Exclusive: Chrissy Teigen on Hot Sauce, Highlighters, and Ironing Her Hair
On a rainy day in Los Angeles, perched among a group of beauty editors, Chrissy Teigen is glowing. But what else is new? She radiates light—both with her funny, unassuming personality and her highlighter-dusted cheekbones—and her pregnancy has only amplified this effervescent quality. The model, host, and mum-to-be is full of anecdotes (such as that one time she straightened her hair with an actual iron) and advice (don’t make that same mistake). Hair is the topic du jour today as we’re gathered to learn about TRESemmé’s Beauty-Full Volume line, of which Teigen serves as spokesperson. The groundbreaking reverse wash system consists of a conditioning treatment that you use before shampooing that promises weightless, touchable volume. But hair is not all that we end up discussing—it is Teigen, after all—and the conversation soon drifts to more pressing matters like how she turned her crying meme into wrapping paper for her friends and her tendency to stockpile milk.
By the end of our conversation, we’ve come to the conclusion that to know Chrissy Teigen is to love Chrissy Teigen—hell, to not know Chrissy Teigen is to love Chrissy Teigen too, as her legions of social media followers prove. Whether it’s co-hosting the viral wonder Lip Sync Battle, penning her first cookbook, Cravings, or just slaying every red carpet she graces, Teigen has her hand in many pots, both figuratively and literally—and manages to do it all with unabashed honesty and really, really good hair. With her belly wrapped snugly in a black figure-hugging dress, skin aglow, and hair cascading down in waves like only a model’s does, Teigen gave us the exclusive scoop on everything from her penchant for hot sauce to her favourite highlighter—all while making us LOL at least a few times throughout the process.
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BYRDIE: We all feel so connected to our hair—some people say you are your hair. What has your relationship with your hair been like over the years?
CHRISSY TEIGEN: Honestly, I used to have the most effortless hair. I look back on old photos of my hair when it was so natural and air-dried and bent so beautifully… I think when we’re young, we don’t have to do very much to it. And then throughout the years getting it styled all the time—on the show, I get it styled two or three times a day, which is a lot on your hair—the most I can do is be really good to it with shampoo and conditioner. And from then on, I really leave it to the experts. I could never do my hair for my own red carpet. I’m still amazed when I hear how Zendaya or Kate Middleton do their own hair and makeup. I’m like, “What?!” That’s crazy to me. I can’t imagine that. For me, it’s always something that I’ve always needed to have done; I need to have it done to feel comfortable and sexy.
BYRDIE: What do you do on days when you don’t have your glam squad?
CT: I’m kind of the queen of the topknot.
BYRDIE: You seem very close with your mother—she’s a reoccurring star on your Instagram feed. Have you stolen any beauty tips or products from her?
CT: She steals every product I have! She really let my sister and me fall into whatever was trending and do what we wanted, no matter how crazy. She would kind of look at us from afar and laugh at us for all those crazy things that we were doing. She didn’t police our hair and makeup, which is funny to me now, because I’m like, “Why didn’t you?” Because I look back on those photos and I look insane.
BYRDIE: What was the craziest look?
CT: Oh gosh. She would catch my sister and me ironing our hair. Remember that? When you would physically lay down and iron it with a giant iron—it worked so well, too. It’s not that it didn’t look good or didn’t work, but that’s just insane. It’s horrible for your hair. But the crimping and the braiding of the crimps and the braiding in between the crimps… all the damage you were doing to your hair and how dry and coarse it would get. I guess with kids, you just have to let them try and learn, which is something I want to do with my kids now. Just let them play around and not police them too much and just kind of let them be.
BYRDIE: Speaking of kids, if you could give your little girl some beauty advice when she’s old enough, what would you tell her?
CT: I’m sure she wouldn’t listen because she’ll be just like me [laughs]. My number one mistake was eyebrows, always. I always overdid the eyebrow. I overplucked—I can’t believe they ever came back. When I moved from Washington to Huntington Beach, I felt this need to keep up, and everyone had makeup and things were just very different. In Washington, we didn’t care about that kind of thing, and then I moved and everyone was really put together. For some reason, for me, that meant taking off all my eyebrows! But I really hope she maintains her natural beauty, which I think is something that is kind of cooler now. For me, to see that girl who is so comfortable and effortless looking… I love that look.
BYRDIE: Now it’s cool to look like you didn’t try.
CT: Yes, so I hope she appreciates her natural hair texture and her natural skin. Meanwhile, of course, I’m here doing spray tanning and whatever. [laughs]. Obviously you hope that they appreciate their own beauty and roll with it.
BYRDIE: You have the bronze goddess beauty look down pat. What are some of your favourite products to get your signature glow?
CT: Hourglass makes really good highlighters ($60), and Charlotte Tilbury’s Bronze & Glow Palette ($97) is amazing—they have a darker one now, too. Cream palettes are never really that great on me. I like to keep everything really simple. Product-wise, I’m kind of very bare with it. I’m sent so much that I have to filter everything out that I don’t love, and I just try to keep this little kit with the things I do love. I have, like, 8000 eyelash curlers and only one that I use. I’m very loyal to the products that I use and love.
BYRDIE: You just launched your cookbook, Cravings—congrats! What are your current cravings?
CT: Honestly, it’s so weird because I really went in waves with it. I was very excited to eat in the very beginning. In the first trimester, I got very specific, like, “I want meatloaf. I must have meatloaf.” The second was more about what I didn’t want, and then the third, now, I just can’t fit very much in, and the only thing I can imagine eating sometimes is pasta, basically. I’m not craving anything anymore. I can’t imagine eating fish or anything like a vinaigrette. Right now, it’s not as fun. The second trimester was fun because you could kind of indulge and make excuses—“It’s what she wants!”—but not anymore. Now she doesn’t want anything, and she’s sitting super high [in my belly] and it’s kind of uncomfortable. I have a very short torso—everyone in my family does—so the babies just sit like little Buddhas, like, cross-legged. It’s really weird.
BYRDIE: What do you stock your fridge with always?
CT: Hot sauce for sure. I love Cholula and Sriracha. I’ve always been, even pre-pregnancy, big on pickles and spicy pickles; I’m a condiment person. Right now, I’m big on milk, so I have all these different percentages of milk in my fridge.
BYRDIE: You’re like a milk connoisseur.
CT: Exactly! I have all these milk tastings and milk pairings.
BYRDIE: What was the last thing your glam squad texted you?
CT: It’s funny, anytime I’m on a red carpet, I’m constantly on my phone, because after I do the carpet, my phone blows up. I always check my texts to see if my hair and makeup person is like, “You need to fix this!” because they see it live; they’re watching the E! red carpet. They’ll say, “Adjust your Spanx, I can see Spanx!” or “You have lipstick on your teeth.” I always look on Twitter after a carpet, because they’ll be the first to tell you. That’s how I knew about the memes in real time.
BYRDIE: Your crying meme will go on for eternity.
CT: I know. I just got over the Golden Globes one, and now they’ve created another one. There’s this amazing company at the A-List—they make wrapping paper. I wish I knew the name. They make wrapping paper, so I bought hundreds of sheets of my meme face. I had some made of my dog’s head, too—the way they design it is so cartoony and cute.
Want to know how to get Teigen's glowing skin? We asked her makeup artist.