Exclusive: Model Bridget Malcolm Takes Beach Hair to the Next Level

by Lisa Patulny

When Bridget Malcolm arrives at her Byrdie Australia photo shoot, she’s been in Sydney just two hours. The 23-year-old model has been rushed from airport to hotel (for a quick freshen up), then straight to our location. Malcolm should look harried, bleary-eyed, fatigued... but she doesn’t. In fact, she’s surprisingly alert for someone who’s just flown for twenty hours to be here.

As Malcolm sits in the makeup chair and sips coffee, it’s impossible not to notice the physical attributes that have nabbed her high-profile bookings including contracts with Maybelline New York, Polo Ralph Lauren and the prized cover of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. Her sandy hair, blue-green eyes, characteristically upturned mouth, and long limbs are what fashion designers’ dreams are made of. But it’s not just her looks that make Malcolm noteworthy—undeniably, this woman is more than a pretty face.

Things you should know about Malcolm; she’s interested in health and fitness, lives in NYC with her fiancé (musician Nathaniel Hoho of the Walking Shapes), reads a lot of books (“I don’t own a TV”), likes to travel and is musically gifted. (This Insta-video of Malcolm playing the GoT theme song on oboe may be what first inspired our girl crush.) She’s also funny, personable and on the brink of big things.

Highly-acclaimed photographer Russell James has tipped Malcolm for greatness, telling AAA Weekend: “I think she is going to become a major success story in a very short time.” Our take? For a man who's made his living shooting mega models like Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bündchen to give such praise, makes Malcolm's impending stardom more of a prophecy than a mere possibility.

The perfect muse for our beach-to-bar hair story, Malcolm epitomises effortless, natural-looking beauty. Here, she models four easy looks, perfect for the sand and beyond. Keep reading for our exclusive editorial and interview!

Byrdie: Let’s talk about your current beauty routine. What skincare do you use? 

Bridget Malcolm: In the morning, I use Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk ($58). I love it because it feels light on my skin. Next, a clarifying toner and John Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum ($48) which I use to fight free radical damage. Then I’ll do Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream Light ($58). In the winter I switch to Dr. Hauschka’s Quince Day Cream ($48), because it's heavier. I also use sunscreen—always. My parents made me slather it on as a kid, and I hated it. Now I'm super-thankful, and will do the same to my kids.

I also recently got turned onto double cleansing—with a milk followed by an oil—and have found my skin much fresher from it. So in the evening I use my regular cleanser, then a Shu Uemura cleansing oil. I either finish off with toner and let my skin breathe overnight, or if I’m feeling dry, I might use a bit of Bio-Oil ($15) mixed with moisturiser. If I get a spot I use tea tree oil on it during the day, and toothpaste to dry it out at night. Weird—but it really works! 

B: How would you describe your everyday beauty look?

BM: With my job, I constantly have a lot of makeup on my face and product in my hair, so I like to let my skin breathe when I'm off work. I am really low-key during the day; I use a good quality SPF and then I do Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($62) and Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara ($13).

For a date night, I like to keep it simple. Again, I’ll do my tinted moisturiser, a little eyeliner on my upper lids—I’m currently using Shu Uemura’s Drawing Pencil ($32)—and maybe some brown and gold shadow. I love Dior's eyeshadow palettes. I’ll also use my trusty Maybelline mascara and a little lip balm.

B: How has working as a model influenced your beauty routine?

BM: I would say it is because of my job that I have a beauty routine! I didn't know what toner was until I was 18... Modelling has taught me to be aware of what my skin is telling me. For instance, if I'm tired, thirsty or rundown, it shows up in my skin. I have to be prepared—you only get one chance in a casting so I need to make sure my skin glows! Having so many chemicals on my face has also made me seek out organic products, and I really feel the difference.

Hair Notes: It may seem counterintuitive to style your hair before a day at the beach, but hairstylist Anthony Nader says it’s a smart move if you plan to kick on afterwards: “Setting a textured wave in your hair means it’s less likely to go frizzy—the salty, humid air will only make this style look better.”

