“After the Second World War, a lot of Polish people went to the north of France or New Jersey. For example, Jacquelyn Jablonski, the other Jablonski model, is from New Jersey. I have Polish blood, and I grew up in the north of France in a very small country village. The short story of how I started modeling is that right after I finished high school, I went to New York with my mom for a fun trip. At the time I wanted to be a plastic surgeon, and was set to start school in October. My mom is a pharmacist and my dad’s a dermatologist, so for me a career in medicine felt natural. So, I was in New York with my mom, and I got scouted by someone from Marilyn. It was the last week in August, and she told me that I had to stay because the shows were starting next week.
BCBG Max Azria was my first show and, oh my God, you have no idea how nervous I was. To put it into context, I was 17, coming from a very small town, and I was super self-conscious. I never dreamed of being in this business—I didn’t know anything about designers, I was not into fashion at the time. I was really a baby, like a little deer in headlights. I did 17 shows that first fashion week, and then I booked a Dolce and Gabbana campaign with Mario Testino that required me to go to the south of France the day after the last show. I said I wanted to go home, I was tired, I didn’t even know what I was doing there. But I did the shoot, and obviously I never went to medical school. My destiny changed. I was 19 when I booked Estée Lauder—crazy.
Starting over from scratch when you’re 17 and in a new city can be scary, but at the same time, I got to be a new person. That was my favorite part—I was very timid when I was younger, and modeling allowed me to be whoever I wanted to be. I’m very lucky that I got to be in the last generation that got to know what modeling was like before social media—now, how can you be someone if you don’t have social media? But I was still in the game when social media started, so I could make myself a name that way, too. I got the best of both worlds. Before Instagram, you had to do shows, and then editorial season, and then campaign season, and then back again. It was hard. I used to love it, really, but something has changed lately. I want to be home, I miss being in my own bed… but it’s a balance. After three months of being home, I think, ‘OK, what’s next?’ Fashion is fun, but I’m a real person, and I will not walk over dead bodies to make it. If things don’t go well, I can always go back to school.
I wanted to go home, I was tired, I didn’t even know what I was doing there. But I did the shoot, and obviously I never went to medical school.
I use the Rodial Diamond Concealer everywhere—I start in the center of my face and then I blend it out to get a lot of coverage. I have shades 20 and 30, and I’ll mix them depending on my color. For something lighter, I’m obsessed with Glossier Skin Tint in Medium [ed note: now called shade G9]. I have the Estée Lauder Foundation Brush 1 which is helpful, but to be honest with you, I always forget my brushes and end up using my fingers. I never powder myself unless I’m having photos taken, like when I’m going on the red carpet or something. This is a very good one, from Ilia—you press it, and powder comes up, and it’s very sheer. I use RMS Buriti Bronzer on my jawline and my cheekbones—I have a very strong jaw, and I know I look better when I don’t put my chin up too high. The bronzer helps, too.
Because I don’t want to have to maintain my lips all night, I usually just do my eyes. I have this taupe shadow from Nars that looks really nice with blue eyes, but I left it France. This weekend I used the taupe from Chanel's Les 4 Ombres Tisse Rivoli instead, which is more purple-y. I like it because you can barely see it in the evening—it just gives you some shade. I always apply it on the outside of my eyes and blend it into the inside, which gives you more of an almond shape. Le Metier de Beaute liquid liner is good when I want to do a cat eye. My light taupe-y shadow, a great mascara, Boy Brow, and that’s it. I have Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, but the one I like the most is the one from Jessica Alba, Honest. I always use it with an eyelash curler. Honestly, every time I’m on set the makeup artists have these great eyelash curlers, but when I buy them they don’t work as well. Maybe it’s me. If I do use a lipstick, I love this palette from Rouje. I put it on with my fingers—I’m really bad at putting on lipstick, and I never have a problem with those. Tromborg Lip Cure is the only thing that doesn’t dry out my lips—Homeoplasmine on my lips is never a good idea. I was talking about lip dryness with my Danish friend, and she told me about the brand. I’ve already finished two.
If you don’t take care of your skin, not even the best makeup will be able to help cover up spots. You should also never do a facial before a shoot, by the way. You always come out with spots, and they could stay for days. You need to listen to your body—your skin changes through the seasons, your mood, where you are, if you’ve been traveling or not. In France, because our health system is so great and everyone is reimbursed, it’s easy to go to a dermatologist. I also feel like the things we have available without prescriptions are better. Anything that’s really good in the US, you need to have a prescription for. It’s tricky, because then it gets expensive.
You should never do a facial before a shoot, by the way. You always come out with spots.
In general I have dry, sensitive skin. I always wash my face in the shower. For a simple cleanser when I’m wearing makeup, I like Icy Falls from Valmont. I use it on dry skin like a cream, and then wash it off in the shower. If I’m not wearing makeup, I like the Carrot Butter Cleanser from The Organic Pharmacy—it’s a little stickier so it doesn’t take off makeup well, but it’s a great cleanser. I don’t use a toner. OK, I’m lying—I have used Kiehl’s Calendula Toner, but only when my pores are clogged, or I have rosacea. My dad taught me all about rosacea. I call him every day like, ‘What do I do?’ I actually use an antibiotic treatment from the dermatologist for my rosacea called Doxycycline. At first, I just had ocular rosacea—it’s not fun. You have the sensation of a hair being in your eye all the time. It was awful. I kept going to the opthamologist saying, ‘I know I have something in my eye, please look,’ and it was nothing, nothing, nothing. Then I started to get rashes and they knew it was rosacea. The antibiotics help.
