Joan Smalls on what it really takes to survive fashion week

Joan Smalls on what it really takes to survive fashion week

Glamour girl

Text: Renée Batchelor

Puerto Rican-born model Joan Smalls is not just the face of Estée Lauder cosmetics, she's one of the most recognisable models on the catwalks. Here she shares what its like to walk the walk

Think it's easy looking good? Beauty is hard work and looking picture perfect as you catwalk down the runways requires stamina and a dedication to your skincare and haircare routine that only the most professional models understand... hence their longevity. Find out more as Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls shares her pre-Fashion Week prep, what she looks forward to the most at Fashion Week as well as the beauty essentials she needs to get her through this tough time — think face masks, lip balm and lots of vitamins. 

What is your preparation for fashion week like? Do you have any workout or nutrition secrets you can share?
I always have to stay ready throughout the year. Before fashion week, my workouts might focus more on my legs and abs, especially for spring/summer shows.

What is the best part about fashion week for you? What are you most excited about? 
To see my friends! Since we're all in the same city, it's easier to catch up.

What is the hardest part of fashion week?
Jet lag and having no time to get adjusted. You just work through it.

Which beauty products are always in your bag when you're running around from shows to parties and everything in between?
Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Blooming Lip Balm and a powder compact.

What else is always in your bag that helps you survive the week?
Chewing gum, vitamins, and sunglasses.

How does your beauty routine change leading up to fashion week and during? Are there any special things you do to prep your skin?
I use face masks to hydrate my skin during the show seasons to counteract all of the makeup that's going on and getting rubbed off. I love the Advanced Night Repair PowerFoil Mask, and it's so easy to carry with me.

Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask

How did you feel during your very first fashion week? How different is it now after having walked a few runways and been to all of the parties? 
It was all so new and exciting. Now I've built friendships and I feel more comfortable in a room, but it's still exciting. I get to enjoy it more now.

How do you keep your energy up throughout the hectic days?
Going to bed early on the nights when I can and making sure to work out every day for at least 30 minutes. I also make sure to drink fresh juices and smoothies.

And then how do you find time to relax and wind down? What do you do to center yourself?
Listen to music, dance in my apartment, and, if I have time, I'll cook for my boyfriend. Cooking Puerto Rican food makes me feel at home.

Any guilty pleasures you can't get through fashion week without? 
Sugar. I love a warm dessert with ice cream.

Any inspirational quotes, songs  or scents that get you through the month? What are they?
I put lots of inspirational quotes in my phone that I set as reminders to read throughout the day.

What is your no-fail trick to looking bright-eyed, awake, and camera-ready, even when you're feeling exhausted?
Curling my lashes and applying mascara, and of course concealer. I love Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer in Medium Deep, because it has a yellow undertone and the serum end really brightens.

Estée Lauder PerfectionistEstée Lauder Pure Color Envy Blooming Lip Balm Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer in Medium Deep
Of all the fashion weeks around the world, which city is your favorite and why?
Paris — it's the last one, and everyone is more at ease because they're closer to the finish line! 

What is the first thing you do after you've wrapped your last show?
If I can escape to the Caribbean, that does it for me. Being in the warm waters relaxes me. Eating a good baked mac and cheese helps, too. And basil chicken Thai fried rice!