I had a feeling I would like Hailey Baldwin. My suspicions started last February when she did Self Service's questionnaire. The magazine asked Baldwin to name her least favourite word and least favourite sound, to which she replied "panties" and "aeroplane toilets flushing." These are my least favourite word and sound. What are the odds? Six months later, when I learned I'd be speaking with the model in honour of Sephora's 400th store opening on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, it felt like kismet. I knew we'd have tons to talk about.
It's been a busy year for Baldwin. Her 2016 calendar has overflowed with campaigns and runway shows for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Moschino and H&M. She's appeared in Vogue Korea and graced the cover of Marie Claire. Meanwhile, her personal beauty look is "glowing up" at the same pace. Baldwin is quickly joining the ranks of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid as one of the decade's foremost beauty It girls.
Sadly, I couldn't get to Chicago in time to meet Baldwin in person at the new Sephora store, so we settled to chat by phone. Minor setback—even from 2000 miles away, Baldwin's relaxed, personable demeanour was crystal-clear. She bears all the symptoms of a supermodel on the rise: the down-to-earth attitude and slight sense of bewilderment at what her life is becoming.
I only had 10 minutes with Baldwin, so we really packed it in. To learn all about her model diet, her celebrity crush and her ride-or-die beauty products, keep scrolling.
As evidenced by these majestic Polaroids, Baldwin's highlight is always 100% on point. We'd barely exchanged names before I asked her what she uses. Unsurprisingly, her list of go-to highlighters is long. "I like to use liquid and cream highlighters," she said. "Becca, Laura Mercier and Smashbox are my favourites." Baldwin told me she rarely wears powder products unless she's hitting a red carpet. "So I don't look shiny," she said. Otherwise, she likes to keep her finish as dewy as possible.
Baldwin told me the red carpet and photo shoots are the only circumstances under which she has her makeup professionally done. If she could attempt any beauty-related profession other than her own, she said it'd undoubtedly be a makeup artist. "I love to do my own makeup in everyday life," she told me. (One of her favourite products to use on herself is Dior's Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm (£20), which she said is her favourite product sold at Sephora.)
I didn't see it in person, but I caught wind of Baldwin's look the day of our conversation before the photos came in—her big curly bun, dark arched brows and deep maroon lip resurrected Cindy Crawford circa 1992.
But Baldwin's personal beauty icon comes from a more modern era. "Are there any celebrities you have a beauty crush on?" I asked her. "Margot Robbie," she answered without a second of hesitation, praising the actress's breezy, timeless aesthetic. "I love classic, effortless beauty," Baldwin said. "That's beautiful to me—when it seems like you didn't try."
Of course, Baldwin begins crafting her image well before makeup enters the picture—skincare, diet and fitness play a big role. As for her skincare routine, Baldwin swears by dermatologist-approved brand EltaMD. She says she likes to keep it "really simple." Just face wash, toner, moisturiser and sunscreen.
Her nutrition and fitness habits are significantly more extreme, which I was actually relieved to hear. It can be discouraging to read interview after interview of stick-thin models claiming to eat pizza and fast food for every meal. But when I asked Baldwin about her diet and workout regimen, she was perfectly candid—pizza and fast food do not make it into her daily plan.
"Right now I'm on this 10-day metabolic cleanse where I have to drink a protein shake a few times a day and then have a super-strict diet," she said, letting me know that it was difficult and nothing like the model field trips to In-N-Out we're so used to hearing about. "I obviously don't do that every day," she qualified. "But otherwise, I do eat really healthy. A lot of vegetables and fish, not much meat, minimal dairy. I just feel better when I eat that way."
Baldwin's workout routine is equally devout, involving a rotation of Pilates, yoga, and barre. "I used to be a ballet dancer, so I enjoy those types of workouts," she said.
Finally—validation that supermodels do have to work to stay in shape. That said, I had to ask her: "What does a really good cheat day look like?"
"A really good cheat day?" she said. "A cheeseburger and fries."
Though she works hard behind the scenes, Baldwin's social media presence makes her life look devastatingly glamorous. Take it from her 7.5 million Instagram followers, who get a daily taste of her model life in the form of behind-the-scenes fashion week snaps, sneak peeks at photo shoots and glowy-faced selfies with famous friends from Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner to Justine Skye.
Again, Baldwin's too-cool Instagrams don't come without effort. "I use the VSCO app for the lighting," she says. Beyond that, though, she tries not obsess over her posts. "If I like the photo I'll post it, and that's it," she told me. "I don't really think too much about it. I like selfies; I don't post too much when I'm working. I'm pretty chill about it."
By now, I had the impression that Baldwin was a truth-teller, so when I asked her to paint a picture of the average day in her life—the worst and the best of it—I knew she'd give me a real answer.
Baldwin's schedule requires her to wake up early most of the time, which she considers her least favourite part of life as a supermodel. But after all her hectic obligations are over—flights, shoots, interviews and appearances—come the quiet moments that Baldwin says she lives for. "I always look forward to spending time alone," she told me. "To watching TV, to chilling by myself."
In the final seconds of our interview, I heard some shuffling in the background, before Baldwin told me she had to run. "Sorry, I have to catch a flight!" she said. I didn't get the chance to ask Baldwin where she was going, but I thanked her for her time and let her off the phone. I dreaded the sound of the aeroplane toilet flush on her behalf but felt comforted to know that a quiet night in some posh hotel room was surely on the way.