My beauty edit: Natasha Ndlovu on feeling beautiful inside and out

Becki Murray
Photo credit: Natasha Ndlovu

From Harper's BAZAAR

As a model, Natasha Ndlovu is in the perfect position to discover the very latest beauty tips and tricks to keep your complexion glowing, body toned and mind healthy. It’s her job to look and feel good, after all.

Luckily, Ndlovu loves nothing more than sharing those precious insider secrets, so we spoke to her about all her beauty essentials, from perfecting a model-approved skincare routine to how social media can make us all beauty experts...

Beauty is...

"Individual. It's about expressing what is natural to you. We don't have to follow the traditional norms of how a woman should be groomed. If you have a little bit of facial hair and you don't want to wax it, that's up to you. Whether it's wearing lots of make-up and doing full contouring or just keeping it simple, it should be your own personal expression."

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My make-up essential is...

"Foundation. It's my number one, especially if I'm having a lot of meetings. I think if your base is right then it makes you so much more confident. I love Estée Lauder's Double Wear Stay In Place Make-Up, or Nars' Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. For me, make-up always starts with foundation."

My trick to 'no make-up make-up' involves...

"A really good brow pencil. Benefit has a nice one, the Goof Proof Pencil. Then, apply mascara and you are good to go. It gives you that 'I've just rolled out of bed but I still look great' look."

Choose mascara with care because...

"It’s not one size fits all. I have really curly lashes naturally but my friends have long, straight ones, so you need to find one a wand that works with your particular lashes. I like Clinique's Lash Power Mascara. I’ve also stopped wearing waterproof formulas. I read that they are too tough on your lashes, unless you're going in water."

Photo credit: Natasha Ndlovu

My beauty philosophy is...

"I believe in taking care of your skin both internally and externally. You can have all of the most amazing face creams out there on your shelf but if you're not eating right, or if you're drinking and smoking excessively, then you aren't going to have the best skin. What you put into your body, comes out through your skin, so you need to eat well, alongside having a good skincare routine."

My skincare routine involves...

"My morning routine starts with washing my face. I love the Tata Harper cleanser or Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Then, I apply a little bit of eye cream, followed by moisturiser."

"It's really at nighttime though that I do a deep cleanse. When I get home I'll remove my make-up and do a double-cleanse. I'll start with an oil-based cleanser, followed by a micellar water or face wash. Then, toner and lotion, because I loosely follow a 10-step Korean-skincare regime. After that, it's eye cream and face cream."

The skincare brands I can't live without are...

Estée Lauder, La Mer, Clinique and Sisley, which I like to keep rotating. Chantecaille also has an amazing Rose Water, which I keep in the fridge and I've just begun using Augustinus Bader's The Cream which is really really good too."


My desert island beauty product is...

"Any form of hyaluronic sheet mask. Garnier does a great one and I also love the ones from Estée Lauder, La Mer and Shiseido. That's what I pack with me when I'm coming on holiday to the beach, because of the sun and the salt on your skin. You never think of hydrating your skin in the same way as you drink water in the heat."

"I'll use a face mask before a shoot too, because I want to make sure my skin is extra prepped and hydrated. I love the selection from Summer Fridays. If I'm feeling tired, I’ll use eye patches too. You can multi-task and do all sorts of things around the house while wearing them."

The best beauty products I've discovered on set...

"Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream and Embryolisse back when it wasn't available in the UK.”

To pamper my body I...

"Go to Dr Prager's clinic for a lympathic drainage treatment called The Body Ballancer. It's a bit like wearing a pair of space trousers and feels a little like being squeezed by a boa constrictor, but it's really good. I also have cryotherapy at Harvey Nichols. I’ve tried both the cold cryo chamber and the hot version, which looks a lot like you're in a tanning bed. I like body treatments that focus on healing and maintaining my muscles as I work out a lot."

After Fashion Week...

"I love to have a facial. My favourites are microdermabrasion or oxygen facials, as they blast out impurities. I enjoy Skin Laundry facials and Face Gym have this machine that kind of shocks your face; it was a new experience for me, but I quite liked it. Other times, I'll just go into Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, and choose from the treatments in their beauty salon. I had a really nice Votary facial there that was all oils from start to finish."


On working out...

"I go to KXU and do a lot of HIIT because I like cardio, as well as boxing. When I've worked out a little too much, I go to a Paula's Bodybarre class, for a lighter session."

