Having recently picked up her wings as Victoria Secret’s newest recruit (the first redhead ever to do so), we asked her to spill on everything from beauty trends she can’t get on board with (over-vigorous facial massages), unsuccessful run-ins with laser hair removal (ouch) and her secret to keeping her skin on top form (expert advice).
Brit-born, northern lass Alexina Graham is a lesson in keeping your head held high, ignoring the haters and cracking on. Bullied in school for her looks, she’s since taken the modelling world by storm. Crucially though, she doesn’t take herself to seriously. And, she’s not above calling in her glam squad as backing dancers for an impromptu rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, while singing into a can of hairspray.
Here we take a rifle through her makeup bag…
What does a normal morning routine look like for you?
I wake up and I’m always super hungry, so breakfast is a first. I usually make myself poached eggs on white toast with a Yorkshire cup of tea. I always take my breakfast back to bed and eat it in bed while I watch the news. I then go and jump straight in the shower, throw on my workout clothes and hit the gym. I like to train in the morning and get it out of the way for the day. I’m usually training around 9 or 10 am depending on my schedule for the day.
What is your go-to makeup look at the moment?
I am really simple with makeup. Because I wear a lot of it for my job, I like to be very minimalistic on my days off and let my skin breath. I apply a little concealer to red areas and pimples, always use a lip balm, brush my eyebrows up with some gel and then apply a lot of black mascara to make my eyes pop as my eyelashes are so blonde.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I’m very quick in the morning. I would say it takes me a maximum of 20 minutes to be up, ready and out the door.
What’s been your biggest beauty disaster?
I haven’t really had a beauty disaster in terms of makeup. I did try laser hair removal. I did about six rounds which was really painful and then I find out it doesn’t even work on redheads, as we don’t have the correct pigment in our hair. So, I really went through beauty pain for no reason at all.
Where do you like to shop for your products?
I actually now have a very good dermatologist and facialist who looks after my skin so well. It took me a long time to find the right products that were right for my skin type. I flare up with rosacea once a month – I think from having so much makeup and oil applied to my skin daily. I use a facial wash, toner and special moisturiser from my dermatologist, especially for rosacea and I have a heavier wrinkle cream I use from my facialist.
Makeup-wise, I use Maybelline for my mascara and I just started using Charlotte Tilbury products since I worked with her for the VS show last year in NYC. Her cover up, and glow for the cheeks is really amazing and makes you feel gorgeous.
Where do you take inspiration from?
From the women around me. My friends and my family have a big impact on my life, so they’re the people who I look up to. They mean the most to me and inspire me every day. In everyday life and in beauty. My grandma is 84 and she looks like 64, I love to know her beauty secrets and what keeps her looking and feeling so young.
Who do you take inspiration from? Who do you think is the most inspiring/fearless women in the beauty industry?
Jane Fonda, hands down. She is inspiring as a woman, someone to look up to, beautiful, fearless, has a voice, wants to make the world better and she has amazing skin and beauty. I met her backstage at a show two years ago and I was speechless, not because of who she was but because her presence and beauty were outstanding.
What surprising things do you find beautiful?
Wrinkles. I find them beautiful; they show our history on our face. Our life lines as I like to call them. Laughter, sadness, frowns, anger and happiness – it’s all shown on our face through wrinkles.
What’s a beauty trend you’ve never been able to get on board with/a technique you’ll never master?
I remember that metal stick or metal ball that people use to rub their face with. I never really understood it, why they did it or what it did and I still don’t understand. The same about this new massage technique for your face called face gym. Apparently you get slapped about. People I talk to say it does change your face but only for a few hours. I just don’t understand why you would pay the money for a few hours of change and to get slapped in the face a lot. LOL!
What’s the first beauty product you ever bought/your most nostalgic?
My first beauty product was a black mascara from Revlon. I remember one day after school going with my friends in to a Boots and looking at the makeup stands. Revlon was the first mascara I picked up. It was the Revlon dramatic definition mascara.
What’s your best beauty hack?
If you don’t have your eyelash curlers, a small spoon comes in handy just as well. I once saw a makeup artist do this on me and it worked wonders.
What’s your biggest splurge?
My biggest splurge for beauty has been getting myself a good facialist. Especially as I hit 28, I decided I needed someone who I trusted to take care of my skin once a month,
What’s your best budget buy?
Burts Bees lip balm, I use it every day and it works wonders for my lips.
What does beauty mean to you?
Feeling good in your own skin, confidence, loving yourself for who you are but then that extra something that makes us feel good, is a great bonus to. We all have those days when we feel like we need an extra bit of help in the morning. Makeup is great for that.