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What Naomi Campbell Has To Say About Beauty


There are only so many models in the world, and when it comes to supermodels—models that transcend “just a pretty face” to become first-name-only celebrities—there are even fewer. Out of the Supers, Naomi Campbell is singular. She was the first black model on the cover of French Vogue, the first black model on the cover of American Vogue’s September issue, she’s the face of Nars, and with her new YouTube channel she turned vlogging into an extremely chic affair. Keep in mind that those are just a few things! If the road to superstardom is paved with good intentions, Naomi’s left a solid trail of breadcrumbs on the internet for us to follow. Here’s everything she’s had to say on beauty and beyond.


On skincare:

“I always start with a cleansing cream and a little bit of liquid soap. I also use vitamin C and rose oil on my face.” 1

“I cleanse and scrub every day, I take off makeup every night. Hydration, for me, is the most important thing. I like my skin to look greasy and oily. I’m constantly moisturizing—masks, face masks, creamy masks, paper masks. When you’re under the lights, the makeup goes really deep into the pores. When I’m not working, I try not to wear makeup at all. I like to just have clean skin.” 2

“In the shower I only use baby soap. I don't like too many perfumed shower gels. I use Biofirm Lift cream, and I use eye cream. I moisturize my skin constantly, my whole body, and I use moisture serums for my face these days. I think all the make-up and heavy moisturizers just clog the pores.” 3

“I love the drugstore Zitomer. In terms of products, I like makeup remover, eye applicators, and all the mini products [for] travel. I love mini products!” 4

“I buy things [at the pharmacy] that I definitely don’t need. I love to buy the lovely see-through toiletry bags in all shapes and sizes. Any little gadget that I’ve not seen before behind the counter, I want to try it.” 2

"Everybody in the world wears wigs. It doesn’t matter any more. I do what I want."

On beauty:

“A woman should always maintain herself on a weekly basis.” 4

“Everybody in the world wears wigs. It doesn’t matter any more. I do what I want [with my hair], or whatever the job calls for.” 5

“A lot of times it would be upsetting to sit in the chair of a makeup artist and come out a different color. Like, what’s up? I’m a black woman and I want to look black, and you’ve made me look gray!” 6

“I would be backstage at shows and there would be stylists who didn’t have any experience working with black models… I’d always bring my own products—my own makeup colors, hair products everything—just to be sure that I had everything I needed.” 7

“I don’t like my base to ever look like a mask. I don’t ever wear base on my forehead, because I want to just look like I don’t have anything on.” 8

“If I want to do it, I do it. It’s like if I want to get eyelashes, I get them.” 5

“I don’t like to put the blush on low cheeks. I think it looks clown-y, and it takes away from the bone structure… It’s good to highlight every bone, I think.” 8

“Check your lipstick before you come and talk to me.” 9

“It's a new challenge to see how people can change your look. I like words like transformation, reinvention, and chameleon. Because one word I don't like is predictable.” 10


On caring for her body:

“We travel and eat so many different things that [it] is important to just drink juice two days a week, once a month or so, to cleanse yourself, rebalance, and clean the blood.” 4

“The first thing I do is have hot water with lemon and probiotics. I never drink coffee; I don’t like the smell. I’m a tea drinker. If I need it, I will have one cup of green tea. I’m more into herbal tea. After that, I get up, take a shower, and then I have another set of drinks—one for the immune system and one with aloe.” 3

“Even when I get in at midnight, I like to get a massage, because when you’re in heels all day it throws your alignment out. I do that maybe two or three times a week.” 3

“Hot sauce and chili powder really does prevent you from getting too many colds. I think it’s a mama’s recipe.” 6

On her not-so-guilty pleasures:

“When I get home it's makeup off, shower, bed. Normally I would say to you I watch my computer, I catch up on the reality shows I like to watch, but lately there's been no time. It's really just get as much sleep as you can. When I have more time I watch all the Real Housewives—I'm a big fan of Andy Cohen, Nene Leakes, and Lisa Vanderpump—and Scandal.” 3

“I found out in January no gluten, no wheat, no dairy. What the fuck am I going to eat? That’s the kind of thing I like to munch on at night when I get back from work or an event and I want to watch crappy TV like everybody else in the world.” 11

“Atlanta is not a good look, darling. I've seen that Housewives show—it's trash!” 12

“I watch many different TV shows. I watch reality shows—The Real Housewives, you all know I love the Housewives and Andy Cohen. Flossy, I loved that. Killing Eve, Fleabag, and Black Monday with Regina Hall who I love. I mean, television today is amazing.” 2


On becoming a mentor:

“I’ve always made a point of going over to the new, young models as they’re not going to come over to me. I let them know that I’m here if they need me.” 13

“I like the word mentor. I don’t want to judge someone. I like sharing my knowledge with my girls, and anything they ask me I’ll try to do to help them.” 14

“If my friend puts out a hand, I'm going to take it. Helping him helps me, in a way. It's a true friendship, and we are there for each other.” 10

“I’ve always said this, and I always will: I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’m a human being—I’m a work in progress. But I can own my mistakes and what I’ve done, and learn from it, apologize for it, and take it on board.” 15

“I don’t want to see women of color fight, I don’t want to see women fight, period.” 16

On her barrier-breaking career:

“A woman that’s in control of her work, or makes decisions, or is very opinionated is called a bitch. I think that a man, when he’s like that, is called nothing. It’s fine. But being a bitch for me—if that’s what people want to think of me as—has protected me in so many ways. I've never had any of that stuff where you hear of young girls and guys come up to them and give them drugs. You know, I've never had the sleazy side of what people think there is in modeling. I've never had that because I guess I'd put on a look like, don't come near me.” 17

“I’m determined, and I’m passionate and driven about whatever I commit myself to do. If I don’t know something, I’m going to ask, and I’ve got no problems in asking questions. I never have.” 14

"Check your lipstick before you come and talk to me."

“We are not a trend—I didn't work 28 years for it to be a trend. It shouldn't have to be that way... It's something I won't stop talking about until I see a bigger improvement.” 18

“I’m the face of a new campaign and I was told that because of the color of my skin a certain country would not use my picture.... it just kept things in perspective for me. Now I would like to know that models [of color] get the same opportunities and fees in advertising.” 19

“I still love what I do, and the minute I don’t feel that way, you’ll no longer see me.” 15


On being Naomi:

“I was the baby, and I used to get away with it. You always had to wear red lipstick at Yves Saint Laurent—red lipstick was the main feature, but I thought it made me look old. I’d be like, ‘Mr. Saint Laurent, do you mind please if I don’t have to wear it? It makes me look old at 16.’ And he’d be like, ‘Yeah, you don’t have to wear it.’” 20

“Don’t compare yourself to me ever. You are not on my level, and you never will be on my level.” 9

“I don’t really know what it’s like to date… What do you do, go for pizza? Is that one of them? Walk in the park?” 16

“I was never an Angel, and I think it’s because they couldn’t afford me.” 21

“I don’t want to be known as the sweet, nice girl. I find sweet and nice a little boring.” 17

“I don't think I was born beautiful. I just think I was born me.” 22

Photos via Getty