I’m obsessed with Joanna Vargas serums, and I go to her spa for facials maybe four times a year. She also makes the best face masks—I love the one called Euphoria, and the Exfoliating Mask. I’ll use that one when I have a breakout coming on. You let it sit on your face for, I don’t know, 20 minutes, and when you remove it, any pimples you had under the surface are white and ready to explode. I have her Rejuvenating Serum, which has argan oil, but when I use that one I use it alone. It doesn’t mix well with creams. The Daily Serum I can mix with my cream—right now I’m using the Ultra Facial Cream from Kiehl’s and the Avocado Eye Treatment. They’re very light, penetrate super quickly, and don’t smell so much.
In the winter I use heavier stuff, like Weleda Skin Food. I also love Vintner’s Daughter, but it’s too heavy now. My friend who was working at Violet Grey told me about it. It definitely gives you a little glow. When I travel, I like the Sturm Anti-Pollution and the Glow Drops—they’re easy to travel with, and they help protect my skin on the plane. The one thing my dad told me growing up—and still today—was to put sunscreen on. He would always be upset on the beach if we did not put sunscreen on—again, and again, and again, every two hours, always. I really like Coola—I have the face one, and then the spray one for my body because it’s easier. SPF above 50 is all bullshit. I think it’s dangerous when people put on 100 SPF and think, ‘Oh, I put such a high SPF on, I’m good for the day.’ No.
My hair is naturally curly, and I don’t brush it. When I do, my curls become very frizzy. I also have really dry hair and I have to wash it often, unfortunately, because I work out almost every day. But I’m obsessed with this brand called Iles Formula. I use the shampoo, the conditioner, and the serum, and I use the mask once a week. It makes my hair so soft. I try not to use a hairdryer, and some days it looks great, but other days it doesn’t. If it looks bad I use the serum, because it helps make everything a little smoother. If I want it to be straight, I never use a straightening iron—always a blow dryer. It looks much prettier when I do it with a brush—with a straightening iron, it just looks dead. For a curl I have curling irons, but I don’t do it perfectly. I just put my two mirrors up so I can see the back, and I curl a few pieces—not everywhere. I love the Klorane oat dry shampoo, and I have a really great texture spray from Balmain. I would not use it for a daytime thing—if I go out, then yeah. It’s not very nice when you touch your hair because it has a very strong hold, but it’ll give you a look.
I don’t color my hair—it just gets lighter in the summer by itself. I get haircuts from anyone on set who will do them. You know, I’d really love to cut it short. I’ve told my agency a few times that I wanted to cut it, and they asked my clients about it. Most of my clients said they didn’t want me to, so I never did it. But if one of them decides they do, I’ll be ready for it! I love girls with short hair. I think it gives you such character, you know?
I discovered Ayurveda maybe four years ago. I’ve always been fascinated with medicine, and when I heard about Eastern medicine I really wanted to know what it meant. I started reading books about it, watching documentaries... I think the philosophy makes so much sense. I went to Dr. Pratima Raichur in Soho, who is an Ayurvedic doctor. She asks you where you were born, the exact time, and then she takes your pulse. Just by feeling your pulse she can tell you everything. It takes a minute. Everyone has a main dosha, and mine is Pitta, which is mainly fire. You have to go see an Ayurvedic doctor to see which one you are, or you can kind of guess by looking at your skin. Sensitive skin is very classic for Pitta people. And depending on your dosha, your diet should be different. For Pitta, you’re supposed to never have coffee, wine, alcohol... I don’t listen to everything, but my rosacea definitely comes out when I drink too much, have too much coffee, or do too many exciting things. I see it—it’s fire coming out of me. It sounds stupid when I say it like that, but the idea is that when your body is imbalanced it supports inflammation. I don’t believe in crazy diets because it’s awful to repress yourself, but if you look overall, I’m definitely super healthy. I rarely eat junk food, and I do a lot of workout classes because I like to feel strong. I’m at a moment in my life where I just want to shut down my brain, and working out is like meditation for me. I love SLT—it’s Pilates on steroids. Kind of like if you mixed Soulcycle and Pilates together, except that I hate Soulcycle. I have an amazing yoga studio right near me that I love to go to, and Physique57 is right here, too. Otherwise I just run on the West Side Highway.
I don’t listen to everything, but the idea is that when your body is imbalanced it supports inflammation.
BODY + FRAGRANCE
For fragrance, I’m obsessed with Mojave Ghost from Byredo. I have the rollerball, so I put it right behind my ears. Back in the day I wore those green tea scents, and for many years I wore Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess. That perfume was everything. My favorite toothpaste is the Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil one, but I have so many travel-sized toothpastes because they give them to me on the plane and I hate to waste them. My boyfriend makes fun of me that there’s no space anywhere in the bathroom, but I’m not going to throw it out after using it once!
I love to have my nails done, but it’s tricky with shooting—they always remove it. In the summer I like to do red or a light pearl-white, and in the winter I like dark colors. I usually go to this place called J’Spa, but I’ll really go wherever is convenient.
I recently had a scooter injury where I twisted my knee and my elbow. Nothing was broken, but it was bad. I used a lot of CBD oil every day, and I’d wrap it up—CBD is great. Usually I use pure argan oil from Morocco for my body—lucky me, I go to Morocco a lot. For French people it’s very easy—it’s close by, and they speak French. I always travel back with like five bottles of argan oil. It smells like food, like a salad. I also use a mitt from La Mamounia in Marrakech to exfoliate. That’s where they do the best scrubs.”
—as told to ITG
Constance Jablonski photographed by Tom Newton in New York on June 10, 2019.