Nader spritzed Malcolm's damp hair with Oribe's Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray to protect against damage, hit just the roots and mid-lengths with a volumising mist (we like Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Spray, $43), then blasted strands with a hairdryer until almost dry. Next, he divided hair into four even sections, and using a medium-sized bristle brush and hairdryer, wrapped each section around the brush to create bouncy curls. To finish, Nader smoothed over random two-inch sections with straightening irons, shook out the waves with his fingers, then applied a healthy dose of Oribe's Dry Texture Spray.

Makeup Notes: To achieve Malcolm’s beachy look, makeup artist Elsa Morgan perfected skin with LÓreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream ($27), applied mascara, and filled in brows using LÓreal Paris Brow Artist Plumper ($19). Next, lipstick was pressed into Malcolm’s lips (similar here) for a stained effect. “You could also try a BB blush on the lips as the formulas are generally budge-proof,” suggests Morgan.

Credits: Seed Heritage Rib Bodysuit ($50).

B: You have incredible hair—talk us through your haircare and styling routine.

BM: Thank you! I actually do almost next to nothing with my hair. It's always grown really quickly—I am constantly battling not to cut it. I regularly go years in-between cuts. I only shampoo it once a week and I like to use organic coconut oil as conditioner; it really helps with the strength of my hair. I was recently given a really good hair brush—my first since I left home at 17—which I use to detangle.

B: The editorial we’re shooting today is about beach hair you can build into fancier styles to wear out afterwards. What are your tips for keeping your hair looking good on a beach day?

BM: Embrace the sea salt! I love the look of beachy waves. After a swim, rinse your hair of any sand, then twist it up into a top knot whilst still wet. When you want to go out afterwards, take it down and enjoy the beautiful texture. Add little dry shampoo if you need it, and you’re good to go!

Hair Notes: When Nader created this retro-inspired updo on the day of our shoot, it had everyone—from the stylist to our social media editor—in raptures. “It's a great option for someone who wants to wear a nourishing treatment to the beach,” he advises. Our take? It's also a great choice when attempting to style slippery, post-dip strands up and off your face.

Nader liberally misted Malcolm's hair with a dry conditioner (similar here), raking the product through with fingers to ensure an even application. He then created what he termed a “swirl” of hair, twisting strands up into a bun shape, and pinning to secure. To finish, Nader wrapped a scarf around Malcolm's hairline and tied it in a bow, positioning the knot just off centre.

Makeup Notes: To take Malcolm's original beach-appropriate makeup up a notch, Morgan applied a waterproof cream shadow to lids and around the eyes (we like Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Bronze, $42) and blended with fingers for a seamless finish. Morgan explains: “The earthy tones are what keeps this eyeshadow subtle enough for wearing on the sand.”

Credits: Iro Clay T-Shirt ($175); Get Me To New York Jaffna Headscarf ($119); Petite Grand Dot And Circle Earring ($88); Alex Monroe Diamond Eyebright Ring ($3242); Alex Monroe Pale Green Sapphire Eyebright Ring ($2139); Alex Monroe Pale Pink Sapphire Eyebright Ring ($2139).

B: What do you do to stay healthy?

BM: Daily meditation. Since I started practicing, life has become simpler and less stressful. I have also always loved reading and do it as much as I can throughout the day.

B: What inspired you to follow a vegan lifestyle?

BM: I never really got much joy from meat—I have just always been wired this way. When I was younger I went back and forth with vegetarianism, then I watched some movies on PETA’s website, and that was it. I couldn’t go back. I believe if more people looked into the origins of their food, they would have the same reaction as me.

I'm a habitual eater, and love vegetables, so to make sure I can eat vegan—I just ask! If there aren't any obviously vegan choices on the menu I ask for grilled vegetables. You can always tweak orders too. It's not as hard as people think, I am always travelling and I can make it work. I travel with Sunwarrior Protein ($35), too. It’s a meal replacement shake that tastes amazing. It’s wholefood and superfood-based has half your daily vitamins and minerals. That's usually breakfast for me. 

B: What’s your favourite food? Splurge meal?

BM: I love apple pie! My fiancé makes a mean one. That plus a scoop of coconut milk vanilla ice-cream, and I am happy as can be. Splurge meal would be a vegan burger with guacamole on a gluten-free bun with sweet potato fries. Not even that much of a splurge (maybe the fries!).

