She’s No. 17 on Forbes’ list of highest paid models in the world in 2016, with an estimated earning of US$4 million a year. She has 8.7 million Instagram followers and counting. She’s the youngest face of French beauty brand Lancome. She’s a regular on the runway of one of the most-watched fashion show on TV, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She’s just 21 years old.
She’s Taylor Hill, and she’s a surprisingly regular girl with her own set of particular quirks, as I find out when I sat down with the leggy beauty in Shanghai.
Taylor Hill casually defies gravity at the Lancome Declaring Happiness exhibition in Shanghai.
On being an “afternoon person” and her beauty routine and essentials
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Taylor Hill: I’m not a morning person. I avoid the morning at all costs. I’m happiest in the afternoon. The first thing I wake up in the morning is I brush my teeth and splash my face with cold water to make me feel awake (coincidentally, Lancome’s fellow ambassador, Lily Collins does that too!).
What’s your beauty routine like?
TH: I only use the Lancome Energie De Vie range because it’s my favourite and it works best for my skin. In the morning, I put on the day moisturiser and toning water. At night, I wash my face then I put on the Energie De Vie Nuit The Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask (five more sleeping masks here to help you wake up with great skin).
How about your inflight essentials?
TH: The Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate Serum – the bottle’s small so it’s really easy to tote around. It’s also super lightweight and makes you feel really fresh. I bring around a hand sanitiser too.
She jetsets in style with her fellow Victoria's Secret angels.
Her beauty and hair tips
What’s the best place to shop for beauty products?
TH: I don’t really have to shop for beauty products (the Her World Beauty Award 2017 winners you have to try) now, but I do like to stroll through the duty-free shops in airports. It’s exciting for me because I have fun spotting myself, and I’ll be like, “Oh, there’s my face” or “There I am!’
How about your best skincare tip?
TH: Wash your face, a lot.
Best beauty tip?
TH: The coolest thing I’ve learnt is that some makeup artists heat up eyelash curlers with a blow dryer. They test it on their skin to make sure it’s not too hot, and they curl your eyelash with it. And I think that’s cool. I mean, you curl your hair with heat, so if you curl your eyelashes with heat, it might stay longer (more beauty hacks here to get rid of split ends).
One of her many #iwokeuplike this selfies. (I don't think Taylor's hair knows what a bad hair day is.)
TH: … on the inside. It’s confidence, always being yourself and going from there.
Last one, your best haircare tip?
TH: My mum’s a hairdresser so I should know this, because all she does is harass me about my hair saying, “You need a haircut, Taylor!’ She still cuts my hair. Hair tip wise, I get a lot of heat styling done to my hair, so the most important thing for me is conditioning it and making sure I always have a really good conditioner or hair mask (here are more hair products to repair damaged tresses). I probably mask my hair about once a week.
I usually do it when I take a bath, because I get confused by the whole "you have to leave it in for five minutes" so then you get in the shower, then do you hang in the shower for five minutes? Anyway, I’ll draw a bath, jump into the shower, get my hair wet put the mask on, throw it into a bun, sit in the bath for 15 minutes, go back into the shower and rinse it out.
On her favourite food and exercise routines
How do you eat well?
TH: I don’t have a specific diet. I believe in eating in moderation, and I exercise.
Training for the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
What’s your favourite cuisine?
TH: I really love Japanese udon. There’s this place in Paris that I go that I absolutely love, but I’m not going to tell you the name because I want it to remain a secret. I love New York pizza – you have to get a New York slice (click here for Singapore’s best pizza places). It’s the best. Sushi, I love it. Spaghetti, anything in Italy basically.
What’s your workout routine like?
TH: I like to switch it up a lot. I think it’s really important to not get used to something, and for your body to constantly be challenged (here’s an easy workout to do to lose weight more effectively). I will do a lot of weight-lifting, with squats and weights, and arm exercises with weights. It’s really good to build up an endurance. And yoga, pilates, crossfit – I’ve done it all. I go to Dogpound (a gym) in New York, where they have a lot of different kinds of workouts. It’s probably one of my favourite environments because you can go there and tell them what you want on that day – leg day, arm day, etc.
She trains with her siblings Mackinley Hill and Chase Hill (they're all models!) at Dogpound, a New York gym that many of her fellow VS angels, as well as Hollywood celebrities, frequent.
On fronting beauty giant Lancome, and fashion shows
How does it feel like to join the Lancome family and what was your first reaction when you were informed that you could be joining them as their global ambassador?
TH: It’s been a really huge honour working with the brand. When I was told about the opportunity and that I had a meeting with them, I was very excited. Before I flew to Paris for the meeting, I googled everything I could about the brand and watched all of Lisa Eldridge’s makeup tutorials and all of the fragrance campaigns with Penelope (Cruz), directed by Peter Lindbergh. I just fell in love with the brand because it was based on the essence of what makes a woman beautiful, and most of it, as far as I got was confidence and self-respect.
One of the many perks of fronting a beauty giant – free lipsticks!
Were you using any Lancome products before that?
TH: I was really young and I used to see my mum using Lancome products, but I didn’t understand skincare (warning: this is the worst thing to combine with when layering your skincare products?) or what it was for. My mum didn’t let me touch makeup until I was 14 and I used to reach out for her Lancome products – they were just so beautiful, with the roses and glass bottles – and she’d smack my hand and say “No!” Now, of course, I know much more about skincare.
What’s the best part of being in a fashion show, and what are you most excited about?
TH: Just seeing everything come together, and being a part of someone’s creative vision is very cool as well. Backstage is always chaos and madness and it’s crazy, seeing all that happen so quickly and next thing you know, it’s over. Then you’re like, “Oh, that’s it?”
Backstage at the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
On guilty pleasures and social media
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
TH: I think for me, it’s mostly bad TV. I like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I also love Disney movies (here’s what goes into a Disney wedding). I watch cartoons and I’ve watched Finding Dory like four times. People go, “You’re 21, you’re an adult. Why do you watch this?” And I don’t care, because I like cartoons.
Any tips for growing your social media following?
TH: I don’t know. I’ve always gone with the flow and made it organic to my life. I don’t really pay attention to how to grow it, I just kind of do it (want to travel the world as a social media influencer? Here’s how to do it). And I think that’s what people like.
How addicted are you to Instagram?
TH: I’m not. People always say I’m the worst because I’ll go a week without posting something then post four photos in a row (learn how to take great Instagram photos here). But I don’t care because that’s just my life. If I don’t want to be on it, I’m not on it. And if I am, then I am.
Staying true to her approach to Instagram and social media, this is one of the many photos of her recent "binge-posting" streak on Instagram.