Natasha Poly On Her Beauty Heroes, Maintaining Her Supermodel Skin & Must-Have Products

Photo: Venturelli/Getty Images
For the past 13 years, Russian model Natasha Poly has ruled catwalks, campaigns and magazine covers alike with a prolific career that has seen her work with everyone from Gucci, Versace and Prada to H&M and Victoria's Secret. Poly has featured on the front of 55 issues of Vogue, which is no mean feat considering she's only 32.
Having worked with the biggest names in both the fashion and beauty business, now Natasha is adding a new string to her bow, garnering a large following on Snapchat for her makeup tutorials. Whether it's doing her own beauty look before a red carpet event or sharing the steps ahead of a Halloween transformation, Poly knows everything you need to know about looking after your skin, accentuating those killer cheekbones and achieving the perfect eyeliner flick. We sat down with Poly (sitting opposite someone that radiant when you're recovering from a snotty cold isn't advised) to discuss her love of all things beauty, her makeup must-haves and working with legends like Pat McGrath.
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You’ve worked with the biggest beauty names in the industry, but when did your passion for beauty first begin?
I think like every girl, when I was a little kid, I would steal all the stuff from my mum and grandmother and just play around! I was always good at painting, making colourful things. I used to love playing with shadows and the transformation from black to colour, it’s just been a passion from the beginning.
Were you quite experimental as a teen or did you have a strict signature look you would stick to?
No! I think all of us had no clue in the beginning! There were some dramatic looks I’ve done, definitely not the best when I was at school. I didn’t own any makeup and my mum wouldn’t buy me any until I was 14, when I was allowed to have my own mascara. But every morning when my mum went to work I would get just a black pencil and I would draw a graphic line, and take a blue eyeshadow and a pink lipstick but then I would think it’s cool.
What's your go-to evening look now you have more wisdom and knowledge?
Eyeliner, definitely. More mascara and then I do individual lashes for the red carpet. I love contouring too, especially Kevyn Aucoin. I prefer a powder palette and generally for eyeshadows I prefer a powder too because it stays longer, doesn’t smudge and the ones you apply with your fingers get a bit greasy.
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Parisian Nights ✨ Hair By @jenatkinhair Make Up By Me #NPolyMakeUp Style By @philippeuter #pfw

A post shared by Natasha Poly (@natashapoly) on

And if you have 10 minutes in the morning, what’s your makeup routine then?
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer, then contouring, eyebrows, blush, curling my eyelashes and mascara sometimes, but because I’m so trained in the modelling world to be very natural and have a no-makeup makeup look, which keeps me looking younger I think, mascara is not a daily thing, maybe for the evening.
We need to talk about your skin. How do you keep it so flawless with travelling and being on planes all the time?
Cleansing with a Clarisonic, no face wipes! I don’t like to rub my face, I never use cream makeup removers, I only work with eye makeup remover because I wear a lot of black eyeliner so it stays for the day, but on the face I just like to wash it once. I have this theory that if you rub the face too much, you create redness and spots, it scratches your skin too much so I try to avoid that. I use an Odacité day cream and a night cream and they make a lot of serums too, which are amazing, no chemicals and lovely smells. I use the Youthful Glow serum and Vitamin C too.
I also love a lot of different masks, I love the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and the Swiss Perfection Cellular Lightening Eye Mask. You cannot of course apply everything at once, but I think the best time to apply a mask is in the evening or if you wake up after a late night, because the skin is regenerating so it can take more.
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And what are the hero products that are always in your makeup bag?
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer, Clarins Pore Perfecting Powder just to set things, contour with the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and the blusher as well, MAC eyebrow pencil, Chanel black waterproof pencil, it’s a soft kohl one, and NARS mascara.
Is there a particular makeup artist who just knows how to do your makeup and knows your face really well?
Pat McGrath. She’s a very loving person and she transfers that to the makeup by the way she gives attention to the face; she always asks me what I need, and uses a very soft touch. You can feel there’s a lot of texture and different shimmers and colours, but it’s always in such a sheer way. She’s so creative, she can do super dramatic, theatrical makeup and then very natural makeup looks too. I love her stories, I think all those years of her doing all the shows, just listening to her explain her work, puts you in the world of that show. I picked up a lot from her because she explains a lot and you see right away what’s happening on your face.
Finally, who are your beauty icons?
Brigitte Bardot. I love her voluminous hair and black smoky bedroom eyes, with natural lip liner. She's very cool and sexy! Another icon for me is Grace Kelly. Her beauty and her elegance is everything. That grace and royal charm!
Follow Natasha Poly on Instagram @natashapoly
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