'I got scouted when I was 15 in Paris. I was on holiday with my mom and this woman came running down the street and kind of grabbed me. We thought she was going to sell us something. I'm 26 now, so I've been lucky. At the beginning I did New York Fashion Week and walked in something like 20 shows during my first season. I went to Paris for a while and worked with John Galliano at Dior for three years—I did prêt-à-porter and couture, as well as lookbooks and fittings. It was cool. So for like a month before the shows, I'd work with them and see the whole collection being designed on me. That’s my favorite part of my job—to see that.
I live in New York with my boyfriend, Chris Colls. He's a fashion photographer. When we go out, it’s usually like a really, really long dinner or we'll go out to a bar, just sitting there having drinks for an extended period of time. I’ve stayed in bars or restaurants until closing time before.
Sometimes I think it’s best not to stop and de-stress, because otherwise, I’m not going to want to go out again. Whenever I come home from a big day, I always have a lot of adrenaline from work, so I'll usually put on really pump-up music, keep on my makeup, and go on that train of thought to just be positive and fun about the night ahead. Alternatively, I'll chill and have a really long shower. I'll make sure I have time to clean everything off—be really raw—and feel really refreshed when I go out.
Before I shower, I dry brush my skin, and then once I'm in the shower, I use Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Pure-Castille Soap in Rose. I wash my face with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It's like this fine, little powder—a good, gentle exfoliator. I guess it does the same thing as the brush for your face, in a way. Then I use Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr Foaming Cleanser—Miranda's a friend so I always have endless supply of her products. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater is also really good as a toner or spritzer. I use it like a refresher before I go out. A makeup artist used it on me once, and it's so simple, but something about the aloe and rosewater makes it really great. It's also super cheap.
I prep any dry spots with Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment. I mostly use it on my lips, as I don't really wear lipstick since my lips are already really red. It's also good for your cuticles if they're really dry, and sometimes I'll even put it on my eyelids. Bioderma also has this cream called Atoderm PP Ultra-Nourishing Emollient Balm that's unreal. I had never tried it before, but I bought it in Paris, and it’s like the best moisturizer ever. It’s really light but super nourishing.
I wash my hair with Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. My hair isn't coarse or thick, so I can definitely do the 'I just woke up' look really well. Mason Pearson Brushes are like $150 bucks, and for so long I was like, 'Screw it, I’m not going to buy a brush for 150 bucks. I’ll buy one for like $5 from Duane Reade,' but every single hairstylist uses it. I went out and bought one a week ago, and literally, it’s the best. I should have bought it years ago. Especially for my hair—it brushes your hair without making it look fluffy and just kind of keeps your texture. It’s gentle, but it’s really good at detangling after you work all day. It really is worth the money.
I put my hair in a loose chignon when I go out at night. I like it with a little bit of volume at the top—no teasing, I just put my fingers through it. I settle it just above my ear so it accentuates my jawline, and then I put in just one pin or one elastic, and that’s it. I don't like blow-drying my hair, so if I'm going to an event, I try to wash my hair like six hours before so it has time to get the right texture. Simple little things like that are much more what I'm about.
I actually don’t experiment with makeup. I used to, but at the moment, I’m actually doing the really ‘no makeup’ thing—and when I say no makeup, I really mean no makeup. I don’t even mind if there’s dark circles underneath my eyes. I think shooting with my boyfriend has changed my perception, actually. When we shoot together at home, it’s just really raw, and I do my own hair and makeup. It’s just about putting coconut oil on my skin, putting a lot of Embryolisse, and really massaging it into my skin, so my skin just kind of has that reflective surface. It looks healthy, and I think it’s cool. And it's not like I don't care—it's more like, whatever I products I use, I use to look natural. I like MAC Strobe Cream. It’s really good. You just rub it in, and it almost disappears. It’s just a really good illuminator. I put it on after my Embryolisse and on the top of my cheekbones. Then, maybe I'll rub the rest in on my chest or something. I don't do my brow bone though—it looks too obvious there.
Where I'm from in Australia, everyone's obsessed with bronzer. They want more. It’s terrible. [Laughs] I wasn’t as bad as some people, but I definitely went there. I don’t wear bronzer now. I do own a Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Highlighter & Shader Duet, and I'll wear it sometimes. It’s a really beautiful product. Then, I do use Stila Perfecting Concealer in Shade C sometimes, but not much. It’s really good for my skin type because it’s creamy, it’s not chalky, and it doesn't dry out. I put a tiny bit on my hand first and pat it, so theres a tiny bit on my finger, and then I blend it in.
I’m not completely against makeup. Put me in a chair with Pat McGrath, Aaron de Mey, or some amazing makeup artist, and you can do whatever you want. I’ll sit there for 10 hours, and I’m fine and happy. I love the process. I love seeing whatever’s created on my face, and if it makes me look ugly in a really cool way then whatever. But if it’s for me personally, I’ll be like, ‘I don’t want any glitter, I don’t want any shimmer.’ I think it’s about knowing what you want to look like. So if I come home with really cool makeup from a shoot or a show,I’ll just pare it down before I go out and do my own thing. I’ll get a Q-tip and a little pad soaked in Bioderma and kind of alter it a little bit. My favorite thing to do if I had a full-face of makeup on is to take off the blush and everything else and leave a little bit on the eye. I really like leftover makeup. That’s probably my other favorite—like no-no- no makeup or leftover makeup from a big show. But at the end of the night, I always take it all off and drink a lot of water.
BEST AFTER DARK EXPERIENCE
My best night out, I think, was in Paris. I walked in Christian Dior's 60th anniversary couture show at Versailles. Everyone was there—Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, Gisele, Helena Christensen, plus all these celebrities and European royalty . It was all super romantic—I mean to have a mid-summer-night party at the gardens in Versailles...that's incredible. It kind of had this Spanish theme. There was a lot of food and cooking going around outdoors. It was kind of chill but really fabulous at the same time. They were projecting the show on the fountains as they were happening. You’d walk through the gardens to the different tents, and suddenly you're in the party tent and Steven Klein is on the dance floor, and everyone is getting wild.”
—as told to ITG
Alexandra Agoston photographed by Tom Newton. Read more Top Shelf After Dark here.