"Most of my projects, even in modeling, form organically. I did a line of shoes and bags with Giuseppe Zanotti recently, because I was in the campaigns for six or seven years and we would always talk about shoes, what we liked, what we didn't, so we decided to do a capsule. Or, for example, a friend in Vienna asked me to help him with a magazine, 25, and then we found an investor, kind of by accident. So, now I’m the Creative Director slash everything else—the team is really small. I started to think about magazines as turning more into collector’s items, like books, because you can’t compete with the Internet. I want 25 to exist as a portrait of a specific time, with an erotic twist. It’s about incredible people, and features smart content, great fashion coverage, and has a sense of humor, which is the biggest thing. It doesn’t have ads because we didn’t want any restrictions.
While preparing for the first issue, I fell in love with magazines from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s—one in particular, Viva, which was like a Penthouse publication for women. It featured very sensual photographs of women and men. After flipping through it, I realized that, today, our approach to nudity is either really prude or really vulgar. It’s so weird! I was even thrown off of Instagram recently for an “inappropriate posting.” It was a picture that Katja Rahlwes shot of me for Purple magazine. You could see a quarter of nipple and they shut my account down...I had like 30,000 followers. A nipple. Hello? You have one. I have one. I’m totally comfortable shooting topless. That being said, I don’t do that many nudes. I only do it with photographers I really trust.
But it seems like, now, it’s fine for men to be sexual, but it’s still not OK for women to be sexual or sensual. And women have so many issues with themselves—their beauty, their bodies. Your life shouldn’t be built around trying to be beautiful for others. Women are turning to all of these plastic surgeries and other things to try to fit into this idolized, weird creature with big lips, big boobs, and a big ass, like a doll. But that’s not what sensuality is about.
I appreciate that beauty is an individual thing. For me, the most beautiful thing in a woman is her charisma and her self-confidence. I mean, I also love beautiful skin. I think that’s the second most important thing. My skin is only good because I take care of it. I never go to sleep with makeup on. I use Bioderma Créaline to wash my makeup off, but you have to use something oily to remove your eye makeup, like La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye-Makeup Remover, and then use Créaline. I also like doing Kiehl’s Algae Masque at night.
After taking my makeup off, I apply rosewater, then Joëlle Ciocco Pure Concentrated Serum with Botanical Oils or Rodin Olio Lusso, which is amazing to use every second or third day. Isabelle Bellis told me about the Joëlle Ciocco serum. It just makes your face look and feel better, and it’s really great for dry skin. Joëlle Ciocco Lotion Lactée is great, too, to use like a toner. Then I apply a cream, though sometimes I’ll go straight from the rosewater to a cream.
I’m always moisturizing and I use a lot of different creams—I travel with at least six, because every cream supplies your skin with something different. I change mine from day to day so my skin won’t get resistant to what I’m giving it. My mother taught me this. I’ve always used a heavy cream during the day, and a light one for going to bed, so my skin doesn’t suffocate. Mene & Moy Stand By Cream C 5 is a dermatologist’s cream that I use every second day. La Prairie’s products are also good; I like the Emulsion Anti-Age SPF 30 Complex Cellular and, before bed, Skin Caviar. And I love the whole Dr. Hauschka line. If my skin gets very dry, I like Propolis Plus Skin Cream, which I found here at the farmer’s market in Union Square, because it has a little texture in it to stimulate circulation. It stinks slightly, so it’s only for nights when I’m staying in. For sun protection, Avène Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream SPF 20 is the best for my face. I store it in the fridge. Every single day I use something different. I don’t like anything with a lot of perfume, and too much essential oil can be bad for your skin. It dries mine out.
I wear eye cream every day, as well, like Environ Ionzyme C-Quence Eye Moisturizing Lotion and La Mer Eye Concentrate, to prevent wrinkles—I don’t want to encourage them. When my eyes are really tired and irritated after fashion shows, Flos Lek Laboratorium Under-Eye Cream [from Poland] is the best to cool the irritation and calm them down. All of my skin can get irritated very easily, so after I get out of the shower, I put baby oil everywhere, then rinse it off with water. For body lotion, I like Embryolisse Lait-Crème Fluide. It's very basic.
Makeup-wise, before I put anything on, I smooth my skin with La Prairie Skin Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler. It has a bit of gold in it, to get the skin glowing, and it’s so silky. I don’t really use foundation, but if I’m going out to an event, I will make my own tinted moisturizer by putting a few drops of MAC foundation into a cream. For me, it’s not about covering up so much as evening out the tone of my skin. I'll put a little Bobbi Brown concealer on top of the foundation, using my fingers to help it sit better. Nars Douceur is the best blush. For under-eye coverage, I like Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat. And if I’m looking really dead, I will apply some highlighter. The best one is RMS Living Luminizer, which I apply to the inner corners of my eyelids, my cheekbones, above my lip, and the tip of my nose. I use a little bronzer—mine is Burberry—across my nose to narrow down my face.
I like makeup, but the thing is, sometimes it comes out great, and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t have a lot of patience. There are girls like Natasha [Poly] who love makeup, and if she’s going to an event and has to do her own makeup, she’ll spend two hours doing it. I can’t. It’s too much for me. She’ll do a perfect eyeliner and it’ll look beautiful. Ask her how long it took, and she’ll say, 'Oh, over an hour!' I can’t. I have fifteen, twenty minutes and that’s the max I can dedicate to my makeup. On a daily basis, the only makeup I wear is concealer and black eyeliner: MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, smudged a little bit. I use it as shading to extend my eyes because they’re quite round. I also always curl my eyelashes.
If I put on mascara, I’ll use Chanel Inimitable Mascara or Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara. With the latter, you always have to rub a little of it off with a piece of toilet paper, or else it’s a little too much. I love, love, love Burberry’s Sheer Eye Shadow in Almond 06, because it doesn’t have any shimmer, which I think can look cheap. The best brushes for applying shadow are from Sephora, like the Professional #13 and #57. And on my brows, Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde is very good. Otherwise, to keep my eyebrows in line, I just spray a brush with hairspray and comb them.
I don’t do much to my lips because they’re very tinted as is. I keep them hydrated with Lucas Papaw Ointment or Nuxe Lip Balm. I never go anywhere without Homeoplasmine; it’s also great to put on pimples! I use Chanel Rouge Allure Mythic 69 lipstick all the time because it’s sheer and it makes my lips a little shiny. If I do a red lip, I use a Nars Velvet Matte Pencil instead of a lipstick.
My hair tends to get very dry from using so many products on shoots. I keep a gigantic jug of Aestelance Protein Mask around, which even moisturizes the skin. It’s amazing for your hair, especially if it’s colored or over-treated, and it brushes out so smoothly, so your hair won’t get frizzy. After shampooing and conditioning, I put a few drops of Neil George Indian Gooseberry Treatment Oil on my wet hair before I brush it. Christiaan Houtenbos gave it to me. You don’t even feel it. I prefer it to Moroccan Oil, which can sometimes be too heavy...But the best thing is liquid panthenol. It normally comes in foam form for burns, but in liquid form, it stimulates hair growth. It’s actually used in hospitals for chemotherapy patients who lose their hair and have sensitive scalps. My friend recommended that I use it, and my hair grows so much faster now. I put mine in a little spray pump so I can just apply to the roots after I wash my hair and rub it in. I like to leave it in to give my hair a slight lift, which I like, because I have a small head."
—as told to ITG
Anja Rubik photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on February 12, 2013. Pick up the 2nd issue of 25 magazine here.