Way back in 2015, Estonian model Alexandra Elizabeth Ljadov, fresh off a breakout season that included walking a marathon 74 shows, received a career-making endorsement. Victoria Beckham, former Posh Spice, current posh tastemaker, cited the then 17-year-old among her fashion inspirations. Since then, Ljadov worked with Beckham, of course, in addition to Dior and Versace couture, Prada, and Calvin Klein, but she hasn’t been content to simply appear in front of the camera since she landed on the mainstream radar of the fashion industry: She’s an accomplished art director who recently worked on a surreal, to-be-released video for “Style Wars,” a collaboration between rapper and Mr. Robot actor Joey Bada$$ and rapper Chuck Strangers, as well as a Tonya Harding–themed video editorial for V magazine, for which she both acted and directed. (“They told me I could pull off a Margot Robbie,” she recalled on a recent March afternoon). She’s also hard at work writing a Neon Demon-esque psychological thriller set in the fashion world.
It’s no doubt thanks, in part, to her vivid, oddball energy that Ljadov has become such a sought-after collaborator on both sides of the camera. The Joey Bada$$–Chuck Strangers collaboration, for example, came about through a Tinder match that quickly turned from a romantic prospect into a professional one. She has a solid Kardashian “Okurrr” in her repertoire. And she describes her look, after much deliberation, as a combination of “quirky, complicated, and babydoll hooker.” Here, Ljadov reveals her beauty secrets—including her penchant for freestyle skiing, her pimple-banishing hack, and why “a good Cardi B nail” can transform your whole personality.
Your look in three words:
Oh, my God. I don’t know. [Sighs] Quirky…it’s hard. Maybe like, complicated and babydoll hooker.
Medicine cabinet snapshot:
Allegra, tons of Allegra—allergy medicine. Vitamins C and D and painkillers, for when you have a headache. I don’t really take medicine unless I’m super sick, but allergy medicine I take all the time.
Best advice from a facialist:
Wash your face from makeup before you go to bed. I don’t really wear makeup on a daily basis. When I go to a facialist, they always give me a cream to put on, just to moisturize.
Good skin starts with:
Water. [Laughs] I’m allergic to perfumy things so I just spray face water. It’s totally unnecessary and totally overpriced, but it’s great; I love it. When I have pimples, I have this spot cream that you can put on. Also, toothpaste works to put on your spots—it dries it out. So if you don’t have anything, if you’re traveling or whatever, you can put toothpaste on your spot.
SPF of choice:
Highlighters—Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife, and I like the Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick that she has. Unicorn, Confetti, and Chili Mango. We love.
Most underrated product:
A beauty blender. It’s not underrated, but that’s a must. Eyebrow gel—if you brush your eyebrows up, you’re set to go. It gives your face a little lift, so I feel like people don’t get eyebrow gel enough.
Never leave the house without:
I always have a lip balm on me. That’s all.
A good hair day starts with:
I don’t know, because I never have good hair days. Just wear a hat. Wigs. You can never go wrong with wigs.
My hair colorist always says:
I used to have my hair bleached and stuff, so just a lot of conditioner. Make sure it’s always moisturized. Moisturize your hair like you moisturize your face.
Nails must be:
Very short. I like baby nails. I feel like I can’t do anything with long nails, although though I do like a good Cardi B nail. I applaud her for doing her daily-life routine with it. When they put a nail on you, you automatically transform into another person. It just comes with the territory with the nails.
Beauty from the inside:
I love fish, so mostly I eat fish and soups. Just a little bit of everything. Make sure you have your vegetables, your protein, for sure. Eggs are really good for you, and then also, what’s really good is to drink warm lemon water before you eat anything, first thing in the morning, because that gets your metabolism going. Grandma Alex is back again.
Running, sit-ups, push-ups. You have to do everything in balance, because otherwise one part of your body becomes stronger than the other. I dance a lot, so that’s a great exercise. I also freestyle ski; your legs are on fire after. I don’t have a set fitness routine.
Drink of choice:
Sparkling water or tomato juice. I do like fresh orange juice as well. I love everything tomato: I love tomato soup, tomato juice.
A woman's fragrance should:
Be Black Orchid, Tom Ford.
Appointment you'd love to nab:
I’d like to be transformed into Erika Jayne for a day, because she’s just fabulous. Get my nails done, get my makeup done, get huge hair and a ridiculous outfit, and just live my best life, you know, for a day.
In Iceland, they have these outdoor spas. But I also like spas where you go to, like, a tree house in Costa Rica or Bali or whatever, those kinds of tropical ones. So it’s either one extreme or the other extreme.
I don’t read in the tub because I’m very clumsy, so I would drop my book in the water. But what I do is I set up a chair and I put my computer on it. I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, iconic. I also watch Grey’s Anatomy—I’ve watched every single season since it started—and medical documentaries.
A lot of people tell me different things, but there’s never one person. For the Tonya Harding skate story, they told me I could pull off a Margot Robbie. Because of my haircut, so many people call me Taylor Swift on the streets.