funny how once smoking became the national scrooge, everyone became fat. It is like we traded one "evil "for another. Chill out ladies not everyone is going to live to be 100 nor do most people care to.

    • Fluff

      Well you definitely are a smoker talking. What's with the I'm-gonna-die-anyway-so-I-might-as-well-do-it, what are you, 17?

      • Guest

        That's a bit unfair. Smoking is a legal choice, like drinking, eating horrible food etc. If you are an adult, you have every right to smoke. You may not agree with that decision, but if smokers respect the choice of non smokers to not to smoke and to not have smoking around them, then non smokers should be able to accept yes, people will smoke. Smoking doesn't have to figuratively, or literally, affect you. And if it comes down to something as ridiculous as, but what kind of example is being set for children (by people who really shouldn't have the title of 'role model' thrust upon them) - that's what parents are for. Isn't it more naive and reminiscent of a seventeen year old's attitude to berate people for their (legal) choices? And no, I don't smoke, but I am twenty, which might demean by whole argument if you base the validity of opinion on age.

        • Guest

          *my whole

  • luna

    why is it some of the people interviewed here always talk about their paraben free, chemical free organic skin care products yet when you see the pictures they're anything but? either they peddling products or someone is feeding them wrong information and they're just going along with it without really checking it out and making a an informed decision on what they using. Erin may have one or two organic paraben free products in there but everything else is pretty much just regular stuff full of chemicals and parabens.

    While I also agree and like some of the things she said she should think twice about the others, this woman had a clothing line for RVCA (some pieces were heavily criticized for being pretty much imitation of designer items) she style runway shows for designers creating looks that were pretty similar to some Isabel marant stuff = feeding people the same "lifestyle" to covet that she's warning against here now. she should be careful to talk about the fashion industry like that, she wouln't be known otherwise, I do have to say though that she is very beautiful and I love her tattoos.

  • Almodablog

    She's spot on about this "I don’t do the whole Isabel Marant thing. I love her as a person, and I think what she does is fucking amazing, but am I going to buy into a world of a French woman selling me what I grew up with? Do you know what I mean? Am I going to sign up for that? I’m sorry, but I’m not going to spend $1,200 on a Western shirt and go back to Texas and get it for five bucks. I meannn. [Laughs] Dude, I’m wearing Free People right now. I love me some Free People.". It's crazy how the fashion industry can sell that aesthetic when it is so easily attainable.

  • Sage

    I like her more after reading this, despite the eye-roll worthy "hippie" stuff

  • Aust

    I find it a bit pretentious that she is happy to diss people who follow trends, fashion, wear make up etc yet she sees someone who "sticks her fingers in your mouth and moves around energy" - - each to their own Erin.

  • Nina R.

    Love all the comments on this one! This is why ITG is bigger than just beauty. These interviews, and the fact that they seem to be unedited, are so revealing of their subjects. Anyone interested in journalism should be reading this blog - how do the writers get their subjects to be so unguarded?

  • Chantelle

    She is honestly such a badass, and completely endearing because of her relaxed attitude. I'd love to meet someone like her in my lifetime, just to feel their energy. Brilliant.

  • km

    to be fair.... free people season-after-season is inspired by Isabel Marant, as is the entire fashion industry. You can see little details of hers popping up in designs all the time. That was a low blow. Secondly, free people also isn't selling $5 shirts either. I believe the one she is sporting cost upwards of $88. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but let's not get snarky over a French designer looking to Americana for inspiration. How many American designers look to the French?

  • AIS

    she's uninhibited, which i appreciate and admire. we're not living the 50's, we shouldn't have to censor ourselves like this.

  • bay

    coolest chick eva whats wrong with you people

  • Kayler

    Finally!!!! Been waiting forever for Erin! How amazing is she?!

  • Mademoiselle M.

    It seems that a lot of people have picked up on the 'angst' - to borrow a term passed in the comments - of EW in this interview.
    Just a side note - EW is a Capricorn... and they tend to naturally have an 'angsty', jaded perspective when it comes to self expression. You can blame it on their ruler Saturn... its the saturnian complex... loves doing the hard work and wants to cut through the gloss and sugar-coated stuff. It seems that EW is a hard worker and doesn't like the lighter side of life... that includes 'no sparkles in the make-up'! As to her face and looks, most Capricorns have distinct bone structure, which lends them this particular, carefree, beauty. (Kate Moss is another Capricorn with similar features in this department). Most people with (to quote other comments), a rough, 'obnoxious', edge tend to have a soft personality inside and they are fearful of others seeing that. This could be the case with EW, and what the other readers are picking up in her interview. Maybe that's why it comes across as pretentious and harsh(?)

  • Thistle

    That ddf glycolic toner is full of parabens...

  • Chloe

    Girl, what?


    Dear Into The Gloss Staff,

    Can you please bring back the Top Shelves of true product junkies who live and breathe beauty? Interviews like these (and the ones with couples) may be "cute," but I see a lot of words but not a lot of content. I started reading your blog when it first started and the ladies who you first interviewed for this feature had such an infectious enthusiasm for beauty as a life-long experiment, it made me want to try every single bottle they had in their crowded bathroom. I am all about people showing some personality, but in articles like these, the purpose is drowned out. It wouldn't hurt to trim some of the "blah blah like fucking blah" out, or make a different tag (like The Professional?) for the longer interviews.

