Since her breakout fall 2016 season, when she walked for brands like Lanvin, Carven, Jeremy Scott, and Alberta Ferretti, Belarusan model Sasha Kichigina has become a striking presence both on the runways and in the pages of fashion magazines. She's a regular collaborator with Dolce & Gabbana, appearing in the brand’s campaigns, as well as its ready-to-wear and Alta Moda shows. And for Valentino, she bore the distinct honor of walking in Pierpaolo Piccioli’s solo debut after Maria Grazia Chiuri departed for Dior in 2017. And she hasn’t stopped working since.
It’s not hard to see why: The 19-year-old possesses an enviable tumble of curls that frames a face dotted with the faintest freckles; in person, she’s quick to laugh and, occasionally, very silly. (Hailing from Belarus, Kichigina speaks English with a slight accent; when she imitates her mother or grandmother, this goes into overdrive.) She’s also an unabashed nerd, quoting Kurt Vonnegut and extolling the scientific method over the course of a half-hour conversation. Never mind that much of that conversation was a discussion of beauty. Here, Kichigina weighs in on yoga, dollar pizza, and why—as Vonnegut told the graduating class of MIT in 1997—you should always wear a good sunscreen.
Your look in three words:
Natural, comfortable, but with a bit of pepper in it.
Medicine cabinet snapshot:
Coconut oil from Café Gratitude in Los Angeles—they do amazing organic stuff—Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré, and an eyelash curler.
Best advice from a facialist:
It’s an obvious one, but always take your makeup off.
Good skin starts with:
Lots of water—again, I’m very obvious—and sun cream. Avène has a 50 SPF. I just realized I’m copying Kurt Vonnegut’s speech at MIT, where he said, “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.”
MAC concealer, and then Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder and the Benefit lip tint.
Most underrated product:
I’m not sure if it’s popular, but that was a wonderful thing from Bobbi Brown—it’s moisturizer, but with a base on it, so it’s very light, so when you moisturize your face with it, it’s kind of powder with a cream texture and you can’t see it on your skin at all, but it covers all the redness, makes your skin very smooth.
Never leave the house without:
I've left my house without my keys, so there’s no such thing.
A good hair day starts with:
Honestly, no stress—and coconut oil, again. Since I’ve started using it, I’m like, “Oh, damn, I should be in a L’Oréal advertisement.”
Nails must be:
Clear, or with a natural polish. And short.
Beauty from the inside:
Yoga. Love yoga. I do it every morning. It's perfect for your spine, and your spine is the main thing for your health and maintaining your body. And it makes you feel healthy and energized.
Drink of choice:
Water or Aperol spritz.
Scent of choice:
Parle Moi de Parfum Flavia Vanilla. It’s from this small shop in Paris.
Appointment you'd love to nab:
Probably some crazy-ass weird facial because I’ve never had one. All I use on my skin is cream and masks, so like when they needle your skin, or electricity. I want to see the result—does it work in practice?
Mask of choice:
I use the ones by Nature Republic. They have a bunch of good ones. And also, Glossier.
Mostly this Russian writer Boris Akunin. He’s got a series of detective stories about one guy and you see him growing up and getting old. It's nice because it also has a lot of 19th-century Russian history.
Best advice from Mom:
[Puts on thick Russian accent] “Eat that pancake, my dear daughter.” She likes making pancakes, and she loves people eating her food. She always made me use a hand cream, and that was really nice—I use a hand cream every night.
Best-kept beauty secret:
People underestimate the power of a good sleep. I know all the things I say are super obvious, but they work. They goddamn work! It’s not about six hours’ sleep. It’s about eight hours’ sleep—and being on schedule. No matter how much you eat, no matter how much you moisturize your skin, if you don’t sleep well, it all goes to whatever it goes to.
Many people see Natalia Vodianova, but I don't get where it comes from. I’ve heard it multiple times.