Since making her grand entrée into the world of high fashion with a turn on the Emanuel Ungaro runway in 2004, there’s been no stopping Natasha Poly. The Russian-born beauty with the almondine eyes and high cheekbones has walked for everyone who is anyone and nabbed campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, Givenchy, Jil Sander, and Gucci fragrances in the process. But as far as Poly’s concerned, she’s only just made it big. “I’ve been doing modeling for almost ten years and I’ve been working so hard to reach this moment,” she says of being named L’Oréal Paris’ newest spokesperson. “My dream came true. I’ve reached a point where I can actually send a message to people, saying to them, ‘You’re worth it—we’re worth it.” A L’Oréal user since early childhood—”my first exposure was the shampoos. The quality and the smell was so special,” she recalls—her first major beauty contract has perhaps been a long time coming; Poly wanted to be a professional makeup artist before she took up the catwalk full time. “I’ve always loved cosmetics and I always need to have my products backstage at fashion shows,” she says, products like L’Oréal’s Color Riche Lipstick in Red and its Voluminous Million Lashes Extra-Black mascara. “I curl my eyelashes and then apply this mascara; it really opens up the eyes.”
Poly’s first order of business for the French brand will be serving face time for its cult-classic Elnett hair spray—a fashion week essential—and its Preference hair color collection. An acolyte of Paris-based colorist Christophe Robin, Poly has been dyeing her hair varying shades of flaxen for the past five years and is diligent about post-dye job maintenance. “In my emergency kit, I have a mask from Kérastase,” she admits, mentioning that haircare and skincare are “the most important stuff” when it comes to keeping up appearances. “It’s my job—I always need to look good,” she says—even when she has to walk in back-to-back shows in four different cities. To keep her face from showing the wear and tear of the extra mileage, Poly swears by L’Oréal’s Youth Code Lumière. “It refreshes your skin. I massage it in every morning.”
Product swag aside, Poly is just generally excited to be a part of team L’Oréal, which already includes fellow supermodels Doutzen Kroes, Bianca Balti, Claudia Schiffer, Liya Kebede, and Barbara Palvin. “It’s beauty that’s approachable to everyone,” she says of the brand’s reach, “and it’s giving power to women of the world to be iconic and powerful and confident.” Watch the behind-the-scenes video for Poly’s first campaign above, and look out for her on the Versace runway tonight.