'When I was a child, I just wanted to be something normal like an accountant—I’m really good at math. But then, I got scouted by Dominique Savri in my hometown in the south of France, and she told me that I had to go to Paris and try modeling. I'm 20 now and sometimes I miss being in school—I tried to do a year by correspondence course but it was too hard with all of the traveling. I'll go back to school eventually, but right now I'm going to focus on this because it's all happening so quickly.
Last year I came to New York for the first time. One morning, I went to meet with the casting director for Calvin Klein and then I got a call from my agency telling me the rest of my castings were canceled for that day. I thought I’d done something wrong! But it was because Calvin Klein booked me on exclusive. I was the first black girl to do that with them, so it really was an honor. It’s not easy for black girls—everybody knows that. There are usually only three of us in a show at most. I never felt like I had to fight anything because of the color of my skin—it's my skin, and I can't change its color. But it's also not easy because they only have a couple of spots for girls who are black. And then you wonder if they picked you because you are black. But I think it's changing, and I'm happy to represent that.
Right now, I’m working out every day to prepare for the Victoria's Secret show, so I'm not wearing much makeup day-to-day. I always keep Nuxe Teint Eclat Prodigieux in Gold Radiance in my bag–it’s just a tinted cream and it’s really soft and helps my skin look clear and fresh. Then, I just wear a bit of YSL Mascara and lip balm. When I go out, I love to do my eyes—smoky but not too strong, more brown than black. I think it’s better on me than doing my lips.
All of my skincare products are French pharmacy because there's nothing better. I take off my makeup with Bioderma and I wash my face with Effaclar from La Roche-Posay—they are my favorite brand for skin. I use their moisturizer, too. In the shower, I use Nuxe Body Fondant Shower Gel. I always bring my stuff to New York with me, but if I need something or finish a bottle, I go to the Duane Reade that's on Lafayette and Spring, they have lots of that stuff there.
I have naturally curly hair—everybody's always afraid of it for editorial work or shows. But I really like my curls. And when it's straight, I feel totally different. So, I use a lot of different products depending on how I want it to look and when I can wash it. Like, if I want to straighten my hair tomorrow, I will wash my hair with a different product. I love Redken Curvaceous Cream, the one for curly hair, and Schwarzkopf and Kérastase Oleo-Relax—it smells so good. I try to wear Kérastase hair masks to sleep in sometimes, and then afterwards I like to rinse it off with half a bottle of mineral water. It really helps repair it from all the heat. If I have it straight all the time, my hair will die!”
—as told to ITG
Cindy Bruna photographed by Tom Newton.