Ashley Graham on How to Get Warm, Glowing Skin in the Middle of Winter
If there's one thing Ashley Graham is going to do, it's look damn good.
With that said, it's easy to see how while the rest of us are here rotting on the couch (myself included, honestly), the model and mother has been giving all 12 million of her Instagram followers life with her photos — whether from a professional shoot, selfies, or just candids.
Plus, despite the fact that the sun is a foreign concept to most at this point (although you should still be wearing SPF every single day), Graham has somehow managed to maintain a warm complexion. And now, we know why.
On Feb. 3, the star announced that she had signed on as a global brand ambassador for St. Tropez. A few weeks later, she shared that she had launched her very own product with the self-tanner brand: the St.Tropez Tan x Ashley Graham Limited Edition Ultimate Glow Kit.
Here, we sat down with the superstar model to talk her new buildable, hydrating self-tanner, the at-home beauty routine she's currently following, and why she's never been a bath person.
First things first, how are you? How's the family? It's been almost a year since we've been in this predicament.
Ugh, I know. I saw a meme on Instagram, and it said, "Happy birthday, COVID!" It was like ahhh. But you know what, we're doing really great. For six months of last year, we were in Nebraska. Then we came back to New York in September, and we've been back ever since. You know, we're home — New York is home. And it's nice to be amongst New Yorkers who are really in this together. Justin, Isaac, and I, we're all in this together with all the other New Yorkers.
Aww, yeah. So tell me a little bit about your relationship with St. Tropez and why it made sense for you to start working with the brand.
St. Tropez and I — well first of all, I knew about them before they knew about me [laughs]. I've been using them since — oh my God, I don't even know when. I was like, late teens? I realized that I didn't want to hurt my skin any more, so I stopped going to tanning beds and I stopped laying out as much. Then I realized I have to figure out how to use self-tanner, because I'm traveling the world as a model and I still need to keep a natural glow. So it was really great that I was able to, first of all, figure out how to do a self-tan, but also when they called me, it just felt like this natural collaboration because I had been using them for so long. Also, when you're talking about self-tan and you're talking about it in the luxury sense, you're only talking about St. Tropez. Second of all, to be able to design my own self-tanner with them, that's kind of like a dream come true. It's something that's mine and smells the way I want it to, it applies the way I want it to, and it comes out of the bottle the way I want it to. It's just beautifully done.
I love that you started using the brand as a teen. Now I want to know more about some of your experiences with self-tanner. How did you learn to do it properly? 'Cause it's trial-and-error, honestly.
No, it really is. Like, the mitt is your best friend. And I did not know that, so you can imagine what my palms looked like after a session. Your palms are just there, always looking back at you. Now, knowing how easy it is to use, and if I would have known that I needed a mitt then, you know, my life probably would have gone a little differently [laughs]. But at the time, I also didn't know what kind of ingredients were in it. I guess when you're a teen you don't really care, but now I'm in my early — oh, I'm almost in my mid-30s. That felt weird. But it's important! For me, it's all about hydration. So [my kit has] got hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, and vitamin E — all things that are going to keep you super glowy and moisturized.
To shop: $55; ulta.com
Tell me more about the formula.
It's super buildable. You can walk away with a very light glow, or you can look like you were just in Hawaii for a month. I had a really clear vision when it came to the formula and the scent. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't sticky. I wanted to make sure that when my husband came over and snuggled with me at night, it wasn't going to transfer on him, transfer on the sheets, and also that he wasn't going to be disgusted by the scent. So, in many ways, I was thinking of him as I was creating it [laughs]. But it smells so good. It has this sophisticated, luxurious scent.
And you can use it across all skin tones?
100%! Plus, no matter what skin tone you are, it's very hydrating. It's going to be that natural hydrator for you.
Aside from St. Tropez, what are some other ways you're taking care of your skin these days?
I did go out and buy one of those face mask things with the light inside, and I do have to say, I use it. Sometimes I get a little redness, and the red LED lights help. I don't know what it is — it's magic, and it's working. For my body, I'm not a bath person, I don't know, are you a bath person?
I'm a shower person, personally.
Same. My mom scared me as a kid and was like, "If you take too many baths, you're going to get a yeast infection."
Yeah, I don't know. It was never that appealing to me.
Nope! Also, as a new mom, I don't have time. So I just take a shower. My favorite soap is the SheaMoisture African Black Soap. Then, I love an exfoliator — St. Tropez has this gorgeous exfoliator. Two days before I do my tan, I get all the bits off. Honestly, I keep it easy and fast. I just use the right products.
VIDEO: Ashley Graham Showed Off Her Postpartum Stretch Marks in a New Swimsuit Campaign
Other than having a warm complexion, what are some of your other beauty goals for 2021?
For me, I really want to learn how to keep my skin super hydrated. I think skin is always in and it's not a trend. It's not just about face, but it's about head-to-toe. Also, for so many years, I didn't take care of my hair and now I do hair masks. I make sure I'm reading the bottles so I know what I'm putting in my hair, I think that it's helpful.
Well, your hair looks great. So whatever you're doing is working!
Yeah, but this is like a whole pack of extensions — let's be honest.
Ha! I love that you've just kept it real this whole conversation.
It's all I can be!