Cynthia Bailey on being an entrepreneur, her beauty routine, and motherhood.(Photo: Instagram)
Fans of Real Housewives of Atlanta know Cynthia Bailey as a glamorous, sophisticated former model, mom, wife, and the creator of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion. We caught up with Bailey at the Birchbox Road Trip event in Atlanta recently. From washing her face with bottled water, to concealing dark under eye circles, the reality star and entrepreneur talked beauty, motherhood, and what it’s like to be taller than the boys as a teenager.
Yahoo Beauty: You are 5’ 10’’. Before becoming a model, and even before being high school homecoming queen, did you ever feel insecure about your height, or was it something you loved?
Cynthia Bailey: Growing up, I was very tall. In high school, I was 5’10. I was skinny. That was not liked in high school. All the cute girls that all the boys liked were shorter and a little shapelier. I was a beanpole! I was like, “Why do I have to be so tall? Why do I have to be so skinny?” The cheerleaders in high school were all super cute and short. I remember feeling like I wasn’t like everybody else. I didn’t see the value in being different at that point in my life.
How did it affect your confidence, if at all?
Those are the years you’re trying to find your identity and who you are. The thing about school is that you tend to gravitate to want to be like everyone else.
In the end, height was in your favor. What have you learned about beauty from being a model?
The thing that modeling has taught me about beauty is that it’s really individual. I work with so many different types of beauties, as a model. It’s not so much traditional. It’s about working with what you have and owning it. Confidence is so much of a part of being beautiful. I’ve met so many women who weren’t model-beautiful. Their confidence and everything about them is so beautiful to me.
What makes you feel confident?
Self love. I love myself. Trying to be my best self that I can be. I love trying to be a good person. I love doing things. I love looking good. I love being a mom, being a wife, being a daughter, a friend.
How did living in New York and in Paris shape your beauty routine, after residing in Alabama?
After six months of being in New York, the first place I ever went abroad was Paris. I love Paris for a number of reasons, but at that time the water was very hard. I actually would buy bottled water to wash my face with, because I found that whatever was in the water at that time was very hard on my skin. I would break out. I used the same products I was using, but I couldn’t use the tap water.
Are there products you found during your modeling days that you will never give up, and still use today?
I have insomnia. I don’t sleep well at all. Dark circles run in my family. Kevyn Aucoin concealer is the truth. From the moment I was introduced to it years ago, I’ve been using it ever since. A little goes a long way. It lasts for a long time – over a year.
In terms of photoshoots and projects, which has been your favorite?
My first cover of Essence, I had a big Afro. That’s my favorite, because it’s my first. Your first is truly special. It jump-started my whole career. Back home in Alabama, all my people could see it. If I didn’t do anything except for that, I would have been a success in my own mind. I consider myself an Essence woman.
What gave you the confidence to start your school of fashion, The Bailey Agency?
As a veteran of the business, parents and kids are constantly asking me for advice about modeling. I felt like there was a lack of information out there about the business coming from someone who was a part of the business. There are a lot of scams out there. I really wanted to create a platform that was credible.
You’re a parent, too. What do you and your daughter bond over?
We go to dinner a lot. We also watch movies together, and just laying in bed together. When my schedule’s crazy, my most special time is when I come in from work and she’s sleeping. I’ll go lay with her for a couple of hours. I love making sure I have some time with her, even when she’s sleeping. I feel she knows that I’m there. It’s all about keeping that connection with your children, no matter what is going on.
Speaking of being family, you’ve let the world into your home. What can we expect to see from you next on Real Housewives of Atlanta?
This will be my sixth season. I feel like every year I have evolved and grown. This season, I really want to focus more on my accessories empire that I’m building – eyewear. I also have hats coming, scarves, watches [and] belts.
Who, of your RHOA co-stars, exemplifies beauty?
All of my co-stars are beautiful in their own way, because beauty is individual. The women I work with are extremely confident, and they all own it, which I think is beautiful. I would have to say, I think that Kenya Moore is an absolutely gorgeous woman. She is extremely confident, and she definitely owns all of it.