Like most millennials, Emily Ratajkowski loves to indulge in nostalgia. Before the model, author, and podcast host became the pop culture phenomenon known as EmRata, Ratajkowski was just another teen growing up in the 2000s, experimenting with beauty and style.
“My first beauty product was something terrible, probably sparkly eye shadow from Limited Too,” she tells Glamour. “I failed so much with beauty when I was younger because I would just let people do whatever they wanted glam-wise. Hair and makeup artists made me look insane, totally insane. But it’s kind of how I learned my face in a lot of ways and learned what colors look good on me, nothing too pink on my lips, and stuff like that.”
Despite the misses, some of Ratajkowski’s Y2K favorites still hold up in 2023. Announced today, the model is the newest face of Viktor&Rolf’s iconic Flowerbomb fragrance—a scent that so many of us, including EmRata, have history with.
“It’s so crazy—your mom knows the fragrance, but so does a 12-year-old girl,” she says. “When I first booked the campaign, my best friend was like, ‘Are you kidding? I was wearing that in high school and then when I first moved to New York, I’d get it in Chinatown.’ She was like, ‘That is the fragrance.’”
Friendship is also at the core of Ratajkowski’s new podcast, High Low, where she has candid conversations with guests on topics from politics, philosophy, and feminism to sex, TikTok, and relationships.
“People I’ve had on the podcast, like Ziwe, are such an inspiration,” she says. “My friend Stephanie Danler, who’s a writer. Drew Afualo, I think she’s amazing. There are so many people who are doing interesting things and talking about stuff in a really great way.”
Ahead, Emily Ratajkowski talks her best beauty tips, favorite ways to unwind, and why she avoids TikTok videos about herself.
Glamour: What’s one beauty trend you’re obsessed with right now?
Emily Ratajkowski: I love the unpolished makeup look. I have my signature things that I’ve kind of always been doing. I don’t really follow trends so much with makeup. I have my look and what I know I like, and that’s kind of it. So, I do blush a certain way. I put it over my nose and on my cheeks and I draw on freckles.
What’s one beauty rule that you swear by?
I definitely think the blush placement of doing it where the sun hits you, rather than trying to contour or anything like that, or bringing it up or putting it too low—nothing bothers me more. Blush placement can totally change your face.
What's one beauty rule you think is BS?
I don’t pay that much attention to what the rules are. When people say you can’t do a red lip and an eye, I think you can do both. You can wear a lot of makeup with a red lip and actually can wear more on your eyes than what people think.
Fill in the blank: “I feel most beautiful when—.”
I feel most beautiful after a nice Sunday spent with my son and after a successful workweek and just feeling like myself.
The last time I interviewed you, you’d gone blonde.
I liked going blonde. I got pregnant when I was blonde; I had a day when my body was changing so much and I was blonde. I was like, “Who am I?” But no, I didn’t regret it. I actually really loved being blonde, and I like messing with my hair. It’s just that it took a long time for it to grow out. In the sun, the bleached ends would come back and I was having to do more maintenance. Next time I change my color, I’d want to commit for longer. I was only blonde for two months.
What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself?
It totally depends. I love just lying in my bed and watching TikTok, if I’m being totally honest. Last night I had a bunch of work—I was actually recording an episode of the podcast at home—and I finished doing that and was just so happy to get under my covers and watch a bunch of TikToks and crack myself up. So, honestly that.
What is the latest TikTok rabbit hole you went down?
I’m on the Brazilian dance-offs of the Little Kids in Street. I really want to learn the dance. It’s amazing. They’re 10-year-old girls who do this one dance, and they’re so serious about it.
Do you ever come across TikToks about yourself?
Yes, but I scroll by them really fast. The algorithm’s so smart that it’s like, “Oh, she doesn’t like this.” I don't love it. I mean, sometimes I’ll get one on my book and I’m like, “Oh, I love this,” and I’ll write something or somebody tags me in one and I’ll watch it.
What’s your favorite emoji to use?
My recent emojis. I’m very into the heart-hands emoji. That’s a good one. It’s just a good one because I’m not sending anyone a heart, but you’re kind of sending a heart.
If you could change one thing about beauty perceptions in Hollywood or on social media, what would it be?
It’s such an obvious answer, but I would say more diverse beauty standards. What I’d love overall, conceptually, is if we could appreciate what makes people unique rather than what makes people look the same. That’s the thing I don’t love about beauty standards currently. There is uniqueness in individuality. I see it on TikTok, for example, but there’s this uniform idea of a hot girl, of a hot guy, and it’s very basic.
Ariana Yaptangco is the senior beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @arianayap.
Originally Appeared on Glamour