"When I was 13, a friend entered me into a modeling competition. She thought it would be funny, but then I won. I didn’t even read fashion magazines—I was a tomboy... And then my career got off to a slow start because I wanted to finish school and this nutrition course I was doing. But modeling became a good way for me to get to work with great people, express a creative side of myself, and to travel. And now, it’s a way to make money for my son’s education and a good way to get my face out there so I can do things like my skincare line, Kora Organics—people can put a face to the name.
I started Kora because I was looking for a certified organic skincare line that gave me results and was aesthetically pleasing. I couldn't find one. I’m not against non-certified products, obviously—I use them all of the time for my job—but I try to minimize my exposure to chemicals. It's a balance. In terms of making the products, I learned a lot about ingredients from growing up with my grandmother. My mom had me when she was 17, so my grandma played a big role in my life, and she’s the one who started my fascination with noni juice, which is from a Tahitian fruit called Morinda citrifolia that has over 170 vitamins and minerals. She would give me noni juice for energy, and it also works on a cellular level. She’d put aloe vera on my skin, or, if I got sunburn, she would put noni on my skin. Noni juice is now is a key ingredient in my line.
Kora is made with love and positivity. My lab in Australia has rose quartz throughout the whole place. The back of my products has the word 'love,' 'joy,' or 'peace' written on them—positive words that give intention to the products. At the end of the day, it’s about being able to get a beauty line out there with integrity that makes a difference to people’s skin. Things are going well—we're sold in over 400 stores in Australia, and now on Net-a-Porter.
Being healthy is the way that I am. I try to keep a healthy house. I have alkaline water filters in my kitchen sink and on my shower heads, so it’s purified and alkaline. I learned about the benefits of alkaline in your body from studying nutrition, and there are many ways to do it–drinking alkaline water is one of them and drinking cold-pressed green juices, warm water with lemon and that sort of thing are also good. And all the plants in my house are oxygen-producing and air-purifying plants. There’s a whole lecture on TED talks on plants and how specific ones clean and purify the air, and produce oxygen.
With modeling, it’s fun to see the way people can experiment on my face. But when I do it myself, I keep it simple. I just throw on a lip color and my sunglasses, so I don’t have to worry about anything else. I’ve always liked color on my lips. RMS Lip2Cheek in Sacred is really good because you can use it on the lips and cheeks. Smile is good, too; it’s a little more pink. I find a red lip just lifts my face, like Le Métier de Beauté Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick in China Beach. I found it on Net-a-Porter. I know what tones work for me now after all these years in the industry. I’m very big on eyebrows, too. I groom them and pluck them myself, and use Bobbi Brown eyebrow gel to keep them in place.
For cleansing, my routine has always been pretty easy. I believe in simple steps: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, and a mask once a week. Every morning, I wash my face with the Kora Organics Cream Cleanser, and I use the Foaming Cleanser at night to remove makeup. Then I spray the Energising Citrus Mist. My moisturizer depends on the state of my skin, so sometimes I’ll use Soothing Day and Night Cream, or, if I’m having a bit of a breakout, I’ll use Purifying Day and Night Cream. Luxurious Rosehip Oil is also amazing at night, so I’ll wear that on my face—it’s great for age prevention—and body.
Actually, I used the rosehip oil throughout my entire pregnancy and I don’t have a single stretch mark—I had a ten-pound baby! It’s really nourishing and full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. The Enriched Body Lotion is also amazing. I used to suffer from really dry skin on my legs, maybe from shaving a lot or from being on airplanes all of the time, but once I started using our body lotion, the dryness went away. It's thick and very rich with macadamia nut oil, but it absorbs really fast.
Hair-wise, I love using coconut oil as a treatment and apple cider vinegar for shininess—you put on a little bit in the shower as a rinse, and then wash it out. It stinks a little, but then you use conditioner and the smell goes away. I’m obsessed with having clean hair. This is all my natural color, except for a tiny little bit around my face, which was just bleached for a shoot to make it look sun-kissed. A hairdresser went out and just got this cheap purple bleach from Ricky’s. They put it in a couple of little pieces and rinsed it out.
I don’t really wear perfume, but I love sandalwood and essential oils, which are what I use in my products. When I do wear something, I have this little oil that is a mix of sandalwood and rose that smells like getting a hug when you put it on. And my deodorant from Avalon Organics is lavender-scented and very fresh. It’s organic, too, so no parabens, aluminum, or synthetic fragrance.
I always keep my handbag packed with a few essentials. Like, I believe in dental hygiene, even on the go, so GUM toothpicks are a must. And I always keep Similasan Dry Eye Relief on me. My eyes have been burned by flash bulbs twice at photo shoots—like blisters on my eyes—so I try to keep them lubricated now. I've also got tweezers and scissors for my nails in my bag; I’m really a freak about my nails. Orlando and I share a nail thing—he has a bit of a foot fetish. I like OPI’s Koala Beary on my nails. It’s not organic, but sometimes I just do it.
You don’t have to be 100% strict with yourself. It’s about balance, being kind to yourself, and knowing what works, but not feeling like you have to do everything. For me, it's 80% health-conscious and 20% indulgence. I try to avoid saying 'always' and 'never,' because we're human beings, and it's not always possible. But to be educated and aware of what you’re doing before you do it is the key."
—as told to ITG
Miranda Kerr photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on July 12, 2013. Find out more about Kora Organics and sign up for the Friends of Kora mailing list here.