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Adut Akech On The Beauty Tips She Learned From Pat McGrath

adut akech interview
Adut Akech Beauty InterviewCourtesy of Valentino Beauty

At just 24 years old, South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech is nothing short of a force in fashion. The highflying runway star is a Fashion Month regular, with shows from Chanel and Versace to Burberry and Valentino under her belt for SS24 alone. From winning 'Model of the Year' at the 2019 British Fashion Awards to starring in Beyonce's Black Is King music video, Akech's globally-recognised repertoire is plentiful. Think glittering red carpet appearances, iconic covers and worldwide campaigns.

And in typical supermodel fashion, Adut's relationship with beauty is intricate and her routine thorough. The face of Valentino's new Born In Roma Donna Green Stravaganza catches up with ELLE UK to discuss her iconic red carpet beauty moments, her extensive hour long skincare routine and the scents that framed her childhood.

paris, france october 02 adut akech walks the runway during the mugler ready to wear springsummer 2024 fashion show as part of the paris fashion week on october 2, 2023 in paris, france photo by victor lochongamma rapho via getty images
Victor Lochon

On the meaning of 'beauty'...

'To me, beauty means being 100% yourself. Being a beautiful person inside really does a lot for you on the outside.'

On self-expression through beauty...

'I like to express myself through beauty by just playing with make-up. Just putting on your makeup and not being afraid; doing whatever you feel like doing, not listening to anyone and not caring about what anyone thinks. And if you want to wear a bright red lipstick, or a bright pink eyeshadow, that's it. Scent definitely plays a big role in that too.'

On early scent memories...

'My first memory of scent was this signature fragrance that my mom wore. It's only for women in my culture and it's only women who are married that can wear it. I always loved when my mom would put it on. Then when I came to Australia, I was exposed to fragrance. My mum wouldn't allow us to wear perfume because we were so young so we would just go out and buy body mists. I think there was a Hello Kitty one.'

a woman holding a green bag
Adut Akech is the face of Valentino Born In Roma Donna Green StravaganzaCourtesy of Valentino Beauty

On favourite fragrances...

'I wear perfume every day, I think it's an everyday essential. I find myself always gravitating towards something that smells light and fresh and pretty and fruity, like Valentino Born in Roma Coral. I have them lying around in different bathrooms and different rooms in my house, and sometimes I'll mix them. Depending on the mood I'm in, obviously that plays a role in what scent I'm going to gravitate towards.'

On beauty icons...

'Off the top of my head? Definitely, Rihanna.'

On her go-to make-up routine...

'I'm into the very minimal make-up look right now. Just brushing up your face, contouring and then just a little concealer and some blush. That's the trend that I'm loving right now.'

On her favourite past beauty moment...

'The Met Gala was cool. That's my most memorable one, for sure. With the short bob haircut.'

On her extensive skincare routine...

'The time that it takes me to do my skincare is still about 45 minutes to an hour. I like to stick to the same products I've been using for about six months or a year or two years.

After I get out the shower, I would start with an oil cleanser or a cleansing balm. One of my favourite ones is the Drunk Elephant formula. Then I would go in with a cleanser. Whether it's CeraVe or La Roche-Posay or Cetaphil, something more gentle for sensitive skin. Then after that I would go in with a toner; I like REN Skincare. Then I would go in with my Dr.Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.pair Serum and finish with a moisturiser.'

On her haircare routine...

'When I take out my braids, I take my time with washing my hair. I'll do a full-on oil treatment at first, then shampoo and then a mask. After that I'll rinse and I try to get moisture and oil and that kind of stuff back in before I get it re-braided.

Recently I've been using this hair oil from Ouai. I like that it doesn't feel greasy but it's still nourishing for your hair. The hair mask that I've been loving recently is from Aveda. I recently cut my hair into a bob so sometimes I use a flat iron with the Color Wow Frizz Control Spray. But I try not put heat on my hair.'

On pro tips from the make-up chair...

'I'm using my hands and my fingers for applying make-up now. I don't use make-up brushes anymore. I have one little pocket of make-up brushes that rarely ever get used. I apply my foundation with my hands. Pat McGrath applied my foundation with her hands and since that day I've been applying my foundation with my hands.'

On rituals to help her unwind...

'A salt bath or some sort of a bath to unwind or sheet masks. I've also been using a red light therapy facial Wand Tool – TikTok made me do it.'

a person with a headband
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On her wellness must-do's...

'I am big on Pilates. I do Pilates every day and it just helps me just relax, unwind, de-stress. I also meditate from time to time. And I love teas. I drink a lot of tea. I started drinking matcha recently and I'm obsessed.'

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