Belle Kröl, Illustrator

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'My real name is not Belle. They call me Belle because it’s short for my full name, which is Belen. I’m from Argentina, but I am half-Polish and half-Italian and a little bit of Spanish, too. That’s why no one can tell what I am or pick up the accent. Buenos Aires, where I grew up, is a city kind of like New York. That’s why I feel at home here.

I’ve been drawing since I was 3. My dad is an amazing illustrator. I would paint princesses—then when I got older, I started drawing models, which is how I started seeing more fashion. I remember after my first internship, I was like, 'It’s now or never—I need to go to Fashion Week.' I came, and in two days, I got a job. I don’t think they exist now, but it was for a YouTube channel going backstage and meeting all these models during makeup and drawing them. That’s how I started, and I never stopped coming here. I was also working as an art director for a fashion company back in Buenos Aires, but after I started working with enough brands, I decided to go freelance—and here I am, trying.

I loved Glossier from the very beginning. When they first started, I realized what they were doing and thought, they're going to do a mask soon. But how was I going to get involved? I figured I will stick to what I know—I will make an illustration. So I took an image of Kate Moss that I loved and did this weird thing with Photoshop that made it look like I had the Glossier sticker—she was wearing a mask and had a lipstick. I sent it in the morning, and I went into yoga class. And then when I got out, I had all of these followers, and Emily was tagging me—that was it.

Then three months ago, Emily sent me a message on Instagram. She told me she had this project coming up, and she'd love to shoot me for it. I was like, 'What? Shoot me?' I’m always behind the camera. I sent her my email, and in a week, I was going to Tulum. What? Crazy. So that's how we did the campaign for the Coconut Balm Dotcom.

I’ve never really been into beauty...but I kind of do have a routine because everything I do is very natural and easy. I’ve been using rosehip seed oil for a long time. My dad had a rosehip seed oil company in Argentina, so he started bringing it home when I was 12 or something after I got bit by a dog on my leg. It was really amazing. I started to use it on my face when I was 23. I’m 27 now, and after four years, it changed my skin. It got brighter and more balanced. I don’t have oily or dry spots anymore—it’s just perfect. Everyone is like, 'Ewww, you put it all over your face?' When I’m in the shower, I put it all over. I mean, all over. I use it at the beginning, but it soaks in really fast.

About an hour after that, I always, always use SPF. I would never leave the house without that. Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 40 SPF is my favorite—and then I have my Glossier. I started using creams because I love the Priming Moisturizer and the Balm Dotcom. They're my favorites. I don’t like BB creams or anything like that because I feel dirty or something. I’m not used to it, but Glossier feels good on my skin.

Throughout all of my teenage years, I hated my eyebrows because everyone would tell me how huge they were. Between 15 to 18, I would tweeze them a lot—that was the worst era. But after that, I never touched them again. They are wild, so I leave them be—my eyelashes, too. If I put on mascara, they look creepy. Honestly, they look like spiders—really long lashes. I wear glasses and they literally hit the lens. Every day begins with curling my eyelashes, and that’s it. I don’t even own mascara.

I don’t like every fragrance. I only wear very specific, sweet, floral things. I used Flora by Gucci for years—I was obsessed with the art direction. Then in London for Fashion Week, one of the photographers gave me a bottle of Bonbon by Viktor & Rolf that he got in a gift bag. I wasn’t expecting anything good, but it was super sweet. I’ve used it for the last two-and-a-half years.

The only makeup I wear is the Nars Multiple. I love Copacabana. When I came to New York this last spring, I was obsessed with the imagery and art direction for the Christopher Kane Illuminating Multiplein Quantum. I was like, I need to get that! I went to Nars the day I got here and got Violet Atom instead. I put it on my cheekbones and then put Balm Dotcom over it.”

—as told to ITG

Belle Kröl photographed by Tom Newton.

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