Five Minutes with Lily Kwong

The model and It girl shares her beauty secrets.

Lily Kwong

While hosting a lunch at the Nomad Hotel with New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades (for whose skin care line, 37 Actives, she is an ambassador), model and muse Lily Kwong took a break to chat about her favorite beauty products and earliest memories.

What’s in your purse? Dr. Macrene’s 37 Actives, and I swear I’m not just saying that because I’m hosting this lunch. I reapply it during the day, especially during weeks like these when you run from shows to dinners. I have a global membership to Equinox, so I’ll just pop into the nearest one and use the mirrors in their locker rooms to reapply my makeup, but I always apply 37 Actives first. It makes makeup go on easier. I also have Nars lipstick in Afghan Red, my little roll-on perfume from Diptyque, Chanel mascara and Clarins cream blush.

What’s your earliest beauty memory? I vividly remember making perfume with my next-door neighbor Lucy. We’d pick all the rose petals off our rose bush, soak them in a big bowl of water, and then cover ourselves with the water. We thought we were little perfumers! We’d put different little plants in to make different scents. It’s funny to think about that now since I’m so passionate about landscape and plant-based materials. So maybe it all started with me and Lucy hunched over our rose water bowl!

What’s your biggest beauty bummer? When I began modeling, my skin was ravaged from so many people applying different makeup, using dirty brushes, and being on planes all the time. I had this concentration of acne around my mouth; it was in really bad shape. That kind of thing really shatters your confidence because it’s your face. If you’re a social person and you want to explore and connect with people, but you’re worried about them looking at not just blemishes, but a kind of whole scene on your face, it’s kind of debilitating. Then I met [dermatologist] Macrene. Even after a few treatments, she cleared my skin up right away. I discovered that I was allergic to certain makeup, and so I think my biggest beauty bummer was not really considering what I was putting on my skin and how much it was affecting the health of it.

What are you currently obsessed with? My new apartment. I just moved to Bushwick!

10 Models Share their Beauty Secrets

Kate MossCrème de la Mer.

Piece of Kate” photographed by Craig McDean, styled by Olivier Rizzo; W Magazine May 2015.

Meghan CollisonMAC Studio Fix Powder.

Garden of Eden” photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White; W Magazine February 2008.

Riley MontanaMoisturizer is a must, it keeps my skin looking fresh.”

Pop!” photographed by Richard Burbridge, styled by Felicia Garcia-Rivera; W Magazine November 2014.

Lara StoneL’Oréal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator.”

From Here to Eternity” photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styled by Alex White; W Magazine May 2009.

Saskia de BrauwArgan oil.

Living Large” photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enninful; W Magazine September 2012.

Caroline TrentiniYSL Touche Eclat Concealer, eyebrow brush, and rosewater spray.”

Sculpture Garden” photographed by Willy Vanderperre, styled by Panos Yiapanis; W Art May 2015.

Daria WerbowyLancome Hypnose mascara and argan oil.”

Super Normal Super Models” photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enninful; W Magazine September 2014.

Herieth Paul “Serum, exfoliator, tinted moisturizer, mascara, and eye cream.”

Giving Lip” photographed by Julia Noni, styled by Felicia Garcia-Rivera; W Magazine April 2015.

Jourdan DunnAkasha Spa at Café Royal, Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask, and all SKII products.”

“One Shoe Fits All” photographed by Mel Bles, styled by Jack Borkett; W Magazine March 2015.

Aline Weber “Face wash, sunscreen, moisturizer, and a lip balm!”

American Dreamin’” photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styled by Alex White; W Magazine December 2008.