Twenty-seven-year-old actor, model, designer and activist Emily Ratajkowski is #goals in more ways than one. She’s flooding our Instagram feeds in her cute bikinis, she maintains an envious holiday tan all year round, and with her forthright social and political views on issues like body shaming and women’s rights, she’s a proud member of the sisterhood. After shooting to fame with Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred lines’ music video, she starred as Ben Affleck’s hot mistress in Gone Girl (2014), in the Netflix series Easy, and most recently alongside Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty (2018). We caught up with Ratajkowski in Paris to celebrate her first fragrance campaign for Paco Rabanne’s Pure XS for Her, and quizzed her on everything. She shared her (surprisingly easy, yet efficient) routine that helps maintain her otherworldly glow, and her advice for always feeling confident, like a true Paco Rabanne girl.
ELLE: What was your first thought when you smelled Paco Rabanne Pure XS for Her?
Emily Ratajkowski: It feels very exotic and tropical. I grew up in southern California, right near the beach, and I spent a lot of time in Majorca as well. [The fragrance] captures the moment when the sun is coming down, and the happy feeling of being out in the sun all day. It’s the scent that makes your skin feel good.
ELLE: The Paco Rabanne girl is unapologetically sensual. How do you define sensuality?
ER: It’s about confidence. Sensuality doesn’t exist without an attitude of confidence. What makes someone sexy is not the way they look, but the way they carry themselves. You’ll notice this with men too—it’s not always about their looks.
ELLE: Do you have a female icon?
ER: It’d probably be Bianca Jagger. Not everyone thinks she’s super sexy, but she has a swagger and style—she was not posing in bathing suits all the time—and that is very sexy to me. Often the sexiest women aren’t even models. They are just regular women, who love themselves, and they wear this one thing all the time and they look great in it—actually French women are a lot like that.
ELLE: Celebrities tend to shy away from expressing their social and political views. What moved you to speak up?
ER: Even though I’ve always been interested in fashion, the reason that I like the industry is because of the women. I like women, so to not talk about the issues that impact us [like
body shaming] is counterproductive and counter-intuitive to me. What’s interesting is that everyone has a platform to speak up now; you don’t have to wait for an interview to come out. You can share your ideas directly with your audience, and it’s very important we use these [social media] platforms. Even the projects I take on are aligned to these ideas, and that’s what makes Paco Rabanne a good fit.
ELLE: What’s your daily beauty routine?
ER: I wash my face twice a day— that’s very important. I use a Sisley oil when I’m travelling and a retinol every other night. It’s very simple, but it helps me stay consistent since I travel so much.
ELLE: How do you stay healthy?
ER: Honestly, it’s so simple, and everyone will hate me for saying this, but it’s all about drinking lots of water. It’s easy to just wake up, drink coffee and crash, but you have to keep drinking water to flush everything out.
ELLE: What do you do to look so fresh after long flights?
ER: Pray to God! I drink a ton of water and over-moisturise my skin. You can put as much face oil as you want. If it looks greasy, just pat it down. It’s important to keep skin hydrated because there’s no way to hide dry skin.
ELLE: What are some simple beauty tips that go a long way?
ER: I have a lot of these. With skincare, I would say, definitely wash your face at night. I used to be the girl who went to sleep with make-up on. I was 20 and I looked fine, but oh my God, it made such a huge difference once I started washing my face every night. My skin looked even, and now I don’t have to wear so much make-up. I also never put my face in the sun, I always wear a hat. I like using hairspray to brush out my brows. Just spray some on a little spoolie, brush your brows and they just stay. Another tip is using lipstick as blush. The texture is so much better than powder.