Hair Notes: If your ideal weekend involves a beach to bar excursion (without a stop off in-between), this shiny pony could be your new BFF. To create it, Nader applied a five cent-sized dollop of Oribe's Super Light Moisturizing Cream to damp hair and combed it through. Next, he divided Malcolm’s hair into two sections, clipping the top half away. Using a paddle brush, Nader smoothed out the bottom section, then did the same with the top section. He misted on Oribe's Apres Beach Wave Spray from roots to mid-ends (leaving the ends salty and shine-free), and brushed everything through. Nader finished the look by smoothing hair back away from the face into a low, clean twist and securing with pins.

Makeup Notes: Morgan's challenge was taking a post-beach day face into evening with minimal effort. To do that, she kept things simple by adding layers of taupe shadow over the bronze cream base to create a smoky feel. Highlighter was tapped along cheekbones and the bridge of Malcolm’s nose: “This is a good trick for emphasising a sun-kissed glow,” she says. To finish, lip stain was swapped for a refined nude lipstick (we like Tom Ford’s Lip Color in Blush Nude, $70).

Credits: Bassike Lightweight Crossover Camisole ($280); Susan Driver Atoll Short Drop Necklace ($520); Alex Monroe Fine Twist Hoops ($324).

B: You upload a lot of fitness-related posts on Instagram—what’s the best thing about keeping fit?

BM: It literally makes my life easier. I sleep better, wake better, am happier and more energetic. Working out keeps me in touch with my body. Since I began doing regular, dedicated workouts I am far more kind to myself.

B: Talk us through your exercise routine.

BM: Every day I try to combine mind, body and spirit. After I wake up I do some light yoga (I follow the Sivananda sequence or go to classes at Jivamukti or Kundalini) followed by twenty minutes of meditation. Then I alternate five kilometre fasted runs with floor Pilates. In the afternoons, I box at Aerospace. Sunday is always a rest day—my fiancé and I like to do hikes out of the city.

B: How do you stay in shape when you travel? 

BM: After my usual morning yoga and meditation, I’ll do a light cardio workout like running or jumping rope if my schedule allows for it. In the evenings, I might do a Ballet Beautiful Skype session, and if I can find a pool or a sauna I will also do that to unwind. I love running when I am in a new location too—it’s a great way to see new and amazing sights and take epic photos!

B: You’re known as the model who plays oboe, but you're adept at all sorts of instruments—have you always been musical?

BM: Doing ballet from a young age has made me appreciative of all genres of music. As a child my favourite artist was Tom Waits, so I guess my taste was on point from birth!

B: If we asked you to serenade us, what would you play?

BM: Ennio Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe. All day, every day.

B: What’s next for you?

BM: I'm working nearly every day until the end of the year, so it will be the aeroplane life for me. Coupled with a lot of working out in preparation for the VS show casting in October. After that Nathaniel and I are planning on spending the end of the year in Costa Rica, unplugged. Just surf, raw food, some exploration and relaxation. 

Hair Notes: The only thing more impressive than this “uncontrived and organic” style, is that Nader created it in under two minutes. To do so, he spritzed Malcolm’s hair generously with a glossing spray (similar here), and combed it through. Next, he loosely divided hair on one side of the head in two, scraped everything upwards, coiling strands around each other and pinning in place. Then he did the same on the remaining side, allowing pieces to fall out around the hairline for a beautiful, carefree effect. 

Makeup Notes: The simplest way to transform simple makeup into a bar-ready look? “Add dark brown liner to the waterline and along the roots of your lashes and smudge,” says Morgan. (We like: LÓreal Paris Color Riche Le Kohl Eye Pencil in Midnight Black, $20).“It’s easy to apply—use a hand mirror or your phone’s camera—and looks both lived-in and sultry.” We're sold.

Credits: Ministry Of Style Trekking Tank ($149.95); Rings (as above).

When do you feel most beautiful? Who are your beauty icons? Answer those and the rest of our Byrdie Australia Beauty Board questions below in the comments! 

Photographer: Tāne CoffinHair: Anthony Nader of Raw SalonMakeup: Elsa Morgan of Reload AgencyStylist: Amanda Stavropoulos

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