“I got scouted when I was 14—a long time ago. At the beginning there were a lot of things that happened that I didn’t expect. Like, me walking for Prada. It was such a big moment, and at the time I didn’t really know what was going on, but afterwards it was such a big thing and it was in the newspapers, like ‘First Black Model!’ Then the Italian Vogue all-black issue—that was crazy to be a part of! The things that I put out into the universe, that I said I wanted were a Vogue cover, and I wanted to be in Victoria’s Secret, and I wanted a Maybelline contract. I never said ‘a beauty contract,’ I always said ‘Maybelline.’ When I got my first British Vogue cover and when I first started working with Maybelline, I was overwhelmed and crying with happiness and joy. It’s crazy because you start seeing it everywhere. I’ll go to Boots and there’s me, Super Drug, there’s me, airport, there’s me. It’s like, ‘Ah!’ Whenever I’m out with my son and people come up to me and ask me if I’m Jourdan Dunn, I’ll be like, ‘No.’ But he’s like, ‘Yes you are, mum!’ One time he said it in front of someone! When I won Model of the Year, he was like, ‘See, mummy, you are a model, see?’ He kind of takes the mick out of me. He doesn’t understand why I deny it sometimes.
I’m really excited for 2016 because I’m going to be launching my kid’s clothing line, and that’s been another surreal moment. This has been in talks for two years and now having meetings and seeing samples and picking models is crazy! I had a meeting today for my cookbook! I’m so excited for that. I would love for someone to be like, ‘Yeah, that’s my go-to!’ Of course, if I could chill in my pajamas and loungewear all day, I would. My son and I are very low-key and relaxed.
My beauty routine actually hasn’t really changed since I had my son. If anything it's probably become more intense. I remember the first day I got back home from the hospital [after giving birth]—I woke up in the morning and I did my face and my mum was like, ‘Jourdan, what are you doing? Just relax!’ I have a routine of taking my son to school and traveling and all of that, and it just gets more intense, so I make sure that the products that I use are very hydrating for my skin. Skincare is what burns my pocket because I see new things and I’m like, ‘Ooo! Gotta buy it!’
In my first season, we were backstage at the shows and they would ask me what my skin regimen was because I had amazing skin. I would be like, ‘Oh, I just use Clean & Clear face wash,’ and they were like, ‘Clean & Clear?’ I used that up until I was 19 and then I got my first taste of luxury skincare, which was Crème de La Mer. I got it in a gift bag and my mum joked, ‘Yeah, now you’re going to have to keep on doing this, so we can get this stuff!’ I got my routine from her—she was always big on looking after your skin and making sure you take your makeup off and drink water.
I like to change which products I use from day to night because I feel like you need different things to protect your skin in the daytime, when you’re outside. Then when I’m at home at night, it’s all about care and hydration. In the morning I’ve been playing with a bunch of different cleansers—I used to really love foaming cleansers, but lately I’ve been trying oils and balms. Now I’m using Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, which is really good and just melts on the skin. When I run out of that I run down to the kitchen and just use coconut oil. Then I use my toner, which is Pixi Glow Tonic. Cult Beauty’s blog raved about it and Caroline Hirons' raved about it, so I was like, ‘I’ve got to try it!’ Now I’m hooked! I just love the feeling that it leaves on my skin. It exfoliates as well, so I feel like it’s really doing its job.
Straight after that, I use my SK-II Essence. It’s one of my favorite brands to use. I found it on a trip to Tokyo when I tried the sheet mask. In Tokyo, their skincare regimen is next level and I was so intrigued that they had 11 steps. So after I use my toner, I use the essence and I feel like it just works together with everything. Then I use a vitamin C serum...right now it's Ren. It just adds extra vibrancy to the skin, like a booster to brighten up your complexion. When I'm traveling on planes a lot, my skin can look really tired and dull, so I like to add vitamin C in to fix that. After that, I use Good Genes by Sunday Riley as a second serum. You can do it as a treatment mask, but I can’t really handle the burning sensation on my face. I tried it once and it did make my skin look and feel amazing though. My moisturizer to top it all off is Zelens' [Hydro-Shiso] Balancing Moisturizer. It’s light and gives a nice finish.
There are so many masks I like—particularly SK-II’s sheet mask and Sisley’s Rose Mask. It's more like a lotion you leave on and wipe off whatever doesn't absorb. It’s supposed to plump your skin, so I use it on the plane. There's also my Ling Oxygen Recovery Mask...that’s another hydrating one. With my masks, it’s all about hydrating.
