It’s sunny and warm on the rooftop patio of West Hollywood’s storied celebrity haunt Chateau Marmont where I meet with Emily Ratajkowski. The straight-talking model, actress and Kérastase ambassador is known for her vocal support of women and glorious DGAF attitude toward anyone who tries to shame her for daring to love her body.
In real life, as online, she exudes a confidence that’s contagious. But, as the 27-year-old tells me, it’s not like she doesn’t still struggle with self-acceptance. “Of course, it’s a lifelong battle,” she says of learning to be happy with herself. “Everyday you need to give yourself a break and really love yourself, as cliché as that sounds.”
Here, we talk growing up, great hair and her Game of Thrones alter-ego.
HAIR HERO “Gisele has incredible hair. She was on that Vogue cover and I saw it and was like, ‘Okay, so the queen is around and still reigning.”
HAIR CARE “I have a lot of hair, but it’s fine and it splits really easily. I get a trim on a regular basis and deep condition once a month. The Kérastase masks are amazing; I do a face mask at the same time. You wash it out and feel like a new person. I mix up the products I use a lot, but the Elixir [Ultime] is a must-have for the ends of my hair when I travel. I do really love the Aura Botanica line because it’s a little bit lighter and it smells really good—but it just depends on what’s going on with my hair.”
FASHION MOMENT “I’m obsessed with the French designer Jacquemus. He’s a friend of mine. I have some of his very small purses—like, very small. You can’t fit anything in there, but, God, you look cute.”
MAKEUP STAPLES “I just got the new palette from Pat McGrath. The pigments are so good. I love Cloud Paint blush from Glossier. I’m all about dewy skin. I want to look like I never really use a powder.”
SKINCARE STAPLES “There was a time in my twenties where I would be like, ‘I’m not washing my face. I’m fine.’ And I would be! Now, I always wash my face and I get regular facials with Joanna Vargas and Shani Darden, which I’m grateful for. I also use retinol.”
FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT “Honestly, I love following Kylie Jenner. I’m totally into it. I’m curious about her life and want to know what’s going on. Also, someone sent me a post from @theyellowhairedgirl [below] and I was like ‘So this is what I should have tattooed on my forehead.’” [Laughs]
LAST THING YOU ORDERED TO EAT “Thai food on Postmates. I’m a Thai-food junkie.”
LABEL MAKER “I always go between ‘feminist’ and ‘activist.’ I work with Black Lives Matter, and I obviously feel strongly about a lot of different political issues in this climate. But my main message is about women choosing—not just in a health situation but also their identity and their lifestyle and the way they dress. Having that freedom and having that power—that’s what feminism is about.”
LAUGH TRACK “My friend who lives in Australia doesn’t have access to Game of Thrones so we decided to watch the last two episodes together, and I told her that I thought I was The Hound. She was like, ‘Not Khaleesi?!’ Right in that moment, I was really feeling The Hound. [Laughs] He’s so badass. She told me I should wear it for a sexy halloween costume next year. I was like, ‘OK!’”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? “The people who are close to me—my friends and my husband and the people I’ve found in my life. The fact that they like me makes me feel proud.” [Laughs]
A version of this article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.