"Before I started modeling, I never had anything like a facial, manicure, or pedicure. I grew up in Merredin, Western Australia—on a farm in the Wheatbelt, out in the bush with bug bites and go-karts. We used to have fun with makeup at school, though. It was so ‘90s…we wore chokers and eyeliner and did braids in our hair and wore dark lip liner and stuff like that. I was kind of goth—a little bit darker when I was in school.
Now, I think less is more…I leave my skin alone, and it’s good. Water is my best friend, and when I drink tons of it, it just changes everything. For day-to-day makeup, I wear Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and mix it with a luminizer or bronzer. I love Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer—It’s a great base and has a matte finish. My skin tends to suck in all foundation, but putting that primer underneath makes it hold whatever I put on top.
I love L’Oréal's Voluminous Original Mascara—it’s been my mascara for 10 years. It’s thickening, lengthening, and really soft as well. You can clump it up like they did in the ‘70s or keep it fresh and light. I also love a little bit of liquid eyeliner if I’m going out.
I don’t do anything to my brows—just brush them. I’m lucky to have really thick brows. I usually put bronzer on the contour of my eye to get a little definition and then put it around my temples. I use the Luma Bronzing Powder or Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate. I’ll also use Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer and the Urban Decay Naked Palette on my eyes. Their browns are beautiful. Then, my secret is to put lip gloss on my eyelids—I love doing that. I’ve been using Napoleon Perdis' Pro Lips Lip Gloss Blanc—he’s Australian. But for actual application on the lips, his Auto Pilot Overnight Lip Balm is just so nourishing. If I want my lips to look full but natural, I line them with Laura Mercier's Lip Pencil in Natural Lips all over, then I smudge it in. I've had it forever. Those are my two secrets—gloss on my eyes and lip liner to make my lips look really bee-stung.
I’m really tan right now, but underneath it I’m very pale—not olive-toned at all. I like a natural glow—Australians are all about that—but the sun changes your skin, makes your pores bigger, and brings out sunspots. For those reasons, I’m big into natural-looking fake tans. I used to use St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, but [Australian former Miss Universe] Jennifer Hawkins has a tanning line called Jbronze, and that’s the best self-tanner I’ve ever used. It’s not streaky at all, and it doesn’t smell. It’s amazing—really natural looking. I also have a new obsession because of Heather Airbrush Tanning in LA. They do organic spray tanning there, which means they’ve built their tan so that it oxidizes your skin, kind of like what happens when you cut an apple. Because I’m breastfeeding, I think that’s pretty cool. If you get a good spray tan, I don’t think there’s anything to maintaining it—just put on moisturizer to keep it fresh, and try not to shower too heavily. For the first five days after I get it done, I don’t need to wear any foundation. I feel that with a good tan you don’t need makeup because it evens out your skin.
Zion is my first child. I had a really great pregnancy. I flew so much when I was pregnant with him—even now, he’s been on something like 27 flights in six months because we went on tour with my fiancé [musician Gary Clark, Jr.]. Everything with my beauty routine changed when I was pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you’re just glorious—you look so much more beautiful. I loved having that little bit of extra meat on me, too. You look so dewy and glow-y. Pregnancy is like the best beauty secret.
It was the best day ever to model with [Zion] for Elle Australia. It was amazing to have my two worlds collide, and it was so cute to have him be at work with me. The breastfeeding shot came about because it’s a normal thing. In Australia, it’s so normal that when they sent me the photo for approval, I thought it was just because of the semi-nudity. I was so excited to have it taken, and when they chose it [for the cover] I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was actually the first breastfeeding cover ever, and I had no idea about that either, so it was a beautiful moment for me. It was important for my family, too, because my fiancé had been uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public, and after that, he saw the impact it made and how it could be for our generation to embrace it and be supportive of our partners so that we see a shift."
—as told to ITG
Nicole Trunfio photographed by Tom Newton on July 8, 2015.