For facials, I go see Debbie [Thomas] in London. I don’t know what she does to my skin, but she always makes it look on point. She uses lasers to even out my skin tone. Also, I’m quite hairy and I had a lot of hair on my face. [Laughs] It’s true! But I’m not anymore because of Debbie. My son the other day was like, ‘Mummy, why do you have a mustache?’ We were in a car! I was like, ‘Why are you talking?’ When I’m [in New York], I go to Ling and do a full cleanse or an oxygen facial or peel.
I didn’t really wear that much makeup growing up, but what my mum did allow me to wear was mascara and it was Maybelline Great Lash, which was my first. It's stuck in my mind because of the pink and green. Now when I’m not working, I don’t wear any makeup because my job makes me wear makeup all the time. When I’m at home chillin’ I just want to have a nice, clean, fresh face.
When I’m going out, I feel like if you have a good base then you’re pretty much good to go, and then put on some mascara. Everybody now is obsessed with contour, so I’ve been trying it out–just subtly. I love that Maybelline has come out with the contouring palette where it shows you the highlight and shade and everything.
One of my favorite things to do myself is eyes. I really like to take the time in the daytime to emphasize my lashes to make them look fuller. I have extensions right now because I’m on holiday and I don’t want to think about putting anything on. But when I don't have them, I love the Lash Sensational.
Girls have gotten so good at makeup because of blogs and Instagram. I see so many normal people just doing their everyday makeup and I think, ‘Oh, I could do that—I want to look like that.’ I used to think I was pretty good, but now I don’t think I am anymore! Everyone's surpassed me. When I do get it right, I’m like, ‘Yes, Jourdan! You look good!’ But then there’s some days where I’m so over it—like if I get the base too dark or too light. It's hard with darker skin tones, obviously. I use my Dream Velvet Foundation because it’s really hydrating, and then I use my concealer. I’ve just now started using powders because it sets it. Traditional foundation and concealer works better than BB cream for me.
With lip colors, I’m all about dark reds or a dark purple. Possessed Plum and Divine Wine are my favorites. I like mattes—and lips are much easier for me to do than eyeshadoes. But with the Nudes and the Rock Nudes, it shows you where to put the colors and which ones go together, so that helps. I like playing around with that, but I do like more natural tones, like browns and blacks.
I cut my hair about a year ago. My agency wanted me to change my hairstyle for a while, but because it was my agency telling me to do it, I didn’t want to do it. My hairstylist is Renda Attia and she’s based in the UK. She’s been wanting me to change up my style for the longest time! It was just long, middle part, dead straight. I wear wigs because it got to the point where my hair was so damaged from work—I remember I was at her salon and she was like, ‘Jourdan, I’m not putting these clips back in your hair, you have no hairline and it’s going to get to the point where you’re going to have no hair, and I’m not going to be held responsible for it.’ We talked about having it in a bob and different bob ideas. It was a fun process. I’m protecting my hair, but at the same time playing with what kind of style I want to do. I have so many wigs now! I have a blue wig, a purple wig, I have long, bob, medium–it’s fun!
My natural hair is just braided now, so I go see my hairstylist every month to take the braids out, wash it, and treat it. On my wigs, use this hair shine–Phyto Subtil Elixir–to protect my hair from heat. I’ll spray that on and then straighten it so it doesn’t look all frizzy. It locks in the moisture. I’m good at straightening, but when it comes to adding waves and all that stuff, I literally send my wigs to my hairstylist and she’ll wash it, treat it, curl it and then send it back to me and boom, got a new ‘do. My hair has grown so much and it’s so strong and healthy, so I kind of don’t want to [let anyone touch it], but when I take my braids out I’m like, ‘Oh my god, that’s actually my hair!’ I think I want to continue to protect it. Maybe in the summer I’ll rock my natural hair.
I’m such rubbish at working out even though I have a trainer and a gym downstairs and cute little workout outfits. But I don’t do it like I should. I’ll be obsessed with it for a month or a week or whatever, but then I just won’t do anything. On my body, I'm simple and use Nivea and Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. Then I always have basics like cocoa butter because my skin is quite dry. I use it right after shower. I also like to use an oil this time of year to really lock in moisture.
I’ve always had a really good relationship with food. I do have my days where I crave fried chicken and I’ll eat that fried chicken, or like today, I had mac’n’cheese and steak. But generally I love eating my veg. I think it’s important for me and, because I have a son, to introduce that to him as well. It's all about putting goodness into your body.”
—as told to ITG
Jourdan Dunn photographed by Tom Newton in New York on December 18, 2015.