Leomie Anderson, Model

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"My first big show was Marc Jacobs—it was the only show I booked that season, so thank the Lord for that. Then I started working with Topshop and that's when it all kind of started. I remember my first Victoria's Secret casting... I actually went two times and didn't get it until last year, my third one. I thought to myself, 'I'm gonna do it, I'm fully prepared,' and I had my confidence up. I really hope I'll be getting that call again soon. You've got to say to yourself that you will. Like, look at this hair—I came hard this year! [ed note: Since this interview, Leomie did indeed get cast in this year's VS show. Get it, L.]

These are extensions, but I think they look quite good. I think 2017 is going to be my year of wigs. [Laughs] Loads of different hairstyles. I’m gonna do a pixie cut wig and just test it out and see how it goes. I haven’t really experimented with my hair—I've been relaxing it since I was 12. I'm not trying to conform to a European standard of beauty either, and that's something I really want to stress. It's not a political statement. Your hair is your hair. It's about choice. I shampoo and condition every two weeks with Kiehls' Amino Acid line, which is amazing. I never thought about using Kiehl's, and one time I got sent them and now I'll never turn back. It keeps my hair so hydrated, and really soft. And I get it treated every two weeks.

There's been a lot of progress, though, and I love seeing natural hair on the runway. That makes me smile—even though I relax my hair, I like to see it. I remember three or four years ago, that wasn't happening. One time, an agent whipped out these pictures of Rihanna's asymmetrical bob and was like, 'I booked you a haircut.' And my mom, when I called her, was like 'No way are they cutting your fucking hair.' [Laughs] Obviously I didn’t do it, but in those situations you just have to think for yourself—and that’s my advice for black girls who are reading this. When it comes to you hair nobody knows it better than you and your mum. Do what matters to you and what makes you comfortable. Because at the end of the day, your hair is yours.

I'm not wearing a lot of makeup today—I'm just wearing my basics, which is mascara and brows. My top mascara has to be the Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara. It makes my eyelashes look thick and long, and I feel like other mascaras do one or the other. I use Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium to shape my brows, and if I'm going all out, I'll use the Precisely, My Brow Pencil under that. You know what else is really good for eyes, is the Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in Bark. You can just put it all over, combine it with a gold color, mix it with your brush, and give yourself a smoky eye. That always looks amazing.

The best blush for darker skin is Cover FX Click Color Corrector in Brick, which is actually a color correcting stick. They have a really good highlight, too, called Candlelight. If I'm wearing foundation, I like to use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. The colors are so good—there is so much variety. I've got Cool Warm for the main area of my face, Espresso for my contour, and Cool Almond as my concealer.

And skin! Let's talk about skincare. I wash my face with the Bioré Charcoal Facial Cleanser, which has salicylic acid in it for blemishes. I love the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream—it just makes my skin really soft and hydrated. I hate feeling dry. Oh, here's a tip—guys, go and get the Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter right now. Put a couple drops of baby oil in there, too. People always ask me, ‘Why are your legs so shiny?’ It’s because I’ve mixed the two together—baby oil kind of evaporates when you use it alone, but when you add it to the body butter, it holds the shine. I live for that."

—as told to ITG

Leomie Anderson photographed by Tom Newton.