'Mario Testino discovered me on the street in Portobello with a bunch of my friends in the '90s. It was just after the grunge and waif-y thing. We had a very eclectic style—I would wear striped tights with denim cutoffs, that sort of thing. It was a very London look. He liked the way we dressed, so he asked us to do a shoot for British Vogue at my friend’s apartment on Portobello Road. Lucinda Chambers put all of these clothes on racks and told us to dress ourselves, and Tom Pecheux said, ‘What do you want?’ and let us choose our own makeup. We really felt like ourselves. Mario asked to shoot my portrait the next day for British Vogue and it snowballed from there. He booked me for Burberry with Kate—it was a very sexy vibe at the beginning. Sexiness is kind of my thing, I guess. [Laughs]. Then I had my kids—they’re seven and nine—and moved to LA, which means I’ve been modeling less. I was just in New York for fashion week to shoot with Altuzarra, and I walked for Tom Ford in London. But you really have to be part of the scene when you’re modeling. I love it, but I have a nice balance now.
After having kids, I actually feel more comfortable with my body, weirdly. It's shocking what your body can do. Having children is an incredible, womanly, insane process. I remember hearing Mario say that girls just look better once they’ve had kids, and I agree. It's a relief, because I have to do a lot of shoots nude, if not nearly nude—even for Vanity Fair. It's a treat when I arrive on set and actually see clothes. [Laughs]
But I really do feel more beautiful now. It’s the same with skin—the best secret is health and happiness. And genes. And taking off your makeup every night. [Laughs] I need to feel fresh. Serge Lutens Make Up Remover Pads are incredible. They’re expensive, but worth it, and you can refill them. I also don’t smoke, or go nuts with drinking; I’m quite a boring person, which probably helps. I drink a lot of water, and keep my skin moisturized with La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream every morning and night. It’s the thinner cream—rich creams make me break out. I’ve been using it for about two years. I also love Embryolisse, from modeling back in the day. I use a lot of French pharmacy stuff— Bioderma Créaline is the best. And for zits, a little dab of tea tree oil will dry them out. My friend Charlotte Tilbury just came out with a line that will be in the States by the end of the year. Her Magic Cream is really great, and the Wonder Glow is good if you want a soft, glowy, dewy face. It’s really sexy. I put on SPF every day, whether it’s just Avene High Protection Mineral Cream or La Bella Donna Compressed Mineral Foundation in Marta. That one gives a light base that evens your tone without looking like you’re wearing makeup.
I’m not brilliant at taking time to do my makeup. Aside from sunscreen, all I do every day is curl my lashes with the Kevyn Aucoin or Shu Uemura eyelash curler. I have quite dark lashes, so I don’t need much mascara. If I do use it, I use Charlotte Tilbury’s Full Fat Lashes. It’s brilliant. It glides on really beautifully and doesn’t clump up. It makes them feel long and coated. If there was anyone who could make a good mascara, it would be Charlotte. I like to smudge it on when I go out. When I was modeling full-time, my friends would always laugh at me because I would just smudge on mascara and walk out the door. Now, Charlotte’s made a collection of these eyeliner sticks called Colour Chameleon that's like makeup for dummies. You just put it on and blend it in and it’s done. I like Golden Quartz. It’s for hazel eyes, but mine are actually blue. I don’t believe in those rules anyway, especially since Charlotte picked these ones for me. When I want to give my eyelids a nice dewy shine, I put Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Moisture Veil Balm on them. It doesn’t have artificial colors or fragrance, but it looks like you’ve done something even if you haven’t at all.
On my lips, Pur-Lisse Lip Daily Lip Nourisher is my favorite lip balm. Homeoplasmine and the La Mer lip balm are great, too. And for a lip conditioner, I like Serge Lutens Lip Comfort. It doesn’t feel thick, but it gives a great coat. For a nude lip, Charlotte Tilbury’s Penelope Pink is fantastic. And when I’m going out, I love the look of raw skin with a red or a dark lip. Tom Ford Black Orchid lipstick is a great dark one.
I also love my hair to be really, really dark. I like blue-black hair, vinyl black hair, but I can’t do it for work, because it looks too solid in photographs. Naturally, my hair is probably a shade lighter than it is right now. But I dye it every six weeks or so with a vegetable dye so that it looks healthy and glossy. It’s really healthy and soft right now. I use all Fekkai products, switching up the Technician Color Care and the PrX Reparative Shampoo. And I do the Fekkai Intensive Fortifying Mask once a week while I’m taking a bath.
I love bath time. My bathroom is my favorite room in the house. When I got this place, I re-did the stone and put in a big tub. I kept the'80s vibe of the room, though. I’m into it—the curved walls and all the mirrors. But, yes, I’m big on baths. I'll add in Le Labo Rose 31 or Jasmin 17 oil, or if it's a morning bath, I like the Aromatherapy Associates oil Revive. Sometimes I exfoliate in the bath, too, with Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish. I always follow with a cream, like the Aromatherapy Associates Rose Body Cream. I really love the smell of roses. And the smell of my Tom Dixon candle, Orientalist.
I'm so happy with my house right now. The bathroom is great, and I finally have a closet where I can see my entire wardrobe! I used to have the smallest closet, so now I keep finding all of these pieces I forgot about. I keep a pretty well-edited wardrobe. I hate having too much crap. I’ve made an archive of old designer pieces for my little girl so she can have them, but everything else I just sell on eBay. I tend to wear a tank and pants most days, so I have a lot of that. My favorite shoes are from a place called Trash and Vaudeville on St. Mark's Place by this guy named Jimmy. All the designers go there for inspiration.”
—as told to ITG