“I've been modeling for 10 years—since I was 13. I just saw my agent who scouted me way back when and it reminded me about how crazy that is. I've only been full-time for the past three years, though. I wouldn't have been able to keep up with all of this for a decade. In all that time, I've also become a lot more comfortable with what I do—not that I was ever uncomfortable, but it's easier as an adult. Coming from Bucharest, and growing up poor, it's just such a different world. But Romania is a lot more into fashion these days, so things are looking up! People are starting to dress more creatively. It's exciting to see.
Now that I live in New York, I’m also studying Social Psychology at Western University—the online classes are perfect for long plane rides. I travel a lot during the week, and I feel like I have to be productive in other ways, and school is a really cool and interesting way to do that.
Growing up in Romania has made me pretty frugal—right now I’m wearing $10 Levi’s from a vintage store in the East Village. This is my mom’s shirt. I still have the pair of Converse I got on my first modeling job—they weren’t cool in Romania yet and they just kept stretching with my feet.
But I’ll go out and splurge sometimes... I recently bought two travel bags from Jil Sander—I don’t know why, but I did. I’m also buying my mom a house, and a car for my uncle in Romania. That’s really what I like to do. I’m waiting to buy a lot of new things for my New York apartment until I can settle down for longer; I need to be sure that it will all have a place and make sense for my life.
My New Year’s resolution was to take better care of my skin—but I still don’t really have a plan for how to do that. Maybe by next year. [Laughs] Most of what I do involves putting moisturizer on because I get dry from the plane. Caudalie Premier Cru under my eyes is really good, and I like Décleor Rose Soothing Serum for the rest my face. I also use Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum as an extra layer in the winter, it smells wonderful.
I use face mist all the time. My favorite is Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater—he’s Romanian! Or I use Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater, which is basically the same thing, just a lot cheaper. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is good if I need to wake up from feeling jet-lagged. But ultimately I’ll just use whichever one is next to me when I feel like I need it. There’s also use Shu Uemura Depsea Facial Mist... I love them all.
I play a lot of water sports, so I have sunscreens everywhere. I use Korres Suncare [ed note: not available in the US] because it’s pretty inexpensive and it’s easy to have a bunch of them everywhere, or something simple like Banana Boat spray—it’s so easy to put on. If I get a burn, I use Poppy & Someday Neroli Blossom Serum to take care of it, which I found at a general store in LA. They also do a nice salve called Sunshine Daydream—it has calendula flowers, cocoa butter, beeswax..it’s everything in one and works for whatever you need.
The first time I wore makeup was for a job–an Elle Girl shoot in New York. I haven’t really learned much since, but my friends always ask me to do their makeup anyway. [Laughs] I was much more into it when I was younger. I don’t know what happened.
My makeup routine is very minimal: concealer, blush, and mascara. I use Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3 under my eyes, and then anywhere the sun hits I’ll apply Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate with my palm—I don’t like seeing fingerprints on my face.
If I’m going out somewhere at night and I know there’s going to be flash photography, I use this YSL Crème de Blush or Hoola Benefit Blush because they’re matte—I don’t want to end up looking too shiny. The rest of my night look is Korres Organic Minerals Long Lasting Eyeliner [ed note: not available in US] in Brown because it's summer. Plus when I was younger I used black all the time, so now I’m kind of bored of it.
I really like Tracie Martyn’s Alma Purifying Cleanser to take all my makeup off at night. Everything she does is great. Usually I use it with Bioderma, but it does the job if I don’t have time to take the extra step.
I have the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Hair Oil. But, I also like to use Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse on my hair if it’s frizzy. It’s nice for travel because it’s one thing that I can put everywhere. My shampoo and conditioner at home are from Avalon Organics, but I mostly use samples when I’m traveling.
I just cut my hair, but no one notices because it grows so fast. I’ve had it cut three times, all recently—professionally at the salon, then at a shoot, and I just cut it myself yesterday. My mom’s hair used to grow at the same speed, but she told me it’ll stop when I turn 40, so I need to just enjoy it.”
—as told to ITG
Andreea Diaconu photographed by Tom Newton.