I walked into our shoot with Shanina Shaik, not quite knowing what to expect. I knew she'd be beautiful, sure, but what I found when I stepped into the studio was a fun-loving, animated woman who smiled from ear to ear the entire time. She was shockingly unintimidating, a situation we don't often find during these types of interactions.
The Australian-born model (who you might recognise from the runways of Chanel, Tom Ford, and, most recently, Victoria's Secret) is certainly on the rise—though she seems comfortable and unfazed by her growing star power. She hugged everyone in the room and danced along to the playlist that was only faintly audible in the background. Because she was on a tight schedule, we had a conversation about beauty, wellness, and confidence later that week over the phone. Keep reading to hear what she had to say.
"In the morning, I cleanse, tone, moisturise, and exfoliate two times a week. I moisturise a lot—day and night. I usually change my skin products according to the seasons, for winter and summer. My skin is very oily, so I tend to opt for a lighter moisturiser. I love Kora Organics by Miranda [Kerr]—its cleanser is the product I really, really love. Neutrogena has amazing moisturisers, and I use a line called Adore. All the products are really beautiful, delicate, and gentle on your skin. The Golden Touch 4K Techno-Dermis Eye Mas is great.
"When I get ready to go out or to an event, it will take me about an hour, hour and a half, to get ready. I always start with a moisturized, clean face. I don't like to use foundation so much. I find a tinted moisturiser looks much more natural. I like the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser ($66), and, if not that, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($99). It's also very light on the face—I don't like to create a 'masked' look. I like very natural and dewy makeup. I love Charlotte Tilbury's line. All of her products really fit my skin colour, and she has a lot of beautiful bronzy, dewy formulas. Her eye shadow palettes, highlighters, and bronzers are really good. I also love the Tom Ford highlighter and his Cream Cheek Colour ($125); [they] are really amazing. When you take a picture, you can see the highlight. And Urban Decay eye shadow palettes are some of my favourites."
"My favourite concealer is Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer ($55). I absolutely recommend everyone gets it; it's amazing. It has two ends, so one part matte concealer stick, and the other end is dewy with a nice sheen to it. It's super fun applying it to get that sheen, and then you can't tell there's any darkness.
"I have a few tricks. Mixing your moisturiser with foundation is great because it sinks into the skin more and looks more natural. That, and using scotch tape to create a cat eye. It helps to line your eyes just so."
"I wish I could tell my teenage self to believe in myself. I grew up always with [the] need to put pressure on myself to do well. It pushes me to do amazing things and work hard, but if you overdo something and start to worry, it can be difficult. It's really important to just be conscious and believe in yourself.
"[When I can't sleep], I use this app called iSleep Easy—you can actually create a playlist. It's very comfortable to fall asleep to. You can add spa-like music or something for meditation. I find it relaxes both my mind and body until I fall asleep.
"I consistently have a good diet; I eat quite well. I mainly make fish, eggs, and vegetables every day. For breakfast, I always love an omelet. That's my favourite; it keeps me energised. What you eat affects your skin, and drinking plenty of water is really important for me. I do like sweets, though, on a cheat day."
"Beauty is looking after yourself and taking care of your body, but it's also doing things you love. It's important to be a positive and happy person, with people around who you love and support. When you have all that, it shines through to the exterior.
"In that respect, my mum inspires me. Most importantly, she's a single mother, and I look up to her so much. She's always been really confident, hardworking, and created such an amazing life for my brother and I. If I have any issues, she's my go-to. She's always right.
"My beauty icon is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I think she's a gorgeous, glamorous woman, and her style is so on point—very sophisticated but sexy at the same time."
Who would you like to see take over our next Self-Directed feature? Tell us in the comments below.
Credits: Photographer: Jerome Corpuz, Hair: Owen Gould, Makeup: Sir John, Styling: Shibon Kennedy.