"When you get into a gym routine and know you've booked a session, it motivates you. I know that I'll get up in the morning, go do my workout and then come back and work. It gives me a schedule which is the only way I can juggle modelling, my business Vintage Assembly and my blog. I have to be focused and working out definitely has given me more energy and helped my organisation. I tend to schedule meetings after a workout now, meaning I'm not rushing out of bed just before."

Photo credit: Natasha Ndlovu

My followers always want to know...

"Does 'x' product actually work? Or whether a more expensive product is worth the investment. I'm fortunate to be in a position to try mid-to-high level brands and it's important to me to use that to help people find a good product that will actually work for their skin. I get a lot of questions about La Mer's original Moisturising Cream and I would actually recommend it. My sister-in-law's father even uses it and his skin looks amazing. Beauty is my form of luxury. I don't shop a lot of high-end fashion and with skincare, I feel like it's a long-term investment."

My signature scent is...

"When I was younger, I had the Spice Girls perfume and I remember my mum wearing Davidoff Cool Water; that was one of my first grown-up fragrances. When I went to Paris for the first time, I got her a bottle as a gift."

"But, at the moment it's Byredo's Velvet Haze and I also love Le Labo Santal 33 - which is pretty standard in the fashion world. Frederic Malle's Iris Poudre is a really nice one as well. It's like baby powder but for adults - I'm not sure how a liquid scent can feel that way."

I cannot resist...

"Exploring the pharmacies in Paris. I still have the habit of going into them to look for micellar water, from when it wasn't available over here. Now, I just go in and stare at the products. In the UK, I love to go into Space NK and imagine having such a nice house that I can have this big closet to store all my skincare products like Mario Badescu. That's my ultimate goal."

To relax, I...

"Watch Netflix. When I was a kid I could be in my room quietly reading, but now my brain needs constant activity, so I love watching documentaries, foreign films or murder mysteries. I like to get comfy on the sofa, forget about healthy snacks and get a cheeky Deliveroo. My laptop will be all plugged in so it doesn't run out of charge - there's nothing worse than having to get up from that cosy position."

My best fashion tip...

"Stylists are the best people on a shoot because they know everything about where to shop. I would see stylists mixing in vintage pieces and I'd ask them where they got them. That took me to amazing places where you'd spend five or 10 pounds on a bag full of things. I used to sell vintage fashion on ASOS Marketplace and I've recently gone back to my vintage roots with my new site, Vintage Assembly. I pick out items I really like and customise them if necessary, before selling them on."

Photo credit: Natasha Ndlovu

I love vintage fashion because...

"Around Notting Hill, where I live, the vintage fashion culture is really big and I'm trying not to consume too much fast fashion - it affects the environment so much. That Zara dress is everywhere - it has it's own social media account - and you can go on press trips and easily think someone is borrowing from your wardrobe because your suitcases are so similar. Vintage is a way of being more unique"

I find it hard to switch off because…

"Unless I don't have access to WIFI or my phone isn't with me, I automatically want to share things on social media. Even if I'm watching a series on Netflix and something funny happens, I'll tend to recommend it on my feed. My habit is to share things that might be useful to people, so if I'm travelling or at a restaurant, I'll probably post on Instagram Stories tagging it. It's an inherit part of my nature to share things."

For social media success, I recommend...

"IGTV or Instagram Stories. Photos are nice and neat, but you can communicate more easily on Stories. I recently shared a room tour when I went to Paris with Hermes fragrances and that did so well, better than my last styling video, because people are genuinely so interested in seeing a beautiful room in Paris. It's much more useful than just another image."

Photo credit: Natasha Ndlovu

My biggest inspirations are...

"Kerry Washington who is so knowledgeable and really chic and Emily Weiss for what she did with Glossier. I also love Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as she made that transition from model to entrepreneur and I watch her channels a lot for skincare recommendations. Rihanna though would be the individual I'd most love to wear one of my vintage items. You know she would just style a piece so well."

Fashion and beauty needs to...

"Increase age diversity. I still find it weird when a 20-something is the face of an anti-ageing cream. We need more models that relate to that target market as when I see fabulous older women with grey hair, they make everything look so cool. I always think, 'I wish my grandmother would dress like that.'"

"I do like how social media has allowed people to be discovered though. It’s no longer just the standard agency approach where only a few would walk in and make it. Those doors are starting to open but we need to do more."

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