"I grew up in the city of Paris. I really feel like a Parisian 100%. My mother is French-Algerian and my father is French. They met in the club—in those days, my mother was such a party girl and my father was a bartender. He loved to photograph, so he asked if he could take photos of her, and when he did they just fell in love. My mother was really feminine—high heels, red lips, curly hair, and super stylish all the time.
When I was little, my two biggest dreams were to be a princess and a rock star. At first I was dancer, but over time, I noticed that a supermodel could be the perfect mix between those two. Six months after my transition, I was 18, and I was dancing in Ibiza for my first job. So, that’s how I started my life as a woman. From dancing there and all over the world, I met people throughout the US. I would have never thought I would be a model in New York shooting for American Vogue, or be the first transgender model in Playboy…it’s beyond expectations.
At first, I only told my gay friends that I was transgender—I was afraid of being rejected—I was not so secure about that. But then the rumor went around New York, and I got asked to do some shoots. When I realized that people found it beautiful that I was transgender, I figured I should just be proud of it. New York gave me a new sense of self-confidence. I did my coming out and got signed with Marilyn Agency.
When I’m getting ready, I love ‘80s, new wave music. You just feel like a bad girl, especially when you’re going out. Tonight, I have a Playboy event. I like to enhance my natural skin and for everything to look a little glowy and shiny. I use the Clarisonic before going out—this is the first step I need for my skin to be very clean. My moisturizer is always different. Right now, I’m using the Sanoflore Crème des Reines which is a highly concentrated royal jelly. I roll it on with my fingers, up and out. I spray this Sanoflore mist before and after I apply it. It makes my skin look fresh and alive—I spray it after each step.
My most important makeup is concealer—I put Tom Ford’s pen in 2.0 under my eyes, around the nose, around the mouth, a little bit on the chin and a tiny bit on the forehead—the places where you’d want light to reflect. Sephora also has this amazing Bright Color Concealer. It really covers all the redness. After all that, I put Tom Ford Bronzer over my face for a little glow.
For the evening, I wear my favorite Studio Fix MAC Foundation in NC 44.5. It makes your skin even, perfect—you really feel like how we say in France, bouclier. When I want something a bit lighter, I’ll use L’Oréal True Match Lumi Liquid Foundation, which gives me really natural, shiny skin during the day. I usually use the Magic Lumi Concealer paired with it.
I spray the Sanoflore Mist again, and then I use a powder from the Tom Ford Soleil Palette. I mix all three colors and put it all over my face. There’s this Chanel powder I’m addicted to—Soleil Tan de Chanel. Then I spray again. It depends on what look I’m trying to achieve, but sometimes I’ll do a little contouring with MAC Studio Sculpt Bronzing Powder in Delicates to make my cheekbones pop. I’m also obsessed with slicked eyebrows that look like a cat that’s just been out of the water. [Laughs] I use Benefit Brow Zings to make them browner and and then I use a clear brow gel from Makeup Forever to shape. When all of this is done, I just add a little bit of mascara to my eyes. I notice that when I put on a lot of mascara, I look beautiful but I look too done, especially since I already have open eyes. On the top and bottom lashes, I really like Maybelline’s Illegal Length Mascara—they have the best mascaras ever. I also mix with Benefit They’re ReaI.
To make my eyes pop even more, I use Sephora's Long Lasting Kohl Pencil in Infinite Beige on the inside of my eyes, top and bottom. Oh, and for one of my most important ‘no-makeup tricks,’ I’ll also put a bit of brown eyeshadow on the pencil and line it under my eyes. It naturally opens my eyes because it looks like a shadow underneath. I cannot go out of my house without doing it. I just want to look stunning, shiny, and like I’m not wearing any makeup—but I do, honey. I do.
Tonight, I’ll do a L’Oréal lipstick in Blake’s Red for my matte red lip, but I also really like the Retro Matte Ruby Woo. Also, one thing that I do before I go out is to put some water on my hair, lay it over, and crunch it up. I’ve been using Moroccan Oil Curl Control Mousse for my curls. Moisturizing my hands is very important—I use a cream by Dr. Hauskcha. He also has this after-sun body cream, it makes my tan last and the smell is to die for. In fact, Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford is my favorite fragrance in the world. Especially when I’m in a seductive mood, it always gets me who I want. [Laughs] My daytime perfume is organic from Melvita, Musc Gingembre.
I love to party because I love human beings. I love interacting with new people and learning everything about everyone—I just want to hear stories, share my stories, hug and dance with people. In New York, I like the Cityfox Brooklyn raves. I’m a hipster! I go to Tulum or back to Ibiza and party in the jungle or on the beach. I like to wear floating, casual hippie clothes and put my hands in the air and feel the wind through my hair. I like good energies and being in big outdoor spaces. Partying is a celebration of life—it’s more spiritual.
After I get back from going out, I’m so hungry. [Laughs] My favorite tipsy meal is rustic chicken and vegetables. If I’ve given my number to a cute guy [during the night], I’ll probably be texting him. Take time to flirt, it’s the most exciting part! I like to clean as well and have everything perfect in my apartment. I’ll use my Clarisonic to clean my face, and I’ll do a mask even if I’m tipsy—it’s good to do a mask before you look bad instead of waiting the next day when it's too late. A friend just got me a collagen mask from Korea that I use three times a week.
My last beauty secret is that I meditate before bed. I’ve noticed that I look so much better when I do. I love to connect with the universe, so I do it when I wake up and when I go to bed for 10 to 15 minutes. Being in the now, focusing on your breathing—it’s like giving a hug to yourself, to your soul. It’s so rejuvenating."
—as told to ITG
Photographed by Tom Newton on November 9, 2017.