Insider Beauty Tips From My Little Sister, The Model

I interviewed my own baby sister, a working model in New York, to find out what the business has taught her about beauty.

My sister Nina is a working model in NYC. She’s only 18, but has already modeled for American Apparel, Kate Spade, Diane von Furstenberg and Nike, just to name a few. It’s been an amazing journey watching her evolve from baby sister to model, but I think I know better than anyone, she was born to do this.

Even though we’re nine years apart, we’re super-close, and we always share beauty tips with each other. I had to interview her because the pro beauty tips she’s picked up along the way are not just secrets for models--mere mortals can use them too!

Here’s what Nina had to say.

NICOLE: Are you good at applying your own makeup?

NINA: Yes. I have gotten so much better at applying makeup since I started modeling. I pay close attention to what the artists do and pick up the techniques I like. My favorite is not to apply foundation to the entire face; only apply it to the nose and cheeks and blend outward (or any spots that you really need it) then cover any other imperfections with concealer.

Another great tip I've learned is to put a thin layer of lipstick on your lips before lining them with pencil; then, after lining them, you can go ahead and layer on as much as you'd like. That way, you’re first getting the natural shape of your lips to follow with the pencil, so nothing looks overdone.

Have you ever had any beauty disasters?

YES. Absolutely. I have this bad habit of doing my makeup in my room, which is really dark. There have been a few occasions where I've stepped out of my house with a huge orange line on my jaw. Let’s just say I've learned from my mistakes and always try to do makeup in natural lighting.

What's in your makeup bag?

Palmer's Cocoa Butter lip balm, Estée Lauder translucent powder, eyebrow gel, Diorshow mascara, Palladio oil-blotting papers. I also always carry around my favorite lipstick of the moment. Right now it's Revlon's Berry Haute.

How would you describe your usual beauty look?

My go-to look is always a thick black winged cat eye (Stila liquid eyeliner is my favorite), a really matte finish foundation, and for night I’ll add a really colorful lipstick. I come from a vintage Barbie collecting family, so I'm definitely influenced by the '60s.

What's your go-to beauty look for castings?

Less is definitely more. I always use a good powder. I like to bring out my blue eyes, so I always layer on lots of black mascara. And for a final touch, I usually put a little blush on my cheekbones: Benefit Coralista is my favorite. I try to keep it super-simple and natural.

How do you keep your skin looking good?

Drinking lots of water always makes my skin look healthier and brighter. If I know I have an important shoot coming up , I'll drink four liters a day. If I'm not working, I will wear absolutely NO makeup at all. And most importantly, if I am wearing makeup, taking ALL of it off is crucial. I use DHC Cleansing Oil followed by my regular face-washing routine.

What do you love most about being a model?

Working with incredibly creative people. I've learned so much about photography, styling, hair, and makeup just by watching the professionals. It definitely makes me feel like I could go into one of these professions one day. Especially photography; before modeling I never knew that shooting from below will make you look taller. Or that when shooting in natural light the sun should be behind the photographer.

What's your ultimate beauty tip?

Afrin nasal spray on a pimple; it will immediately take the redness and swelling down. Also, wash your hair as little as possible! My hair is super-long and healthy despite all the products and heat styling that gets done to it. That's because I only wash it about two or three times a week.

She makes me so proud! And she wants you to know that I'm the one that introduced her to cleansing oil.