As a supermodel, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Petra Nemcova finds herself spending half her life on airplanes. Fresh from a visit to Indonesia, where her Happy Hearts Fund is building schools for the survivors of two major earthquakes, she breezed into New York City Wednesday for the LinkedIn Discussion Series with LinkedIn's career expert Nicole Williams and then it was off to Chicago for an appearance at the La Perla lingerie store. Like most experienced travelers, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model has always slathered on moisturizer (Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is her product of choice) to counter the dehydration from a long flight, as is their All About Eyes eye cream ($50; clinique.com) -- she’s the brand ambassador.
But equally important to maintaining beauty across time zones is the ability to sleep comfortably under the harsh lights of an airplane. For years, the Czech-born beauty tried different eye masks. “I would wake up and my eyelashes, one would be turned this way and the other that way because the masks were too tight and would make my lashes go in weird directions” or leave red lines. During her travels to Peru, where her foundation has rebuilt 8 schools since the the 2007 earthquake, she discovered the wonders of baby alpaca. Known as the “the fiber of the gods” by Incan royalty, baby alpaca is "hypoallergenic and warmer than wool,” she says. So naturally it forms the basis for the luxury eye mask from her Be The Light collection, which consists of products inspired by her world travels. The $99 mask (bethelightny.com), part of the Peru Collection -- 15% of the cost is donated to the Happy Hearts Fund programs in the country -- is lined with silk and has an adjustable band so that it isn’t too tight. “I need to have that with me, always, because that is part of the beauty, that the face doesn’t have weird marks on it from a mask,” Nemcova told us.
Nemcova is so busy she barely has time to register that she will turn 35 in June, an age some consider ancient for supermodels. “I don’t pay attention to age. I feel very comfortable in my own skin, I know more who I am and who I want to be," she says. "I’m very happy. Age is overrated, it depends on how you feel on the inside.’’
-- Susan Houriet