  • creezy

    for someone who doesn't try too hard, she sure has a lot of products! funny. anyway, i feel like her philosophies were admirable and genuine, but her delivery was a little harsh. at times, i felt like i personally was being insulted LOL i did love her quote "It’s really unfortunate that women feel…that we have this desire to covet things that might personify something we’re trying to gain access to."

  • S A

    I abolsutely loved this, enough that I had to post it lol. Great message.

  • Marchebouvier

    Oh my God. I love her. I want to be best friends with her right now. What a cool lady.

  • Vy

    I can see where you're coming from, but try considering this quote in the context of a very experienced 31 year old model who has seen and done as much as she has - i think she makes very valid and wise points, even if not delivered in the most eloquent way. I really enjoy reading pieces where the subject is extremely candid, I think this is more valuable to the reader. Thank you Erin for telling it like it is.

  • Camila

    I agree with her on the mascara, it's one of my favorite.

    We’d love to know your opinion about Jessica Biel’s outfit in Paris. Do you agree with us?

  • Caitlin Robertson Willard

    she is very intriguing! i love her look and her opinion on tattoos is so similar to mine.. i love it. a tattoo should be a symbol and something to have with you always. i love the look of her tattoos and the fact that they are like little accessories that make her unique. well done ITG!

  • Rebecca

    Such an inspiring article. Thank you. More beauty articles on forward-thinking women, please!

  • More fiyah

    I really like this article on Erin Wasson... So many points that are sooo true which I can relate to for shizzle!

    " It’s like, at the end of the day, if you haven’t had sex then you can’t sell sex—let’s be real. To be in the fashion industry there has to be a fire inside of you, where you have to understand yourself, your body…all of that kind of stuff. I mean, I’m half way to 31! [Laughs]"
    I look forward to working with you someday Erin, think we'd have a lot of fun!

  • Jenna

    I've always assumed The Top Shelf category name was selected for its figurative reference...and that other readers picked up on it, too. Personally, I don't want to read an inventory of a medicine cabinet or a makeup bag; I'm also curious about the thoughts and experiences that drive these choices. And how nice to encounter someone who's actually making them, rather than talking up freebies from a line she represents.

    Oh, and fwiw, I saw Erin one day on the beauty floor at Bergdorf Goodman last year. She was dressed in an old rock tee, jacket, tight black jeans and old biker boots, I think. Couldn't take my eyes off of her-- she's positively magnetic. She--literally, here--danced around the Edward Bess counter--no glitter, that's why I was there, too--and played with a few testers before taking off without making a purchase. As did I, in part because I realized no product on earth could make me look like that...but also because I suddenly wanted more to feel like that.

  • Sarah

    I'm torn.. some of the things she says really make me like her.. but then there's just a whole lot of stupid as well.. like, she says she only uses "natural products without parabens", but then lists products with parabens and all kinds of other crap.. and the simple fact that whatever you put on your skin really can't make it up for smoking (and you can't really put anything on your skin that's as bad as smoking either..).. if you smoke, you really just don't give a f..k about you're body and health...!

  • funderpants

    Is this chick Kristen Stewart's spirit animal? Pretentious, trashmouth-cum-artists unite to pout at the world!

  • Mabelandmatilda

    I loved seeing what type of products she uses, she's so beautiful!

  • Zendanse

    Whatever about the facial bit. I work at a fancy resort and she came in and had a facial from me and bought some products full of chemicals. Let's own it ladies.

  • Molly Carroll

    By far my favorite Top Shelf interview. LOVE Erin Wasson

  • Karen McDermott

    Hey Into the Gloss fans, the link Erin linked to the 'Un Cover Up' on needs to be updated because we have a new website! Here's the new link:


  • Melody Lam

    I love/hate her. She can get a little pretentious. After reading this interview, I am in the love-her phase. I love her no bullshit, candid approach to life. I love that she does not fret over the minor details. A plaid shirt is a plaid shirt is a plaid shirt to her. No point in forcing yourself to get the latest one from Isabel Marant when you don't need to. She disproves the notion that models are shallow, vapid characters who act as blank slates to show off clothes. She shows off clothes AND her personality.

  • Melody Lam

    Erin may not be the most eloquent (there are better adjectives to replace the word 'fuck'), but this post shows how multidimensional she is. She can be quite longwinded and wordy and goes off on tangents to get her point across. However, she is not making certain lifestyle choices only for convenience or because everyone else is doing it. For many of the topics she talked about, they displayed her meticulous thought process. If you've seen her in other interviews, she thinks through her perspectives. They may be so varied that she may not delved deeply into all of them enough, but she has opinions that few would bother to inconvenience themselves with. How many 13-year-old girls do you know is genuinely interested in someone involved in metaphysics or are conscious of the negative effects of what she is taking into her body? At 13, I did not care for what my parents warned me. I was doing me.

  • Victoria Mitchell

    Erin Wasson just became my new favorite person after this interview.

  • Ez

    She is really beautiful and all, but I think she has been in the industry so long that it's rubbed off on her. Imagine people always telling you how amazing you are every day. It'd be hard not to get wrapped up and a bit carried away in your beliefs. She is definitely coming off as a wannabe hippy though. Still, she's got great style and hair, but wouldn't be too hard with the money and contacts in that industry :)

  • Christel

    I freakin love her! I like how she isn't into all the glam and glitter lol I love how humble she is


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